Introduction

The Tariqa Tijaniyya, sometimes referred to as the Tariqa Ahmadiyya, Muhammadiyya or Ibrahimiyya Hanifiyya, was founded in Algeria in 1784 by order of the Prophet Muhammad, may God bless him and grant him peace, in a waking vision to Sidi Abu Abbas Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Tijani al-Hassani, may God be pleased with him.

This Sufi way has since spread all over the world, with large Tijani communities today found in Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania, Egypt, Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Sudan, South Africa, Indonesia, America and elsewhere. Estimating the numbers of Tijanis around the world is difficult, but some estimates place the number around 100 million. Since the nineteenth century, the Tijaniyya has been the most prominent Sufi order on the African continent. Like most traditional Sufi confraternities, the Tijaniyya is inseparable from Islam and Tijanis have been important scholars within the larger Muslim world.

By way of illustration, we include here two seminal short treatises by renowned Tijani scholars that speak to the Tijaniyya’s inseparability from Islamic orthodoxy. As the contemporary Tijani Imam Shaykh Tijani Cisse said, “What we want from the Tijaniyya is just to be better Muslims.”

Articles

“The Eternal Islam” by Shaykh Ibrahim Niasse

This speech was delivered by Shaykh Ibrahim for the celebration of the Prophet's birthday (mawlid) in Medina-Kaolack, Senegal on July 19, 1965. An English version of the speech first appeared in a July 25, 1992 edition of Al Faydatou Tijania magazine (Cairo: Muhammad Ma'mun Niasse), which actually reproduced an earlier printing (1988) in the African American Islamic Newsletter, by Abdul-Hakim Halim of Detroit, Michigan. Halim later published the speech again in Shaykh al Islam al Hajj Ibrahim Niasse, Tariqa Tijaniyya: selected writings about Shaykh Ibrahim Niasse...

“The Essence of the Sufi Way” by Shaykh Muhammad al-Hafiz al-Misri

The Prophet said: “The men of learning are heirs of the Prophets, and the Prophets did not leave behind an inheritance of Dinars or Dirhams, they left only knowledge. So whoever acquires knowledge, he acquires an abundant share.”There is no doubt that part of the knowledge that the Prophets passed on as inheritance is the knowledge of ridding the soul or inner self of the layers of darkness, purifying it from the turbidity of matter and guiding it to the spiritual world, to the abstractness of the higher kingdom of God. The soul will then become pure...

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