On the anniversary of the founding of the Association of Algerian Muslim Scholars on May 5, 1931 in (Al-Tarqi Club) in the capital, Algiers, following an invitation addressed to every scholar of Islam in Algeria, by an (institutional body) composed of neutral people belonging to the Al-Tarqi Club who are not known for extremism. Remind them of sensitivity or suspicion of the government, not of the Tariqans. They declared: that the association is a religious, disciplined society that seeks to serve religion and society, and that it does not interfere in politics or engage in it.
He answered the call and attended the founding meeting of more than seventy scholars, from various regions of Algeria, and from various religious and sectarian trends: (Malikis and Ibadis, reformers and Tariqis, employees and non-employees), and they elected an administrative board for the association from the most efficient men in knowledge and work, consisting of thirteen members headed by Sheikh Ibn Badis, who did not attend until the last day of the meeting and by special summons confirmed, was elected in absentia.
Neither the president of the association nor most of the members of its administrative board were residents of the capital, so they appointed (a committee for permanent work) from those who reside in the capital. It consisted of five members headed by Omar Ismail. It coordinated among the members, kept documents, set the budget, and attended the periodic meetings of the administrative council.
Ibn Badis did not attend the founding meeting of the association from the first, and behind that was a goal explained by Sheikh Khair al-Din, one of the founders who attended the public and private sessions to establish the association, saying: “Sheikh Mubarak al-Maili and I were in the office of Ibn Badis in Constantine on the day the sheikh called one of the reformers (Muhammad Abbassa al-Akhdari ) and asked him to call for the establishment of (the Association of Algerian Muslim Scholars) in the capital and instructed him to select a group of (the group of the Club of Progress) whose names do not arouse the government’s suspicions, or the fears of the anglers, and this group is responsible for directing the invitation to the scholars to establish the association (in Promotion Club in the capital) so that the meeting takes place in calm and peace, and the desired goal of the success of the establishment is achieved. And Sheikh Khair al-Din says: “And Ibn Badis confided to us that he will not accept the invitation to the meeting and not attend his first day until the conferees decide to summon him again in an official capacity, to attend the general meeting, so he will be an inviter, not an inviter, and thus avoid what will be the reactions of the French authority and the angles, And those who are embarrassed by every action that Ibn Badis does.”
Thus, the association was founded, and its administrative board emanating from the general meeting was formed, and the association’s activity began in implementing its program, whose interlocutor, Imam Ibn Badis, had seized in the meeting that was held in 1928 with elite scholars who returned from the East and from Tunisia, which was previously mentioned, and the people responded to this The program began to establish mosques, establish schools and clubs with its own funds, receive scholars and facilitate their mission.
In order to facilitate the supervision of the follow-up of the reform work, and the revitalization of the educational work, which is presented in the free schools, which began to spread throughout the country, Imam Abd al-Hamid bin Badis was assigned, upon a proposal from the association, Sheikh al-Tayyib al-Uqabi to supervise the work that is taking place in the capital and its environs, and assigned Sheikh Al-Bashir Al-Ibrahimi to take over the work that is taking place in the western side of the country, starting from Tlemcen, and keep Constantine and its environs under his personal supervision, and so the three shared the work in the whole country.
And in implementation of what was included in the basic law of the association, branches (branchs) were established in different parts of the country. In the first year, 22 divisions were established, and in 1936 the number of divisions was 33. In 1938, the number developed to 58 divisions, and this effort continued. Educational and reformist despite the obstacles and persecution that scholars and teachers were subjected to, but the note that must be recorded here is that the people accepted free education in an extraordinary way, so schools spread in all the cities and villages of Algeria.
After six years of the life of the association, Imam Abd al-Hamid bin Badis took the initiative to put in place a free and comprehensive framework for the association, which is more like a charter or constitution that he put in order to follow the guidance of the association in its reform and educational activities. Al-Shihab, fourth issue, thirteenth volume, in June 1937, then printed and distributed to all.
The assembly council was formed as follows:
1- President: Abdel Hamid Ben Badis.
2- Vice President: Muhammad Al-Bashir Al-Ibrahimi.
3- General Secretary: Muhammad Al-Amin Al-Amoudi.
4- Deputy General Secretary: Al-Tayeb Al-Aqbi.
5- Treasurer: Mubarak Al-Maili.
6- Deputy Treasurer: Ibrahim Bayoud.
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