Question : What is the Faydu? Did Sheikh Tidjani talk about this? What should we believe, and who is concerned?

Answer :

Fayda refers to an arabic term signifying « outpouring». In spiritual terms, this refers to a spiritual over-abundance. With regards to the Tariqa Tidjaniya, and specifically in Sub-Saharan Africa, this term is often used to refer to one or several particular people.

In order to understand the meaning of the Tidjani Faydu, we need to know that this had been mentioned in El Ifadatou-l-Ahmediya by Sidi Tayeb Sefiani (may ALLAH be pleased with him) where Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) said: “The Fayda will come upon my companions and then people will enter our Tariqa by successive waves (in multitudes) and this outpouring will occur when people will be in the most difficult and tight situations.”

On this, Sidi Tayeb (may ALLAH be pleased with him) commented: “By this spiritual outpouring, he meantthat many of his companions will receive the spiritual opening and this time is not far away.”

Most of the scholars of the Tariqa commented that this Fayda represents a period of great expansion of the Tariqa, when others considers that this refers to a specific person.

Those who affirm that this refers to a specific person are alluding to the person who is the specific intermediary between the station of Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) and all creatures – as is mentioned in the Kachfu el Hijab regarding the life story of Sidi Hajj Ali Harazim (may ALLAH be pleased with him) - who was indeed this intermediary:

“Referring to one of his greatest blessing, Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) said: “Nothing will come from me if not trough the intermediary of Sidi Hajj Ali Harazim.”

Certain people endowed with insight (basira) as well as all those people and companions who had tasted the secret of the Tariqa said that belief  in this was valid as much during his lifetime as after his death.

Consequently, it may be thought that the continuous help of Seyyidina (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret), whether in general or in particular, may only be received through the intermediary of Sidi Ali Harazim (may ALLAH be pleased with him) and that the latter represents Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) in both the visible and invisible worlds, after his death.
 
However, there is no reason why he should not be replaced in his role. ALLAH only knows. We should have full faith in both of them and know that we can only benefit by taking into consideration both the first invisible intermediary (Seyyidina) and the second, or any other who would take his place, having been appointed by Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret). The grace of ALLAH (The Glorified, The Exalted) is immense and He alone knows.”

In fact, even in this particular case, the aim is not to find or no the Faydu, the aim is to find Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) through love, preferring him to no other. He (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) said: “He who knows me, should know me alone.”

If the Faydu represents the specific intermediary in the irrigation of Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret), his aim is not to be known and followed but uniquely to make known Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret), and to encourage love for him, entirely effacing himself in front of Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret). In the same way, he is not there to have a reputation and to have disciples, because his function concerns everybody and he is in the service of everyone.

Likewise, it is not possible or admissible for any Tidjani disciple to think that a Faydu (a special intermediary of the irrigation) could equal or surpass the degree of Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) or that his teaching could be the only valid teaching within the Tariqa Tidjaniya, or that only those who have been affiliated through him could attain Knowledge and be considered as true disciples of the Tidjaniya.

This is according to the teachings of Seyyidina Ahmed  Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret), the people of spiritual opening among his companions, his Caliphs among his descendants and the scholars and the elite of the Tariqa Tidjaniya. Certain specificities regarding certain elite, concerning the irrigation and education within this path are granted but this is an integral part of Seyyidina’s (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) authentic representation as well as a confirmation of what he received from the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).

The specific status of Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) and the Tariqa Tidjaniya compared with other spiritual paths is similar to that of Islam compared with the religionsthat preceded it.

Thus, this Tariqa is one, and should remain so. In fact, it is not permissible to change one single condition, to add or remove anything from the essential litanies. After Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret), nobody has the right or the authority to modify it.

In the same way, for this reason, the term “branch” is not suitable, although this would be possible in other spiritual paths, because the only aim of all Tidjani practitioners is to conform as perfectly as possible with the teachings of Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret). Thus, there is no reason to change the name of the Tariqa Tidjaniya, adding the name of another person, whatever his worth, because this is purely, simply and exclusively the Tariqa Tidjaniya.

Any Muqaddam, Caliph or descendant of  Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani depend entirely on him (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) and their only role is to represent him and to be in his service. Imam Soukeïrij (may ALLAH be pleased with him) said: “Whatever particular degree the Muqaddam in this Tariqa Ahmediyya Tidjaniya may have attained, he is but a representative of Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret), and has no particular distinction apart from that.” (Rafa’ niqab)

How could it be otherwise, considering his unique spiritual station? Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) said: “My station with ALLAH in the Hereafter is unattainable by any Awliya (Saints) and no person, whether they worth is great or small, can even approach it. Among all the Awliya, from the time of the companions until the Day when the trumpet will be blown, no one is able to reach our station. (Rimah)”

And thus, you will understand that we cannot disclaim whosoever believes that the Faydu mentioned by  Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) is a person and thinks that we are talking about Sheikh Umar Futiyu or Sheikh Muhammad El Hafidh Shinguiti or Sheikh Ibrahim Niass (may ALLAH be pleased with them) any other virtuous person who was the cause of great irrigation within the Tariqa Tidjaniya. However, this is a personal opinion and should not be a reason for division between disciples. This does not change the evolution of the noble Tariqa, because everything comes from and depends on the irrigation of Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret).