Muhammad ibn Ali al-Sanusi
Muhammad ibn Ali as-Senussi in full Sīdī Muḥammad ibn ʿAlī al-Sanūsī al-Mujāhirī al-Ḥasanī al-Idrīsī, (1787–1859) was an Algerian Muslim theologian and leader who founded of the Senussi mystical order in 1837. His militant mystical movement proved very significant and helped Libya to win its freedom from Italy on 10 February 1947. Omar Mukhtar was one of the most significant leaders of the Senussi military campaign launched by Muhammad ibn Ali as-Senussi. Al-Sanūsī’s grandson Idrīs I ruled as king of Libya from 1951 to 1969.
|Muhammad Ibn 'Ali Al-Senussi|
|Founder of the Senussi dynasty|
Mostaganem, Ottoman Algeria
Jaghbub, Libya, Ottoman Tripolitania
|Father||Sayyid Ali as-Senussi|
Al-Senussi was born in al-Wasita near Mostaganem, Algeria, and was named al-Senussi after a venerated Muslim teacher. He was a member of the Walad Sidi Abdalla tribe, and was a sharif tracing his descent from Fatimah, the daughter of Mohammed. He took his last name from one of his teachers, who hailed from the Beni Snous Berbers of the Tlemcen region. He studied at a madrassa in Fez, Morocco and was instructed in religious orders in Morocco, then traveled in the Sahara preaching a purifying reform of the faith in Tunisia and Tripoli, gaining many adherents, and thence moved to Cairo to study at Al-Azhar University.
Unable to cross Algeria because of the French occupation, the beginning, the centre of Imam Mohammed Ali El Senussi’s call was Jebel Akhdar and he built a mosque in Bayda of Cyrenaica and named it after himself, then he moved to Jaghbub in Cyrenaica from where the mosques spread to the remaining cities of Barqa and Tripoli.
He built a great mosque and a university, which was shut down on the orders of Muammar al-Gaddafi in 1984; at the same time, the graves and remains of the Senussi family were desecrated. After the death of Muhammad as-Sanussi his son Sayyid Muhammad al-Mahdi bin Sayyid Muhammad as-Senussi (1859–1902) became the new leader of the Senussi order, and moved it south from Jaghbub to Kufra. His grandson through Muhammad became King Idris, the only King of Libya.
|King Idris I|
- "Al-Sanūsī | Islamic religious leader". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2018-08-10.
- Shillington, Kevin (2005) "Libya: Muhammad Al-Sanusi (c.1787–1859) and the Sanusiyya" Encyclopedia of African History Fitzroy Dearborn, New York, p. 830-831, ISBN 1-57958-245-1
- The Senussi Family Archived 2012-12-26 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 1 October 2011.