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Sidi Abderrahmane –the main entrance to the Mausoleum

2.Sidi Abderrahmane – The Writer beside the Mausoleum

3.Sidi Abderrahmane – the outside corridor leading to the Mausoleum

4.Sidi Abderrahmane – Flags embellishing the Mausoleum

5. Sidi Abderrahmane – a general view of the Mausoleum

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‫بسم ال الرحمن الرحيم‬ ‫أل إن أولياء ال ل خوف عليهم ولهم يحزنون‬ 62-10 ‫القران الكريم‬ IN THE NAME OF GOD THE COMPASSIONATE THE MERCIFUL “Behold Verily on the Friends of Allah there is no fear nor shall they Grieve” Holy-Quran 10-62. *Subject: Muslim Saints of Algeria & the Maghrib *2.SIDI ABDERRAHMANE ATHAALIBI After making a brief report in our first posting regarding Sidi Ahmed Benyoucef Al Melyani, in our second posting we are to talk about the Patron Saint of Algiers: Sidi Abderahmane or Abdu Rahman Athaalibi, this wise Erudite and Exegesis Scholar belongs to the Ahl Al Bait Honourable Lineage going up to Sayidina Jaafar Ibn Abi Taleb (R.A). It is noteworthy to recall that Jaafar Ibn Abi Taleb (Imam Ali’s Brother) or “DulJanahayeen” (the one with two wings) because in the battle of Mu’uta both his arms were cut off, but he did not allow the flag of Islam o fall to the ground. One day the Beloved Prophet Mohamed (PBUH) said: “I dreamt last night that Jaafar bin Abi Talib (RA) was among a group of angels, and he had two wings on either side of his body, the front part of the wings had some blood on them, with the help of his wings he flew wherever he wished in Paradise in the company of the angels.” Thus he was given the title of “Dul-Janahayeen” after he attained martyrdom, and because he flew in Paradise with the angels he was called “At-Tayyar”or “The Bird”.

So Sidi Abderrahmane is from this blessed and high profile calibre lineage, He is Abou Zayd Abdu Rahman son of Mohamed son of Makhlouf son of Talha son of Amer son of Nawfal son of Amer son of Mawsour son of Mohamed son of Sbaa son of Mekki son of Thaalaba son of Moussa son of Said son of Moufadhal son of Abdelbar son of Fissi son of Hillal son of Amer son of Hassan son of Mohamed son of Jaafar Ibn Abi Taleb. Sidi Abderrahmane was born in 1384AD -785AH in the town of Wad Isser about 86 km south east of Algiers and was brought up in a very spiritual parental background as high Islamic values and ethics were shaping the brilliant future of this great man after reaching the age of 15 at the end of the 14th century, Sidi Abderrahmane in the company of his father Sidi Mohamed Ben Makhlouf went to Morocco in a Knowledge-Seeking campaign where he met a great Muslim scholar Sidi Mohamed Ibn Marzoug Al Adjissi . In 1392 and always in the company of his father, Sidi Abderrahmane took the opposite road to Bijaya (200km east of Algiers) for the same sublime purpose of Science after a brief sojourn, his father passed away this unexpected event obliged him to return to Algiers for a short while after only one year stay in Bijaya, then another return to Bijaya the centre of knowledge at that time, where Sidi Abderrahmane took enough time (seven years) to study different high profile subjects of Islamic sciences.

In 1406 , he went further eastern to Tunis where he stayed there for eight years , duly getting deep probing knowledge from eminent Scholars and having being graduated in many Islamic science topics such knowledge maturity had a burning yearning for more knowledge acquiring , in this context, and in 1414 he went to Egypt after a brief stay in Cairo he continued the blessed march to Bursa in Turkey, he was greatly welcomed by the Scholars of the city and as a sign of scholarly recognition , a Zawiya was erected in his honour which still at present as an endowment for this Saint. From Turkey , Sidi Abderrahmane went to perform the Hajj to Makkah , after accomplishing this Islamic pillar , he returned back to his native Algeria after a 20 year absence spent in all directional knowledge seeking , furthermore Sidi Abderrahmane and after settling in Algiers went to teach in Masjid Al Kabir (the Great Mosque) as a matter of fact , the acquired deep knowledge was duly given to the younger Generations at that time, until his passing away a certain Friday the 23rd of Ramadhan 875AH – the 15th of March 1479 after dedicating a 95 year service to Islam and the Muslims. He was buried near the quarter of “Bab El Oued” in the heart of Algiers next to his Sheikh Sidi Abi Djamaa Al Maknassi, the legacy of Sidi Abderrahmane is a full fledged heritage that speaks for itself more than 100 books totally compiled by him, mostly important is “The Jawahir Al hissane fi Tafsir Al Quran” (the fine pearls in the exegesis of the Quran), a jewelled combination of rhetoric Arabic and a highly inspired version of the Quran’s exegesis. Moreover, Sidi Abderrahmane had one of his daughter married to the Great Scholar and Mujahid Sidi Abdulkarim Al Maghilli of Touat (Southern Algeria) as both were linked by the brotherhood of Islam and having the same message of that time: spreading and calling to Islam within their different places.

Surely, Sidi Abderrahmane Athaalibi‘s work and devotion is a paramount constitution of those same ideals meant for the service to God and to humanity in the path of truth , endowed with such Divine grace (Baraka) , the Great Erudite and Sufi (he was very influenced by Abou Hamed Al Ghazali) had certainly played a great role in the Algerian society at that time and vigorously shaped North Africa for centuries and that’s why he is still living in the memory of many people and loyal disciples. The sincere presence of Spiritual yearning and practice and the recognition of the inseparability of Shariah and Tariqah all together embodied the depth and the breadth of the genuine Islam within the vision of this Great Man. Paying him a great Tribute, as this month of March marks his 528th anniversary of his passing away, is but a mere attempt to give the Man his merits and his achievements, but in downtown Algiers Sidi Abderrahmane‘s most sacred architectural masterpiece is still proudly witnessing its spiritual legacy and reverberating the perennial Divine message which has always come and will always come to enlighten humanity.

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‫محمد بوكريطة‬ ‫كاتب مستقل و مستشار في السياحة الثقافية‬ mbokreta@maktoob.com

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MOHAMED BOKRETA FREELANCE WRITER & CULTURAL TOURISM CONSULTANT mohbokreta@yahoo.com