Sheikh Abdel Kader Maghraoui, the famous scholar of Algeria
Compiled by: Syed Muhammad Bokreta
*The 05th of January 2001
*The Death of the Scholar Sheikh Abdel Kader Maghraoui
*Localisation: Khemis-Miliana –Algeria.
It is paramount to stress that a quick glance at the history of Algeria suggests that the country has known many deep rooted Scholars or Ulamas throughout the ages, but despite such rich endowment and while the country has gone through difficult and thorny times, mainly due to the “molding” of Algerian society particularly by French colonization which lasted 132 years from 1830 to 1962.
Sooth to say that the colonization of Algeria was both intense and atrocious undoubtedly revealing the wicked aim of France in terms of assimilation and incorporation of the country as an integral part of France, this was to be achieved by “Frenchifying” the country, casting Algeria in the image of France culturally, linguistically, and even demographically (through the proliferation of the French settlements) ,adding fuel to oil , French influences were thoroughly woven into the fabric of the society, diluting long history culture and Islamic identity.
Furthermore and in a genuine bid to undress all aspects of local traditions and culture diversity the powerful colonial legacy went on the rampage and developed an alien culture that fully contrasted all kind of Human dignity and respect to the down trodden people of this country but unlike British colonialism (although repressive , but still respecting cultural traditions of colonized people, India for instance), the French were on the opposite , determined to cause havoc to whatever was seen as a danger to their ill fated colonial goals.
In this turmoil atmosphere, was born Cheikh Maghraoui on the 10th of February 1934 in Djelida in Ain Defla district , he learned the Holy Quran during his youth at the Zawiyya or Islamic learning centre of Hadj Abbas Bokreta within the Eastern bank of the Cheliff river.
The deceased was born in a very spiritual environment of great piety and grew up in the quest for knowledge at a very young age, and has advocated and fought for his faith and his country by recommending good and rebuking evil and especially during the war of liberation, his brother the great Mujahid Si Benmira being a great militant during the Algerian revolution was known for his courage in Wilaya 4 until Algeria recovered independence in 1962.
Sheikh Maghraoui has devoted his entire life to services in various situations and fighting ignorance in order to preserve the nation and especially the younger generations from both cultural and spiritual alienation fomented by colonialism, true to say that this Noble descendent of the Blessed Prophet’s lineage, has dedicated all his life to teaching the precepts of Islam and the noble ideals of this ever growing faith of Islam.
It is a history landmark to assert that Sheikh Abdel Kader Maghraoui was the “Mokkadim “ or Representative of the famous Habbibiyya Sufi Path , in this context , he made all efforts to promoting Islamic identity as well as drawing its inspiration and values from the Great Religion of Islam , mainly among the youth that were neighbouring him.
No wonder, Cheikh Maghraoui was an outspoken Person against all evil doers whatever their social or political stance may have been , mostly challenging them for all flaws that were detrimental to the Creator and the people.
It is all to my honour and pride that I had acquired a “Twin education” from the Sheikh first at the Koranic school where he taught us the Holy Book as a pupil in the early sixties, then at Kerdjidj Djillali (former Albert Camus) primary school where he taught us Arabic language in the third year in 1965 while as a schoolboy.
The sincere presence of Spiritual yearning and practice all together embodied the depth and the breadth of the genuine Islam within the vision of this Great Man, the ever loyal disciples of this venerated Sheikh are still on his path, and are always present to demonstrate that the spiritual legacy of Sheikh is still ongoing and in perpetual continuation , among them we can mention Cheikh Sofiane Medjahed the current Imam and preacher at “Al Forkane” Mosque of Khemis-Miliana , where the Sheikh was once Imam before his passing away.
Also, Sheikh Mustapha Bokreta who diligently ensured the continuity of the spiritual legacy of the Sheikh by its uneven punctuality in religious talks and meetings of the recitation of the Holy Quran at the cheikh’s Zawiya located at Boulevard Chahid Mohamed Halaimi.
Obviously , we will not forget the ubiquitous and illustrious pupil of Sheikh” the Righteous ‘postman” Cheikh Ahmed Said Belmecheri , one whose sense of communication and public relations are to envy such many graduates of both Harvard and Oxford Universities.
Sooth to say that this Great Sheikh , venerated not for his person, but for his true piety and closeness to Allah ta’ala, the light of his example though he may remain humbly anonymous, active for Allah’s sake alone. He made no claims in all the time of being who he was, yet others saw and respected him for what he would not claim for himself for anything he has done.
But as it is prescribed “Every soul shall meet its Lord”, thus Sheikh Maghraoui left this world on January the 05th ,2001 corresponding to the 10 of Shawwal 1421, at the age of 67 years, his funeral was , attended by a large crowd numbering to more than ten thousand people he was buried at “Sidi Abdelkader Cemetery” in Khemis-Miliana