بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

اللهم صل على سيدنا محمد الفاتح لما أغلق والخاتم لما سبق ناصر الحق بالحق والهادي إلى صراطك المستقيم وعلى آله حق قدره ومقداره العظيم

Your questions

First and foremost, allow me to glorify your great work that you are accomplishing for the development of the Tariqa Tidjaniya. Please allow me to make several remarks: reading your articles, we notice that you favour the descendants of the sheikh over other muqaddam. May I remind you that when the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) spoke of his family, he was not referring to the blood relationships. He was speaking of all people who followed his path. These are the people who belong to his true family. Nowhere have I seen written the names of Abdulay Niass or El Hadj Malick Sy or even Sheikh Ibrahim Niass who is actually the holder of the Faydu Tidjaniya. And yet, we have noticed in your articles that Sheikh Tidjani had indeed spoken of the Faydu Tidjaniya. It is not possible to be Tidjani while refusing to admit that Sheikh Ibrahim Niass is the “Sahibul Fayda”. Thank you in advance.

Answer:

First of all, we are grateful for your encouragement and we request ALLAH to accept us through His Grace and His Approval.

Your remarks raise several different reactions.

The first reaction is to bring clarification concerning the fact that the descendants of Sheikh Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) would seem to be favoured. In reality, the privilege and the rank that we grant to the noble descendants of Sheikh Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) within the Tariqa Tidjaniya are largely beneath their true worth and the place of honour that ALLAH has granted them. Even if your remark appears to be a criticism, we consider it to be a compliment and a cause of pride.

Please understand that the aim of this site is to present and share this Tariqa of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and his noble representative, the hidden pole Sheikh Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret). For this, we have return to the source and reclaimed from oblivion the precious teaching of Sheikh Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret), emphasizing those who had been first to receive, that is to say, his descendants and the direct companions who lived with him and thrived under his blessed hand.

Thus, our mission is to revive the very source of this Tariqa. This lack is noticeable: question as many Tidjani disciples as you know and ask, for example, a disciple who is affiliated to the Tariqa through the Niass Family, or through the Sy Family: “Where did Sheikh Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) received his great spiritual opening?” or “Which one of his companions did Sheikh Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) consider of equal rank to Abu Bakr with respect to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him)?” or “Which of his companions saw the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) twenty-four times daily?” or “Which of his companions was of Sheikh Ahmed Tidjani’s (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) designated Imam?” or “Which companions served as intermediary between Sheikh Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) and the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) in his beginnings” or “What were the name of the two Sons that Sheikh Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) left behind after his passing…?” Then question one of the disciples affiliated through the Niass Family about Sheikh Ibrahim Niass and his family. Likewise with a disciple affiliated through the Sy family, or any other well-known family of Masters, and you will see for yourself the need for this aim.

If this is not sufficient to convince you, then consult all the websites based on the Tariqa Tidjaniya through the families Sy and Niass. Further to your question, browse the information available on Sheikh Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) both in French and English. You may find small references. Then browse the information about his companions: you will find little or no information about them.

Then if you look for information concerning his noble descendants, you will find next to nothing, neither about his two noble children and heirs, nor his successive Caliphs or even the present Caliph.

What is left of the Tariqa Tidjaniya if the knowledge of Sheikh Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret), that of his companions and his descendants is removed, when initially it is through them that this knowledge came, has been assimilated, understood, safeguarded and transmitted. Is there even one single chain of affiliation to the Tariqa Tidjaniya in the world without Sheikh Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) or one of his companions or descendants? This is impossible: such a chain would be invalid and baseless.

This entire path, its benefits, blessings and rewards are all dependant on Sheikh Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) the Hidden Pole himself. Each and every Muqaddam, Caliph or descendant depend on Seyyidina Sheikh Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret), and their only role is to represent him and to be in his service.

Imam Sukeyrij (may ALLAH be pleased with him) said: “In this Tariqa Ahmediya Tidjaniya, whatever particular degree he may have achieved, the Muqaddam is but the representative of Seyyidina and has no other distinct particularity.” It is a great deficiency for any person who is affiliated to this blessed path, whatever his rank or function, not to know those who followed and loved Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) and who were loved by him.

The particular status of the descendants has always been recognized by the companions of Seyyidina Sheikh Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) and those who succeeded them. To illustrate this point, refer to what has been written by the scholar and knower Sidi Ahmed Sukeyrij (may ALLAH be pleased with him) in his book “Kachf el Hijab” in the story of Sidi Ahmed in Abdrahman Semghuni (may ALLAH be pleased with him) (p. 284).

In fact, after the death of Seyyidina Sheikh Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret), his disciples in Fes questioned Caliph Sidi Hajj Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) concerning the identity of the followers of the Tariqa Muhammadiya of whom Sheikh Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) had said (or words to that effect): With regards to certain of my companions: if we were to gather all of the poles of this community they would be insignificant compared to the vast expanse of one single hair of their oceans. And he also said that one of them has emerged and that both his mother and father were from Fes, but he hid him.

Sidi Hajj Ali Tamacini (may ALLAH be pleased with him) replied: “What would you do if you saw him?” They answered: “We would honour and comply with his instructions.” The Caliph said to them: “But wouldn’t he be just the servant of Seyyidina and his children?” They said “Yes, indeed.” Then he said: “Because of the implications in terms of observing the specific instructions of Seyyidina, it is appropriate to honour the children of Seyyidina (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) and to comply with their orders first and foremost.

We do not intend to minimize the worth and the great efforts of the aforementioned noble persons: Hajj Malick Sy and his family (may ALLAH be satisfied with them) or Sheikh Ibrahim Niass and his family (may ALLAH be satisfied with them) but simply to establish certain priorities. They themselves worked to represent Seyyidina Sheikh Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) fittingly, at his service and under his orders and subsequently under those of his descendants who assumed responsibility, respecting their particular rank which was recognised by all his companions. They assumed their role as intermediary so that people could know Seyyidina Sheikh Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) and so that his disciples could follow him, by teaching them everything regarding his education, his life, his descendants and his companions. This is the path taken by the authentic Shouyoukh and Masters who have attained high degrees thanks to their sincere devotion.

To claim to follow such masters means to follow their examples. It does not suffice to quote them or boast about their merits.

We plan to present such noble figures that have marked the history of this noble Tariqa with their commitment as well as other great figures from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Senegal, Mali, Egypt, Indonesia and elsewhere, who, by the grace and the blessings of Our Lord, are numerous.

Having clarified this, know that our second reaction to your comments concerning the “Faydu”, is indignation.

We have thoroughly/extensively replied to this question in this article: http://www.tidjaniya.com/en/faq-tidjaniya/faydu-fayda. We have pointed out the fact that this remains personal and should not be a cause for division, and in fact this has no effect upon the progression on the path of the noble Tariqa. It is inaccurate to claim that one cannot be a Tidjani disciple if one does not recognize Sheikh Ibrahim Niass (May ALLAH be pleased with him) of holder of the Faydu. To be considered a Tidjani disciple, it suffices simply to respect the conditions of affiliation to the Tariqa that must be read and understood before affiliation to the path.

The particular worth of one or another is not taken into consideration in this affiliation, in the same way that, in order to be considered a Muslim, it is not necessary to recognize Seyyidina Sheikh Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) as the Seal of Sainthood.

In addition, with such declarations, you expose the noble Sheikh Ibrahim Niass (May ALLAH be pleased with him) to criticism and disapproval, when he is in fact innocent of such allegations. He has never claimed that anyone who did not recognize him as the Faydu was not a Tidjani disciple. These are rumours spread by certain ignorant disciples and even muqaddam. This is a lack of propriety in his regard.

Concerning this, Imam Rifa’i (may ALLAH be pleased with him) said: “O my disciples! I reject whosoever insults me.” They answered: “How could we dare to insult you when you are our Sheikh?” He replied: “By claiming things that I have not said and by doing what is reprehensible because if people see you they would say: “Had they not seen or heard this from their Sheikh, they would not do it.””

So beware not to repeat and moreover not to believe this sort of rumour. Learn to know Seyyidina Sheikh Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) and his Tariqa better, you will avoid falling into such deep precipice.

Lastly, our final reaction to your remark is a warning. By affirming that when the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) spoke of “his family”, he (peace and blessings be upon him) was not referring to the blood relationship, you are crossing a line which takes you away from the people of the Sunna. The people of the Sunna recognize unanimously that family of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) are his blood relations, and that it is a duty for all Muslims to recognize their particular status, to respect and to love them. Otherwise, they incur the wrath and the chastisement of ALLAH.

In fact, a dissident sect of Islam had claimed that “the family” of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) did not refer to his blood line, and therefore, they interpreted the verses and prophetic words in their own interest by dispossessing the family of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) of any particular status and worth. This sect is known as the Kharidjites of which the assassin of Imam Ali (May ALLAH be pleased with him) was a member.

One day, some companions asked the advice of Seyyidina Sheikh Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) about settling in a certain region in Algeria, and Seyyidina Sheikh Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) replied as follows:For he who ALLAH has guided, it is not appropriate to reside in this region because its inhabitants, its sky and and its earth are dark. They will be entering Hellfire because this region is inhabited by a lost sect which misleads others and they dare to hate Seyyidina Ali (may ALLAH be pleased with him).”

And he added: They follow the school of ibn Muljam (the assassin of Imam Ali, may ALLAH be pleased with him) who was among the dissident group known as Kharijite, may ALLAH inflict a bridle of fire upon him.

Even if it is possible, by means of extensive interpretation to consider the pious as part of the family of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), this, in no way, deprives his family and his descendants of the particular status that ALLAH has granted them, and of the duty to respect and love them, and never cause them harm as is clearly shown in the book of ALLAH: “Allah intends only to remove from you the impurity [of sin], O people of the [Prophet's] household, and to purify you with [extensive] purification”(Surate 33 The combined forces, verse 33)

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: Love God for the blessings that He grants you. Love me for the love of God and love my family for the love that you have for me. (Related by Tirmidhi, according to Abdullah ibn Abbas who said that this hadith is Sahih; also reported by Tabarani, in El Kebir, by El Hakim, in El Mustadrak, who said that the chain of this hadith is authentic, and this was confirmed by Dhahabi; Bahaiqi has also reported this hadith in Shoub El Iman).

Zayd ibn el Arqam (may ALLAH be pleased with him) said (or words to that effect): “The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) addressed us. Having praised God, he said: I am but a human being and soon the Angel of God will call and I will answer the call. But I bequeath two magnificent things to you. First, the book of God which enlightens the path. Follow it and hold on to it and secondly my descendants, I remind you of God, be attached to my family”(Muslim)

Ibn Abbas (may ALLAH be pleased with them both) said: “Safiyya bint ‘Abdelmutalib lost a son and cried for him.” The Messenger of God (peace and blessings be upon him) said to her: “O Aunt, why are you weeping? In Islam, whoever loses a child will enjoy an abode in Paradise.

When she left his house, she met a man who said to her: “In reality, your close family ties (qaraba) with Muhammad will be of no use against God’s will!” She began to cry, and hearing her voice, the Messenger of ALLAH (peace and blessings be upon him) was alarmed and came out. He respected her, he was good to her and he held her dearly. He (peace and blessings be upon him) said: O aunty, you are still crying despite what I have just told you. She replied: “This is not the reason for my tears.” She told him what the man had said. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) became angry and said: O Bilal! Call for prayer. ”

When Bilal have done this, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) stood up and praised God and said: What those people who claim that being a close member of my family serves no purpose are thinking? All bonds of kinship whether by alliance or through bloodline will be dissolved on the Day of Resurrection, with the exception of mine. My family bonds (rahim) is respected both on Earth and in the hereafter.”

Umar ibn al Khatab (may ALLAH be pleased with him) said (or words to that effect): “Having heard the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) speak on that day, and because I desired a relationship with him by alliance, I married Um Kulthum (daughter of Ali and Fatima).” Hadith related by Tabari and alternatively by Ibn Hanbal and also by Abu Said el Khudri.

Mutalib ibn Rabi’a related: « One day, Al ‘Abbas arrived, very angry, at the Prophet’s house (peace and blessings be upon him) and the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) asked him: “What is the matter?” He answered: “O Messenger of ALLAH, what is our situation with Quraysh?” And the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) asked: “What is your situation with them?” Al ‘Abbas said (or words to that effect): “They meet one another with radiant faces” (they are friendly among themselves) but not with us (by us, he means the family of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him)).”

So the Messenger of ALLAH (peace and blessings be upon him) became so angry that the vein between his eyes was sticking out. When he calmed down, he said: By the name of he who holds the soul of Muhammad in his hand! Faith cannot penetrate the heart of a person until he loves you both for ALLAH and his Messenger! Then he added: How can people afflict me by offending Al ‘Abbas? A person’s uncle is the same as his father!

It was related by Tabarani El Kebir and by El Hakem in El Mustadrak, and this was authenticated according to the criteria of Muslim, and also corroborated by Dhahabi: Ibn Abbas said: “The Messenger of ALLAH (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “O Bani AbdelMutalib! For you, I have requested three things from ALLAH: That He strengthens your hearts, that He teaches your ignorant people and that He guides those who went astray among you. I also requested Him to make you generous, courageous and compassionate. Even if a person was between the corner (of the Ka’ba) and the Station (of Ibrahim), praying and fasting, and then he died all the while hating the descendants of Muhammad, he would enter the Fire.”

Ali (may ALLAH be pleased with him) related that: “The Messenger of ALLAH (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Whoever does not recognize the entitlement of my descendants is one of three categories: either he is a hypocrite or he is an illegitimate child or he originates from a state of impurity that is to say that his mother carried him without being in a state of purity. (This was reported by ibn ‘Ady in El Kamil and also by Daylami in El Musnad)”

Tabarani related in El Kebir that ibn Abbas (may ALLAH be satisfied with them both) said: “The Messenger of ALLAH (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “It is disbelief to hate the Banu Hachim and the Ansar, and hypocrisy to hate Arabs.””

Ibn ‘Ady related in El Iklil that Abu Said el Khudri (may ALLAH be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of ALLAH (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Whoever hates people of my family is a hypocrite.”

Daylami related in Musnad Firdaws that Jabir testified: “We recognise hypocrites by their hatred for Ali.”” (related by Ahmed and Tirmidhi)

It is related by ibn Hibban in his Sahih that Abu Said (may ALLAH be pleased with him): “The Messenger of ALLAH (peace and blessings be upon him) said (or words to that effect): Whoever hates the people of My Family will undoubtedly be sent to Hell by ALLAH.”

It is said in the Mustadrak that this hadith is authentic according to the criteria of Muslim, and Dhahabi has not commented on the subject.

Tabarani related in El Awsat that Jabir ibn AbdALLAH (may ALLAH be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of ALLAH (peace and blessings be upon him) said to us during a sermon: “O people know that whoever hates my family will be resuscitated as a Jew by ALLAH The Most High on the Day of Judgement.” I asked him: “O Messenger of ALLAH, even if he fasts and prays?” and the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) answered: “Even if he fasts and prays and claims to be Muslim.

Dalaymi related that Abu Said (may ALLAH be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of ALLAH (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “The wrath of ALLAH will be unleashed upon those who harm me by harming my family.” (related in Kanz el ‘Oumal by El Hindi)

Dalaymi related that Abu Hurayra (may ALLAH be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of ALLAH (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “ALLAH is angered by those who continue to eat when they are already satiated, those who are careless regarding obedience to the Lord, those who forsake the Sunna of their Prophet […], those who hate the family of their Prophet and those who harm their neighbours.”” (Kanz el Umal)

El Hakim and Dalaymi related that Abu Said (may ALLAH be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of ALLAH (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “ALLAH will protect the religion and worldly life of he who respects these three sanctities and ALLAH will protect nothing for he who disrespects them: the sanctity of Islam, my own sanctity and the sanctity of my descendants. Related by Tabarani in El Kebir el Awsat.

El Khatib related that Ali (may ALLAH be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of ALLAH (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “My intercession is given to those in my community who love the people of my household.

Tabarani related in El Kebir that Ibn ‘Abbas (may ALLAH be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of ALLAH (peace and blessings be upon him) said, or words to that effect: “The servant will be obliged to face four questions: How has he spent his life? How has he used his body? How did he acquire his money and how did he spend it? How did he love us and our family?

Dalaymi related that Ali (may ALLAH be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of ALLAH (peace and blessings be upon him) said, or words to that effect: “Educate your children following three points: Love for the Prophet, Love for his family and the recitation of the Quran because those who know the Quran, with the Prophets and the Elect, will be shaded [by the throne of] ALLAH on the Day when there will be no other shade but His.” (Kanz el Umal)

Dalaymi related that Ali (may ALLAH be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of ALLAH (peace and blessings be upon him) said, or words to that effect: “There are four categories of people for whom I will intercede on the Day of Judgement: those who honour my descendants, those who fulfil their needs, those who obey their orders dutifully, and those who cherish them both in heart and speech. Zubaydi related it in El At-haf.

Tirmidhi, El Hakem in his Mustadrak, and Bayhaqi in Shoub el Iman related that, according to Aisha (may ALLAH be pleased with her), who held this from the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) himself (or words to that effect):There are six categories of people which ALLAH and all the Prophets whose requests are always granted have cursed: those who add anything to the book of ALLAH, those who deny Destiny, those who behave tyrannically, by honouring those who ALLAH has humiliated, and by humiliating those who ALLAH has honoured, those who render licit that which ALLAH has made illicit, those who behave in a way that ALLAH has prohibited with regards to my descendants and those who renounce my Sunna

Dalaymi related that Abu Said (may ALLAH be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of ALLAH (peace and blessings be upon him) said, or words to that effect: “The wrath of ALLAH is unleashed upon whosoever harm me by harming my descendants.”” This is mentioned in Kanz el Umal.

The Messenger of ALLAH (peace and blessings be upon him) said, or words to that effect: Uphold your affection for my family. He who meets ALLAH by loving us will enter Paradise through our intercession. By He who holds my soul in His Hands, the action of the servant will only be considered if he himself have consideration for our rights (Reported by Tabarani in El Awsat according to Hasan ibn ‘Ali – May ALLAH be pleased with them).

The Messenger of ALLAH (peace and blessings be upon him) said: My descendants are among you like the Noa’s arch: he who embarks will be safe, and those who do not will drown.” (Related by El Bazzar in El Kashf according to Ibn Abbas, Tabarani in El Kebir, Abu Nu’aym in El Hilya).”

The Messenger of ALLAH (peace and blessings be upon him) said: For you, my descendants are the same as Noa’s arch: he who boards will be safe, and those who do not will drown. For you, my descendants are the same as the door to Remission for the children of Israel. Those who pass through it are forgiven.” (Reported by Tabarani in El Awsat according to Abi Said el Khoudri (May ALLAH be pleased with them)

The Messenger of ALLAH (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “In the same way that the stars “protect travellers from drowning”, my descendants are a refuge for my nation in times of religious discord. Should one of the Arab tribes oppose them, they would be diverging and thus become partisans of Iblis (Reported by El Hakem according to Ibn ‘Abbas, may ALLAH be pleased with them.)

It is not possible to relate everything with regards to the particular status of the Prophet’s descendants (peace and blessings be upon him). Although this only provides a glimpse, it is the duty of the Tidjani disciples to recognize their merits. The great companion Sidi Abdelwahhab ibn El Ahmar (may ALLAH be pleased with him), among the elite of the elite and one of the pillars of this blessed Tariqa, beloved by Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret), said:

« The heart secret of the Tariqa is based on three things:

- Constant love for the family of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him)

- Praying on time

- Abundant prayers upon the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) »

Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) was immensely respectful regarding the noble descendants of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) to the extent that his companions would know if the honoured person was or not a Sherif.

It was related in El Ifadatu-l-Ahmediya that He (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) said:The descendants of the Prophet (ahlu bayt) who disobey take the same path as the people of Badr, they will be told: “Do as you wish, you are already forgiven.” On the other hand, the merit of those who succeed can be equalled by no one.

This is because realized masters consider that, in accordance with the verse of the Quran:Allah intends only to remove from you the impurity [of sin], O people of the [Prophet's] household, and to purify you with [extensive] purification (Surah 33 The combined forces, verse 33), an authentic Sherif (a descendant of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him) will be in a state of repentance at the moment of his death.

Therefore, dear brother, is it not time to question ourselves and to evaluate our obedience to Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret)? Are we going to continue ignoring his teachings, behaving as if he were absent and could not see us?

Let us learn a lesson from the words of Sidi Muhammad El Ghali (may ALLAH be pleased with him) who told certain companions that he had seen Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) after his death and he had said to him: “O Sidi, you have gone and you have left us.” Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) answered: I am not absent and I have not left you. This is but a passage from the earthly abode to the abode of light (Nouraniya).».”

Is it not up to us to honour him by demonstrating that our love for him is stronger than any cleavage? That our only desire is to satisfy him entirely? That we form a single body with a single heart, unified with respect for all respectable people in the spiritual sense of the words? Or would we rather turn a blind eye and a death ear, stubbornly wanting to be right, preferring the pride of passion to the humility of reason? If we behave in this way, is it not we ourselves who harm this blessed path the most from the inside, in fact much more than the enemies of the Tariqa can do from the outside?

We know that this is not the case and that your wish is to know better this noble path in order that you may comply with it and we encourage you to persevere on this path because all beneficial knowledge is a light which chase away the darkness of ignorance. We hope greatly that each disciple will find the hand of Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) and hold tightly to it.

Zawiya Tidjaniya El Kubra of EuropeLyon, France