Moroccan Door Knockers & The Hand of Fatima, Your Morocco Travel Guide

Chamsa door knocker, Essaouira

Moroccan door knockers can be found throughout Morocco and are palm-shaped. Door knockers in Morocco are  a symbol of protection for the home as they are typically designed in the shape of the “hand of fatima” (Khamsa, Chamsa or Hamsa) and made of solid brass, cast iron or wood by a skilled artisan. Each door knocker that I’ve seen during my travels in the Magreb’s old cities of Marrakech, Essaouira or Fes have either been oxidized by the artist or they have developed a fabulous, aged green patina. The patinas are typically in various shades of green and are similar to those found on the statue of liberty in the New York harbor and on on ancient buildings in Europe. The green patina that forms on the chamsa Moroccan door knockers is natural and they resist corrosion which accounts for why they have remained on some of Morocco’s most extraordinary doors for centuries.

The Islamic alternate name of the hand of fatima commemorating Fatima Zahra who was the Prophet Muhammed’s daughter.  The Jews renamed the Hamsa “Miriam’s hand,” referring to Miriam, the sister of Aaron and Moses so as not to name it after the daughter of the prophet of Islam. It is a sort of “protection of the hand” or “The hand of God“.

Brass door knocker, Essaouira

The five fingers that appear on a Moroccan door knocker or a Khamsa refer to the  five books of the Torah to Jews, the Five Pillars of Islam for Sunni Muslims, five or any person who, by the mantle for the Shiites. five fingers on the five books of the Torah to Jews, the Five Pillars of Islam for Sunni Muslims, five or any person who, by the mantle for the Shiites. The symbolism of May, (fifth month in the year) at a later stage, bearing in mind that the results of archaeological excavations recalls the Khamsa there are two religions. The fingers of a Khamsa may point up or down. Many Jews believe that the five fingers of the hamsa hand remind its wearer to use their five senses to praise God. In Islamic tradition the Hand of Fatima while used for represents God, divine power, providence and generosity.

Hamsa Brass Door Knocker Marrakech, Morocco

For more information about Moroccan Door Knockers or a Marrakech Tour

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