Islam, the faith of all Moroccans except a diminishing jewish community and a small European colony, provides the foundation for the nation's spiritual life and the traditional social system. Both the rural and urban populations maintain a high degree of loyalty to the faith, although practice in many regions is unorthodox and the demands of industrialization organization have made the traditional devotion difficult for those employed in the modern sector.
The constitution guarantees freedom of religion, describes the nation as muslim and the king as the "Amir El Mouminin ", or commander of the faithful. The ministry of religions foundations (Habus) and islamic affairs acts for the government to strengthen and support islam. In 1961, the "Ulama" who are the orthodox religious authorities and scholars ratified the succession to the throne of king Hassan 11 in a manner long traditional in Morocco.
The sanction of religious authority and the King's position as the leading figure of the "Shurfa", the descendants of the prophet Mohammed, have been significant in maintaining loyalty to the central government, which as the embodiment of Islam, is probably the single institution commanding the loyalty of virtually all elements of society. Islam is a strong unifying force; veneration of the Koran, respect for the reputed descendants of the prophet and proud personal identification with the muslim community were the late colonial period. Although many practices and beliefs of the berbers, as well as other rural and urban inhabitants, deviate from, the orthodox Islam of the Koran, personal devotion to the religion has rarely wavered.