The Muslim Leader Who Protected Christians

Ameer Abdul Qadir Al-Jazairi, one of the great people of Islam, and really to me is like the last Samurai Muslim because he embodied all the meanings of Islam.

He was a scholar, he was a sharif, he was ruler of a country, he was a merchant… he really embodied the sunnah in so many ways.

But when he was exiled to Turkey (first he was in prison in France). In France, all the French guards that guarded him in Marseille all became Muslims and there is a graveyard for these French people.

And then Napoleon II realized what a wrong was done to him and so he had him brought to Paris and given medals, even though they took his country away from him, because he was such a noble person.

He went to Turkey and then he moved to Damascus. When he was in Damascus in the 1860s, there were these programs against the Christians i.e. there were riots, they were attacking Christians. He, with his Algerian followers went out and defended the Christians against the Muslims.

He said a speech that was recorded in history:

“You’re dishonouring the Prophet of God. These people have done nothing and they are to be protected.”

Now, amongst those people was the French consul, the people that had taken his country from him and he fought them over 20 years from 1832 to 1850. He defended that consul even though he knew he was French. He was so overwhelmed that he wrote an article in a French newspaper that was translated. So he became well known.

Thackeray wrote a poem about him. He was mentioned in the European Parliament and then the Americans heard about him. There are three cities in America named after him.

President Grant was so overwhelmed by this act of magnanimity that he sent a horse and his two pistols to him as a gift. But Ameer Abdul Qadir Al-Jazairi told his followers that protecting these Christians is no lesser jihad… then what we were doing in Algeria when we were fighting the Christians to protect our country.

That is Islam, that’s why I’m Muslim… it’s not for all this madness out there, it’s because of people like that. Because that’s the embodiment of the Prophet’s Sunnah. To follow the sunnah is not about long beard and short robes, it’s that magnanimity of character, the ability to not want vengeance, not have that resentment because he saw God.

Somebody asked him why are the Christians taking over, he said because we abandoned our religion. And God is putting these people over us because we have humiliated His religion and now we humiliate ourselves.

That’s what he said. God says in the Quran:

{If you give victory to God, God will give victory to you.}

And he said but if you forsake this religion that God will manifest himself to you as the one who forsakes you.