|Doctrines|| ||The Malê recognized and worshipped Allah, who was also called "Olorum-u-lua": (the God creator); however, some groups of malês also worshipped Mariama (the mother of Jesus Christ). They professed Islam and believed unquestionably in the Qur'an.|
They despised Satan, for they believed, he had no power in this world.
They had a strong hierarchy. The head of this hierarchy was the "Sherife" a kind of prophet, who was always an old person whose opinion possessed the same authority as that of an oracle. Next in the order of hierarchy came the Imã, or Almany, who in Brazil received the title of "Lemane" or "Lemamo". The Lemamo hold the position of chief priest. Next came the Ladane, the secretary, and finally the priest or, as they say, true marabus that were called Alufás.
Members of the cult observed a number of important rituals. At the age of ten, they practiced male circumcision. Every year they observed the "assumy" (the annual fasting). During the fasting they would only eat at four o'clock in the morning and at eight o'clock at night. Their predominant diet would be sugar, honey, milk, rice, and yam.
They were required to pray five times a day. Since they were slaves they often found it impossible to pray five times a day they reduced daily prayer to two main prayers that were attended by men and women. One was in the early morning; the other one at night. During these prayers, they undertook a ritual in which they washed their face, hands and feet, they sat in a basin of water. They carried a rosary called tècèbá that had 99 wooden beads, with a ball on its end. During this whole ceremony, they did not talk to each other. Once the preparatory ritual was finished, they would pray standing on a rug of sheep skin. During the prayers they remain sedentary while moving the small beads, standing at each time they touched a large bead. At this point they would bent forward with their arms opened and would say "Allah-u-acubáru" (praise to God)
They strongly believed in magic spells, and were feared on account of their abilities to use magic. Their witchcraft seem to differ from that of other Africans. "they wrote in black boards what they intended against the condemned person, afterwards they erased with water the cabalistic signs, and the liquid was thrown in the pathway used by the victim. To destroy and avoid any evil deed, they carried hanging around their neck a small amulet or bag with a small prayer toped by a polygon.
|History|| ||Malé cult, also called "religiao dos alufás" (religion of the alufás), "mussurumim" or "muçulmim" was developed by Islamic Africans that came to Brazil as slaves in the 18th century. The Islam practiced by the Africans was already different from the one practiced by the Arabs; in Brazil it was further transformed by the new influences it encountered here. The Malês remained deeply attached to the Qur'an, never departing from its teachings or its rituals; however, some practices and some names, were influenced by different places and cultures.|
This kind of Islam spread quickly among the more educated and intelligent Africans, but it was unsuccessful among other Africans. Although the number of Malê adherents was not high, they were of great importance. They were respected because of their orthodoxy, and also because of their role as mentors and leaders of insurrections and rebellions against slavery and white people. Such rebellions were motivated by religious rather than specifically political facts, as they were justified by the Qur'an.
With the abolition of slavery, those who had the opportunity and the chance to return to Africa did so. The others remained in Brazil practicing the malê cult, but it did not survive. However, it is possible that some of its traditions have survived in the form of syncretic religions. Many scholars claim that this extinction is due to the firm orthodoxy characteristic of the cult, that prevent it from adapting to the traditions of the culture into which it had been transplanted.
|Symbols|| ||The malês did not worshipped images, we can talk, however about some objects that might identify them as malês. One of these objects is the "tecebá", or "tessubá", a kind of rosaries used in the prayers.|
|Adherents|| ||No contemporary adherents|
| ||The main centers were at Salvador, Bahia -Brazil, and in the city of Penedo, Alagoas - Brazil.|