Photos of Abu Semghun (Bussemghun): the famous khalwa (place of spiritual retreat) of Sidi Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret), and adjoining rooms

Photos of Abu Semghun (Bussemghun): Leaving the apartments of the Khalwa of Sidi Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret). The old alley and the Masjdi Atic

Photos of Abu Semghun (Bussemghun): The splendid oasis of Bussemghun

Photos of Abu Semghun (Bussemghun): The splendid oasis of Bussemghun

Photos of Abu Semghun (Bussemghun): The splendid oasis of Bussemghun

Photos of Abu Semghun (Bussemghun): The splendid oasis of Bussemghun

If Ain Madhi is the birth place of Seyyidina Ahmed Tijani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) and as such is the cradle of The Tidjaniya Tariqa, Bussemghun is also of importance, for it is in this village that a crucial landmark occurred in the life of Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret).
Indeed, it was around 1781-82 ad i.e. in the year 1196 of the hegira, after having left Tlemcen, that he retreated in this blessed place where he had the great spiritual opening (cf The life of Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret)). Here, in an awaken state, he saw the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) who gave him direct initiation and entrusted him with his spiritual path: The Tariqa Ahmediya Muhammediya Ibrahimiya Hanifiya.
Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) had established his home in Bussemghun. His disciples, in Bussemghun and its surrounding area (Shellala Gueblia where the maqam (places of worship) of Seyyidina Sheikh (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) and his descendents are located), were very loyal companions. In a manner of speaking they were the “Ansar” of the Sheikh, always in the service of the Tariqa from many generations. Seyyidina (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) said to them: “O people of Bussemghun, whatever your situation, you have my entire approval and may ALLAH treat you with his Apprabation”
Like Ain Madhi, Bussemghun comprises a recent town and the ancient city which is known as the ksar. Bussemghun is the name of a Qutb (Pole) who resided in the city and where he is buried. It is said that forty poles would have lived in this town and the fortieth was Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret). From the recent town, taking a path lined with fruit trees, we reach the Ksar of Bussemghun, an ancient fortified town built on a hill. In the early eighty’s, the ksar was evacuated because of the threat of collapse. The ksar is surrounded by small hilloks on which graveyards are to be found. It is even said that the oldest graveyard dates back to Antiquity.

In the main alley leading from the main door of the ksar to the market place, is to be found Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani’s (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) house. By opening the door, we enter the courtyard; the house is on the right of which the top floor is in ruin. Entering the house, we find ourselves in a large room which used to be the kitchen. Next to this room, is another room which was occupied by the Sherif and companion of great worth, Sidi Muhammad Ibn Arabi Damrawi (may ALLAH be pleased with him). He was in the service of Seyyidina Sheikh (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) and was his privileged intermediary in his dialogue with the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) (cf The life of the companions). We even know the precise place in the room where he perfomed his adoration and litanies. In this room is also to be found a jar dating back to the time when the inhabitants of Busemghun offered the first butter of spring to Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret).

Juxtaposed to this last room, on the left, is the khalwa of Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret), that is to say his place of spiritual retreat in which he obtained the great spiritual opening. Indeed, in this room, in the middle of the day, whilst he was in an awakened state, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) came to him. The khalwa is a place of great austerity, profoundly mystical bearing witness to asceticism and great spiritual rigor of Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret). In the back of the room is the bench of the Sheikh (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) raised and made of thick planks of palm wood (the bench was raised to avoid the cold coming under the door). Above this bench, a wooden beam is sunk into the wall to which was attached a cord that Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) attached around his neck. Thus, if he happened to doze off during the recitation of the litanies, the cord would strangle him and keep him awake.
Recently, the khalwa has been renovated and the house of Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) has been refurbished in order to accommodate the increasing number of visitors. In Bussemhoun, we should also point out that there is the mosque of Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) built by his devotees. Near the mosque are the tombs of Seyyidina’s wife and two of his children, Sidi Mokhtar and Sidi Ismail (may ALLAH be pleased with them both) died in infancy.
After eighteen years in Bussemghun and its area, Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) left the country (around 1798/99 ad) which was oppressed by the Turkish authorities and their unjust law at the time, and moved to the famous town of Fes, the sanctuary of knowledge governed according the precepts of Divine Law (Shari’a). On the painful occasion of his departure, the inhabitants of Bussemghun, men, women, and children wanted to abandon their magnificent village to follow him, but Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) consoled them and asked them to stay.
In this regard, the following verses were declaimed: “On the seventeenth day of the month celebrating the birth of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) (Rabi el Awwal), in the year 1213, Bussemghun cried, having lost the breath of the pole Tidjani who, of all creatures, is without doubt the complete irrigator. So Fes rejoiced in the arrival of Tidjani, on the sixth day of Rabi thani of the same year.”