Sidi El Houari

Sidi El Houari (1350 – 12 September 1439) was an Algerian imam whose real name was Ben-Amar El Houari. He is the patron saint of the city of Oran in Algeria. The famous old quarter of Sidi El Houari in Oran is named after him.


Sidi El Houari
سيدي الهواري
Sidi el houari tomb.jpg
Mausoleum of Sidi El Houari in Oran
Mohamed ben Omar el-Houari

Died12 September 1439
Muslim leader
  • Ibrahim Tazi


Sidi El Houari was born in 1350 in the village of Sour, 20 kilometres east of Mostaganem and near Ain Tedles, then under Marinid rule.

Sidi El Houari was a highly respected scholar, and many cities would have been pleased to have him as their guest, for his wisdom alms and good luck. Out of Tlemcen, Fes, Tunis, Mecca, Jerusalem, Damascus and many other cities which he visited, he chose to settle in Oran and honour its inhabitants. He was well received by Oranians, and although he was buried far away from the city, visiting of his mausoleum, which shelters his supposed tomb, resembles an irremovable daily pilgrimage.

At the age of ten years, he had already memorized the whole Qur'an by heart and had acquired the title of Hafiz, educated in the doctrine of Sufism.

He went to Kel Mitou in the meadows of Chlef to visit a distinguished Saint and acquire his favour. Then he came to Oran seeking to study Islamic theology at the zawiya or "assembly" of Derkaouia Mahajia led by Sidi Maymun Mahaji and Ayoub, known for its traditions in the field of religious studies. He studied in Béjaïa and then Fes, where he taught before travelling to Egypt.

He went to Mecca for the Hajj (pilgrimage). Once he returned he finally settled in Oran where he opened a madrasah. Among the known adherents and companions of the imam Sidi El Houari El Maghraoui were Sidi Ibrahim Tazi and Sidi Said (marabout of Hassi El Ghella).

Sidi El Houari died on September 12, 1439. He is buried in Aghlad near Timimoun.