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Abu Abdallah al-Qaim

Abu Abdallah al-Qaim bi Amrillah of Tagmadert in the Draa River valley, a claimed descendant of Fatimah, was the ancestor of the Saadi Dynasty of Morocco, who ruled the Sous in Southern Morocco from 1509 to 1517.[1] The Sharifian movement on which the Saadi Dynasty was to be built began when Abu Abdallah, during a visit to Medina, dreamed of two lions entering a tower with a crowd of people close behind. Taking his vision to a Sufi sheikh, he was told that his two sons would have an important future in his country.[2] Upon returning to Morocco he began to broadcast the vision among his people, who believed him, according to Moroccan historian al-Nasiri, because of his reputation for honesty, and he adopted the Mahdist title "al-Qaim bi Amrillah" (the one called by God).

After meeting with the leaders of the Masmuda Berbers at Tidsi near the town of Taroudannt, Abu Abdallah al-Qaim agreed to lead the jihad against the Portuguese at Agadir and other towns along the southern coast. He then sent his two sons Ahmad al-Araj and Mohammed Amghar (later called Mohammed ash-Sheikh) to Fez, where they established themselves as teachers of religion and literature and exhorted the sultan to raise a full jihad in the south.[3] The Wattasid sultan Abu Abdallah al Burtugali gave them full permission to carry out their jihad in the Sous. This enabled the Saadians to transform their moral authority into a military authority. After they had forced the Portuguese out of their coastal positions, they took the power in Marrakech.


  1. ^ Muzaffar Husain Syed. Concise History of Islam. p. 150. ISBN 9789382573470.
  2. ^ An-Nasiri, Kitab al-Istiqsa, Les Saadiens, p. 12
  3. ^ An-Nasiri, Kitab al-Istiqsa, Les Saadiens, pp. 16-17