Abu al-Walid was a Muslim Imam. With 3 young acolytes Suleiman, Hassan and Ali, he was on a hajj from the Tangiers System to his home in New Mecca on Helion Prime. Imam and his acolytes, unfortunately, took the ill-fated transport ship Hunter Gratzner. After the crash of the Hunter Gratzner, he and his acolytes remained faithful to their religion, but when the planet was locked in a total eclipse, the Bioraptors of the planet began to kill his acolytes one by one, testing his religious faith. Richard B. Riddick had no small part in this test, and he toyed with Imam during his crisis of faith, but the Imam soon became one of the few people who could be called something of a friend to Riddick.
He was one of only 12 survivors of the crash, and survived the trek to escape the dark planet, along with Richard B. Riddick and Jack B. Badd.
Shortly after escaping, they were captured by the mercenary vessel Kublai Khan. The captain of the ship, Antonia Chillingsworth and her second in command Junner held al-Walid and Jack hostage in order to force Riddick to battle captive Shrill for their entertainment. Riddick freed both of them and killed the Shrill. While escaping, al-Walid was knocked out by Chillingsworth, but regained consciousness shortly after Jack killed Chillingsworth. He escaped along with Riddick and Jack. Riddick, who was troubled by how easily Jack killed Chillingsworth, instructed al-Walid to take care of Jack on Helion Prime, and make sure that she did not grow up to become a criminal. Al-Walid agreed to this, and noticed that Riddick was researching a planet called U.V.6, and became the only person to know where Riddick planned to hide out for the rest of his life. Riddick trusted him with this information. They continued their trek to Helion Prime, and Riddick left for U.V.6 after dropping them off. Al-Walid tried to take care of Jack, but she soon left in search of Riddick.
In Chronicles of Riddick it is revealed that in the years since the Hunter Gratzner incident that he married a woman named Lajjun and had a young daughter named Ziza. He lived with his family on Helion Prime prior to the Necromonger invasion. He revealed to the Elemental Aereon that Riddick was living in self-exile on U.V.6, and Aereon hired a team of mercenaries led by Toombs to find Riddick. Riddick quickly defeated the mercenaries and learned from Toombs that a private party on Helion Prime hired the team. Riddick assumed this was the Imam, and, feeling betrayed, left Toombs for dead on the frozen planet and took Toombs' ship. He used it to fly to Helion Prime and confront the Imam. Riddick stole into the Imam's house (even though the Imam had locked all the doors in his house) and surprised the Imam when he entered his house. A team of Helion Prime Military troops had tracked Riddick to the Imam's house, and forcefully entered the house. The youngest soldier was ordered to guard the Imam in the house, who was suspected to be a traitor or spy for the Necromongers. Riddick quickly defeated them in the house, save for the soldier who was guarding the Imam of the house, who he spared. Shortly after Riddick dispatched the soldiers in the house (and mere minutes before the Necromonger invasion), suspicion towards al-Walid was at its peak in the house, and some soldiers thought that al-Walid would try to use his considerable ties to the government to escape prosecution, or perhaps get only house arrest. However, the Necromonger invasion put an end to this house of paranoia.
During the invasion, his family tried to escape the city by going from the house to New Mecca Station. Unfortunately, all the transport vehicles there were either destroyed or had already escaped, and they were forced to hide near their house. Necromonger and Helion forces engaged each other, and the battle separated Imam from Lajjun and Ziza for a short time. He was panicked and worried and tried to dash across the battlefield to reach them, but Riddick kept him from doing so (and saved him, because either side would probably fire on him). After the Helion forces were dispatched, the Necromongers moved through and for a short time Imam, his family, and Riddick appeared safe.
Soon afterward, a team of Necromongers, led by the powerful and infamous warrior Irgun, approached the house while searching for wounded Helion soldiers to finish off. When Imam was cornered by Irgun and his team near the house, Imam drew the Necromonger soldiers away from his family, by making himself their target. After he was cornered on the roof, he attacked Irgun with a pipe, even though he had never fought in close quarters. He was quickly slain by Irgun, and Riddick arrived at the site of the battle shortly afterward. Riddick felt extremely guilty over the Imam's death, as he was one of the few people close to Riddick. In revenge, Riddick tracked Irgun to the Basilica and slew him in front of the Lord Marshal, the Purifier, all of the best Necromonger commanders, and prisoners who were recently taken by the Necromongers.
Lajjun and Ziza managed to survive the invasion, and several days later, in the wreckage of Imam's home, they watched the Necromonger fleet retreat from the planet.
- He is one of the 3 people who escape the planet in Pitch Black. He is the first of the three die in The Chronicles of Riddick. The next being Jack who is stabbed by the Necromonger leader and dies in Riddick's arms, leaving Riddick the sole survivor of the Hunter Gratzner.