I - His origins

It is unanimously recognised among both the elite and the common scholars of this Tariqa that Sidi Hajj Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) is of noble and purified prophetic descent (lineage). The elite and the special saints such as Sidi Muhammad El Habib (may ALLAH be pleased with him), son of Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret), bore witness to this. When Sidi Muhammad El Habib (may ALLAH be pleased with him) wrote to him, after the laudatory salutations, praised him in this way: “Sidi Hajj Ali Tamacini el Hassani (that is to say the descendant of Hassan, son of Ali and Fatima, may ALLAH be pleased with them).” This testimony from the beloved Sidi Muhammad El Habib (may ALLAH be pleased with him) who had received the warranty of the divine knowledge from the Prophet himself (peace and blessings be upon him) is sufficient. Sidi Ibrahim Riyahi (may ALLAH be pleased with him), the pious scholar and great companion of Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret), also referred to his status as “Sherif” in a poem:

“The Sabt of the best creature upholds him
Through both a spiritual and physical lineage”

His status as Sherif was confirmed, among other things, by the fact that Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) established him at the station known Ghawth (Supreme Succour or Supreme Pole) and that of great Calipha of the Tidjaniya for approximately thirty years. Had he not been of noble prophetic descent, he would not have been able to bear this heavy burden for such a long time.

Indeed, the spiritual scholars and the virtuous know that whoever attains the station of the Great Qutbaniya without being of Sherifian descent, would not be able to assume this task for any length of time, because he would die and leave this earthly life for the hereafter. The reason for this is that his earthly body does not contain the fragrance of Muhammadian secret which is specific to his noble and purified descendants. Likewise, it is because of this particular prophetic secret that our Masters, the Poles who are descendants of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), were able to attain that which the Poles who were not of Sherifian ancestry were unable to attain. Sidi Hajj Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) was able to remain at this station for such a long time by the grace of this specificity.

Hereafter follows the genealogy of Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him). The virtuous Wali Sidi Hajj ‘Ali is the son of Hajj ‘Issa, who is the son of Hajj Muhammad, himself son of Hajj Muhammad, who is son of Moussa, son of Yahya, who is son of Isma’il, himself son of Muhammad, who is son of Ahmed, son of ‘Ali, himself son of Muhammad, son of ‘Ali, who is son of Hasan, himself son of Qacem – who was known as « the sower » son of Muhammad, who is son of Abou-l-Qacem, himself son of Muhammad, son of Hasan, who is of ‘Abdallah, son of Muhammad, who is of ‘Arafa, himself son of Hasan, son of Abou Bakr, who is son of ‘Ali, himself son of Hasan, son of Ahmed, himself son of Isma’il, son of Qacem, who is son of Muhammad Nafs Zakkiya (at this point his lineage joins that of Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) and our Master Muhammad otherwise known as « Nafs Zakkiya » is the son of our Master ‘Abdallah el Kamil, son of our Master Hasan Mouthana, himself son of our Master the Pole Hassan Sabt son of our ‘Ali ibn Abi Taleb and son of our Lady Fatima Zahra, may the peace and the approval of ALLAH be upon their pure souls.

It was related that once, during a meeting attended by Sidi Hajj ‘Ali (may ALLAH be pleased with him) that Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) mentioned the case of noble prophetic descent and he asked: “O my Master, am I a sheriff or not?” Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) replied: “Know that you are among the people who are closest to the Messenger of ALLAH (peace and blessings be upon him): yes, you are indeed a Sherif.”

Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini’s (may ALLAH be pleased with him) ancestors hailed from the region of Yanbou’ Nakhl in the Hijaz. A long time ago, this region was the place of residence of the Prophet’s (peace and blessings be upon him) descendants. In fact, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) had given a parcel of this land to Sidi Ali ibn Abi Taleb (may ALLAH be pleased with him) and consequently some of his descendants settled there and thrived in this area. Later, some of them moved to the Maghreb and were dispersed in several places. Through them, ALLAH (The Glorified, The Exalted) brought forth goodness and grace, awliya, great kings and elite scholars arose from their noble descent. The first of Sidi Hajj ‘Ali’s (may ALLAH be pleased with him) ancestors to leave the region of Yanbou’ for the Maghreb was Sidi Moussa ibn Yahya who was the great great grandfather of Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him). He stayed in Bougie, in Tunis and also in the Djerid without ever settling there. He moved towards the desert and finally settled in a village in the Wed Righ, near Touggourt. His grandfather, Sidi Muhammad came to settle in Tamacine where he passed away. His son, Hajj Issa – the father of Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) succeeded him.

Before the birth of Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him), Sidi Hajj Issa was a devoted servant to the Wali Sidi Touati, son of Sidi Ahmed, himself son of the reputed Wali Sidi Muhammad Sa-ih (may ALLAH be pleased with him). Sidi Muhammad Sa-ih was the great grandfather of the great companion Sidi Muhammad ibn Mechri (may ALLAH be pleased with him). Sidi Hajj ‘Issa had sincere love and deep faith in his Sheikh. He was devoted to maintenance of the date palms in his garden as if it had been his own property. When Sidi Touati realized the sincerity of his intention with regards to this service and the depth of his conviction and love, he called him saying: “ALLAH will bring forth a moon from your loins and my children will be the servants of your child.” The moon is the symbol of the Ghawth through whom ALLAH (The Glorified, The Exalted) brings forth his lights. Indeed, since the time of Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him), the descendants of the Wali Muhammad Sa-ih Sherif (may ALLAH be pleased with him) remain at the service of the Zawiya of Tamacine.

 

II - His childhood and his encounter with Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret)

Since his childhood, Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) was recognized by all as a virtuous person loved by ALLAH (The Glorified, The Exalted) and his Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him). As a child he enjoyed solitude to the extent that people thought that he was seized by authentic divine states. Sometimes his relatives worried about his absence and asked his father about him. He answered: “This Majdhoub! Go and see him, you will find him near the tombs.” As a matter of fact, during his childhood, he preferred the company of the tombs to that of people. Later, after having attained his station, he admitted: “During my childhood, the dead always used to talk to me, but these days, they don’t.” This is the proof that, even as a small child, he had attained sainthood, prodigies and spiritual opening as it has been related by the virtuous Saints. One of them said that, when Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) passed close to the tombs, he heard the dead calling out to him: “Peace be upon you O ‘Ali Tamacini.” And he ran away like any other fearful child.

(His meeting with Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) and his affiliation to the noble Tariqa Mohammediya Ahmadiya happened as follows:)

The first time he met Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) was through the intermediary of Sidi Mohamed ibn Mechri (may ALLAH be pleased with him). Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) had confided a trust to Sidi Muhammad ibn Mechri (may ALLAH be pleased with him) and instructed him to only give it to the person who asked for it. First of all, Sidi Muhammad ibn Mechri (may ALLAH be pleased with him) approached the people of his own tribe, thinking that the person who would obtain this gift could be among them, but this was not the case. So then he went to another region and then to Tamacine where he met Sidi Hajj ‘Ali (may ALLAH be pleased with him) coming out of his garden. Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) greeted him and offered him hospitality during his stay. They agreed to meet at the mosque after the ‘Isha prayer. When the prayer was over, they went together to Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini’s (may ALLAH be pleased with him) house and dined together. Then, Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) asked for the trust that the great Sheikh (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) had sent him. Since Sidi Mohamed ibn Mechri (may ALLAH be pleased with him) had never met him before, he hesitated to give it to him thinking that he would not be able to bear such a great secret. However, seeing the benevolence and the insistence of Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him), he knew without doubt that he was well and truly the person for whom the trust was intended, and gave it to him saying: “No deprivation for he to whom ALLAH gives.” This occurred in the year of 1203 of the Hegira when Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) was 23 years old.

In those days, he was in the service of virtuous wali among the men of God who came from Tamacine, whose name was Sidi Ahmed Boudarham el Hachani (may ALLAH be pleased with him). Then the news about Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) and his Tariqa became known, he felt within his heart such love towards him and a deep desire meet him, and so he requested permission from his Sheikh, Sidi Hachani, to go and meet him. Thus he set out to meet the Sheikh and Master Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret).

It was related by one of his near and dear that Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) had said: “My first encounter with Seyyidina Sheikh (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) occurred in the same year of the death of Sidi Muhammad ibn ‘Arabi Damrawi (may ALLAH be pleased with him).” This happened in the year 1204 of the hegira, about nine years before Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) left for Fes.

Before that, he met the companion Sidi Muhammad Sassi (may ALLAH be pleased with him) with a group of disciples who were traveling from Guemar to Ain Madhi and who had halted near Tamacine. Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) made acquaintance with them and took care for them. At that time, he was poor, married and father of two children. Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) asked them where they were going, and they replied: “We wish to visit the great Wali known as Sidi Ahmed Tidjani Sherif.” He said: “I also wish to meet him, but this year it will not be possible. If ALLAH, The Most High, wishes it, next year I will accompany you if you return to visit him.”

Despite his poverty, he insisted upon inviting the whole caravan to his home. He went home, he slaughtered his goat and ground the grain himself which he, then, gave to his wife so that she could prepare the meal while his two children attended the fire, in haste to invite the caravan before they moved out. When the meal was ready, Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) came towards them but, seeing him, the group leader, the Wali Sidi Muhammad Sassi (may ALLAH be pleased with him), knew his intention through unveiling and said to the other brothers: “This person from Tamacine has prepared a meal for you and invites you all.” They all replied to his invitation with joy and happiness. After which, they set off towards Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) and benefited from his blessed company.

On the way home, they passed through Tamacine, and the group leader said to them: « O people! This man from Tamacine who had invited you on the way there, is endowed with great blessings. You have noticed his high aspiration when he invited you, as well as that of his wife and his children, their joy and happiness although he lives in utter simplicity. You must gather whatever is needed to reward him for the kindness and generosity that he has shown you. From now on, when you are traveling to see the perfect Wali (Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret)) stop at his house, on the way there and on the way back.” So they gathered easily all the food, the wool and other gifts and went to offer them to him. Ever since this day, the house of Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) has become a blessed and noble halting place for all those from this region on their way to visit Ain Madhi. The following year, he waited for a group coming from Guemar and who were going to visit Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) in order to celebrate El ‘Aïd El Adha, and joined them.

When they reached Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret), Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) sat shoulder to shoulder with Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) who covered him with a part of his own cloth and kept him sitting by his side when the rest of the group were a certain distance away from him. This occurred in the year 1204 of the Hegira. His love for Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) totally overwhelmed Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) to the extent that he was incapable of leaving his master, and returning home. When his traveling companions reminded him of his family and his young children, he answered: “they are in his care and he knows their situation.”

He remains in Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani’s (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) company for many years, only returning to Tamacine as a guest during the season of the date harvest. After which he returned to Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret). He did this until he had attained the station that ALLAH (The Glorified, The Exalted) had chosen for him. Several times, with the permission of ALLAH (The Glorified, The Exalted), Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) had informed him of his particular station.

Once, he was sitting with Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) in the company of the greatest elite among the companions, after the recitation of the Hadra on a Friday (Haylalah), one of the companion stood up with Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani’s (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) permission and order and shouted: “Is it not true that this era belongs to ALLAH and His Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) as well as to Ahmed Tidjani and the Caliph ‘Ali ?” Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) quickly added: “Ali Harazim” and Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) said nothing. Then, the person repeated the same words and Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) repeated also the same words. This time, Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) turns towards him, and although he was quite far from him, he threw his rosary at him and said disapprovingly: “ALLAH and His Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) both say: “Ali Tamacini” and yet you say “Ali Harazim””. Ever since that day, Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) has kept the rosary and to this day it is preserved in the Zawiya in Tamacine along with Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani’s (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) walking stick and other personal effects. This event occurred after the death of Sidi Ali Harazim (may ALLAH be pleased with him).

Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) instructed him to return to Tamacine saying: “When you return in peace to Tamacine, focus on extending your house and prepare a place for prayer and zikr. Reserve also places for visitors and increase construction of buildings, for you will attain an objective such that people will come to see you from far and wide. Do not fear any restriction from the Throne Holder, seek the help of ALLAH for this.” As for Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret), he went with his family into exile in Fes in the company of Sidi Ali Harazim (may ALLAH be pleased with him) travelling through the village of Figuig.

 

III - Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Harazim and Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with them)

It is unanimously recognized both by the commoners and the elite among the people of the path that Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini has never met Sidi Ali Harazim (may ALLAH be pleased with them) in this world, although opportunities and gatherings where they could have crossed paths and met were numerous, because Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) often went to Fes to visit his Master Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret).

In fact, when Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) left his home town with the intention of visiting Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret), the latter, through his unveiling, knew this and followed him. As he approached, Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) called his great companion Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Harazim (may ALLAH be pleased with him) and instructed him to depart for a designated place entrusting him with a mission. Then, he welcomed Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) upon his arrival and attended to him. Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) benefited from the blessed sight of his Sheikh (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) delighting in his words until Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) saw through unveiling that Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) had completed his mission and was preparing to return. Then he instructed his companion from Tamacine to return home. As soon as he had left, Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) welcomed his Khalif Sidi Hajj Ali Harazim (may ALLAH be pleased with him) and in this way the two of them never met. This went on until Sidi Hajj Ali Harazim (may ALLAH be pleased with him) left for the Hijaz. Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) never revealed the spiritual secret which prevented these two particular companions from meeting in the same place during their lifetime.

However, although it was impossible for them to meet, they both loved and greatly respected each other, and used to send each other their fraternal greetings. Once, in the days of Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret), one of the noble brothers from Fes wanted to go to Tamacine. As he was leaving Fes, he met Sidi Hajj Ali Harazim (may ALLAH be pleased with him) who accompanied him to the gate of the city in order to bid him farewell. As they were walking together, Sidi Hajj Ali Harazim (may ALLAH be pleased with him) spoke of the perfect grace that ALLAH (The Glorified, The Exalted) had bestowed on their Imam, the Hidden Pole (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret), and the supreme particularities with which he had honoured him. At the moment, looking down, the noble brother saw the earth moving beneath their feet at an incredible speed. Although they only just left the city of Fes, Tamacine appeared before them. The brother asked Sidi Hajj Ali Harazim (may ALLAH be pleased with him): “Where are we now?” He answered: “You have reached Tamacine.” Then, he bid him farewell saying: “Convey my greetings to Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him)” and disappeared. The distance between Fes and Tamacine via the desert requires about one month of traveling.

Concerning the inheritance that his great grandfather had received from Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Harazim (may ALLAH be pleased with him) at the moment of his death, one of Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini’s (may ALLAH be pleased with him) descendants said: “When the great Khalif Sheikh Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Harazim was seized by ALLAH and reached the abode of the Hereafter, Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini took over his station.” This refers to that which Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) had said was one of his most important virtues: “Nothing will come from me except through the intermediary of Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Harazim (may ALLAH be pleased with him).”

 

IV- The testimony of Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) regarding Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him).

It is unanimously recognized by those who lived alongside the Perfect and Hidden Pole, Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret), that he loved Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) completely. He respected and honoured him and spoke of his particular rank to the other elite among his companions (may ALLAH be pleased with them). When Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) went to visit Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret), the latter informed his elite among his companions to prepare for his arrival. When the group of the travellers approached, Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) himself with the elite among his companions went to the gates of the city to welcome him.

Among other signs of respect for Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) that Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) demonstrated in the presence of his companions, he made him lead the prayer at the Zawiya, despite the large number of scholars and virtuous companions. On occasions such as this, Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) testified to his spiritual opening. As a matter of fact, Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) had the typical accent of his region, and so when he recited the Fatiha, he pronounced the ض (Dad) as د (dal). So, instead of pronouncing « …wa la Dallin. », he pronounced « …wa la dallin » and for this reason, after the prayer, somebody asked Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret), if the prayer was valid according to the Law (Shari’a), and Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) answered: “This man has the Fath (The Spiritual Opening), and praying behind a person who has the Fath is accepted.” This is sufficient testimony from Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) who emphasizes the great worth of Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him).

Concerning Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani’s (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) answer regarding the prayer behind he who has the Fath, it was related by the Master Abu-l-Qacem-Qucheiri, in his famous epistle about a story from Sidi Hassan Basri (may ALLAH be pleased with them) who said: “A Master entered the mosque to accomplish the Maghreb prayer and noticed that the Imam was not Arab and did not wish to pray behind him. Indeed, he feared mispronunciation because of his foreign accent. But, during the night, he dreamt that someone said: “Why did you not pray behind him? Know that if you had prayed behind him, then all your past sins would have been forgiven.””

The book Nuzhat el ‘Uyun contains the story of some jurists who went to visit a virtuous person. When they prayed behind him, they noticed that his pronunciation was mistaken and their opinion about him was altered. At night time, they went to sleep and during that night, they woke up needing to perform the major ablutions. At dawn, they went out to accomplish their major ablutions, they hung their clothes near to a spring and plunged in. At that moment, a lion came and laid down on their clothes. Paralysed by fear, they greatly suffered from the cold and then the virtuous man came and pulled the lion’s ears, reproaching him saying: “Did I not tell you not to cross the path of my guests?!” And the lion went away. Then the holy man said to them: “You have been preoccupied with your outer appearance but you are afraid of the lion. We, on the other hand, are concerned with our inner appearance and the lion is afraid of us.”

The Knower and Sheikh Abdelwahhab Cha’rani (may ALLAH be pleased with him) said: “Be very careful not to criticize the Saints (Awliya). If you hear mistakes in the recitation of the Quran and the Hadith, in reality it is not their pronunciation but your hearing which is mistaken.”

Here is another story about the merit of Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani’s (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) companion, Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him). One day, the blessed Muqaddam, the majestic Sherif, the servant of Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret), Sidi Tayeb ibn Muhammad Sefiani (may ALLAH be pleased with him), who was in charge of the household expenses, was questioned concerning a woman servant who was sick. Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) asked him: “Have you bought medicine for her?” Sidi Tayeb ibn Muhammad Sefiani (may ALLAH be pleased with him) answered: “We did buy some medicine for her, but they were of no use. Maybe it would be better to perfom Ruqiya.” Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) said: “Who could perform this for her?” And then he added: “The only person that I know for this is Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini, if he is present.” Sidi Tayeb ibn Muhammad Sefiani (may ALLAH be pleased with him) said to him: “I would have liked you to authorize me ; O my Master! But you only give your authorization to Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini.” Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) did not accept and repeated incessantly: “But who equals Sidi Hajj ‘Ali, O such and such!” And then he reprimanded him continuously until he regretted ever having said it. 

One day, Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) noticed a subtle desire among certain of his companions with regards to the station of Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him), because of the honour and the particular worth that Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) granted him, and of the precedence that he (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) accorded him over all others. Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) rectified this, declaring: “A single hair on the leg of ‘Ali Tamacini has more worth than forty Wali.”

Similarly, the first time that Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) came to visit Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret), he was sitting in front of Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani's (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) tent, while Seyyidina was inside. A woman brought some milk to offer to Seyyidina and came across Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) whom she mistook for a doorkeeper. “O servant!” she called out to him. “Yes! Yes!” He hastened to reply. Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) overheard his answer and said to the woman: “O such and such, he is not a servant, he is a Sherif.” Then, he turned towards Sidi Hajj Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) and gently rebuked him: “You hold a certain degree with ALLAH The Most High, so what is this station in which you place yourself. Do you mean to take hold of my secret although I am still alive?”

On another ocasion, Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) was walking with a sublime group of his companions and Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) was with them. He was right at the back of the group because he liked to go unnoticed when he was in the presence of his Master. Suddenly Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) was seized by a divine state and he called out for Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) at the top of his voice. Although he was right at the back of the caravan, Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) rushed towards Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) who turned towards his companions and, pointing to Sidi Hajj ‘Ali, said: “My situation and the situation of this person – pointing him out - is like a man who has spent a great deal of time requesting ALLAH The Most High to grant him a child. Then, reaching old age and despairing of ever having this child, the breath of Mercy of His Generous Lord grants him the child that he had so deeply desired and requested of His Master. Such is my situation and that of Sidi Hajj ‘Ali.” By this he was alluding to the station of the Qutbaniya that he was going to inherit from him.

When Sidi Hajj ‘Ali (may ALLAH be pleased with him) came to visit Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) in Fes with a group of men, among other signs of honor that Seyyidina granted him, he used to secretly receive him in his retreat room for the length of his stay without informing anyone. When certain particular companions asked for the reason, Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) replied through spiritual allusion understandable only to those who had tasted this spiritual experience: “I have kept him close to me in order to deal with certain concerns belonging to me which are under his responsibility.”

This is a glimpse of the care and attention that the Hidden Pole Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) demonstrated towards his special companion Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him).

The elite among the elite of the companions of Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) also showed him great deference and signs of respect. For example Sidi Muhammad ibn Mechri (may ALLAH be pleased with him) respected him deeply and always gave precedence over himself. Sidi Mahmoud Tounsi (may ALLAH be pleased with him) did the same. These two worthy companions were among the senior disciples in the company of Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret).  

It is said that as the death of the Perfect Knower and accomplished Saint Sidi Abdelqader Bouti Sa-ihi (may ALLAH be pleased with him) approached, he was asked: “To whom do you confide your children?” In this case, the word “children” refers to his spiritual station. He replied: “I entrust them to Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him).” This noble figure was among the elite of the elite and among the first disciples who were in the company of Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret). His sainthood was greatly valued and recognized by the members of the Tribe of the Shourafa of Bani Sa-ih living in the desert. He passed away before Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) settled permanently in Fes. 

Numerous other elites and saints, among those of the region of Oued Righ and Oued Souf such as the deep-rooted Wali Sidi Muhammad Sassi el Guemari and the truthful and perfect Wali Sidi Ahmed ibn Souleïman who is buried in Taghzout in the region of Souf, and also the pious Knower Sidi Tahar ibn Abdelsadaq who is buried in Tozeur, and the holder of great spiritual governance, the Wali Sidi Ali ibn Hanich, all bore witness to the elevated degree of Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him). The afore-mentioned noble persons received affiliation directly from the Great Imam, Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret), following the apparition of his first lights.

Other witnesses among the elite of the companions of the Hadra Ahmediya included the holder of the radiating authentic opening, Sidi Hajj Ahmed ibn Khalid who was buried in Kouinine in the region of Souf, who was also among the first disciples, as well as the pious Wali deeply rooted in compassion, Sidi ‘Abdallah Badah who was buried in Guemar. These persons are deeply rooted in Sainthood and this was recognized unanimously by both the common folk and the elite.

Abou Hafs Sidi ‘Omar ibn Kachkach Turki Qasantini (may ALLAH be pleased with him), the Lordly Wali, endowed with numerous prodigies, one of the great Knowers of the sacred Ahmedian circle, used to call Master Tamacini “The Desert Lion”. Noble Sidi Omar was among the seniors in the Tariqa. Among his prodigies, he attended Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani’s (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) wazifa every day in Fes while at the same time attending the wazifa morning and evening with the brothers in Constantine. He was present when Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) passed away, along with those of the world of mysteries. That very day, he returned to Constantine to inform the brothers of Seyyidina’s (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) passing.

 

V- Some of his sublime prodigies

Among his prodigies, we are told that Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) spoke with him from his blessed tomb. Since the Hidden Pole (Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani, may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) left for the abode of the Hereafther, some of the elite among the companions in Fes continued to converse with him before his tomb, and Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) answered clearly from his grave as if he were not dead, but simply sitting beside them. This lasted for several months until Sidi Hajj ‘Ali (may ALLAH be pleased with him) who was in Tamacine was informed.

He left immediately for Fes, and upon arrival, went directly to the blessed Zawiya. He faced the tomb and spoke the following words out loud: “Peace be upon my Master and the Mercy and Approval of ALLAH.” And Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) returned the greetings clearly and audibly and then questioned him about his situation just as a person who meets a companion after a long absence would do.

Then Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) humbly requested Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) to grant death its due, because he feared the possible consequences if people came to know. When Sidi Hajj Ali (may ALLAH be pleased with him) had finished speaking, he heard Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) say: “Know that I have consented to your request.” Then Sidi Hajj Ali returned home. From this moment on, when the particular companions approached the tomb of Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) to speak with him as usual, they noticed that he did not reply, even a single word, and understood what had happened.

Another prodigy is the grievance of a palm tree. One day, when Sidi Hajj Ali was visiting some of his palm groves in Tamacine in the company of the perferct Knower Sidi Ahmed ibn Souleïman Soufi Taghzouti (may ALLAH be pleased with them). As they were striding through the grove, they went past a palm tree. Suddenly, Sidi Haj Ali (may ALLAH be pleased with him) turned around and went to cover it with his robe. Then, with his own hands, he dug an irrigation canal to bring the water to the palm tree and explained to his companion: “The tree told me that it was thirsty because the servants had not watered it.”

Another prodigy is the return to life of his wife after her death. The wife in question was the noble Lady, the Sherifa, Saydat Khalwiya Sa-ihiya (may ALLAH be pleased with her). Sidi Hajj Ali (may ALLAH be pleased with him) held her in a high esteem because, amongst others, of her pure lineage among the descendants (Ahlou-l-Bayt) of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), originating from the Knower Sidi Muhammed Sayah. She was the mother of two of his children, Sidi Muhammad Seghir and Sidi Muhammad Lakhdar. She fell ill when her two children were very young and succumbed. Members of the household prepared for ghasl 'l- mayyit (the ritual purification of the body with clean and scented water) when Sidi Hajj Ali (may ALLAH be pleased with him) entered and found that his wife had passed away. He saw his two infants crying by her side, rolling on the floor with grief. Distressed by this sight and unable to bear seeing them in such grief, he withdrew hastily to his retreat room. Within a few moments, his wife’s body began to move and then came entirely back to life, and then she called her children.

Sidi Haj ‘Ali (may ALLAH be pleased with him) left his seclusion and said: “I swear by ALLAH that she has only return from the Barzakh with the permission and intercession of the Messenger of ALLAH (peace and blessings be upon him). I requested this of him because it was unbearable to see the children lamenting in this way.” Subsequently, she lived even longer than her noble husband Sidi Hajj Ali (may ALLAH be pleased with him), saw her children grow up and become great men.  

On another occasion, he saw and heard sublime Angels. Once he said to one of his close friends: “Since then, three times, an Angel came to me from ALLAH The Most High and said: “ALLAH is satisfied with you.””

Another time, one of his brother on the path lacked propriety towards one of the walis of ALLAH as a result of which the wrath of Sidi Hajj Ali’s station rained down upon him. Indeed, one of the members of the Tariqa Ahmediya who hailed from Souf came to Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) after the death of the Knower and Wali Sidi Ali ibn Umar Toulaqi (may ALLAH be pleased with him), who was the Sheikh of the Tariqa Khalwatiyya at that time, to inform him of this. He said contemptuously to Sidi Hajj Ali (may ALLAH be pleased with him) : “O my Master, I came all the way here to give you some good news. Ali ibn Umar is dead.” Sidi Hajj Ali (may ALLAH be pleased with him) turned to him and said: “O conceited one, you give me the good news that one of the pillars of Islam has collapsed ? I announce blindness and poverty for you and your descendants as long as you live in this world.” And indeed, this came to be because of his lack of respect and propriety for the Allies of ALLAH, although the recommendations of our Master The Hidden Pole (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) that stipulated: “We must not scoff the sacred nature of our Masters, The Walys, we should not disregard their worth. Honour the sacred character of all Walys whether dead or alive, because he who honours their sacred nature, ALLAH will honour his. He who distains them, ALLAH will bring him down and be angry with him. Do not depreciate the sacred character of the Saints.”

In the Book “The Boughiya”, Sidi ‘Arbi ibn Sa-ih tells the story of the scholar who had joined the path of Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) and who had manifested signs of spiritual Opening. Later, he dared to harm some virtuous people living in his city. One day, he visited Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) who did not even look at him, saying: “Get away from me.” And he chased him out. Even when he knocked repeatedly on the door, Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) refused him for ever. May ALLAH protect us.

There is also “the prodigy of the step” and the story about the bunch of dates which was told by the Wali and Knower Sidi ‘Arbi ibn Sa-ih (may ALLAH be pleased with him):

It is widely known that after Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) had settled in Fes, Sidi Hajj Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) used to visit him using “the prodigy of the step” (that is to say that with one step he reached his chosen destination) But Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) forbade him to perform such prodigies saying to him: “If you came to see me for ALLAH, you must come in the same way as ordinary people: with shoes, a walking stick and an escort. In this way, you experience the thirst, the fatigue and the fear that they do”. In fact he performed this prodigy several times. But this time, Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) scolded him, maybe in the sense that he should not do this in front of people, and ALLAH knows best.

At the time when Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) was building the blessed Zawiya in Fes, Sidi Hajj Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) used this prodigy to come and work on the construction alongside the labourers, as if he were one of them, and then he returned home in the same way.

One year, the special companion Sidi Mahmoud Tounsi (may ALLAH pleased with him) travelled to Tunis via the desert of Tamacine. A group of local thieves came to still his supplies. He became angry and went to complain about them to Seyydina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) using “the prodigy of the step”. At the same moment, Sidi Hajj ‘Ali (may ALLAH be pleased with him) came to hear about this. He knew that Sidi Mahmoud had used this prodigy to go to Seyyidina (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret). He was moved by compassion for the people of his region and he feared that Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) would invoke God against them and knew that they would be entirely lost including himself. So, he used the same prodigy to implore his Master (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) to show pity on his people before his invocation befell them.

By ALLAH’s decree, he reached Seyyidina (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) before Sidi Mahmoud. He said to him: “O Master, some people from my region have stolen some of Sidi Mahmoud’s supplies and he is coming to you to complain about them. If you invoke against them, my house will no longer have any influence, because they are the symbol and the fortification of my house” Then Sidi Mahmoud arrived, angry, and furious with the people of Tamacine who had been so malicious towards him. When Seyyidina saw him, he said: “Ukasha has preceded you.”

In the story of the bunch of dates, this famous prodigy comes under the category of the miraculous contraction of the Earth that ALLAH accomplishes for some of His Allies to such an extent that the distance separating Tamicine in Algeria from Fes in Morocco was no more than a cubit. Ever since this miraculous event and even during Seyyidina’s (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) lifetime, the disciples of Fes said when they saw Sidi Hajj Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) arriving: “Here comes the man with the bunch of dates.”

Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) performed the Asr prayer in front of a group of eight companions. When they had finished the office and he faced his companions, they had not noticed the presence of a bunch of dates. They looked at Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) astonished by the sudden miraculous apparition of these dates. Noticing this, he said to them: “This is the doing of this man” naming him and calling him a fool or something like that. After that when Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) met Sidi Hajj Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him), he reminded him what had happened and asked: “What made you to do this?”. He answered: “O my Master, forgive me. At that moment I was in one of my field. The workers were harvesting dates and I saw this bunch, it pleased me and I wanted you to have it there and then. This led me to throw it up and to utter secret words so that it would reach you.” Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) admonished him for that, and forbade him to ever repeat such things.

Once, he also eliminated and epidemic from the entire Algerian territory. This occurred when disciples from Oued Souf answered the call of Sidi Hajj Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) to come and defend Tamacine during incidents with oppressors from Touggourt. When they reached Tamacine, it was very hot. The air became unhealthy and affected their health, leaving them unable to fulfil their mission until they went to complain to Sidi Hajj Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him).

After hearing their grievances, he was overwhelmed by an authentic divine state. He seized a vessel in which water was boiling and swallowed its contents and said to them: “I have just drunk the disease that you feared.” According to another narration, he said: “Know that I have just eaten it.”

From that moment on, ALLAH (The Glorified, The Exalted) did not only lift the outbreak that had befallen them, but also all sickness in the entire Algerian territory for the whole year. They only reappeared after the end of that year. This was announced by people endowed with clairvoyance and some people were surprised at the disappearance of the epidemics. One day, one of the great virtuous Saints and authentic Majdoub (Enraptured by God) who lived in Souk Ahras answered their surprise saying: “Know that the diseases of this current year have been swalled by the Sultan of the desert.”  

 

VI. Some examples of his sincere love and intense attachment to our Perfect Master (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret)

If it were possible to penetrate the inner secret of Sidi Hajj Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) regarding his love for his Sheikh (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret), it would be difficult to describe it and impossible to write about. How could it be otherwise when it was an integral part of his nature and was manifest in his every state ? In every place, he evoked his unique and hidden guide and emphasized the quality of his special characteristics. Those sitting in his gatherings could only here remembrances of Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret), of his rank, his prodigies, his spiritual gifts and his perfection, and they experienced the light.

He considered all his worldly possessions as if they belong to Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret), and behaved like a servant taking care of his Masters’ possessions. Sometimes, he even brought his wifes’s clothes to him, and considered that Seyyidina’s (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) home took priority over his own. On numerous occasions, he took all his belongings to his perfect Sheikh, keeping nothing for himself or his children. Each time he gathered considerable worldly goods, he went to his beloved Master and gave him everything. He made his journey fourteen times, despite the difficulties and dangers en route, forcing him to leave home his land and his family for many months, which is a sign the intensity and authenticity of his love.

The enthusiasm of his love was recognizable by his states of divine majesty with regards to his beloved Master which were so profound that he was overwhelmed by them. So he began to sweat profusely and his eyes became red. This lasted for about three days during which time he was numb. It was impossible to go near him at this time and afterwards knowledge from among the great secrets unveiling the elevated station of the Hidden Pole (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret), the particularities of this noble Muhammadian Path and the merits of his companions, his beloved and those who are affiliated to the path, sprang from him. This sublime knowledge and these sacred secrets were not to be found elsewhere, in any book or manuscript, and it was impossible to write them down. Once, in the sway of one of his states of divine majesty, he said: “Only the part destined for Hellfire remains in this world, except for the followers of Tidjani or he who is an authentic and true Sherif.”

On another occasion when he was overwhelmed by this spiritual state as if he had lost consciousness, in the throes of mystical ecstasy, he said: “How knowledgeable is he who knows Seyyidina Ahmed, how loving is he who loves Seyyidina Ahmed, how eloquent is he who speaks of Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret).”

And when he spoke during assemblies, submerged in love for Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret), evoking his majesty, incomparable worth, and the particularities of his superior station, he would say to his companions: “Know that the merit of the Sheikh is far superior to anything that we may be able to say about it.”

An event demonstrated the signs of his authentic seat at the spiritual Ahmedian station and his jealous protection of it One day, he heard of the case of a famous Wali in the area of Touggourt by the name of Sidi Bouqafa Hachani (may ALLAH be satisfied with him). He lived before the Tariqa of Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) arrived in the region, and before his death, he left instructions for his family and his beloved so that they could benefit from his power of spiritual governance after his death. With the permission of ALLAH, all who called upon this method of mediation with this Majdhoub would inevitably see their requests granted and their problems resolved prodigiously. When the case of this illustrious Wali was spoken of before Sidi Hajj Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him), he exclaimed: “I tell you that this era belongs unquestionably to Tidjani, until the day of the Last Judgement, assistance and spiritual governance in these times belong only to Tidjani until the day of the Last Judgement. No spiritual governance remains in the territory of Tidjani for them.” Since that day, the prodigy of this Wali disappeared for ever and nobody was ever again able to benefit from this mediation which had nevertheless been so famous.

Among other signs of his love and specific knowledge, once during a gathering, after having warned of the difficulties of the times and the extent to which evil was spreading among the people, he said: « In this day and age, only the part destined for Hellfire remains, and everybody is drowning in the ocean of their sins except for he who is a certified Sherif or those who are protected by The Generous Divine Help thanks to which they are able to hold on tightly to this Tariqa Ahmediya. »

On another occasion, he was in the company of certain companions and beloved among the brothers, he looked up to the sky and said : « Everyone has been granted the Opening.” The group rejoiced at this good news. But he added: “I am talking about the demonic Opening and not that of the Entirely Merciful ” He was silent for a while and then said: “Indeed, these days, ALLAH –The Glorified, the Exalted- has received all his creatures with the whip of His Anger. Thus they cannot obtain a single benefit neither in this world nor the Hereafter. These days, only two categories of people can escape Divine Wrath: a person who is tied to the Tariqa Ahmediya and who practices it, or a person who is truly a descendant of the Messenger of ALLAH (peace and blessings be upon him).”

Among other things that he said is to be found his written reply to Sidi Muhammad Seghir El Achhab (may ALLAH be pleased with him), otherwise known as Ibn Mechri, in answer to his request for advice: “You have requested advice for the sake of ALLAH and his Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him). However, in this day and age, there is no longer any advice to give or deed to do (because advice is necessary when it is beneficial and not when it is detrimental). ALLAH (The Glorified, The Exalted) has decided for his slaves that the Earth would be corrupted along with those who live there. Remain only the deeds of he to whom ALLAH has granted the love of Seyyidina Sheikh Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) both outwardly and inwardly. We request ALLAH (The Glorified, The Exalted) and to the Lord of Existence (peace and blessings be upon him) to grant us the blessing of the love of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and the love of Seyyidina Sheikh Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret). May we, may you, and may all the brothers be gathered in group. Ameen.”

Among the particular signs of Divine Love attributed to those who are truly affiliated to Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret), he mentioned that the Awliya of The End of Time to whom ALLAH refers in his words: “Indeed, those for whom the best [reward] has preceded from Us” (Sourah 21 The Prophets, verse 101) are the companions of Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret).

The blessings mentioned in the verse: “The best reward (al housna)” refers to the station of absolute love preceded for Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret). Through his supreme blessings, this sanctified love has been extended to all those who are affiliated or connected to him, those to whom it is promised that: “They will not be grieved by the greatest terror, and the angels will meet them, [saying], "This is your Day which you have been promised"” (Sourah 21 The Prophets, verse 103)

Sidi Hajj Belqacem ibn Sayd Madani (may ALLAH be pleased with him), Imam of the great mosque of Kouinine, who was among the virtuous Saints who accomplished twelve thousand Salatoul Fatihi each day, related the following: “One year, I joined a caravan of brothers in the Tariqa hailing from Souf who were traveling to Tamacine to visit Sidi Hajj Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him). This was during his lifetime and we were blessed to meet him. …”

« …. One day he came to sit with us and broadcast joy and good news. He spoke of the superior station of our Master Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) and the merits of his companions and beloved and also the great worth of the Tariqa Ahmediya. At that moment he was surrounded by a large number of people who were listening to him. However, I was some distance from him. At that same moment, the thought of Sheikh Djilani (may ALLAH be pleased with him) crossed my mind. If The Truth, The Glorified, wants to reveal that which is hidden, then He brings about the causes of its revealing. In my mind, I requested Sidi Hajj Ali (may ALLAH be pleased with him) to reveal to me the reason why I was disturbed: “O Sidi Hajj Ali, at this very time, I recognize only as the ultimate Wali, my Master Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret). I request that you inform us concerning the degree of the Pole Sheikh Abdelqader Djilani (may ALLAH be pleased with him).”

Sidi Hajj Ali (may ALLAH be pleased with him) had his back to me and I continued to repeat this request in my heart while he spoke. But, at the very moment when this request within me became overwhelming and ALLAH wanted to reveal that which was hidden, Sidi Hajj Ali (may ALLAH be pleased with him) turned towards me and starred as if he had just noticed my state that I was in. Then he turned back, nodded, and lifted his head and said loudly: “O assembly of beloved, know that Sheikh Abdelqader Djilani (may ALLAH be pleased with him) is the Imam of the Saints.” Then he remained silent. Then Sidi ‘Ali ibn Hanich el Guemari (may ALLAH be pleased with him) quickly stood up from among the group and said out loud: “No, no O Sidi, you, you are our Imam.” Then Sidi Hajj Ali (may ALLAH be pleased with him) said to him: “Gently. Be gentle with yourself my dear. He is without doubt the Imam of the Saints of his day.” Speaking of Sheikh Abdelqader Djilani (may ALLAH be pleased with him).

Then, he was seized by a divine spiritual state which went from that of beauty to that of majesty and he began to perspire abundantly between the eyes, which was a sign that those close to him recognize when he was overcome by the spiritual state. He began to speak in a loud and powerful voice:

« At this very moment, the great Pole Sheikh Abdelqader Djilani (may ALLAH be pleased with him) seats in the highest Firdaws of Paradise, dwelling in truth and eternal blessings. He is surrounded by countless Houri who are all his wives and who are all at his bidding, in an attitude of utter subservience and propriety, awaiting his orders and fulfilling his least desires. And yet, at the same time, he is preoccupied by something other, weeping and wailing profusely in their presence. The houri asked him: “O our master, we are all at your disposal. Our Lord created us for you and placed us under your orders and your authority. If you instructed one of us to put even a single piece of one finger of one hand in the human world, then without doubt, the light of this finger would consume everything there just like a hair in the fire. But, despite this, o our master, you are weeping before us. What saddens you so when you are surrounded by the marvellous and pure blessings that ALLAH has granted you and by which He has singled you out.” When Sheikh Abdelqader Djilani (may ALLAH be pleased with him) heard this, he replied: “Mind your own business o Houri, leave-me alone, leave-me alone. I do not need any of you, and I am not interested in your merits.” »

They asked him: « Why not O Master? » He said to them: “Know that if my Lord had not given me any of you and instead of all of you he had given me a single degree of the last and most insignificant of the companions of Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret), this, for me, would have been better, preferable and more perfect than all of the blessings and beauty that you represent.”

Upon hearing the words our Master Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him), Sidi ‘Ali Hanich Guemari (may ALLAH be pleased with him) was overwhelmed by intense joy and happiness. He began to dance and shout: “What bliss! What bliss!” As for the rest of the assembly, they were immobilized in awe. Sidi Hajj Ali (may ALLAH be pleased with him) was distant and silent while Sidi Hanich continued to dance, unaware. Then, as if he had regained his spirits, Sidi Hajj Ali (may ALLAH be pleased with him) instructed for Sidi Hanich to be brought to him and to be covered. Then, Sidi Hanich became calm and emerged from his spiritual state. Regaining consciousness, he said: “O master, when I heard you speak of the merit of our great masters’ companions, I was unable to contain myself, and because of this I did what I did without being aware.” I felt so light that I thought I would fly up into the sky, such was the intensity of the joy that I experienced upon hearing this good news. So Sidi Hajj Ali (may ALLAH be pleased with him) said to him: “Know, my poor fellow that because of your love for Seyyidina (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) and your affiliation to him, the most beautiful joy and enduring bliss will be yours, not today but on the day of the Last Judgement.”

It is important to warn those who have had the honour to follow a spiritual path within this sublime Tariqa Mohammediya, and in particular with regards to hearing these immense and magnificent blessings which make the Poles weep.

Guard against transgressing the noble Law and disobeying The True without modesty and fear. Above all, vigilance is required, not to say: “With the love of Sheikh Tidjani, I’m fearless” or “I belong to Tidjani’s group, I need have no fear” or “Through Tidjani I am sure of entering Paradise, nothing can harm me” or “I am the son of a Muqaddam of the Way, therefore I fear not difficulty or adversity” despite warnings and exhortations to fear ALLAH (The Glorified, The Exalted) and to renounce passions the soul. This is great deceit and deception on the part of the devil.

Indeed the fact that you boast about following Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) when in reality you disobey him in many ways, is the cause of going astray, of rejection and of insult to him.

On the contrary, you expose yourself to a great number of difficulties by claiming to be affiliated to Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) all the while not meeting the conditions that tie you to him.

These pretentions are lies and Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) himself will bear witness to the extent to which you have strayed from him, a distance as wide as that which separates the Earth from the Sky. His warnings about this are numerous and repeated. Therefore, in these dark times, he who claims to love Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret), although his heart is empty and he is careless in following his instructions and recommendations, must cleanse and purify his heart, because this is the only way to purify his love for Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret).

If not, he should beware of the ruse of Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) against him, even if with his mouth he claims to love with a love which is higher than the sky.

Here is a very clear warning that was given by Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) which illustrates this perfectly. One day, during harvesting season, Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) was walking in his date grove when he saw a bunch of dates fall from the tree. When he took hold of the bunch, most of the dates came off and just a few dates stayed attached. So he said: “The situation of Seyyidina Sheikh’s (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) disciples, at the end of time, will be the same as this. Those who will have sincerely and firmly held on to their covenant and who will have persisted in true love without falling away from the origin will be like these few dates that have remained attached to the branch. As for those whose intention is corrupted, whose determination is faltering, whose love is untrue, even if they are affiliated to Seyyidina Sheikh (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret), will become detached from their origin, even after some time.”

This is what Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) meant by the following words: “Those who have taken the covenant of the Tariqa Ahmediya Tidjaniya and who are thus marked by the noble Ahmedian Seal, will not be able to leave it even if they are characterized by such and such shortcomings. If they should stray, their master will take hold of them through their appearance and keep them there. If he should stray a second time, then his master will seize his heart and he will never again be able to break away even if he has committed certain sins, with two exceptions, by which he would be completely cut off from both the Sheikh and the Tariqa. These two exceptions are visiting the Saints with the attention of seeking blessings through them and provoking harm for other members of the Tariqa. He who is tested by the two aforementioned exceptions –we seek refuge with ALLAH- even if he may be connected to them, we fear terribly for him “the very origin to which he is linked.””

For this reason, before he left this worldly life, he said to his children (may ALLAH be pleased with them): « Beware! Beware of believing that you are superior to his servants, because you and they are equally servants of ALLAH. Beware of thinking that this house belong to you, because it is the property of the Sheikh (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret). All of these possessions are his, nothing is mine, and so know that all those who are affiliated to Sheikh (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) are entitled to this house. »

He (may ALLAH be pleased with him) was entirely possessed by the love of his beloved Master (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret). He considered that nothing, be it knowledge, secrets or worldly wealth belonged to him and that everything belonged to Seyyidina Sheikh (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret), both during his lifetime and following his departure for the Hereafter.

One day, one of his close companions by the name of Sidi Lakhdar ibn Hamani (may ALLAH be pleased with him) asked him to point out Laylatul Qadr. Through respect for his beloved Master, Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) replied: “O my dear, Sheikh knows.” On another occasion, he sent a letter to the disciples in the town of Souf in which he gave the following recommendation regarding the Saints who have the power of spiritual governance: “Fear nobody, nor creature of this world, whoever they may be and whatever they may have achieved. Fear only ALLAH The Exalted, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and Sheikh (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret).”

Likewise, ever since he met Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret), he turned to no other but him. He did not even visit the tomb of his own father, Sidi Hajj Issa (may ALLAH be pleased with him) who was a Saint and whose tomb was frequently visited. He even erased all traces indicating the whereabouts of his tomb out of fear that his children after him would visit it, considering that they needed no one else but Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) and that everything was to be found at his door.

Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) vigorously ensured that the deeds of the Tariqa were carried out properly. At that time, the Wazifa in his zawiya was accomplished in four different places at the same time, that is to say that while the Wazifa was being performed in the zawiya, three other gatherings were also performing the Wazifa, among which a group including his wives and women servants who were in the women’s quarters, all in a single row, led by his son Sidi Mohamed Seghir (may ALLAH be pleased with him).

Another surprising example of his great respect for these noble formulas of evocation is the story of one of his servants named Said. Said consumed intoxicating drink made from dates, and this was a test for him. Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) forbade him on numerous occasions, but he did not stop. Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) decided to send him to some particular people in the town of Souf, hoping that he would be guided and would repentant thanks to them.

However, the servant secretly persisted. So they informed Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) suggesting: “Because he persists, it woud be preferable to sell him”. Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) objected immediately : « Know that this servant knows the Fatiha, the Salatoul Fatihi and Djaouharatou-l-Kamel and his name is Said (the blissful). Nothing in this world has his value. Send him to the region of Djerid.»

So, in accordance with these recommendations, they sent him there. However, on the way, the servant was touched by Divine Help. He sincerely repented to ALLAH (The Glorified, The Exalted) and vowed never to such things again. He was then sent back to his master who was so happy that he organised a feast to announce the good news that he had repented to the Lord.

 

VII - His enlightened claivoyance

Among the stories on this subject, it is said that one of his companions had a mother who held a bad opinion of the Sheikh (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret). He left his home and went to see Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) to ask him to request guidance to his mother. When he sat in his presence, Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) looked at him and before he had the time to say a word, Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) said: “O so and so, read the words of ALLAH The Most High which say: “You do not guide whom you love but ALLAH guides whom He wills.””

On another occasion, the wife of Sidi Tahar ibn AbdSaddaq el Guemari (may ALLAH be pleased with him) recounted: “Once I went to Tamacine with my husband to visit Sidi Hajj ‘Ali (may ALLAH be pleased with him). At that time, he was still alive. We stayed in a room in the zawiya, and every day he sent us morning and evening all the food we needed. We got used to this, and then my nafs made me unsatisfied with the quantity of food that the Sheikh sent us. I mention this to my husband who became angry with me and then he left to visit the Sheikh and stayed with him. At lunchtime, Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) instructed his servants to prepare a large dish overflowing with food and told them: “Put this in the room of Sidi Tahar ibn AbdSaddaq el Guemari.” At that time Sidi Tahar ibn AbdSaddaq el Guemari was with him and saw he thought “Maybe some other guests have arrived and he has put them in the same room as us and this copious meal is for them.” However, when he returned to his room, they were no other guests, only us. I ate until I was entirely satiated and we were satisfied, and so my husband gave away a large quantity of leftover. At dinner time, the Sheikh sent us as much food as at lunch time, and subsequently this huge amount of food continued to be sent to us, morning and evening. Sidi Tahar ibn AbdSaddaq el Guemari went to see Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) and said: “O Sidi, we have eaten and shared the rest, but there is still too much food let over”. By this he wanted to suggest that he would reduce the quantity and send us just enough to meet our needs.” Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) spoke to him by unveiling about what I had said: “Women are diminished and are only satisfied by a large quantity food.” My husband came and scolded me saying: “Here we are, Sidi Hajj ‘Ali heard your words about the lack of food.””

Again, there is the story of the pious wali and vertuous Muqaddam Sidi Ahmed ibn Tayeb aslo known as Ibn Charqi el Qansantini (may ALLAH be pleased with him). He was among the elite of his truthful disciples and he travelled to Constantine to meet him, before the French took over his town. Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) clearly announced to him that the French were going to take over Constantine and he said: “Beware of fleeing when the French take hold of the city because if you leave the city, you will have to return.”

When ALLAH’s (The Glorified, The Exalted) decree and destiny were accomplished and the city was conquered, Sidi Ahmed Charqi (may ALLAH be pleased with him) and his family, went into exile in Tunis in order to escape the colonizers. However, his situation in Tunis deteriorated to such an extent that the only solution he could find to his difficulties was to return to his home town Constantine. Indeed, once he had returned home, his situation improved and he stayed there until his decease and burial.

It is said that, once, he called one of his particular companions and said: “Heed my recommendations. A plate of food will be placed in front of you. Poke your index finger in the middle of it and say: “Wrath and ire against the meal of he who denigrates. Wrath and ire against the meal of he who denigrates. Wrath and ire against the meal of he who denigrates.”” A long moment passed and then. This particular companion met a person from a different soufi path than that of Seyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret). This person detains authentic secrets which allowed him to have a certain power over things. He had a large dish which he would fill with food and then recite certain Names and particular evocations after which he would offer it to people who could it their fill although the dish remained full. Even when more than a hundred people ate, the meal remained intact.

One day, this person said to this disciple with the intention of confusing him (because he knew that this disciple was following the Tidjaniya Path): “O so and so, are you ready for me to show you my dish that nothing can change. If ever you can eat all the food that it contains, then this the proof that your path is the most perfect and the noblest as you believe.” The disciple replied: “Bring me your dish.” He ordered for the dish full of food to be placed in front of the disciple, who suddenly remembered the recommendations given to him by Sidi Hajj Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him). He poked his index finger into the middle of the food and said: “With your authorization O Sidi Hajj ‘Ali, wrath and ire against the meal of he who denigrates” and he repeated it three times, as instructed by the Sheikh.

Then he began to eat. All the while the other person stood reciting his evocation so that his dish would be covered with blessings. But the disciple ate absolutely everything and then asked: “Do you have another dish? If so, please bring to me.” The other person was dumbfounded and amazed that his secret had been swallowed in one go by this Tidjani disciple.

On another occasion, a person travelled from his town to visit Sidi Hajj Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) and, on the way, he fancied grilled fish with semolina bread that was to be found in the big cities. When he reached Tamacine, and was blessed by meeting Sidi Hajj Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him), the latter instructed one of his servant to bring him the meal of his house. It was grilled fish with semolina bread just as his visitor had desired, although fish was nowhere to be found in this desert region.

He also predicted by subtle allusion certain events connected to the death of Sidi Ahmed Ammar son of Sidi Muhammad el Habib Tidjani (may ALLAH be pleased with them) in the region of Souf. People only understood the meaning of this allusion when Sidi Ahmed Ammar (may ALLAH be pleased with him) was exhumed in the town of Guemar and then buried in the village of his ancestors in Ain Madhi, although this event occurred more than fifty years after his prediction.

He also predicted several times, long before it happened, sometimes explicitly and sometimes by allusion, the taking of Alger and the surroundings area by the French.

On another occasion, he announced that in a certain part of Tamacine, the body of a descendant of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) had been buried long ago. He strongly warned people against walking in this place. There was no visible trace of a tomb whatsoever, but, many years after the death of Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him), the unblemished body of a man which had suffered no alteration was exhumed from this very place. It is possible that this person was someone who held a high spiritual station with Divine Presence and this is the reason why Sidi Hajj Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) warned against walking in this place.

Sidi Hajj Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) possessed great knowledge of spiritual unveiling (Mukachafa) that he fully mastered. He saw the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) frequently. On this subject, a discussion that he had concerning the vision of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) experienced by the Wali is related. One day, he was evoking ALLAH (The Glorified, The Exalted) with some brothers when he said: “O so and so, some of those present here with you at this time do nothing however big or small without the permission of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) through spiritual unveiling and vision. They do not even go to sleep without the permission of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).” Those who heard him understood that he was speaking of himself.

Sidi Abdelaoui (may ALLAH be pleased with him) said that once he was with Sidi Hajj Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) and wished to request the title of Muqaddam so that he would be able to transmit the noble Wird. He said: “At the moment when this intention crossed my mind, Sidi Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) turned to me and said: “you are authorised to give the Tariqa to anyone who requests it.” I gave thanks to ALLAH for this great blessing. It was in this way that he unveiled that which was hidden.”

 

VIII- The healing of sickness and other ailments, with ALLAH’s permission

A man hailing from Guemar who was afflicted with a boil due to the plague on his testicles which swelled and caused him intense suffering. He was poor and did not have the means to pay for treatment, so, he formulated the intention to visit Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) to ALLAH (The Glorified, The Exalted) on his behalf, hoping that, through his blessing, ALLAH would heal him.

When he arrived, He found Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) sitting on his mat outside the door of the Zawiya, and before he had time to speak of his problem, two donkeys came towards them. The two donkeys began to rub against each other and one of them mounted the other. Then Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) said to the man: “Get up and separate them.” Some people who were present said: “O Sidi, he is very sick and does not have the strength to separate them, order one of us to do it in his stead.” But Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) replied: “No, no, he must do it himself.” Despite his pain, the sick man stood up and walked towards the donkeys. When he tried to separate them, one of the donkeys kicked him directly in the painful swelling.

The man screamed and fainted. When he woke up, he saw that his boil had burst due to the powerful kick of the donkey. The pus came out, the intense pain subsided and the swelling diminished. Through the blessings of the master, even before the man reached home, he was entirely cured and suffered no after-effects.

Another time, a man was brought to him who was unable to leave his bed and who had to provide for his family. When Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) entered his room, the man began to shout requesting the Sidi Hajj Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) to save him from the misfortune that had befallen him. Sidi Hajj Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) said to him: “O my poor fellow, what do you want me to do, we are all under the protection of the Sheikh (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret), go and consult a doctor and receive treatment.” He repeated the same thing several times as was his wont in such circumstances. Indeed, in the first place, he pointed all those who sought healing from him in the direction of the doctors.

The sick man continued to plea for help, lying beside him, until he succumbed to sleep. Seeing that he was in a deep sleep, Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) approached him and shouted loudly. The sick man woke up suddenly, startled by the loud shout of Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) who said to him: “Get up and walk.” The man got up and was able to walk.

Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) added: “Do you feel any pain?” The sick man replied: “I feel no pain, O Sidi!” Then Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) said to him: “Go now and know that pain and diseases will no longer afflict you with the exception of that which precedes your death.” The man returned home in good health and vitality as if this disease had never occurred. After that, he leaved many years during which he knew no sickness until, just before his death, he fell slightly sick and then died, just as Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) had predicted.

On another occasion, a man who suffering greatly from a sickness that the doctors were unable to cure was brought to him. Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) ordered for him to seat beside him and placed his hand on the place which was ailing him, upon which the man fainted. Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) asked his servants to carry him into a room, to cover him and to leave him alone. When the man awoke, he stood up immediately as if he had never been sick. Afterwards, he was asked about the reason for which he had fainted to which he answered: “When Sidi Hajj ‘Ali placed his hand upon me, I saw him become bigger and bigger until he had reached an impressive size and then I lost consciousness.”

One of the sublime prodigies that he demonstrated when he was helping people who implored him from far away is that of one of his truly near and dear who hailed from a tribe in Nememcha. This man was imprisoned, falsely accused of a serious crime. He was sentenced to twenty years in prison and was sent to France to serve his sentence. Shortly after his imprisonment, ALLAH (The Glorified, The Exalted) gave him the idea to implore His Help through the intermediary of Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him), which he did, imploring ALLAH to deliver him from this situation. Then he fell asleep and dreamt of his master Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) who said to him: “Know that you will leave this prison tomorrow by the permission of Your Lord.” When he woke up, he told this to some of his cell mates who moked him saying: “How could you leave this prison tomorrow when you are condemned to spend twenty years in this gloomy place. In your dreams!” Then next day, after the sun had risen, the jailer called his name and said to him: “The judge has ordered us to let you out today and allow you to join your family and your country.” This is actually what happened.

Sidi Hajj Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) was present when Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) passed away. Three days before Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) passed away, when Sidi Hajj Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) was fifty-one, he visited him to pay his last respects and received the Caliphate (the succession) directly from him, written by his blessed hand, as well as his recommendations concerning his children and all the people of the path. On that day, Seyyidina (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) instructed him that the following day he should leave Fes for his planned destination without delay. Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) was moved and replied: “I am your servant, I have become attached to your company. I cannot bear to be separated from you, what you are saying is terrible and heart-breaking.”
He broke into tears before Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) who said: “Why are you crying? This verdict is inevitable. It is impossible for the creatures to escape it. Be patient and your patience is but from ALLAH and be strong in yourself. I have appointed you as my Caliph and my replacement, I bequeath you my secrets, I delegate to you my recommendations for my children, my wives, my servants, my companions and my beloved among the people of the path. Our Lord will sustain you in all this, may He be Glorified and Exalted.” He also said: “Our Tariqa is transmitted from living being to living being and you are my successor in this Tariqa.” Sidi Mahmoud Tounsi, Sidi Ahmed ibn Souleïman Taghzouti and Sidi Tahar ibn AbdeSaddaq (may ALLAH be pleased with them) were all present when these instructions were given.

Upon the death of Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret), Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) manifested the incomparable signs of the great Fath. People began to arrive from far and wide to take the Baraka of the Tariqa through his intermediary. On one occasion, two hundred people affiliated to him who came from far away arrived at the same time to request the Taqdim (Title of Muqaddam allowing the transmission of the authorization to practice the Tariqa) in order to convey the litanies.

Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) passed away in 1260 of the Hegira at the age of eighty and was buried in his home town of Tamacine (South-east Algeria). His tomb is incessantly irrigated with mercy. Such was the life of this man of many blessings.

 

Research and translation by Zawiya Tidjaniya el Kubra in Lyon, France