This study reviews the question of historical methodology using two hypotheses. The first examines the validity of the concept of "animal symbolicum" as a means to define humans and the concept of humans as a producer of signs and signals rather than spoken language, demonstrating the hidden feelings and mindsets stored in human memory. The second is an attempt to test the idea that the reader/historian can be involved in the reproduction of the historical text through undertaking revision that considers the context of its production. This can be accomplished by using a hermeneutic approach. To test the validity of the two hypotheses, the study was divided into three sections. The first was devoted to explaining the limits of positivism and historicism as teleological methods that claim to be objective and scientific in their direction of historical writing and control of the historian's methodological choices.
The article goes on to examine the hermeneutic approach, which is based on two fundamental principles: first, understanding signs and symbols and then linking this understanding with cultural heritage and current concepts in order to formulate the research questions. The final section applies the hermeneutic approach to the ritual of pledging allegiance (al-bay'a) in modern Moroccan history. It analyses the ritual as an unwritten text and as a symbolic act and indicates the hidden meanings and imaginaries. It uses Gadamer's concept of "historically-effected consciousness" to demonstrate the meaning the signs derived from Morocco's past and present, as well as its human identity.