Abu al-Abbas as-Sabti

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Sidi Bel Abbas or Sidi Ahmed abu al-Abbas al-Khazraji as-Sabti (Ceuta 1129 - Marrakesh 1204) is the patron saint of Marrakesh, in the Islamic tradition. He is also one of the "Seven Saints" (Sabʿatou Rijal) of the city. His festival was founded by Abu Ali al-Hassan al-Yusi at the instigation of Moulay Ismael.[1]

Al-Abbas was born in Ceuta, but moved to Marrakesh in 1145-6, during the final weeks of the Almohad siege of the city. For a number of years he lived in a cave on the hill of Igilliz outside Marrakesh, only coming into town on Fridays for the communal prayer.[2]

The Almohad sultan Yaqub al-Mansur was a disciple of al-Abbas. He asked him to come and live in the city and provided him a house, a hostel for his disciples as well as a madrasa for study. Teaching was maintained by the sultan's own funds. Whenever Yaqub al-Mansur visited al-Abbas he made a point of behaving in a humble manner and acting "as a servant".[3]

To al-Abbas, every act of human mercy (rahma) evoked a merciful response from the all-merciful God (ar-Rahim). Al-Abbas summed up his theory of reciprocity with the maxim: "[Divine] Being is actualised by generosity" (al-wujud yanfa ilu bi'l-jud). The Andalusian philosopher Ibn Rushd visited al-Abbas several times in Marrakesh.[4]

When al-Abbas died in 1204, he was buried at the graveyard of Sidi Marouk, near Bab Taghzout.[5] In 1605, the Saadian sultan Abu Faris erected a mausoleum for al-Abbas, hoping that the saint's power would help him recover from his epilepsy. In 1998, sultan Hassan II improved the sanctuary. It is also the place of his zawiyya.

Al-Abbas's hagiography, Akhbar Abi'l-Abbas as-Sabti, written by Abu Ya’qub Yusuf ibn Yahya at-Tadili, was in part composed by al-Abbas himself and contains many autobiographical passages.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Vincent J. Cornell. Realm of the Saint: Power and Authority in Moroccan Sufism. Austin, Texas: University of Texas Press, 1998, "The Power of Compassion: The Imitanda of Abu'l-Abbas as-Sabti", p. 79
  2. ^ Vincent J. Cornell. Realm of the Saint: Power and Authority in Moroccan Sufism. Austin, Texas: University of Texas Press, 1998, "The Power of Compassion: The Imitanda of Abu'l-Abbas as-Sabti", p. 79
  3. ^ Chniber, Les murmures de la palmeraie, Volume 39 of Écritures arabes, Editions L'Harmattan, 1988, ISBN 978-2-7384-0075-8, ISBN 978-2-7384-0075-8, page 162, online books
  4. ^ Vincent J. Cornell, Realm of the Saint: Power and Authority in Moroccan Sufism, p. 91.
  5. ^ http://www.dar-sirr.com/sultans.html Moroccan Sultans and Sufis retrieved 24 April 2008.