Religion in Morocco: Islam
Morocco is a Muslim country, representing 99 % of the population. Morocco is one of the Muslim countries that will surely fascinate you. Some people are hugely influenced by media outlets such as the internet, TV, and Radio regarding how they view Muslim countries. Thus, visiting Morocco will change your perceptions and stereotypes about the Islamic world. Morocco is one of the Muslim countries that will surely fascinate you.
Visiting Morocco will gift you with an unforgettable lifetime experience. We all have cultural backgrounds that are expected to be appreciated and cherished. Therefore, some rules and etiquette should be followed when travelling to any country, including Morocco. This is not to expect you to change who you are as a person but to be thoughtful and aware of some cultural differences.
The best way to get an unforgettable experience while visiting Morocco is to blend with the locals. This way, you will discover so much more about the culture and Islam religion in general. It will present some of the most life-changing experiences that you may not otherwise experience if you only stayed in tourist-designated places.
No two Muslim countries are the same. Thus, it would be wise not to put the Islamic world in a homogenous category. This is because each country has its own rules and traditions. Some countries are stricter than others, and Morocco is not one of those countries. Morocco has no hard and fast rules and is known to be a model of tolerance and modernity in the Islamic world.
Being sensitive to Moroccan customs and manners will surely be noticed and appreciated. Thus, it would be knowledgeable to research the country you are visiting, in this case, Morocco.
Religion in Morocco: Top 4 Things that You Need to Know
Here are some do’s and don’ts that you need to be aware of when travelling to Morocco
1. Visiting Mosque:
- Visiting a mosque in Morocco is a place you would not want to miss. This is because you will learn much about the Islamic religion, and your visit will be educational and informational. Before entering the mosque, it is best to accompany the person responsible for the mosque, especially the Imam.
- It would be best to consider some rules and expectations when planning to visit a mosque. These include taking your shoes off before entering a mosque, and tourist women need to dress modestly, wearing long dresses and hair covering.
- It is vital not to enter a mosque and look around during praying because it may interrupt the praying session. Muslims pray five times a day, and tourists mostly visit a mosque during daytime prayers, especially before the noon prayer.
- Men must remember that a separate entry within the mosque is kept for men and women. This is for respecting each gender and not for exclusion, and it is part of religion and culture.
2. Dress Code and Displaying Affection:
- Even though the Moroccan dress code is not as strict as in other Muslim countries, Islam has fully highlighted modesty and dignity. Therefore, dressing modestly and being thoughtful will surely be appreciated. It is a fabulous way to show appreciation and respect. Morocco is not strict regarding the outfit. Thus, it has the liberty of what to wear as long as it is not excessive.
- Women must ensure that their outfit does not reveal shoulders or upper legs. The outfit needs to be loose and not too tight to attract attention. These same principles apply to men as they, too, need to dress modestly. It is important to note that there are some Moroccans who wear modern and revealing outfits, and they do not follow the teaching of Islam.
- While visiting Morocco, avoid public displays of affection such as hugging and kissing. These practices will surely be disrespectful and inconsiderate. Morocco highly respects other religious minorities and tourists who come to visit. Thus, it is vital to consider what Moroccan people consider respectful.
3. Shaking Hands, Approaching Women and Taking Photo:
- In Islamic countries, the general rule is for men to approach and converse with other men. Women are to do the same with their gender. This is not to say that you can never approach the opposite gender. The rules in Morocco are not as strict as in some countries. This will not be frowned upon if you are respectful and purposeful. While in a public space, in case you need help, make sure you approach the male companion. Also, try not to approach a female companion, especially if they are a couple/married.
- Be mindful that a Moroccan might shake hands with the same gender, not the opposite gender. So, do not be offended when the opposite gender doesn’t shake hands with you. This is just part of the culture. However, not all Moroccans practice this. Also, try not to take photos of people without their permission. This will be considered disrespectful and a breach of their privacy.
4. Dinning with Moroccans and Drinking in Public:
- Moroccan people are very well known for their hospitality. They express their generosity and hospitality by offering and sharing their food with visitors. Thus, don’t get offended if you are offered food more often than you are used to, especially if you are invited to somebody’s house—this is just one way Moroccans welcome their visitors and share their culture.
- Drinking in public is considered disrespectful, especially getting drunk and behaving insultingly due to excessive drinking. Also, avoid drinking while driving, as there is zero tolerance for drinking and driving. There is no safe speed limit for drinking and driving in Morocco.
- If you are invited to a Moroccan family’s house for dinner, don’t be surprised to see women sit and eat separately. This is part of the teaching of Islam and part of the culture. However, not all Moroccan practice this.