'Abd Allah al-Ghalib bi-'llah was the second Saadian sultan of Morocco. He came to power -- to the throne -- as the legal heir of Mohammed ash-Sheikh. From his first wife, Mohammed ash-Sheikh had had three sons, but the two oldest had died (in 1550 and in 1551). Abdallah, the third son, was 40 years old when he became sultan and received the name al-Ghalib bi-'llah. Before that he had been viceroy of Marrakesh and governor of Fes.
Shortly after 'Abd Allah became sultan, three of his younger brothers fled the country and joined the Ottoman Turks: Abd al-Malik and Ahmad, both future Sultans of Morocco, spent 17 years in exile in the Ottoman Empire, between the Regency of Algiers and Constantinople, where they received Ottoman training.
During a relatively peaceful reign 'Abd Allah succeeded in warding off both the Spanish and the Turks and in consolidating the sovereignty of the Saadians over Morocco. He fought the invading Turks in 1558 at the Battle of Wadi al-Laban and drove them out of the country. The Moroccan ruler had formed an alliance with the Spanish against the Ottomans. After his victory he even occupied Tlemcen for a short period.
In 1568, 'Abd Allah supported the insurrection of the Moriscos in Spain.
'Abd Allah al-Ghalib bi-'llah died on January 22, 1574 of an asthma attack. After his reign, a period of civil war was to follow that lasted four years.
Marrakesh (Marrakech) was 'Abd Allah's place of residency. He gave the city the Muassin mosque, a maristan (a hospital usually attached to a mosque) and the Ben Youssef Medrassa. He also reconstructed the al-Mansouria mosque.
'Abd Allah was succeeded by his son 'Abd Allah Mohammed, despite a Saadian inheritance rule that would have made 'Abd Allah al-Ghalib's younger brother, the exiled Abd al-Malik, next in line to the throne.
Alternative names include:
‘Abd Allah al-Ghalib bi-’llah
'Abdallah al-Ghalib Billah
Al-Ghalib bi-'llah, 'Abd Allah
Al-Ghalib Billah, 'Abdallah
Bi-'llah, 'Abd Allah al-Ghalib
Billah, 'Abdallah al-Ghalib
Ghalib bi-'llah, 'Abd Allah al-
Ghalib Billah, 'Abdallah