The Sidi Mojluf Marabout is an example of the type of funerary structure for commemoration of a Sufi saint that has been constructed in Moroccan communities since medieval times. The marabout was the tomb of the Sufi leader Sidi Mojluf who practiced in Rabat, and was likely built by his followers as a place of pilgrimage and worship. Many marabouts were further used as the location of charitable programs and the distribution of goods and social services, which historically may have been a secondary functions of this building.
The plan of the building follows the typical form for a Moroccan marabout, being a small square structure with a domed roof supported by corner squinches. This typology was originally derived from the vernacular architecture of domestic dwellings and tent structures in northern Africa, and is found in funerary structures across the Islamic world. This building has an additional perimeter wall that extends along one wall of the main square structure to enclose a larger private courtyard. This courtyard contains a garden that could be used as a place of worship or shelter for pilgrims to the shrine. Entry to the complex is through an arched entryway in the perimeter wall leading directly into the domed structure along its central axis.
The decoration of the structure on the exterior is minimal. Relief carving in stucco articulates the cornices, capitals, and spandrels that surround the arched entryway on the perimeter wall, and a small projected cornice caps the entire composition. The perimeter wall, otherwise completely unadorned, steps up above the cornice to add further visual significance to the point of entry. The projected cornice is additionally located slightly above the height of the top of wall as it encircles the courtyard, which is approximately 3 meters tall. Triangular projections in stucco extend from the base of the wall on either side of the entry portal, bounding a shallow porch approximately 1.5 meters deep and 2 meters wide.
The main structure of the marabout has little ornamentation that is visible from outside of the complex. A row of tiny decorative openings runs around the perimeter of the square structure just below the point from which the dome rises. The base of the dome is perforated with another band of small carvings organized as a series of frond-like clusters of oblong openings. Other than these two small strips of decoration, the exterior of the marabout structure is finished in plain white stucco. The relatively simple nature of the structure is typical of Moroccan marabouts of this type, as they were built and sustained by the local community instead of wealthy political patrons.
At the time of photography (1912), the Sidi Mojluf Marabout had visible signs of decay along its perimeter, including loss of areas of the stucco covering the exterior wall and porch. Unfortunately this too is typical of Moroccan marabouts, as their reliance on local populations for their maintenance led to the eventual loss of almost all medieval examples, and the decline of many structures constructed later.
Hillenbrand, Robert. 2000. Islamic Architecture. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 267-272.