Abu Madyan

Abu Madyan (1126–1198), also known as Abu Madyan Shu'ayb Al-Ghawth, or Abū Madyan, or Sidi Bou-Mediene, or Sidi Abu Madyan Shuayb ibn al-Hussein al-Ansari, was an influential Andalusian mystic and a great Sufi master.

Some even refer to him as the national figure of Maghreb mysticism as he was such a forerunner of Sufism in this geographical area. Devoted to the fervent service of God, he helped introduce looking into oneself and harmonizing internal occurrences with the external observances through asceticism.[1]


Abu Madyan
أبو مدين
Porte mosquee Sidi Boumediene Tlemcen
Titleal-Ghawth (The succour)
Shu'ayb ibn al-Hussein
شعيب أبو مدين

near the river of Ysser, outskirts of Tlemcen, Almohad empire
Resting placeSidi Boumediene Mausoleum
Notable work(s)Bidayt al-Muridin (بداية المريدين)
Uns al-Wahid (أنس الوحيد)
Tuhfat al-Arib (تحفة الأريب)
poetry collection
Alma materal-Qarawiyyin
Senior posting
Disciple ofSidi Harazem
Portail de la Mosqée de Sidi Bou Médine
Entrance to Sidi Bou Médine mosque, c. 1900
Tlemcen, Sidi Boumediène
Visiting the tomb of Sidi Boumediène in El Eubbad district, in Tlemcen, Algeria, on day of Mawlid.


Abu Madyan was born in Cantillana (Arabic: قطنيانة‎), a small town about 35 km away from Seville, in 1126. He came from an obscure family and his parents were poor. As he grew up, he learned the trade of a weaver as it was a popular practice at the time. His insatiable hunger for knowledge, however, piqued his interest in the Qur'an and the study of religion and mysticism.

Soon after, Abu Madyan traveled to Fes to complete his education. He left for Fes at about the end of the Almoravid era or at the beginning of the founding of the Almohad state.[2] There, he studied under Abu Ya’azza al-Hazmiri, ‘Ali Hirzihim, and al-Dakkak. It was al-Dakkak that provided him with the khirka, the cloak passed from Master to student in the study of Sufism. During his time studying in Fes, Abu Madyan became familiar within the works of Al-Ghazali, one of the most prominent theologians, philosophers, and mystics of Sunni Islam regarded as one of the renewers of the religion.

Abu Madyan was particularly fascinated with mysticism by Sidi Ali Ibn Harazem. They fasted and prayed together in a continuous fashion as the ideal Sufi, practicing very strict asceticism. Abu Madyan, who came from a poor background, didn't have a hard time distancing himself from such pleasures. Because of his strict practices, he reached the rank of Qutb and Ghawth. Abu Madyan went to Mecca where he met the great Muslim saint, Jilani, and completed his spiritual training under him. On his return,he went to the town of Béjaïa where he practiced very strict asceticism and acquired an honorable reputation for his knowledge. People would come far to both listen to his public lectures and consult him on certain manners. People believed he could even perform miracles.

His beliefs were in opposition to the Almohade doctors of that town. The Almohades were disturbed at his increasing reputation and wanted to get rid of him.

Eventually, Madyan settled in the town of Béjaïa where he established a mosque-school (zawiya). The sheer amount of fame and influence that Abu Madyan evoked raised serious concern from the political powers of the time. The Almohad Caliph Ya’qub al-Mansur summoned Madyan to Marrakech for this reason so he could talk to Madyan himself. Upon his summoning to Marrakech, Abu Madyan was taken ill and died before he reached his destination in 594/1198, near the river of Ysser (يسر).[3] His last sigh was supposedly "Allah al-Hakk." He was buried in al-‘Ubbad near Tlemcen, Algeria. His funeral was widely commemorated by the people of Tlemcen and he has been considered the patron saint and protector of Tlemcen ever since. A mausoleum was built by the order of the Almohade sovereign, Muhammad al-Nasir, too shortly after his death. Many princes and kings of Tlemcen have contributed to this mausoleum since his demise. Many monuments, a good number of them still well preserved, were built in his honor next to his tomb by the Marinid kings, who controlled Tlemcen in the 14th century. One such monument is the Mosque of Madrasa. His tomb became the center of fine architecture and is still a place of pilgrimage for many Sufis today.[2]


The basic principles and virtues taught at Madyan’s school in Bejaia were repentance (tawba), asceticism (zuhd), paying visits to other masters, and service to experienced masters. He emphasized futuwa (youth/chivalry) but only when accompanied by the obedience of devotees to their master, the avoidance of disagreements between devotees, justice, constancy, nobility of mind, the denunciation of the unjust, and a feeling of satisfaction with the gifts of God. Because of his focus on the acceptance of one’s emotions, Madyan and his followers refused to confine themselves to only asceticism and meditation alone, but instead lived day to day by maintaining close relationships with the people around them. Along with sharing his knowledge and ideas with his disciples, Abu Madyan wrote many poems and spoke in proverbs in order to connect with the masses and not just the intellectuals.[1]

According to Yahya B. Khaldun, Abu Madyan's teachings may all be summed up in this verse which he often repeated, "Say Allah! and abandon all that is matter, or is connected with it, if though desirest to attain the truth goal."[2]


Aside from attaining Ghawth status and teaching hundreds and hundreds of disciples, Abu Madyan left his mark in more ways than one. He gained immense popularity because he was relatable, despite his high scholarly status. He had a personality and way of speaking that united people from all walks of life, from the common people to the academics. Even to this day, scholars say that no one of the time surpassed him in religious and intellectual influence. His school produced hundreds of saints and out of the 46 Sufi saints in the Rif region, 15 were his disciples. People still visit his tomb today for asking god through him they call it tawasoul , they visit him from all around the world.


There are very few surviving writings from Abu Madyan, and of those that do still exist, there are mystical poems, a testament (wasiyya) and a creed (akida). He encouraged the free expression of emotions rather than rigidity, but also made known his support of asceticism complete devotion to God and a minimalist lifestyle.


  • Bidayat al Mouridin, Ms 938, Bibliot. Nat. Alger.
  • Diwan, (collection of his poems) édit. Chaouar of Tlemcen, Damascus, 1938.
  • Ouns al Wahid, Ms 2-105 (8) fol. 337–343, Bibliot. Nat. Paris, ed. in Cairo 1301–1884, with a commentary by Ahmed Bâ'chan.
  • Tahfat al Arib, pub. et trad. in Latin par F. de Dombay, Vindobonae, Ebn Médirai Mauri Fessani Sentenciae quaedam arabicae, 1805
  • The Way of Abu Madyan, bilingual collection, Islamic Texts Society, Cambridge, 1996. Transl by Vincent Cornell.


  1. ^ a b "Sidi Boumediene Chouaib, pôle du soufisme au Maghreb: Un nom lié à la ville ancestrale" ["Sidi Boumediene Chouaib, center of Sufism in the Maghreb: A name linked to the ancient city"] (in French). El Moudjahid (Algiers). 16 April 2011.
  2. ^ a b c The Encyclopaedia of Islam. Leiden: EJ Brill. 1913. pp. 98–99.
  3. ^ Ibn al-Zayyat al-Tadili (c. 1220). التشوف إلى رجال التصوف (in Arabic) (Ahmed Toufiq ed.). p. 319.


  • Arnaldez, R. "Falsafa". Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition. Edited by: P. Bearman;, Th. Bianquis; C.E. Bosworth;, E. van Donzel; and W.P. Heinrichs. Brill, 2011. Brill Online Augustana. 5 April 2011
  • Zarcone, Th.; Hunwick, J.O.; Ernst, C.; Jong, F. de;, L. Massignon-[B. Radtke]; Aubin, Françoise. "Taṣawwuf (a."). Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition. Edited by: P. Bearman;, Th. Bianquis;, C.E. Bosworth;, E. van Donzel; and W.P. Heinrichs. Brill, 2011. Brill Online. Augustana. 5 April 2011
  • Griffel, Frank, "Al-Ghazali", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2008), Edward N. Zalta (ed.),
  • Marçais, G. "Abū Madyan, S̲h̲uʿayb b. al-Ḥusayn al-Andalusī". Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition. Edited by: P. Bearman;, Th. Bianquis;, C.E. Bosworth;, E. van Donzel; and W.P. Heinrichs. Brill, 2011. Brill Online. Augustana. 3 April 2011
Abd as-Salam ibn Mashish al-Alami

ʻAbd al-Salām ibn Mashīsh al-ʻAlamī (Arabic: عبد السلام بن مشيش العلمي‎) (also spelled Ibn Bashīsh, Ibn Manish, Ibn Machich, Ben Mshish) was a Sufi saint who lived during the reign of the Almohad dynasty. He was born in the region of Beni Aross near Tanger and lived from 1140 to 1227 AD. At one point in his life he withdrew to the mountain Jabal al-ʻAlam, near Larache, where his mausoleum now is situated. He was the spiritual guide of Abu-l-Hassan ash-Shadhili, his only disciple. His spiritual master is Abdu-Rahman Al Madani Al Atthar also known as Zayyad.. He is one of the great formulators of Moroccan Sufism along with Abul Mahasin Abu Abdallah Mohammed Amghar and Sidi Ali ibn Harzihim. His spiritual legacy is connected with that of Al-Dakkak and Abu Madyan. He is the ancestor of Moulay Ali ibn Rashid, founder of Chefchaouen.He was a Sharifian, a descendant of Hasan ibn Ali

Abdelaziz al-Tebaa

Abdelaziz al-Tebaa or Sidi Abdelaziz ibn Abdelhaq Tabbaa al-Hassani (died 1499) was the founder of the first sufi zawiyya of the Jazuli order in Marrakesh. The principles of Sidi al-Tabaa ultimately go back to Abu Madyan, as outlined in Abu Madyan's book Bidayat al-murid (Basic principles of the Sufi path), a compilation by Abu Mohammed Salih al-Majiri (d.631/1216). Al-Tebaa frequently travelled to Fez, where he gave lectures on Sufism and led recitations of Dala'il al-Khayrat at the al-Attarin madrasa. In Fez, he also initiated Sidi Ali Salih al-Andalusi (d. 903/1488), a refugee from Granada and author of Sharh rahbat al-aman, who founded the second zawiya of the Jazouliya in Fez. At-Tabaa is also well known as one of the Sabatu Rijal, the seven saints of Marrakesh. His tomb is visited by many pilgrims throughout the year. He was succeeded by Sidi al-Ghazwani.

Abu Abdallah ibn Harzihim

For the teacher of Abu Madyan see Ali ibn Harzihim

Abu Abd Allah ibn Muhammad ibn Harazim (d. 1235/6) from Fez was a Moroccan Sufi leader, pupil of Abu Madyan. Ibn Harazim was the sheikh of Abu-l-Hassan ash-Shadhili, the eponymous founder of the Shadhili tariqat.

Abu Mohammed Saleh al-Magiri

Abu Mohammed Salih (also Silih) or Abu Mohammed Saleh ibn Yansaran Said ibn Gafiyan al-Doukkali al-Maguiri (sometimes spelled al-Majiri) (1153–1234) was a Sufi leader from Morocco and one of the successors of Abu Madyan. He was the patron saint of Safi and lived during the reign of the Almohad dynasty. Born into a prominent family of Banu Majir Berbers from the hill country of southern Doukkala, later in his life he spent twenty years in Alexandria and, when he returned to Morocco, founded a ribat in Safi. The Sufi brotherhood of the Magiriyyun derives from him. He wrote a Talqin al-wird and the ribat in Safi, where Abou Mohammed was buried, continued to play an important role until the end of the 15th century. One of Salih's teachers was Abu Abdallah Mohammed Amghar from El Jadida.

There remains but one written work by Al-Maghri, Bidayat al Mourid, a book on Tassawuf and the lives of certain Sufi saints like Al-Maghri's teacher Abu Madyan. This book would later form the basis of the beliefs of Abdelaziz al-Tebaa. The life of Al-Magiri is described in Al-Minhaj al-wadih, written by Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Magiri, a grandson of the saint.

Abu Said al-Baji

Abu Said ibn Khalef ibn Yahia Al-Tamimi Al-Baji, commonly known as Sidi Bou Said (Arabic: سيدي أبو سعيد الباجي‎; 1231–1156) was a Tunisian Sufi Wali. A disciple of Abu Madyan, he is mostly remembered for being Abul Hasan ash-Shadhili's teacher during his stay in Tunisia. He likely met with the Andalusian philosopher Ibn Arabi during his pilgrimage and few-years stay in Damascus and Mecca.

In January 2013, a fire of criminal origin was set to his shrine. This came only a few days after threats from some Salafists who were demanding that access to the shrine be banned as they consider it to be idolatry practice to visit tombs.The district of Sidi Bou Said in Tunis is named after him.

Abu Shuayb

Abu Shuayb Ayub Ibn Said Erredad al-Sanhaji Assariya (French transliteration Abou Chouaib) (died 1176-7) is the patron saint of Azemmour, Morocco. His mausoleum in Azemmour was built on the order of Mohammed ben Abdallah. It stands on the remains of a Roman building. Abu Shuayb lived in the time of the Almohad and Almoravid dynasties. He was a student of Abu Abdallah Mohammed Amghar and teacher of Abu Yazza, who in his turn was teacher of Abu Madyan. His brotherhood is called the Shuaybiya.In Azemmour is also the mausoleum of Laila Aisha Bahria, Abu Shuayb's pupil, who travelled from Baghdad to visit him. She died in Azemmour.

Abu Yaaza

Abu Yaaza Yalnour ibn Maymun ibn Abdallah Dukkali Hazmiri al-Gharbi (d. 572/1157) (also Bouazza) was a Dukkala Berber Sufi saint. He was the teacher of Abu Madyan. Abu al-Abbas al-Azafi wrote his biography: Di'amat al-yaqin fi za'amat al-muttaqin (The Pillar of certainty in the leadership of the God-conscious). His grave and mosque was renovated in 1691 by sultan Moulay Ismael. A yearly moussem is celebrated in his honour.He mausoleum is located in the eponymous town of Moulay Bouazza.

Ali ibn Harzihim

For the teacher of Ash-Shadhili see Abu Abdallah ibn Harzihim

Sidi Ali ibn Harzihim or Abul Hasan Ali ibn Ismail ibn Mohammed ibn Abdallah ibn Harzihim/Hirzihim (also: Sidi Hrazem or Sidi Harazim) was born in Fes, Morocco and died in that same city in 559/1163. He was a berber Sufi teacher, leader of a Ghazalian zawiya in Fes and was the spiritual master of Abu Madyan. Ibn Hirzihim was largely responsible for the propagation of the works of Al-Ghazali in northwest Africa. He taught at the Qarawiyin University of Fes and openly criticized the policies of the Almoravid dynasty. Ibn Harzihim was also responsible for the burial of Sidi Abu Hakam ibn Barrajan, which, according to some sources, was forbidden by the Almoravid sultan. Sidi Ibn Harzihim received his khirqa (the Sufi robe) from Ibn al-Arabi before Ibn al-Arabi's death in 1148. He received his teachings from his uncle Abu Muhammad ibn Saalih ibn Harzihim (d. 505/1112), who took it from Al-Ghazali. He was buried at the Bab Ftouh (south-eastern gate) cemetery of Fes. The water source "Sidi Harazim" was called after him.

Ba 'Alawiyya

The Ba'Alawi tariqa (Arabic: طريقة آل باعلوي‎), also known as the Tariqa Alawiyya is a Sufi order centered in Hadhramawt, Yemen, but now spread across the Indian Ocean rim along with the Hadhrami diaspora. The order is closely tied to the Ba'Alawi sadah family.

It was founded by al-Faqih Muqaddam As-Sayyid Muhammad bin Ali Ba'Alawi al-Husaini, who died in the year 653 AH (1232 CE). He received his ijazah from Abu Madyan in Morocco via two of his students. Abu Madyan was a student of Abdul Qadir Jilani, as well as one of the shaikhs in the Shadhiliya tariqa chain of spiritual transmitters from Muhammad. The members of this Sufi way are mainly sayyids whose ancestors hail from the valley of Hadramaut, in the southern part of Yemen, although it is not limited to them.The chain of ijazah of spiritual Sufi transmission from al-Faqih Muqaddam Sayyid Muhammad traces back to the Islamic prophet Muhammad via his cousin Ali and from him, his son Husain.

Buthaina bint al-Mu'tamid ibn Abbad

Buthaina bint al-Mu'tamid ibn Abbad (Arabic: بثينة بنت المعتمد بن عباد‎,) was a poet of Al-Andalus. She was born in 1070 and was the daughter of Al-Mu'tamid ibn Abbad, the king of Spain. One of her poems, "Listen to my words", is about being sold into slavery after her father was overthrown.


Cantillana is a town located in the province of Seville, Andalusia, southern Spain.


Solar: 3.78 MW h solar farm (bannered by Prodiel.com) on the train station side of the Guadalquivir river, facing an electric substation served by delegates of Elecnor, Endesa, Imesa, Ingersol and Cabelte. Petrochemical: Repsol fuel stations mark Cantillana (24/7) and neighbouring Cantillana la Montana.

Roman Mosaic

Excavated approximately 1.8 metres below the current residential surface, near the Church of Asuncion. The mosaic features a full image of sea creatures surrounding a mosaiced water well.

Dar al-Sultan

Dar al-Sultan (Arabic: دار السلطان‎) is a palace dating back to the Marinid dynasty in the village of Ubbad, 2km south of Tlemcen, Algeria. The palace is a part of the greater complex of Sidi Abu Madyan Mosque. The palace is named as "Dar al-Sultan" which means "house of the sultan" as sultans had stayed there during their visit to Ubbad. Construction of the palace was carried out simultaneously with the construction of Sidi Abu Madyan Mosque in 1339. Eight years later, a madrasa was established as well. Although the palace is small, it features patios, arcades, water ways and numerous rooms. The palace was abandoned after the demise of the Marinid dynasty. It is considered a prominent example of the Marinid-era Islamic architecture.

Ibn al-Zayyat al-Tadili

Abu Yaqub Yusuf Ibn Yahya ibn al-Zayyat al-Tadili (born in Beni Mellal, died 1229/30) was a sufi mystic, influential jurist and hagiographer from Morocco. He is the biographer of many sufi saints. His best known publication is the at-Tashawwuf ila rijal at-tasawwuf (Looking upon the men of Sufism), ed. Ahmed Tawfiq (Rabat: Faculte des Lettres et des Sciences Humaines 1984). It was written ca. 1220. At-Tadili also wrote the hagiography of Abu al-Abbas as-Sabti entitled Akhbar Abi'l-Abbas as-Sabti. Like his Al-tashawwuf (e.g. on Abu Madyan) it contains many autobiographical passages of Abu al-Abbas himself.

List of mosques in Algeria

This is a list of mosques in Algeria. According to the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Endowment in 2006, there are around 15,000 mosques in Algeria as a whole, of which 450 are in the capital city of Algiers. 90% of which are built after the independence of Algeria in 1962.

Mohammed Saleh (disambiguation)

Mohammed Saleh may refer to:

Abu Mohammed Salih, a Sufi leader from Morocco and one of the successors of Abu Madyan

Mohammed Saleh, a Nigerian politician elected Senator for Kaduna Central on 9 April 2011

Mohammed Saleh (footballer), a Palestinian politician playing in Malta

Mohammed Saleh Abdulla Al Sada, minister of industry and energy of Qatar

Mohammed Saleh Ahmed Al-Helali, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Yemen to the Russian Federation

General Jasim Mohammed Saleh, an Iraqi level-2 Baathist who commanded the Iraqi Army under Saddam Hussein

Osman Saleh Mohammed, the first Minister of Education for Eritrea following Independence

Khaled Mohammed Saleh (born 2000), Qatari footballer

Mohammed ibn Qasim al-Tamimi

Al-Tamimi, in full Abu Abd Allah Mohammed ibn Qasim ibn Abd ar-Rahman ibn al-Karim al-Tamimi al-Fasi, (born 1140/5, died 1207/8) was a Moroccan hadith scholar and biographer, author of Al-Mustafad fi manaqib al-ubbad bi-madinat Fas wa ma yaliha min al-bilad.This book comprises 81 biographies of Moroccan saints. He wrote a fahrasa in which he recorded the names of his teachers and the works he studied under them, called An-Najm al-mushiqa (The resplendent Star). He studied under Abu Madyan. There are also many references to At-Tamimi in the work of Ibn al-Arabi.

Sidi Boumediene Mosque

Sidi Abu Madyan Mosque (Arabic: مسجد شعيب أبو مدين‎) or the Worshipper's Mosque (Arabic: مسجد العباد‎) is a historic Islamic religious complex In Tlemcen, Algeria, dedicated to the influential Sufi saint Abu Madyan. Abu Madyan was hailed from Seville and contributed greatly to the spread of tasawwuf in the Maghreb region.


Walī (Arabic: ولي‎, plural ʾawliyāʾ أولياء) is an Arabic word whose literal meanings include "custodian", "protector", "helper", and "friend". In the vernacular, it is most commonly used by Muslims to indicate an Islamic saint, otherwise referred to by the more literal "friend of God". In the traditional Islamic understanding of saints, the saint is portrayed as someone "marked by [special] divine favor ... [and] holiness", and who is specifically "chosen by God and endowed with exceptional gifts, such as the ability to work miracles". The doctrine of saints was articulated by Islamic scholars very early on in Muslim history, and particular verses of the Quran and certain hadith were interpreted by early Muslim thinkers as "documentary evidence" of the existence of saints. Graves of saints around the Muslim world became centers of pilgrimage — especially after 1200 CE — for masses of Muslims seeking their barakah (blessing).Since the first Muslim hagiographies were written during the period when the Islamic mystical trend of Sufism began its rapid expansion, many of the figures who later came to be regarded as the major saints in orthodox Sunni Islam were the early Sufi mystics, like Hasan of Basra (d. 728), Farqad Sabakhi (d. 729), Dawud Tai (d. 777–781), Rabi'a al-'Adawiyya (d. 801), Maruf Karkhi (d. 815), and Junayd of Baghdad (d. 910). From the twelfth to the fourteenth century, "the general veneration of saints, among both people and sovereigns, reached its definitive form with the organization of Sufism ... into orders or brotherhoods". In the common expressions of Islamic piety of this period, the saint was understood to be "a contemplative whose state of spiritual perfection ... [found] permanent expression in the teaching bequeathed to his disciples". In many prominent Sunni Islamic creeds of the time, such as the famous Creed of Tahawi (c. 900) and the Creed of Nasafi (c. 1000), a belief in the existence and miracles of saints was presented as "a requirement" for being an orthodox Muslim believer.Aside from the Sufis, the preeminent saints in traditional Islamic piety are the Companions of Muhammad, their Successors, and the third generation after the Prophet, often called "the Successors of the Successors". Additionally, the prophets of Islam are also believed to be saints by definition, although they are rarely referred to as such, in order to prevent confusion between them and ordinary saints; as the prophets are exalted by Muslims as the greatest of all humanity, it is a general tenet of Sunni belief that a single prophet is greater than all the regular saints put together. In short, it is believed that "every prophet is a saint, but not every saint is a prophet".In the modern world, the traditional Sunni and Shia idea of saints has been challenged by movements such as Salafism, Wahhabism, and Islamic modernism, all three of which have, to a greater or lesser degree, "formed a front against the veneration and theory of saints." As has been noted by scholars, the development of these movements has indirectly led to a trend amongst some mainstream Muslims to resist "acknowledging the existence of Muslim saints altogether or ... [to view] their presence and veneration as unacceptable deviations". However, despite the presence of these opposing streams of thought, the classical doctrine of saint-veneration continues to thrive in many parts of the Islamic world today, playing a vital role in daily expressions of piety among vast segments of Muslim populations in Muslim countries like Pakistan, Egypt, Turkey, Senegal, Iraq, Iran, Algeria, Tunisia, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Morocco, as well as in countries with substantive Islamic populations like India, China, Russia, and the Balkans.

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