Yusi Al-, Sidi Lahcen

   His full name is Abu `Ali al-Hasan Ibn Mas`ud Ibn Muhammad Ibn `Ali Ibn Yusuf Ibn Dawud Ibn Yadressan al-Buhadiwi. He is also known as Hassan al-Yusi. He was one of the greatest Moroccan scholars, and after his death he has been venerated as a saint. Al Yusi was born in the Aït Yussi of Enjil tribe south of Fès. The Aït Yussi tribe belongs to the Aït Idrassen confederation of the Middle Atlas Mountains. He was trained in Sijilmassa, Tamgrut in the Drâa, the Sous, and Marrakech. After he left Tamgrut, he spent 15 years teaching in the Dila zawiya until it was destroyed by Moulay Rachid in 1668. Afterward, he taught at al-Qarawiyin for five years, soon after left to teach in Marrakech at the mosque of the Shorfa, and then spent the remainder of his life undertaking several pilgrimages to the holy cities of the east. He died in 1691, and he is buried in the village of Tamzzazt (later called Sidi Lahcen near Sefrou), which is itself a major pilgrimage destination. A prolific writer, a restless traveler, as well as a holy man of considerable baraka (divine grace), al-Yussi is said to have authored about 48 books on literature, poetry, legal commentaries, and theological treaties, some of which have been lost. One of significant scholarly interest is his Muhadarat (Lectures), which is a register of major ideas, events, and debates of all sorts of the 17th century. He is also known for his three epistles to Sultan Moulay Isma`il (1672-1727) reminding the sultan of the limits of his power and denouncing his abuse of power. A biography of the life and times of al-Yusi is available in French by Jacques Berque (1958).

Historical Dictionary of the Berbers (Imazighen) . . 2014.

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