Sidi Braham – The Mausoleum

2.Sidi Braham – The Writer & his Children inside the courtyard

3.Sidi Braham – The Ablution fountain

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‫بسم ال الرحمن الرحيم‬ ‫أل إن أولياء ال ل خوف عليهم ولهم يحزنون‬ .62-10 ‫القران الكريم‬ : ‫ومن قوله عليه واله الصلة و السلم‬ “‫“من ورخ مؤمنا فكأنما أحياه ومن قرأ تاريخه فكأنما زاره ومن زاره استوجب رضوان ال وحق عن المزور أن يكرم زائره‬ *‫.كتاب سلسلة الصول في شجرة أبناء الرسول-ص8-سيدي علي حشلف‬ 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. « Whoever has written up the biography of a Believer it is like he had him resurrected , and whoever has read this biography it is like he paid him a visit while attaining God’s pleasure and obviously the visited Person should be generous towards his Guest” *Les Chorfa, Les Nobles du Monde Musulman, P.20, Publisud-1995. *Sidi Ali Hachlaf. *Subject: Muslim Saints of Algeria & the Maghrib *5.SIDI BRAHAM AL GHOBRINI At the end of the XV century a group of Three people and disciples of the Kadiriya of Sidi Abdul Qadir Al Jilani’s Sufi path or Tariqa departed to a long and unfinished journey from what is now the Western Sahara or Sakia Al Hamra in view of propagating the true faith of Islam northwards. The three Khouans or Faith Brothers and each according to the already intended aim went on three different destinations: the first Sidi Abou Abdullah settled down in the Chlef valley, the second Sidi Mohamed Cherif went on until the high mountains of Kabylia while the third and subject of our Survey Sidi Mohamed Al Ghobrini took the way to the seaside city of Cherchell a city that is distanced 90 km north-west of Algiers.

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Upon his arrival in Cherchell, Sidi Mohamed Al Ghobrini feeling the coming of his last days, quickly summoned his son Braham and went on to advised him about the spiritual legacy that is awaiting him, Sidi Braham as a devoted son and disciple was well aware of the heavy burden and tranquilised his father regarding this sacred trust. In the aftermath of his father’s burial in the eastern cemetery of Cherchell, Sidi Braham packed his small luggage taking the direction of Algiers where he was to go to Sidi El Kettani as prescribed by his father’s will. Sidi Mohamed El Kettani a famous Scholar at that time and through an unknown manner outrightly repelled and rejected the new and young knowledge-seeker , facing such challenge Sidi Braham took refuge in front of Sidi El Kettani ‘s door and stayed many days without food nor drink , only Prayers and Dhikr were his spiritual incentives. After days of hard times, and at the end Sidi El Kettani gave in and accepted the young man on a condition that Sidi Braham is to refund all expenses linked to his boarding school, having no alternative whatsoever and despite his poverty, Sidi Braham reluctantly accepted the deal while relying upon the hands of providence. After one year study, Sidi El Kettani asked Sidi Braham for his debtsettlement but in vain, he could not afford to pay his debt, and going through an unfinished and a terrible ordeal that was to take a new shape under the threat of selling him as a slave, Sidi Braham in an act of total submission accepted the bitter fate.

So he was sold to an Ottoman Turk in the outskirts of Cherchell for his field’s works it was a quite a happy choice for the Turk who had noticed that the young man gave him total satisfaction, since he was full of energy than the other workers. Furthermore one day while visiting his fields he found Sidi Braham praying while his horse carriage wisely laid out the furrow much better than a skilled hand would have done it, the sight has genuinely stunned the Turk and was well aware of the fact that he was dealing with a Saint and fearing for his fate he rapidly freed Sidi Braham. Taking into account his Father’s spiritual will and without grudge he went again to seek Sidi El Kettani’s blessing and knowledge continuation within his Zawiya , but the Sheikh was intransigent and advised him to pursue his studies in Cairo in Sidi Al Bakri’s Zawiya . In the aftermath of a long and hard journey Sidi Braham reached Cairo where he was given a cool reception by Sidi Al Bakri and soon his humility was severely tested as he was in charge of an endless task “a drawer of water” from a remote spring to the Zawiya or centre of learning so as to quench the thirst of his student mates, such new trial was consciously carried out while Dhikr and night prayers were an inseparable time table for the courageous student. In view of this incomparable perseverance, Sidi Al Bakri knew for sure that he found in Sidi Braham a student of choice, thus he let him complete and deeply probe the Islamic sciences and Mystic knowledge that of Sidi Abdul Kadir Al Djilani, once the mission was over, Sidi Al Bakri satisfied with the positive outcome of Sidi Braham allowed him to return to Cherchell to carry out the Dawah work within the inhabitants of the city.

Upon his return to Cherchell Sidi Braham was given a wonderful welcome by all the population of this city as well as from the notables and friends of the neighbouring areas , as such Historians recalled that my eight GrandFather “Sidi Mohamed Benmira” was among the return - journey congratulating crowd and due to his poverty stricken state he could afford but a woodpile as a gift for the circumstance , Sidi Braham warmly welcomed him and in a heart to heart spiritual encounter murmured the following words to Sidi Mohamed Benmira : “O Benmira you are light and you have brought light” Such medieval high sounding call is still reverberating among the generations until now, and no wonder Sidi Braham’s spiritual legacy is still marching on, as nostalgic moments recalled to me the heydays of the late sixties and early seventies while as a Teenager and in the company of my late Father “Hadj Djillali” and the Elderly wise people of the “Bkhait tribe” of Djelida and Khemis-Miliana used to take part in the annual “Rakb” or visit to Sidi Braham’s Mausoleum. ‫محمد عبد القادر بوكريطة‬ ‫كاتب مستقل‬ mbokreta@maktoob.com MOHAMED ABDEL KADER BOKRETA FREELANCE-WRITER mohbokreta@yahoo.com

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