A marabout (Arabic: مَربوط [marbūṭ] or Arabic: مُرابِط [murābiṭ], one who is attached/garrisoned) is a Muslim religious leader and teacher in West Africa, and (historically) in the Maghreb. The marabout is often a scholar of the Qur'an, or religious teacher. Others may be wandering holy men who survive on alms, Sufi Murshids ("Guides"), or leaders of religious communities. Still others keep alive syncretic pre-Islamic traditions, making amulets for good luck, presiding at various ceremonies, telling the future, and in some cases actively guiding the lives of followers. The common practice of receiving gifts or money for this service is disapproved of by orthodox Muslims.
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