Morocco Sufi Encounters

The heart of Islam is known by Muslim Scholars and spiritual devotees as Tassawuf or in western terms Sufism. Sufism is the venue of education and spiritual teaching, considered to be the hidden knowledge of subjective Islam. It was first defused informally by stoics and devoted Muslim to the immaterial world before it was progressively structured around the 11th century. This doctrine of struggle with one own ego is the essence of the practical universal message of Islam. Historically, the transmission of this teaching is practiced, from the 13th century down through spiritual centers that earned by merit to preserve the norms of the culture, sociability, and spirituality proper to Islam in an era of dislocation of the Muslim world, particularly under the impact of Mongol invasions. These centers, in fact, have known how to preserve a message of a universal spirituality that has nourished the Muslim culture and not only enhanced its artistic and literary expressions but also its social and economic advancements. For centuries Sufism has inspired simultaneously the organization and the ethical and spiritual charters of guilds of crafts throughout the Muslim world.

 

Visiting a Sufi home in Morocco

Sufi dinner in a Moroccan house

We are happy to welcome you to this Sufi destination of Morocco and share with you a journey where Sufi culture is what dominates the daily life of its people. Morocco is endowed in natural beauty, the Atlas Mountains and the Sahara Desert give travelers a one-of-a-kind spiritual experience as they discover the country’s wide array of sacred traditions and cultural encounters, whether for Sufi trips and retreats or just regular trips. Our hand-picked extraordinary Muslim tours will take you on a spiritual journey to enjoy the historical Islamic centers of learning and encounter Sufi brothers and sisters to share what is most sacred in the faith of Islam in the remembrance of Allah. Visit ancient cities that have marked the history of Morocco from a spiritual standpoint. Additionally, its indigenous populations of Berbers and Moors of Muslim faith offers thought-provoking insight into anciently sacred teaching that could help remarkably the world today. Welcome to this journey of spiritual musings in Morocco. This spiritual journey with a small group, will satisfy your personal growth and budget.

 

Sufi Tours to Morocco

Moulay Idriss Zerhoune Sufi Sanctuary

 

In Morocco, for example, guilds and special trades have traditionally allied themselves with Sufi orders. The relationship that has been established between spirituality and social and human development has marked naturally the cultural and historical identity of Morocco. These Sufi Orders of Morocco have known through time international beaming by establishing their zawiyas in different countries. The case of the Zawiya Quadiriya and Zawiya Tijania in this regard is an eloquent illustration. The roles of these Sufi orders of teaching and civic and spiritual education at the same time engagement of human development and mediation for peace, in a profound and creative effect, are what constitute the Moroccan culture. Join one of our spiritual tours and retreats to Morocco with a small group scheduled departures or call on us to personalize a private customized journey just for you. Also, check on our Africa Heritage tours and retreats.

 

Al Quarawiyyine Library in Fez

Sufi learning center in Morocco

Spain Islamic Heritage travel

 
 
Sufi-lady-from-Spain

Sufism in Spain

What is Spain without Islamic history? In the 8th century, Europe experienced one of its greatest periods of cultural and spiritual enlightenment. Over eight hundred years of Islamic presence in Spain, Muslims, Jews, and Christians lived together and prospered in a thriving interfaith resulting in a multicultural civilization. An era historians refer to as the era of co-existence which reached the apogee of universal human civilization, even Spaniards today still celebrate it as “la convivencia”. This era in Spain has created an atmosphere where remarkable scholars and thinkers of different faiths to work side by side and share at no discretion collective knowledge in the benefit of all mankind that evoked lasting contributions in such areas as poetry, art, architecture, music, science, agriculture, medicine, engineering, algebra, navigation, textiles, culinary and even technologies that have shaped the world we live in today. Initially, this civilization flourished in Muslim Spain or in better words the Moors of Spain as they are referred to by historians and travelers of all times.

 
Sufi encounters in Spain

Sufi gatherings in Alpujarra Spain

What is Spain without Islamic history? In the late 8th century, Europe experienced one of its greatest periods of cultural and spiritual enlightenment. Over eight hundred years of Islamic presence in Spain, Muslims, Jews, and Christians lived together and prospered in a thriving interfaith resulting in a multicultural civilization. An era historians refer to as the era of co-existence which reached the apogee of universal human civilization, even Spaniards today still celebrate it as “la convivencia”. This era in Spain has created an atmosphere where remarkable scholars and thinkers of different faiths to work side by side and share at no discretion collective knowledge in the benefit of all mankind that evoked lasting contributions in such areas as poetry, art, architecture, music, science, agriculture, medicine, engineering, algebra, navigation, textiles, culinary and even technologies that have shaped the world we live in today. Initially, this civilization flourished in Muslim Spain or in better words the Moors of Spain as they are referred to by historians and travelers of all times.

Today over two million Muslims in Spain live side by side with their fellow Christians in harmony and mutual respect. The Muslim community respects as well the norms of prayers and has it infrastructure well set for visitors of the Islamic faith. You will find mosques and places set for prayers, halal markets, and restaurants to enjoy all staples unique to this destination. However, people here are not used to see people praying in streets and public places. One has to be sensitive to other perspectives. Bearing in mind that Spain as a country that had separated the religion from the politics and law, we can see that is nothing against Islam, but in general is not well seen to pray (Christian or Muslim) in a place which is not a temple (church, mosque, etc).

Sufi tours and travel in Spain

Halal Sufi Tours to Spain

Cross-cultural Services as a specialized tour operator is offering Islamic tour packages to Spain as none can do. Our Muslim heritage tours, journeys, and trips in Spain are hand-picked to take Muslim visitors through an engaging, insightful journey into this important period in world history. Enjoy and explore the forgotten Islamic civilization of Spain guided by local Spanish Muslims well trained Tour guides in 2021 and 2022.

Modern Islamic architecture in Spain

Spain Islamic heritage tours

Our Spain halal tours are tailored with great care to offer you the best Spain experience made just for you. At Cross-Cultural Services, we offer Islamic tours totally halal in Spain for all types of travelers from around the world. However, we do offer Muslim tours based on historic sites and daily life halal activities throughout Spain, adventure active tour packages for Islamic explorers as well as just nature enthusiast who can take a walk in the park can enjoy our in-depth cultural and spiritual trips based on historical discoveries for pre-packaged group tours and private parties. We also offer scheduled Sufi retreats in diverse spiritual sites of Spain. Our group tours of Spain are also supplied in most respectful and rewarding itineraries for Muslim travelers from around the globe, these Muslim tours are totally halal travel escorted by well versed Muslim guides and tour managers. Cross-cultural Services are well known in the halal travel market as one of the best FITs customized tours to Spain for independent travelers and private families. These Spain Muslim tours visiting major cities of Moorish heritage, such as Toledo, Seville, Cordoba, Granada, the Malaga mountains, white villages, natural life in the most beautiful national parks Spain has to offer are well studied in time-consuming and budget-wise. Best rates are guaranteed.

Religious travel and tours to Spain

Spain Muslim travel and tours

Sufism in Egypt

Sufism (Tasawwuf)is an Islamic modality that emphasizes self-purification and the attainment of spiritually advanced states through the assumption of specific practices and disciplines, typically through affiliation with a particular brotherhood and its leader, a sheik. Sufism has deep roots historical roots in Egypt, and the Egyptian landscape is marked with hundreds of sites significant to historical and contemporary Sufis. Today, roughly 15% of Egyptians are either members of Sufi brotherhoods or participate in Sufi practices, and there are 77 officially recognized Sufi orders (tariqat, sing. tariqa). Popular Sufi practices in Egypt include the recitation of litanies collectively and individually (zikr), the celebration of the birth of the Prophet Muhammad during mawlid ceremonies, and other expressions of love for the Prophet and his family, and visitations to saintly figures’ tombs (Ziyara). Beside historic and cultural tourism, Egypt enjoys another type of visitor and those are the Sufi seekers from around the world coming in a small and large group to explore Sufism in Egypt today. There are some tour operators specialized in spiritual tours to Egypt and especially Sufism. Among many of these tour operators to Egypt, we highly recommend Cross-Cultural Services, Inc. and Alcazar Tours.

Sufism in Egypt : Sufis, sheikhs and charlatans - Qantara.de

The Supreme Council of Sufi Orders, founded in 1903, is the government body responsible for the regulation of Sufi brotherhoods. The Council oversees the appointment of sheiks (Sufi authorities), grants permits for Mawlids, and performs a variety of other duties. The body is charged with ensuring that Sufi practices are consistent with Islamic norms and laws and includes ten elected members representing sheiks from different tariqas as well as five appointment members who represent al-Azhar University (where many of the upper faculty are respected Sufis), the Ministry of Religious Endowments, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Culture, and Local Administration. Law no. 118 (1976) states that Sufi orders are barred from engaging in any activities not authorized by the Supreme Council.

In Search of Spiritual Ecstasy: Egypt Goes Whirling | Egyptian Streets

The creation of bureaucratic institutions intended to regulate Egyptian Sufism spiritual doctrine is consistent with changes to the state and the expansion of the state into religious affairs. Additionally, it points to a changing public discourse around Sufism over the course of the 20th century, during which criticism from Islamic reformists and the wider public—calling Sufism unorthodox, superstitious, and heretical—forced a response from Sufi leaders emphasizing its consistency with Islamic orthopraxy.

The development and rising popularity of the Muslim Brotherhood was one such challenge. Hassan al-Banna criticized modern Sufism (he himself was a member of a Sufi order prior to the Brotherhood’s creation) but praised the Sufi asceticism of the early Islamic period. The Muslim Brotherhood’s structure is noteworthy for its similarities to Sufi orders. Brotherhood members then and now tend to view Sufism as a corrupt form of Islamic practice, bordering on un-Islamic. Salafis condemn Sufism as heretical, and in recent years have been implicated in the destruction of Sufi sites in Egypt. However, disapproval of and hostilities towards Sufism may be colored by political in addition to religious views, particularly by the Sufi orders’ and prominent Sufis’ support for the government—including the current post-coup military government—and their opposition to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Sufis thrive in Egypt despite radicals

Sufism is rarely political; for this reason, they were largely tolerated under contemporary Egyptian presidents and were supportive of past regimes. However, a number of Sufi political parties formed in the wake of the Arab Spring. For example, the Rifa’iyyah formed Sawt al-Hureyya (The Voice of Freedom Party) and the ‘Azmeyyah announced Tahrir Masr (The Egyptian Liberation Party). Sufi leaders have been divided on these changes; Grand Sheikh of the Sufi Orders, Sheikh Abdul Hadi al-Qassabi, denounced the formation of political parties and suggested that it could lead to greater societal rifts. Proponents of the parties insisted that their formation was necessary to prevent the Muslim Brotherhood and/or Salafi political parties from eroding freedoms and protections granted to Sufi orders. With changes to the constitution banning political parties based on religion, these parties have secularized their rhetoric and have aligned with larger secular political coalitions. In any case, Egypt Sufi tours and travel are thriving.

Tannoura Dance'.. 7 centuries of Sufi Dance

The Rifa’iyyah

The Rifa’iyyah Order is among the largest orders in Egypt and is especially popular among lower socioeconomic classes. It was founded in 12th century Iraq by Ahmad al-Rifa’i, and members were known for miraculous acts during heightened spiritual states including snake-charming, fire-swallowing, and piercing their cheeks. These practices inspire tremendous wonder in those who participate and observe but are also frowned upon by members of other orders and non-Sufis who regard them as excessive and even heretical.

The Shadhiliyyah

The Shadhiliyyah Order is the largest Sufi brotherhood in Egypt, where it been popular since the 14th century, and is notable for its flexibility and lack of complex institutional structure, permitting it to adapt to a wide variety of contexts. It has over 70 branches globally, many of which are present in Egypt. The Order emphasizes Sunni Islamic piety grounded in the Qur’an and hadith, self-purification, and Sufi mysticism. Its founder, Abu’l-Hasan al-Shadhili (d. 1258) was born in Morocco, where the Shadhiliyyah first took hold and followed al-Shadhili to Egypt, where he settled and is buried in Alexandria. Among the most celebrated Egyptian Sufis is Ibn Ata’ Allah al-Iskandari (d. 1309), the third sheik of the Shadhiliyya, whose aphorisms and discourses remain an important contribution to the body of Egyptian Sufism, and Imam al-Busiri (d. 1294), author of “Poem of the Burda,” the most commonly recited poem in the Sunni Muslim world.

For more information about tours and travel to Egypt check our website
https://www.sarahtours.com/egypt-tours

Morocco Desert escapades

Voyage intéressant à Dakhla | Location voiture Dakhla Maroc

Dakhla, sometimes known as al-Dakhla, is built on a narrow peninsula that protrudes into the Atlantic Ocean and runs parallel to the African coast. An Amazigh settlement since ancient times, these days it has a growing reputation as a leading global destination for beach escapades, desert adventures, tours and expeditions, and watersports lovers.

To get to Dakhla you have a choice of flying from Casablanca airport, or making your way by land on one of our overland tours to Morocco South. This second option gives you the chance to see the Atlas Mountains and the Sahara – the single road to Dakhla winds through the desert along the coast, passing many traditional villages and campsites. When you finally arrive at Dakhla it’s like finding a secret oasis or a magic land resort.

The town is a mix of Amazigh Berber influence and Spanish architecture, a remnant from colonial times. You’ll quickly notice that the prevailing feel of Dakhla is laid back and relaxed, befitting its popularity as a haven for the active overland travelers and the watersports enthusiasts. It’s a town where you can relax, absorb the culture, and enjoy stunning views across the Atlantic Ocean.

Morocco-Nature Break in Dakhla 4 Days-3 Nights Getaway - Galaxy Voyage

Thrusting out into the Atlantic Ocean on a split of land, the area around Dakhla has long, sunbleached beaches that are warmed by the sub-tropical sunshine and, even better, are surprisingly quiet. The beaches are primarily used as launch points for people enjoying the fantastic water sports on offer in the huge, turquoise Dakhla lagoon. It’s one of the greatest desert escapades spots in the world for both kite and windsurfing, with strong winds blowing consistently along the shoreline. Not to forget bedouin and Sahara nomads that are scattered with their camel and goat flocks all around Dakhla. So if you like to rough it up in a 4×4 overland cruiser to explore the beauty of the Sahara desert breathtaking landscapes and the mystery of life in the desert, all are reachable only a few miles outside of Dakhla. You can even ask for an overnight over the voluptuous dunes under the African skies for a Sahara experience.

Of course, nowhere is truly empty and you can find all sorts of wildlife here – flamingos and crabs live in the area, and the occasional dolphin pops its head out of the surf to see what’s going on. Don’t forget to visit Dragon Island, an offshore dune shaped like a dragon when seen from the side, which is said to be magical, unspoiled and a perfect place to find peace. You can go by boat, swim or walk at low tide.

Things to Do in Ad Dakhla

FRESH SEA FOOD AND TRADITIONAL MOROCCAN STAPLES

DSC_0565 • BEWILDERED IN MOROCCO

Morocco has one of the most diverse cuisines in the world, influenced by Andalusian Spain, Arabia, and France. Dakhla is famous for Oyster farming by hand which is a traditional practice in Dakhla. Oysters from Dakhla are sold not only around Morocco but are exported to high-end European restaurants and even Japan.
Restaurants in Dakhla has to offer a variety of grilled prawns and clams, calamari, fresh shrimps, spicy crabs, fish carpaccio and oysters with subtle spices and intriguing flavor combinations. Dakhla will spoil you with the sheer variety of its marine platter. You are out for an indulging treat if you like seafood and exotic food.

WILDLIFE

Dune blanche at Dakhla, Morocco | Dakhla, Flamand rose, Dunes blanches

Dakhla region is a home for a diversity of marine animals, birds, reptiles and mammals that are rare or threatened species. UNESCO has supported a project to create Dakhla National Park in order to preserve the natural biodiversity of the region.

All year-round, you can see dolphins or even orcas swimming in Dakhla lagoon. But the most frequently, you can spot a flock of flamingos gathered in the lagoon which are the most representative birds of the Dakhla region. Sarah Tours offers many overland cultural and adventure tours around Dakhla and throughout Morocco.

AUTHENTIC BUNGALOWS NEXT TO THE LAGOON

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Stay at authentic bungalows, built of natural materials, and surrounded by mountains with amazing lagoon views. Located 30 km from the airport of Dakhla, it is a perfect getaway for an authentic experience. Comfortable single, double, or group size bungalows with private bathrooms are a very nice alternative to hotels. Name it and Sarah tours will customize to for you in Morocco.

FAR FROM THE CROWDS

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If you want to freshen your bucket list with an unspoiled destination, make sure you add Dakhla to your list. Tranquillity and simplicity- these are the words that perfectly describe this place. Far from busy streets and crowded beaches, where you can enjoy the comforts of a relaxing beach holiday, explore local life and culture…

The desert is a natural extension of the inner silence of the body…CHECK OUR WEBSITE WWW.SARAHTOURS.COM.

Morocco During Ramadan

Morocco is an Islamic country and the overwhelming majority of Moroccans are Muslim (Sunni or non-denominational). Therefore Ramadan, the month of fasting, is a very important period in Morocco, and visitors during that time should at least be aware of it and are likely to experience some effect from it.

Maroc et Ramadan : qu'est-ce que ça change pour le tourisme ?

Why is Ramadan Important?

Ramadan is important across the whole of the Muslim world as it is the month in which the Qur’an was revealed, and the month when the gates of Heaven are open and the gates of Hell are closed (and the devils are chained up).

Les dates du premier jour du Ramadan et de Aid Al Fitr au Maroc

Dates for Ramadan

Ramadan is an Islamic period, hence its dates are set on the Islamic calendar (Ramadan is the 9th month of that calendar), which is based on the lunar cycle (which does not quite equate to the Roman calendar).In effect the dates come forward by 11 days a year (or 12 days in a leap year) and in 2020 Ramadan will be 24th April – 24th/25th May 2020.

Casablanca, Sélectionner Catégorie, RAMADAN - Le Maroc au ralenti ...

What Happens in Ramadan

During Ramadan Muslims are required to abstain from consuming any food or drink between dawn and dusk (there are also some other things they are required to abstain from including gossiping and lying) and the fast is broken after sunset with a meal of sweets and dates.

The act of fasting is designed to focus the minds and hearts of those adhering away from the mundane world towards Allah, it is, therefore, an important time for Muslims for self-discipline, reflection, and prayer (special night long (“Taraweeh”) prayers are recommended although not required).

How Ramadan May Affect Visitors to Morocco

Interpellation de 283 faux guides durant le mois de ramadan à ...

Any Muslim visitor to Morocco will be well aware of Ramadan and the effects that it has on Muslims, but those effects are likely to be felt by all visitors regardless of their religion.

It is important that all visitors to another country have respect for the local population, its beliefs, and culture and accept those at face value, even if that affects their visit. Non-Muslim visitors are not expected to observe the fast but it is suggested that you be discrete if consuming food or water during the day and avoid smoking in public places.

As the vast majority of Moroccans will fast during daylight hours they will suffer from a significant lack of energy; this includes those working in tourist facilities, hence “normal” service during this period. This is accentuated when Ramadan occurs in a hot month, which it does in at the moment.

In addition to lack of energy, those fasting in a hot month maybe a little less communicative or short-tempered, and may need to break from service duties to allow the full final meal before sunrise and for the break of the fast after sunset.

Non-tourist eating places tend to be closed until dusk during Ramadan, and restaurants for tourists may have restrictions on the sale of alcohol. Also, sights, shops, and museums may close earlier than normal, shops open later in the morning. For more information on Travel to Morocco, please contact https://www.sarahtours.com/morocco-tours

Travel and Tours to Africa

Africa. There’s nowhere like it on the planet for wildlife, wild lands and rich traditions that endure. Prepare to fall in love

NGO Laws in Sub-Saharan Africa - ICNL

Natural Beauty

Whether you’re a wide-eyed first-timer or a frequent visitor, Africa cannot fail to get under your skin. The canvas upon which the continent’s epic story is written is itself astonishing, and reason enough to visit. From the tropical rainforests and glorious tropical coastline of Central Africa to the rippling dunes of the Namib Desert, from the signature savannah of the Serengeti to jagged mountains, green-tinged highlands and deep-gash canyons that mark the Great Rift Valley’s continental traverse – wherever you find yourself on this big, beautiful continent, Africa has few peers when it comes to natural beauty.

Snapshots of South Africa's Natural Beauty — Steemit

New Africa

The past retains its hold over the lives of many Africans, but just as many have embraced the future, bringing creativity and sophistication to the continent’s cities and urban centers. Sometimes this New Africa is expressed in a creative-conservation search for solutions to the continent’s environmental problems, or in an eagerness to break free of the restrictive chains of the past and transform the traveler experience. But just as often, modern Africans are taking all that is new and fusing it onto the best of the old.

BBC World Service | New Africa:

Ancient Africa

On this continent where human beings first came into existence, customs, traditions and ancient rites tie Africans to generations and ancestor’s past and to the collective memory of myriad people. In many rural areas it can feel as though the modern world might never have happened, and they are all the better for it, and old ways of doing things – with a certain grace and civility, hospitality, and a community spirit – survive. There are time-honored ceremonies, music that dates back to the days of Africa’s golden empires, and masks that tell stories of spirit worlds never lost. Welcome to Old Africa.

Old Africa, a photo from Centre, East | TrekEarth

Wildlife Bonanza

A Noah’s ark of wildlife brings Africa’s landscapes to life, with a tangible and sometimes profoundly mysterious presence that adds so much personality to the African wild. So many of the great beasts, including elephants, hippos, and lions, call Africa home. Going on safari may be something of a travel cliché, but we’re yet to find a traveler who has watched the wildlife world in motion in the Masai Mara, watched the epic battles between predator and prey in the Okavango Delta, or communed with gorillas and surfing hippos in Gabon and has not been reduced to an ecstatic state of childlike wonder.

Banks and MNOs set for sub-Saharan African mobile money market fee ...

For more about wonderful Africa, traveling, overland expeditions… check our website: https://www.sarahtours.com