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Abdelkader was born near the town of Mascara on September 6, , to a family of religious aristocracy. His father, Muhieddine or "Muhyi al-Din" al-Hasani, was a muqaddam in a religious institution affiliated with the Qadiriyya Sufi order of Islam and claimed descendance from Muhammad, through the Idrisids.

Abdelkader was thus a sharif, and entitled to add the honorary patronymic al-Hasani "descendant of al-Hasan" to his name. He received a traditional education and mastered the subtleties of Islamic theology. At the end of his adolescence he visited Mecca and several Middle Eastern countries. The trip greatly influenced his development. In November , 2 years after the French occupation of Algiers had begun, the Algerian tribes designated Abd el-Kadir to conduct a holy war against the invaders.

At the age of 24 this pious marabout became transformed into an energetic and highly capable warrior. His example helped forge the embryo of the Algerian nation. Abd el-Kadir's first task was to unite under his authority tribes torn by internal rivalries and others content to collaborate with the invaders.

French errors facilitated his task: in an treaty they recognized Abd el-Kadir's sovereignty over the province of Oran and gave him the arms and the money to consolidate his power. Once Abd el-Kadir felt strong enough, he revolted against the French, who reacted in by sending to Algeria the 19th-century master of counter insurgency warfare, Marshal Bugeaud de la Piconnerie.

Bugeaud defeated his adversary but proved to be a better soldier than a diplomat, since the Treaty of Tafna , which he negotiated with Abd el-Kadir, extended the control of the marabout over a portion of the province of Algiers. During the following years Abd el-Kadir reorganized the territory under his command and founded a theocratic state. He set up an administration, organized a regular army, levied taxes, and created an arsenal.

By two-thirds of Algeria acknowledged his sovereignty. Disturbed by his success, the French government again ordered Bugeaud to contain the upstart. Abd el-Kadir was defeated and took refuge in Morocco.

The French used his presence there to declare war against the Moroccans and defeated them at the battle of Isly in Abd el-Kadir returned to Algeria and organized the resistance anew. Abandoned by his followers and declared an outlaw by the Moroccan sultan, Abd el-Kadir surrendered in He ended up in a French prison, where he remained until , when the French allowed him to retire to Damascus.

In he condemned the insurrection of the Algerian Kabyle Berbers. Abd el-Kadir died in Damascus on May 26, Abd el-Kadir was the first national hero of Algeria. In 15 years of armed struggle against the French occupation of Algeria, he became a symbol of tenacious resistance to colonialism. Within Algeria, his efforts to unite the country against foreign invaders saw him hailed as the "modern Jugurtha" and his ability to combine religious and political authority has led to his being acclaimed as the "Saint among the Princes, the Prince among the Saints".

Currently he is respected as one of the greatest of his people. The town's founders Timothy Davis, John Thompson and Chester Sage were impressed by his fight against French colonial power and decided to pick his name as the name for their new settlement in His fervent faith in the doctrines of Islam was unquestioned.

In the struggle that followed, his vision was always more religious than nationalistic. His consistent regard for what would now be called human rights, especially as regards his Christian opponents, drew widespread admiration, and a crucial intervention to save the Christian community of Damascus from a massacre in brought honours and awards from around the world.

He played down his political power, however, repeatedly declining the title of sultan and striving to concentrate on his spiritual authority. Abdelkader demonstrated political and military leadership, and acted as a capable administrator and a persuasive orator. Quotes from others about the person. He was a muqaddam in a religious institution affiliated with the Qadiriyya Sufi order of Islam and claimed descendance from Muhammad, through the Idrisids.

Back to Profile. Photos Works. Main Photo. Abdelkader ibn Muhieddine. School period Add photo. Career Add photo. Achievements Add photo. Membership Add photo. Awards Add photo. Other Photos Add photo. Connections Add photo. Abdelkader ibn Muhieddine was an Algerian political and religious leader.

More photos. View map. Born September 6, Mascara, Algeria. May 26, aged Damascus, Syria. Official Titles Emir. Awards Order of the Redeemer. Order of the White Eagle Russian Empire. National Order of the Legion of Honour. Order of the Medjidie. Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus. Order of Pope Pius IX.


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