Harratine in Morocco

Photo Source:  Kieran - Flickr  Creative Commons 
Map Source:  People Group location: IMB. Map geography: ESRI / GMI. Map design: Joshua Project.
People Name: Harratine
Country: Morocco
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 59,000
World Population: 59,000
Primary Language: Arabic, Moroccan
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: New Testament
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Arab, Hassaniya
Affinity Bloc: Arab World
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Harratine of Morocco live in southern oasis towns at the very edges of the Sahara. They originally came from further south, in sub-Saharan Africa. Most likely their ancestors were captured and taken north by slave traders from the Roman Empire, then abandoned in southern Morocco. These ancestors established small plots of land on which to settle near desert oases. They were later forced to join the armies of Ismail Ibn Sharif, a Moroccan military conqueror.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Harratine people have found employment as day laborers and in various manual trades. The jewelry and adornment of Harratine women is bold, rich and colorful. Leather, shell, coins and glass are typical of the pieces worn by these ladies. They live in separate communities. The Harratines are often not accepted by other Moroccans.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Harratine people are Sunni Muslims who believe that the One, Supreme God, Allah, spoke through his prophet, Mohammed, and taught mankind how to live a righteous life through the Koran and the Hadith. To live a righteous life, you must utter the Shahada (a statement of faith), pray five times a day facing Mecca, fast from sunup to sundown during the month of Ramadan, give alms to the poor, and make a pilgrimage to Mecca if you have the means. Muslims are prohibited from drinking alcohol, eating pork, gambling, stealing, slandering, and making idols. They gather for corporate prayer on Friday afternoons at a mosque, their place of worship. The two main holidays for Sunni Muslims are Eid al Fitr, the breaking of the monthly fast and Eid al Adha, the celebration of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son to Allah. Sunni religious practices are staid and simple. They believe that Allah has pre-determined our fates; they minimize free will. In most of the Muslim world, people depend on the spirit world for their daily needs since they regard Allah as too distant. Allah may determine their eternal salvation, but the spirits determine how well we live in our daily lives. For that reason, they must appease the spirits. They often use charms and amulets to help them with spiritual forces.

What Are Their Needs?

The Harratine people probably don’t have a single Christ follower among them and there are almost no Christians outside Morocco’s cities. They are gospel starved, but they also lack necessities such as clean water and schools.

Prayer Points

Pray for adequate rainfall, pure drinking water, schools and improved medical care for the Harratine people.
Pray the Harratine will be given a strong desire to find forgiveness for their sin, and in God' time they will learn of the only savior, Jesus Christ.
Pray for good quality Christian radio to be widely available throughout Morocco in many languages. Pray the language of the Harratine people will be included.

Text Source:   Joshua Project