Last weekend, I visited the mausoleums of the seven patron saints (sab'at ul-rijal) of Marrakesh in the traditionally prescribed order. Here are some pictures as well as a basic bio for each saint quoted from the Made in Marrakech website. The poor quality of English seems to indicate that the author must be more comfortable in French. However, these bios should do the job for now since they provide the basic information concerning each saint.
1. The visit begins outside the walls of the old city at the mausoleum of Sayyidi Yusuf Ibn 'Ali. The mausoleum was closed when I arrived, so I could only take pictures from outside.
Here is the basic bio provided by our virtual tour guide:
Also known as: Abou Yaakoub Youssef ben Ali.
Origins: Yéménite, in Marrakech.
Education: He was a brilliant student of Cheikh Abou Asfour.
Distinguishing features: Leprosy stricken, he remained immensely faithful to God until his death.
Death: 1196 (593 in Hegira).
Buried: Bab Ghmat.Also known as: Abou Yaakoub Youssef ben Ali.
Also known as: Abou Al Fadl Ayyad ben Amer Ben Moussa Ben Ayyad Ben Mohamed Ben Abdellah Ben Moussa Ben Ayyad Al Yahsob or “Cadi de Grenade”.Origins: Yéménite, originally from Sebta.
Education: Student of Abou Abdellah ben Issa, from Imam Abou Abdellah ben Hamdine, Abou Al Hassan ben Siradj and Imam Abou Al walid Ibn Rochd.
Distinguishing features: He’s best known for learning Maleksime in the Muslim West. His love for the Prophet is evident in his work Al-Chifaa and his orthodox rigor earned him his saint title.
Death: 1149 (544 in Hegira )
Buried: Near Bab Aïlen.
Also known as: Abou el Abbas Ahmed ben Jaafar el Khazraji.Origins: Originally from Sebta.
Education: Disciple of Cadi Ayyad, Sidi Bel Abbas also struck up a close friendship with Averroes, with whom he shared his ideas.
Distinguishing features: He lived for 40 years in a grotta under a hill in Gueliz, without ever entering the city. He spent his life caring for and protecting the weak and the blind. His Zaouïa is part of the Regraga pilgrammage.
Died: 1205 (601 in Hegira)
Buried: Buried at Sidi Marouk cemetary, near Bab Taghzout.
Also known as: Sidi Mohammed ben Slimane ben Said al Jazouli.
Origins: Originally from Souss.
Education : Il fut inscrit à la Médersa Essaffarine de Fès où il excellait dans les hadiths. <left in French on the website I am quoting. Translates as ''He went to the Essafarine Madrassa in Fes, where he excellend in hadiths.''>
Distinguishing features: He’s the founder of Moroccan Sufism and moved againsts an Iberian invasion. He’s the author of the famous collection of prayers Dala’il al-Khayrat . He died while praying.
Death: 1465 (870 in Hegira )
Buried: At the zaouïa Jazoulia in the north end of the medina, near Dar-el-Glaoui.
Also known as: Abou Fares Abdelaziz.
Origins: Silk merchant originally from Fes.
Education: Key disciple of Sidi Ben Slimane.
Distinguishing features: He spread spread Sufi morals through the artisan guilds.
Death: 1508 (914 in Hegira)
Buried: Buried near Ben Youssef Mosque.
Also known as: Moul El Ksour
Origins: Originally from the Gazoune tribe.
Education: After having completed his studies in Fes, he went on to study in Grenada, before relocating to Marrakech to complete his training under Sidi Abdelaziz Tabaa.
Distinguishing features: Sultan Sidi Mohamed Cheikh, incarcinated him in Marrakech, jealous of his positive reputation with the people. He was freed several years later. <I am quite sure the author meant 'incarcerated' here.>
Death: 1528 (934 in Hegira )
Buried: He’s buried near Mouassine Mosque.
Also known as: Abou el kassim, Abou zaid Abderrahmane ibn al Khatib AbouAmer ben Abi al Hassan Asbagh ben Houssine ben Saadoun ben Redouane ben Fattouh Souhaili.
Origins: Originally from Souhail, near Malaga.
Education: Yacoub El Mansour brought him from Spain.
Distinguishing features: He’s known for his Sufi poetry and his openness during a time of strong religious censureship. Students often gather around his grave. He’s written two masterpieces: one about the names of the Prophets cited in the Koran and the other a biography of Sidna Mohammed.
Died: 1186 (582 de l’Hégire)
Buried: He’s buried near Bab Robb.
Now, while we are at it, here is a shot of the famous Koutoubia (Kutubia) mosque in Marrakesh: