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Marian Aguiar

Considered a hero of anticolonial resistance by many contemporary Algerians, Abd al-Qadir created an Arab-Berber alliance to oppose French expansion in North Africa in the 1830s and 1840s. He also organized an Islamic state that, at one point, controlled the western two-thirds of the inhabited land in Algeria. Abd al-Qadir owed his ability to unite Arabs and Berbers, who had been enemies for centuries, in part to the legacy of his father, head of the Hashim tribe in Mousakar (Mascara) and leader of a Sufi Muslim brotherhood. In 1826Abd al-Qadir and his father made a pilgrimage, or hajj, to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of the prophet Muhammad, founder of Islam. When he returned in 1828, Abd al-Qadir s own reputation as an Islamic religious and cultural leader grew and both Arabs and Berbers looked to him to lead the resistance against the French who ...

Article

Zahia Smail Salhi

Algerian emir and anticolonialist leader, was born on 6 September 1808 near Mascara in the west of Algeria. His full name was ʿAbd al-Qadir bin Muhieddine; he is known in the Arab east as ʿAbdel-Kader al-Jazaʾiri and in Algeria as al-Amir ʿAbd El-Kader.

His father, Muhieddine al-Hassani, was a Sufi shaykh who followed the Qadiriyya religious order and claimed to be a Hasani (sharif ) descendent of the Prophet with family ties with the Idrisi dynasty of Morocco. As a young boy, ʿAbdel-Kader trained in horsemanship, and from this he developed his love for horses, about which he wrote some beautiful poetry. He was also trained in religious sciences; he memorized the Qurʾan and read in theology and philology. He was also known as a poet who recited classical poetry and wrote his own poetry, mostly centering on war and chivalry.

In 1825 ʿAbdel Kader set out with ...

Article

Russell Hopley

emir of the Almoravid dynasty from 1106 to 1143, was born in the Moroccan city of Ceuta to a mother who was a Christian captive from Spain. ʿAli inherited rule of the Almoravid state upon the death of his father, Yusuf ibn Tashfin, in 1106. Almoravid rule at the time of ʿAli’s accession to power was at its zenith and encompassed a considerable portion of territory of the Islamic west, including Andalusia, the western region of North Africa, and portions of the bilad al-Sudan Indeed it is a commonplace of the classical Arabic chronicles that ʿAli s name was invoked from some two thousand pulpits at the outset of every Friday sermon However his rule was beset with a host of serious problems almost from the outset ranging from quarrels among the various tribal factions that formed the backbone of the Almoravid regime to doctrinal disputes the ...

Article

Idris I  

Stephen Cory

founder of the first Islamic dynasty in Morocco the Idrisids who ruled over portions of the country between 788 and 985 was born and raised in Arabia Idris ibn ʿAbdullah is said to have fled from Abbasid persecution to the farthest west where he established his authority among Awraba Berbers near the ancient Roman city of Volubilis Declaring himself a descendant of the Prophet s grandson Hasan Idris extended his rule throughout northern Morocco However his reign was cut short when the Abbasid caliph Harun al Rashid had him poisoned in 791 Idris is credited with laying the foundations for the city of Fez which his son Idris II would later complete Idris II also established a state that stretched from the Sus valley in the south to the city of Oran in the northeast His kingdom was divided among his descendants who maintained political authority in parts of northern ...

Article

Russell Hopley

emir of the Moroccan Almoravid dynasty from 1061 to 1106, whose origins were among the veiled nomadic Berbers of the Banu Turgut, a branch of the Sanhaja confederation of tribes whose historical homeland encompassed the vast desert expanses of northwest Africa, a region roughly comprising present-day upper Senegal and Mauritania. Yusuf ibn Tashfin (frequently rendered as Tashufin) first appears in the classical Arabic sources for North African history in 1061, already aged 50, when he assumed leadership of the Sanhaja, effectively replacing his cousin Abu Bakr ibn ʿUmar (d. 1087) in that role. The formerly pagan tribes of the Sanhaja had been brought into the fold of Islam by ʿAbd Allah ibn Yasin al-Jazuli (d. 1059 a strict Maliki and subsequently adopted the epithet of al Murabitun Latinized in European sources as Almoravids both as a sign of their commitment to the new faith and as ...