Question: Is it authorized to appoint women Muqaddam in the Tidjaniya Tariqa?
Taqdim for women has indeed been the object of diverging opinions. Some forbid it, others allow it, although their role may be limited to women; however others authorize their role to include both women and men unconditionally.
This divergence is due to the fact that there does not seem to be any clear and precise example of a woman being appointed to this role at the time of Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret). However, an allusion is to be found in a letter from Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) written by Sidi Muhammad ibn Mechri (may ALLAH be pleased with him). In this letter, he greets a group of disciples from Fez, including a woman. Here is the relevant passage: “[…] Our words are addressed to our beloved, to those who are most dear to us, holders of pure qualities and enlightened states, our dear friend and sincere beloved Sidi Hajj Tayeb Qabab, his son, our beloved Abu AbdALLAH Sidi Muhammad and his children, and the pure, eminent and noble lady, The Muqaddima Fatima […]” (Kashf el Hijab - Sidi Hajj Tayeb Qabab)
Among the companions of Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret), Sidi Muhammad El Hafiz Shinguitti (may ALLAH be pleased with him) who had been educated in the palms of his noble hands for two consecutive years, was the only one to appoint his wife to the role of Muqqadam. She was a saintly woman, renowned for her spiritual opening, and she was among the ten Muqaddam that her husband was authorized to appoint. This does not mean that others did not do so, but there are no precise references. Sheikh Umar Futiyu (may ALLAH be pleased with him) appointed his eldest daughter, the pious knower of ALLAH, Fatima Madaniya to this position.