About Tijaniyya Tariqa
Tijāniyyah Or Tijaniyya, an especially proselytizing order (tariqa) of Islamic mystics (Sufis) widespread in northern and western Africa and Sudan. Founded by Aḥmad al-Tijānī (1737–1815), formerly of the Khalwatī order, about 1781 in Fez, Morocco, it places great emphasis on good intentions and actions rather than on elaborate or extreme rituals.
The Tijāniyyah is a Sufi tariqa (order, path), originating in the Maghreb but now more widespread in West Africa, particularly in Senegal, The Gambia, Mauritania, Mali, Guinea, Niger, Chad, Ghana, Northern, and South-western Nigeria, and some part of Sudan. The Tijaniyya order is also present in the state of Kerala in India. Its adherents are called Tijānī (spelled Tijaan or Tiijaan in Wolof, Tidiane or Tidjane in French).
Tijānī places great importance on culture and education and emphasizes the individual adhesion of the disciple (murid). To become a member of the order, one must receive the Tijānī wird, or a sequence of holy phrases to be repeated twice daily, from a muqaddam, or representative of the order.
Founder Of Tijaniya:
Ahmad al-Tijani (1737–1815) was born in Aïn Madhi in Algeria and died in Fes, Morocco. He received his religious education in Fes, Morocco. Inspired by other Moroccan saints, he founded the Tijānī order in the 1780s. Tijānīs, speaking for the poor, reacted against the then-dominant conservative, hierarchical Qadiriyyah brotherhood, focusing on social reform and grassroots Islamic revival.
During the first period, some of al-Tijani’s adherents appointed khalifas and established new Tijani centers abroad.
Members of the Tijānī order distinguish themselves by several practices. Upon entering the order, one receives the Tijānī wird from a muqaddam or representative of the order. The muqaddam explains to initiate the duties of the order, which include keeping the basic tenets of Islam (including the five pillars of Islam), honoring and respecting one’s parents, and not following another Sufi order in addition to the tijaniyya. Initiates are to pronounce the Tijānī wird (a process that usually takes ten to fifteen minutes) every morning and afternoon. The wird is a formula that includes repetitions of lā ʾilāha ʾillā -llāhu (“There is no God but Allah”), “Astaghfiru Llāh” (“I ask God for forgiveness”), and a prayer for Muḥammad called the Ṣalātu l-Fātiḥ (Prayer of the Opener). They are also to participate in the Waẓīfah, a similar formula that is chanted as a group, often at a mosque, or Zawiyah once daily, as well as in the Ḥaḍarat al-Jumʿah, Hailalat al-Jum’ah another formula chanted among other disciples on Friday afternoon before the sundown.
Additionally, disciples in many areas organize regular meetings, often on Thursday evenings or before or after Waẓīfa and Ḥaḍarat al-Jumʿah, to engage in dhikr Allāh, or remembrance of God. This consists in repeating the phrase “lā ʾilāha ʾillā -llāhu” or simply “Allāh” as a group. In such meetings, poems praising God, Muhammad, Aḥmed at-Tijānī, or another religious leader may be interspersed with the dhikr. Such meetings may involve simple repetition of a group or call-response, in which one or more leaders lead the chant and others repeat or otherwise respond.
Occasionally, a group of disciples (known in Senegal as a daayira, from Arabic dā’irah, or “circle”) may organize a religious conference, where they will invite one or more well-known speakers or chanters to speak on a given theme, such as the life of Mohammad or another religious leader, a particular religious obligation such as fasting during Ramadan, or the nature of God.
The most important communal event of the year for most Tijānī groups is the Mawlid an-nabawī (known in Wolof as the Gàmmu, spelled Gamou in French), or the celebration of the birth of Mohammad, which falls on the night of the 12th of the Islamic month of Rabīʿ al-‘Awwal (which means the night before the 12th, as Islamic dates start at sundown and not at midnight).
Most major Tijānī religious centers organize a large Mawlid event once a year, and hundreds of thousands of disciples attend the largest ones (in Tivaouane, Kaolack, Prang, Kiota, Kano, Fadama, etc.) Throughout the year, local communities organize smaller Mawlid celebrations. These meetings usually go from about midnight until shortly after dawn and include hours of dhikr and poetry chanting and speeches about the life of Mohammad.