Some notable of Salé
Sidi Ahmed ben Achir:
Sidi Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Omar ben Achir al-Andalusi, said Sidi ben Achir or Ahmed ben Achir. He was a model of abstinence and asceticism fleeing the community of humans, especially the rulers, to devote himself to worship and devotion. His tomb was located in a shaded enclosure by a fig tree, before Sultan Moulay Abdellah ibn Ismail built an imposing dome on the tomb, the renovation of which was ordered by Sultan Abderrahmane ibn Hicham (mid-19th c.).
This sultan also built a nearby maristan with about thirty rooms reserved for the sick, especially those suffering from mental illness. Slaoui patrons have added other rooms to accommodate visitors from far away.
Sidi Abdellah ben Hassoun:
Sidi Abdellah ben Ahmed Khalid, better known under the name of ben Hassoun native of the Slas in the Rif (died in 1604/1013 H.). He was known for his disinterestedness, his erudition, and his capacity as a great orator. He took his place in the Great Mosque at Salé, where the crowd crowded around him for the Sultan and obtain blessings from him.
He had many disciples including the great mujahid M’hamed al-Ayyachi. The dome of his mausoleum was erected by Sultan Moulay Ismail. The mausoleum Sidi Abdellah ben Hassoun is venerated by the Slaouis and its moussam takes place on the eve of the Mouloud, the birthday of Prophet Sidna Mohammed.
The ceremony of the candles is associated with his worship, which during the procession are deposited in the mausoleum where they remain a year in anticipation of the next Mouloud.
The mausoleum was enlarged during the last decades by taking on a portion of the adjoining cemetery; The addition was made in a refined and sumptuous architectural style.
Sidi M’hamed el-Ayachi:
Sidi M’hamed el-Maliki ez-Zeyani el-Ayachi (1563-1641), more commonly known as Al-Ayachi, nicknamed the “Saint of Salé”, is a marabout and a powerful military leader having lived in the current Salé (At the time, known as Salé-le-Vieux, as opposed to the present Rabat, then known as Salé-le-Neuf, at least concerning its medina). It lays the foundations of the political entity that will become the Republic of Salé. An avenue, a primary school and a hospital bear its name in Salé.
Since the death of Ahmed al-Mansur Saadi in 1604, Morocco is falling into a state of anarchy where the Sultan loses his authority. Spain then took the opportunity to annex Larache in 1610, then the port of La Mamora in 1614.
According to the historian Mohamed Zniber: “In his dispute with the Moors of Rabat, who quickly developed into armed conflict, Ayyachi accused them of having betrayed the cause of Islam during the siege of the Mamora and offered their services to King Spain, which was not entirely false. Based in Salé-le-Vieux, Al-Ayachi leads the jihad against the Spaniards by starting the maritime race with the Moorish arrivals and with the help of the English. He succeeded in reconquering the Mamora and extended his power to Taza.
In April 1627, Al Ayachi attacked Salé (Salé-le-Vieux and Salé-le-neuf), which he seized and transformed into his principality, later becoming independent governor of the Republic of Salé. A month later John Harrison signed a treaty with him and began a diplomatic relationship with the political entity. Al-Ayachi sends his representatives (probably renegades) to the court of King Charles I of England: Mohammed Bensaid (Lopez de Zapar) in 1627, Ahmed Naravaez in the same year and Mohammed Clafishou in 1629.
On April 30, 1641, Al-Ayachi was assassinated during intestine quarrels which tear apart the ephemeral corsair republic. The marabouts of Dila, near Khénifra, became masters of the thalassocracy after defeating the Saadi chérif and the supporters of the late marabout of Salé.
His home is on the site of the present school of Mekki Alaoui.
Haj Ali ben ahmed Zniber:
Haj Ali Zniber (1844-1914) of his full name Ali ben Ahmed ben Abd-el-Qadir Zniber Lettam, is a Moroccan writer, poet and nationalist. He is known, with Haj Abdellah Bensaid, for presenting the first constitution for the improvement of the Moroccan political situation in 1904: Safeguarding independence and refusal of colonial manipulation.
After traveling to the Middle East to make the pilgrimage to Mecca, Hajj Ali settled in Egypt where he lived on the import-export trade and where he will have the opportunity to know at the same time the Egyptian scholars of his time. His 23 years in Egypt allow him to draw inspiration from the constitutional ideas of the Middle East to theorize some political reforms where he opposes colonization and militates for the preservation of independence. He had early realized the danger of French colonialism and provided a series of counsels to Sultan Moulay Abdelaziz.
He also submitted to the Sovereign Moulay Youssef a draft Constitution. The Sbihi Library in Salé contains several manuscript documents written by the person concerned.
After returning to Morocco, while remaining in contact with the Slaouis savants, he settled in Tangier where he met the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and then in Fez where he deals with the printing and distribution of Moroccan presses and publishes some works. After his proposal of the constitution before the Sultan, Hajj Ali Zniber insists on the protection of the national identity by protecting the Arabic language.
Sidi Abd-Allah ben Hachemi Benkhadra:
Abd-Allah ben Hachemi Benkhadra Slaoui (1844-1906), is the son of Mohamed Hachemi ben Ahmed Benkhadra, is a “mystic and brilliant scholar”, born in Salé in 1844, died in Fez in 1906 and buried in Zaouïa Naciria, he was judge and president of the court of Fez towards the end of the XIX century.
Sidi Ahmed Hajji:
Sidi Ahmed Hajji (1691) is a marabout and military leader of Salé. He is known in particular as a moudjahid (holy warrior in Arabic) for having expelled the Spaniards from the beaches of the Mehdia. He is the last great saint of Salé.
A zaouïa was created in his honor at Salé where several of his descendants are buried as the rich merchant who bears the same name Ahmed Hajji, his sons Saïd Hajji and Mohamed Hajji. An old mosque in the heart of the souks of the medina bears its name too.
Sidi Ahmed Hajji is the most famous Saints of Salé. In the seventeenth century, the European states had launched into the race against the barbarians, Salé-le-Vieux was then a constituent of the Republic of Salé, it is during this period that begins the career of Ahmed Hajji. According to research conducted by Kenneth Brown, a letter addressed to the States of Holland dated 1640 included the name of Ahmed Hajji who had his goods on one of the captured ships.
In 1681, Ahmed Hajji with his 300 men from Salé launched an attack against the Spaniards and forced them to evacuate Mehdia. This courageous act earned him the posthumous title of Saint (Sidi in Arabic). According to the historian Ibn Ali Doukkali, the marabout continues his relations with Spain and is noticed by the Sultan Moulay Ismail who grants him marks of honor and respect while the Spaniards offered him a sword with ceremonial.
Ahmed Hajji studied mysticism with great alems like al-Yabouri. Legends tell that he was a sober man and a weaver. His funeral was memorable and was buried in the zaouïa he created, his son Abdellah Al Jazzar (died 1710) inherited his blessing. His grandson Al Faqih Faris Abu Madyane (died 1756), built towards the end of the reign of Moulay Ismail, a Friday mosque in the heart of Souk Lakbir. Then the Sultan the great son Abu Madyan as imam and khatib of the mosque and made of the zone a horma, inviolable place where all the persecuted found refuge.
According to Ibn Ali, Ahmed Ben Achir al-Hafi, a Salé scholar writes a biography of the saint he met. Among the students of El Hafi, there was Cadi Mohamed Ben Hajji Zniber (died 1780) and his son Haj Mohamed (Cadi of Salé and Khatib of the Great Mosque). Thus, according to the historiographer, the qualities of the Saint were perpetuated among his descendants who make the Hajji family one of the great and ancient families of Salé.