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

Sheikh Ahmed Tidjani

May ALLAH be satisfied with him

 

  1. His origins

Sidi Muhammad El ‘Arbi was the son of Muhammad, who was son of Muhammad Sa-ih, himself son of Muhammad, who was son of Dawud, son of Muhammad, who was son of Abdelqadir, himself son of the Pole Sidi Muhammad Sharqi El ‘Umar El Faruqi, and his ancestry goes back to the second rightly guided Caliph, our Master Abu-l-Hafs ‘Umar ibn El Khattab (may ALLAH be pleased with him). His father Sidi Muhammad was among the hardworking scholars and virtuous Saints of elevated rank among the people of the town of Meknes.

 

  1. His birth and childhood

He was born at the dawn of Eid el Ad-ha in the year 1229 of the hegira (1813 ad) in their home which was opposite the great mosque of the city of Meknes. His birth brought joy, happiness, gladness and satisfaction to his parents because his aging father was, until then, without male issue. He had humbly begged ALLAH, Glorified and Exalted, to grant him a pious child who would delight him and to this end, he tried everything that people advised him, including both material and spiritual remedies. Thus, he used to visit the Saints, both dead and alive, invoking ALLAH, without losing heart, through their intermediary in order to obtain this gift.

So, when he had reached the age of seventy-five years old, ALLAH granted his request and gave him a child, as he had done for his Prophet Zakariya (peace be upon him). He named the child Muhammad el ‘Arbi, after two virtuous Awliya (plural of Wali, i.e. Saint) who had announced the coming birth: Sidi Muhammed ‘Arbi ibn Mu’ti ibn Salih Charqi and Sidi Muhammad ‘Arbi El Wazzani (may ALLAH be pleased with them). Sidi Muhammad el ‘Arbi was born twenty years old before his father returned to ALLAH. During these years, his father gave him all attention and affection and the best of educations, careful to provide him with teaching and instruction in keeping with the high rank of his origins. Thus, this sublime being grew up in a virtuous environment, bathed in faith, knowledge, virtue and love for the Messenger of ALLAH (peace and blessings be upon him), his pure family and the virtuous saints.

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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.

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Sidi Muhammad ibn Abbas Semghouni (may ALLAH pleased with him) was one of his special Muqaddam who had received the authorization to transmit the litanies of this Tariqa Muhammadiya (at his time). Due to his love, compassion and deep-rootedness, he was raised to a respectable rank with Seyyidina (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret).

He is among the meritorious whose station collided with that of Sidi Muhammad ibn Mechri (may ALLAH pleased with him) and so both of them were afflicted with excessive mutual jealousy and rivalry so much that this impacted the brothers in Bussemghun and consequently they divided into two groups. When this information reached Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret), he asked them for the reason and they answered: “Muhammad ibn Abbas is jealous of Ibn Mechri and Ibn Mechri is jealous of Muhammad ibn Abass, this jealousy has spread to the followers of both.” Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) said to them: “My companions are one, and he who knows me, must know me alone.” From then on, the brothers were united as one and this jealousy turned away from them. Of course, we should avoid having a bad opinion of them because these circumstances appeared in order to throw light on the secret of this education and the proper way to follow it.

All the inhabitants of Bussemghun, felt deep love for Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) so much so, that when he left the village, they all wanted to leave their region and go with him, wishing only to live in the place that he would have chosen. Regarding this, Seyyidina (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) said to them: “Know that a Wali only leaves a place if his heart has changed regarding the inhabitants of that place. For you, if I leave your place, it is not for this reason, but for another. Your old and your young are all my beloved, you will always be so, and if you were all in a basket without handles, I would take you into my arms and carry you across the Sirat Bridge.” Then, he instructed them to stay in their town and they complied with his order.

Research and translation by Zawiya Tidjaniya el Kubra in Lyon, France

The Muqaddam of obvious merits, who always hastened to perform good deeds, Sidi Muhammad ibn Hirzullah (may ALLAH pleased with him), was originally from Algeria. His aspiration was truly elevated and he was firmly attached to the rope of the Tariqa.

Among the events that he lived with Seyyidina (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret), it is said that once he was riding his mount to visit Seyyidina (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret). He wanted to ask him three questions. The first concerned wet cupping by night. The second concerned holding the beads (subha) in the left hand and the last concerned Imam Mehdi, the Sultan of Truth.

It just so happened that when he reached Seyyidina’s house (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret), night had already fallen. He requested permission to enter and permission was granted. At the time when he was preparing to join Seyyidina, even before having met him, he heard him say: “Bring me the person who applies the cups so that he can bleed me.” Sidi Hirzullah (may ALLAH be pleased with him) thought to himself: « Here is the answer to my first question. »

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