Toubkal, the mountain of the king of Jinn

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The Toubkal, the highest mountain in the Arab world, is located in Morocco, a few km from Marrakech. In addition to being one of the most famous peaks in the world, however, it has always been connected to magic as even Sidi Chamharouch would be buried on its slopes, considered by most to be the “king of the Jinn”.

Mount Toubkal

With its 4167 meters, Mount Toubkal is the highest mountain in all of North Africa and the Arab world, so much so that its name in Tamazigh (or Berber) means “the peak from which you can see everything”. It is part of the High Atlas although, unlike all the mountains that surround it that are sedimentary in nature, it is composed of volcanic rocks. To the south of the latter is the Lac d’Ifni, while to the north and west is the Mizane valley, the place where the passages of the Tizi n’Ouanoums and Tizi n’Ouagane are located, normally used precisely for traveling on the top of the mountain.

Toubkal

To reach it you usually land in Marrakech and from which you move to Imil, a city located just south and from which most of the tourist routes depart. Particularly suitable for trekking and skiing, Toubkal has never been considered too much for climbing, even in spite of its ease of access and its sunny climate. The first European expedition was successfully completed only in 1923, although on its summit they found various signs of human presence, especially attributable to the Berber people who have inhabited these areas for millennia.

The tomb of the Jinn king

The most interesting legend related to Toubkal, however, concerns the Imazighen who believed this place to have always been very strongly linked to the sacred, so much so that it was considered the burial place of the king of the Jinns. The latter, called Sidi Chamharouch, would have inhabited the slopes of the mountain since time immemorial, deciding to then transform it into his tomb. Just around the latter, symbolized by a white-painted boulder, the small village was built, the highest ever of the mountain at 2350 meters.

Toubkal
The sanctuary of Sidi Chamharouch

It became a place of pilgrimage since pre-Islamic times, connecting to the already very strong magical presence of the country. Since its foundation, in fact, many came here to treat their loved ones from possessions or unexplained ailments, most often attributed precisely to the jinn. The presence of Sidi Chamharouch, combined with the offer of food to bribe him, should be the best remedy ever for the latter, allowing him to heal during these visits. With the arrival of Islam in Morocco, Sidi Chamharouch was downgraded to “grand jinn”, while maintaining the extremely positive connotations that had always characterized him. Precisely for this reason, a mosque was built a few steps away, in order to symbolize the link between the two worlds and making the Toubkal summit even more legendary than it had been until then.

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