Boujad is a medium-sized city and lies in the ‘Tadla-level’ on the western edge of the Middle Atlas (in the ‘Chaouia- Ouardigha’ region) in Morocco. Until the 16th century, Boujad was a place of a winter camp for the different Berber tribes of the region ( Beni Zemmur, Smaala, Beni Khiran, Beni Meskin, Werdigha, Ait Rbaa, Beni Amir, and Beni Musa).
At the end of the 16th century, the Sufi brotherhood (Tariqa) of ‘Sherqawi’ established here their headquarters (Zawiya) which made Boujad an important place of pilgrimage and a regional trading centre. Each Sherqawi are defined by their patrilineal descent from the founder of the order. Its sanctity is attributed to his spiritual ancestry chain (Silsila), which is attributed to the Prophet. The cooperation received from the Sherqawis of Islam is characterized by a high degree of veneration of saints and is therefore attributed to the Maraboutismus. These folk Islamic currents were to the end of the 19th century in the Maghreb, the predominant form of Islam.
From the 17th century, the ‘Zawiya’ received a religious significance; Boujad became the only major city in the Tadla- level, and one of the most important religious centres in the interior of Morocco. After 1912, Boujad lost its importance as a trading centre. The low economic strength of the region is significantly below the average growth of the rural population during the 20th century.
In contrary to other Moroccan cities, the old medina of Boujad was never surrounded by traditional defensive walls. The ‘Baraka’ (a sort of defence force) of the ‘Sherqawis’ was considered to be a sufficient protection. The white (mostly two-story) old town houses are built close to each other and are connected by a winding street network. The lanes are designed to close each quarter separately, and could together also close the entire city. The oldest mosque in the city was built by Sultan ‘Moulay Sulaiman’ in 1805.
In 1973, a second mosque was built on the north-west side of the old town. Every year in early September, there is organized a collective pilgrimage (Arab moussem) to the saints’ tombs (Qubbas) and lasts a month. An important source of income is phosphate, which was discovered in 1900.
Boujaad is part of the tourism region ‘Centre Atlantique‘ of Morocco.