The “Forum for the Followers of the Tijaniyya Order,” convened in Fes, Morocco, under the royal patronage of the His Majesty Muhammad VI, was a stunning testament to the depth and breadth of Tijani scholarship around the world. Scholars and eminent shaykhs came from such diverse places as Senegal, Nigeria, Mauritania, Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan, Dubai, Sudan, South Africa and America to present and discuss the significant historical and present-day role of the Tariqa Tijaniyya in spreading Islam, in guarding the peaceful and expansive essence of the religion, and in actualizing spiritual and ethical training for Muslims around the world. In an open letter to the Forum’s participants dated 25 June 2007 and read aloud by the Minister of Endowments and Religious Affairs, Dr. Ahmad Tawfiq, Sultan Muhammad VI welcomed his distinguished guests in the following manner:
Morocco is delighted to welcome today this distinguished elite of Tijani leaders, disciples and supporters, who have come from different parts of the world, carrying the shining torch of piety and righteousness under divine guidance. This country is determined to remain true to its spiritual and civilizational heritage, and to its commitment to stay the focal rallying point of the Tarika Tijania. You can count on Morocco’s support in your effort to disseminate its radiant message and expand its scope for the sake of Islamic, Maghrebian and African solidarity. We want the Tarika Tijania to emerge as a pillar of African unity, playing a pivotal role in the continent’s educational systems … I shall endeavor to strengthen the bonds which unite Morocco to your sister nations and enlightened leaders. Our sole objective is to shield Sunni, tolerant Islam and keep it pure and immune to heretical views, blind extremism and biased politicization … There is no doubt that the Tarika Tijania, whether in Africa or in the Islamic world as a whole, has a key role to play in rekindling and enhancing the fervor of moral and spiritual education, and in cleansing the souls from the evil temptations of discord and division, boosting, instead, their propensity to forge union and harmony … This is the golden rule for building a cohesive, healthy, solidarity-based society. It is a fundamental prerequisite for the emergence of a Muslim Umma which was ordained by God, as a moderate community guided by the eternal light of Islam.
The highlights of the four-day event included a key-note address by the Senegalese Imam Shaykh Hassan Cisse, which concerned the personality of Shaykh Ahmad Tijani, the special characteristics of his Muhammadan Path (Tariqa Muhammadiyya) and the later emergence of such eminent personalities as al-Hajj Umar Futi, al-Hajj Abdoulaye Niasse, al-Hajj Malik Sy and Shaykh Ibrahim Niasse. Shaykh Hassan also was asked to give the concluding remarks for the conference. Other significant addresses included introductory remarks given by Sharif Ibrahim Salih al-Husseini (Nigeria), remarks on the future of the Tijaniyya given by Professor Ibrahim Diop (Senegal), a letter from Shaykh Mansour Sy (Senegal) read by his representative, and a discussion of the Tijaniyya’s role in fostering African unity by Shaykh Uthman Tahir Bauchi (Nigeria). Other primary presenters included Sharif Sidi Tijani Muhammad al-Kabir (Morocco), Shaykh Abdullah al-Mishry (Mauritania), Shaykh Abdussalam Ali Husseini (Egypt), Shaykh Muhammad Kabir al-Ba’aqili (Morocco), Dr. Abd al-Qadir Abu Akri (Sudan), Shaykh Muhammad al-Eid al-Tamasini (Algeria) and Shaykh Zine al-Abidine (Sudan).
Interlocutors (mutadakhilin) also called on to speak included Shaykha Maryam Niasse (Senegal), who spoke on women’s education, Shaykh Muhammad al-Amin Niasse (Senegal), Shaykh Munir al-Khaydari (Mali), Shaykh Muhammad al-Hafiz al-Nahwi (Mauritania), Shaykh Khalid Sana (Burkina Faso), Shaykh Ahmad Tijani Ben Omar (Ghana), Hajja Ashaki Taha-Cisse (America), Dr. Aoua Bocar Ly-Tall (Canada), Zakariya Wright (America) and Shaykh Fakhruddin Owaisi (South Africa).
The conference was also blessed by the attendance of many noble descendents of the Prophet Muhammad through Shaykh Ahmad Tijani. Other notable scholars in attendance included Shaykh Ahmad bin Muhammad al-Hafiz (Egypt), Shaykh Ahmad Khidr Mahmud (Sudan), Shaykh al-Tayyib Basalaman (Indonesia), Idris al-Busiti (Morocco), Shaykh Hamid Abd al-Rahman (Sudan), Shaykh Abd al-Samad Urizzi (Italy), Imam Sayyid Abdussalam (America) and Muhammad Naveed Tijani (Pakistan), to name but a few.
More information can be viewed on the official website for the conference, http://www.forumtijaniya.ma/, although the reader should be aware the program was significantly altered from the preliminary information appearing on the site.
We are pleased to present the following addresses from the Tijani forum:
- Keynote Address by Shaykh Hassan Cisse, Part I
- Keynote Address by Shaykh Hassan Cisse, Part II
- Keynote Address by Shaykh Hassan Cisse, Arabic
- Concluding Remarks by Shaykh Hassan Cisse
- “The Future of the Tariqa Tijaniyya in America,” by Hajja Ashaki Taha Cisse
- “The Tariqa Tijaniyya and Education,” by Zakariya Wright