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Boushaki, A. Ali Boushaki. Encyclopedia. Available online: (accessed on 20 June 2024).
Boushaki A. Ali Boushaki. Encyclopedia. Available at: Accessed June 20, 2024.
Boushaki, Abdenour. "Ali Boushaki" Encyclopedia, (accessed June 20, 2024).
Boushaki, A. (2023, August 28). Ali Boushaki. In Encyclopedia.
Boushaki, Abdenour. "Ali Boushaki." Encyclopedia. Web. 28 August, 2023.
Ali Boushaki

Ali Boushaki (Arabic : علي بن محمد بوسحاقيAli ibn Mohamed al-Boushaki) (1855 CE/1271 AH – 1965 CE/1385 AH), was an Algerian Scholar, Imam and Sufi Sheikh. He was born in the village of Soumâa near the town of Thénia 53 km east of Algiers. He was raised in a very spiritual environment within Zawiyet Sidi Boushaki with high Islamic values and ethics. He had great interpersonal skills and devoted his entire life in service of Islam and Algeria according to the Algerian Islamic reference.

Islam Algeria Sufism Boushaki

1. Education

Boushaki was born in 1855 in the village of Soumâa south of the present city of Thénia, about 50 km east of the great city of Algiers, and his kabyle maraboutic family is descended from the Malikite theologian Sidi Boushaki (1394-1453), who founded the Zawiyet Sidi Boushaki in 1440 during the 15th century.

He then received a religious education according to the Algerian Islamic reference in the three mystical schools of Zawiyet Sidi Boushaki, Zawiyet Sidi Boumerdassi and Zawiyet Sidi Amar Cherif, as well as a political consciousness according to the ideology of Algerian independence nationalism under the patronage of his paternal and maternal uncles.

In addition to his academic activity in this Sufi environment, he worked in agriculture and animal husbandry near the surrounding towns of Meraldene, Tabrahimt, Gueddara, Azela and Mahrane.

2. French Conquest of Algeria

His grandfather Cheikh Ali Boushaki (1809-1846) was the leader of the Kabyles in the Thénia region on May 17, 1837 during the Battle of the Col des Beni Aïcha (1837), when General Charles-Marie Denys de Damrémont sent a land military convoy commanded by Captain Maximilien Joseph Schauenburg to suppress and punish the Kabyles of Beni Aïcha and their allies from Greater Kabylia after they perpetrated the Raid on Reghaïa (1837) in concert with the troops of Emir Mustapha coming from Titteri and just before Emir Abdelkader was about to conclude the Treaty of Tafna with General Thomas Robert Bugeaud on May 30, 1837.

This first incursion of the Troupes coloniales in Kabylia to the east of Mitidja plain quickly involved Sheikh Ali Boushaki and the inhabitants of hundreds of villages in the Lower Kabylia region in the Algerian popular resistance against French invasion and against the military occupation of the French army and the French Colonial Empire during several decisive battles before succumbing as a martyr during the Battle of the Col des Beni Aïcha (1846).

Before dying as shahid in 1846, Sheikh Ali Boushaki had married Aïcha Dekkiche from the village of Gueraïchene located west of the present city of Souk El-Had not far from the village of Soumâa, and it was she who gave birth in 1835 to the boy Mohamed Boushaki, nicknamed Moh Ouali, who later became the father of Muqaddam Ali Boushaki in 1855.

This is how the widow Aïcha exfiltrated her orphaned son Ali to the remote village of Gueraïchene after the French soldiers destroyed the villages of Soumâa, Gueddara, Meraldene and Tabrahimt, and raised him with his maternal uncles until he was 18 when she brought him back to his hometown of Soumâa in 1853 where he married his cousin Fettouma Ishak Boushaki from the nearby town of Meraldene.

3. French Algeria

Ali Boushaki was thus born in 1855 in the village of Soumâa when the military pacification of Kabylia was in full swing and Lalla Fatma N'Soumer (1830-1863) was fighting her last battles against the colonial invasion, and Ali's childhood after 1856 was therefore characterized by a calm and a notorious ceasefire in Kabylia that allowed his father Moh Ouali and his cousins from the Beni Aïcha to rebuild the destroyed Zawiyet Sidi Boushaki and reactivate ties with the other Zawiyas in Algeria of the Tariqa Rahmaniyya even in Zawiyet El Hamel.

This serene-seeming climate reinforced the installation of the French Algerian administration affiliated to the French Second Empire under Napoleon III who worked to transform the temporary French military invasion of Regency of Algiers into a lasting colonial settlement of the vast sequestered farmlands, and plundered the indigenous populations raised then repressed and subjected to the oppressive colonial yoke.

From a very young age, Ali Boushaki studied in the Zawiyet Sidi Boushaki the rudiments and basic Quran Islamic and Arabic linguistic education while participating in the agricultural and livestock work of his family people and relatives in the ravines and slopes of the Khachna region and near the banks of the Oued Meraldene, Oued Arbia, Oued Boumerdès and Oued Isser.

4. Mokrani Revolt

The arrival of the year 1871 was decisive in the life of Ali Boushaki who was a teenager at the age of 17 when the Cheikh Mokrani decreed and launched the insurrection against the French presence in Algeria, and which raised Kabylia and eastern Algeria to march with the Algerian rebels towards the capital Algiers via Thénia and Boudouaou.

When the Algerian insurgents reached the Col des Béni Aïcha on April 18, 1871, his father Sheikh Mohamed Boushaki then mobilized the murids, tolbas and villagers of the region to support and consolidate the liberation march towards Algiers, and thus participated young Ali in the fight that lasted until May 9, 1837 when Captain Alexandre Fourchault and General Orphis Léon Lallemand commanded a vigorous and sharp response against the Algerian insurrection, and recovered Boudouaou and Thénia while punishing the villagers and captured marabout leaders in the region, including Sheikh Boushaki and Cheikh Boumerdassi.

While many Algerian rebels were killed, Ali Boushaki survived the defeat of the Mokrani Revolt insurgents, his father, Moh Ouali, was captured and imprisoned, while Sheikh Boumerdassi was deported to New Caledonia with Boumezrag Mokrani.

5. World War I

The advent of the First World War saw the enlistment of young Algerians as skirmishers in France from 1914 until 1918, and this is how Cheikh Ali saw the sending of his son Abderrahmane Boushaki (1896-1985) to the front against the Imperial German Army in the ranks of the 1st regiment of Algerian riflemen.

This departure of this son, who will become a corporal at the end of the great war, was accompanied by the promises of the administration of French Algeria that the Algerians will be rewarded and recompensed for their consent to the sacrifice for the freedom of France by an extension of the civic and political rights of the natives after the victory.

6. Algerian Nationalism

The French victory against the Germans saw the development of a new legislative arsenal to assimilate and integrate the former indigenous combatants into minor positions in the colonial administration and into salaried employment positions, after the promulgation of the Jonnart Law which abrogated many of the coercive restrictions of the Indigénat code previously practiced.

This is how the Muqaddam Boushaki encouraged his younger brother Mohamed Seghir Boushaki to stand in the 1919 Algerian municipal elections, which were the first elections open to Algerians in order to bring the voice of the colonized to the governing and parliamentary bodies of the French Republic.

Mohamed Seghir exploited his election as a municipal councilor to join forces with the Emir Khaled to work to write national and international petitions to demand basic freedoms for Algerians, and it was then that he conceived the 1920 Algerian Political Rights Petition aimed at maintaining and expanding the freedoms gained by veterans of the Great War in Europe.

This participation of the confederation of Beni Aïcha villages led by Mohamed Seghir continued during the three subsequent elections which were the 1925 Algerian municipal elections, those of 1929 Algerian municipal elections and those of 1935 Algerian municipal elections before this process of assimilation was interrupted by the triggering the Second World War.

7. Algerian War of Independence

The outbreak of the Algerian revolution coincided with the adequate preparation of hundreds of young villagers from the Thénia region who joined the ranks of the National Liberation Front (FLN) and the National Liberation Army (ALN) after the journalist Mohamed Aïchaoui wrote the text of the revolutionary Declaration of 1 November 1954.

This is how his grandson Yahia Boushaki and the militant Mohamed Rahmoune were at the forefront of the fight against the French army in Mitidja and Kabylia to the west and south of Thénia, after they have benefited from secret training during long years of hiding.

8. Independent Algeria

During the 1962 Algerian independence referendum crowning the Algerian revolution on March 19, 1962, 107-year-old Sheikh Ali Boushaki headed to the voting booth of the Thénia boys' school where he voted for independence as the centenary dean of Algerian voters.

He devoted himself in his last three years to preaching the good word in his entourage in order to build an independent Algeria and to consolidate the ethical and spiritual foundation of education and religious preaching in the shackles of the Algerian Islamic reference.

9. Death

Muqaddam Ali Boushaki died in 1965 in the house of his son Abderrahmane Boushaki (1896-1985) located on Slimane Ambar street, next to the villages of Soumâa, Gueddara and Meraldene.

He was then buried next to his brother Mohamed Seghir Boushaki (1869-1959) in the Thénia Muslim cemetery called Djebbana El Ghorba.

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