Sidi Muhammad ibn Sulayman Mana’i Tunsi was a scholar who mastered both exoteric and esoteric knowledge, gathering together the merits and the blessings that had been scattered. He was loved by Seyyidina (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) who looked upon him with respect because of his sincere love and elevated aspiration.
He was strongly attached to the rope of the Sunnah, holding it tightly. He always spoke out when he noticed an innovation or somebody practicing one. One day, Seyyidina (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) asked him: “What do you think of me” and he answered: “I accept and practice what I see in you which conforms to the Law, and when I see the contrary, I leave it aside.” Seyyidina (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) answered (or words to that effect): “Stay that way, but do not criticize things that you do not understand, thinking that you are right when in fact you are not.” Seyyidina (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) looked upon him with approval both in his presence and in his absence and covered him with his love. He was among the special scholars of this Tariqa.
He took the Tariqa in Fes because he had gone to study there. He used to go to the zawiya with a student who was one of Seyyidina’s companion (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret), and sat a certain distance from the brothers while waiting for his companion.