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

Abou Abdallah Cheikh Sidi Mohamed El Hafidh El 'Alawi El Chinguiti (may ALLAH be pleased with him), holder of the most enviable stations and radiating lights, of glorious merits and apparent prodigies, the great wali and famous knower, incomparable scholar of his time, to whom the great sainthood had been opened, was among the elite of the elite of the companions of Seyyidina. He was among those whose spiritual opening (Fath) was attested by Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) himself.

Cheikh El Hafidh (may ALLAH be pleased with him) acquired knowledge from the greatest scholars and wali of his country, including Sidi ‘Abdallah ibn Hajj Ibrahim ibn Imam Mohand Ahmed Alawi (may ALLAH be pleased with him). This great scholar was renowned for having achieved, through the breadth and the depth of his knowledge as well as his piety, the degree of Ijtihad like the great Imams of the past such as Malik, Shafi’i and others.

After becoming Imam, Sidi Mohamed El Hafidh (may ALLAH be pleased with him) decided to undertake the pilgrimage to the Holy House and to visit the tomb of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). He had considered that the purpose of his journey was to meet a perfect master among the people of God. On the way, he found himself in the company of a man from Sejelmassi (Morocco). When the two men had become intimate, they each confided their secrets and it turned out that both of them had the same aim.

So they agreed to keep each other informed when they discovered the Sheikh for whom they longed. Having reached Mecca, cheikh Mohamed El Hafidh (may ALLAH be pleased with him) he continued to deploy every effort, invoking ALLAH (The Glorified, The Exalted) in all the places of fulfilment. One day, when he was circumambulating the Holy House (Tawwaf), he met a man who said to him discretely: “Your master is so and so.” And he named Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) who in fact he did not know. Sidi Mohamed El Hafidh (may ALLAH be pleased with him) went to see his traveling companion and informed him of the news.

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Abu Abdallah Sidi Sahnun ibn El Hajj (may ALLAH be pleased with him), the majestic scholar, unparalleled at his time, of extraordinary knowledge, of very high degree was one of the most eminent scholars of the Tariqa to whom we referred. He received the Tariqa from Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) who used to write to him.

Here is the letter that he received from Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) for the disciples of Laghouat where he describes some of the blessings that ALLAH has granted him:

«After mentioning the Name of ALLAH and the prayer and the peace upon the Prophet,

By the grace of ALLAH, this letter is intended for our beloved and sincere friends, so-and-so, and all the disciples there in Laghouat, each one and individually by his own name. May the Peace, the Mercy and the blessings of ALLAH be upon you, from the one who writes this to you, the poor servant of ALLAH, Ahmed ibn Muhammad Tidjani.

We beseech ALLAH, may He be Glorified and Exalted, that He sustains you with His Help and that He bestows upon you the oceans of His Grace and Friendship, may you be sufficed by Him in the face of all the hardships of this world and the next. May He protect you from poverty in this world, and punishment in the Hereafter. I draw your attention to the fact that ALLAH’s Grace has no limits and that the Grace is entirely His, He gives it to whom he wishes and I tell you that none of the Saints, however great or small his worth, will be able to attain our station with ALLAH in the Hereafter, or even come close, and this goes for all of the Saints, following the age of the Companions and up until the day when the trumpet is blown.

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Among his great companions was the great scholar of his time and guide for the people, the Sheikh el Islam, bearer of the banner of religious science and particular knowledge, defender of the Tariqa Al Ahmediya and protector of its honour, Cheikh Abou-l-Ishaq Seyidina Ibrahim Riyahi Tounsi (may ALLAH be pleased with him).

At first, he was a member of the Tariqa Shadhiliya. When the Caliph Sidi Ali Harazim (may ALLAH be pleased with him), very great companion of Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) first arrived in Tunisia in 1211 of the hegira, he met Sidi Riyahi (may ALLAH be pleased with him) and became acquainted with him. Then, he stayed with Sidi Ibrahim Riyahi (may ALLAH be pleased with him) at the madrassa where their friendship developed. Sidi Riyahi (may ALLAH be pleased with him) witnessed numerous prodigies of Sidi Ali Harazim (may ALLAH be pleased with him) and heard him speak of Seyyidina’s (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) virtues and of his Tariqa. He wished to enter this Tariqa Muhammadiya, and he was preoccupied by this idea. The man who had initiated him in the Shadhiliya and who was one of the great men of God, whose spiritual opening was evident, advised him clearly to take this Tariqa. And so he complied with this advice.

Before meeting Sidi Hajj Ali Harazim (may ALLAH be pleased with him), he had had a dream in which he received the good tiding of the imminent acquisition of a station among the stations.

When he met the Caliph, he told him of this dream. The Caliph commented on a part of the significance of this dream and promised to complete his explanation later. He invited him to join the Tariqa which he did.

Among the events that have been related, concerning Sidi Harazim’s stay with Sidi Riyahi (may ALLAH be pleased with him) in Tunisia, is this:

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He was among the elite and the best of his time. He was learned. His high spiritual aspiration was manifest in his generosity and kindness. He received knowledge and secrets from Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctifiy his precious secret) and benefited from his lights. In this way, He took the essence from the Shari’a, and the contemplation from the Haqiqa. In the Tariqa, he sat in the holy Tidjani presence on the mat of inner circle. Thus, he absorbed both knowledge and deed. Seeing the Baraka of the Sheikh (may ALLAH sanctifiy his precious secret), and feeling deep affection for him, Sidi Ahmed Bannani (may ALLAH be pleased with him) took the Tariqa directly from Seyyidina even before his own father.

It is said that one day, he fell and bruised both his legs. With great sadness, the people took him home. His father, Sidi Mohamad went to fetch the doctors who included the famous Bissantissi. Bissantissi applied a plaster cast and instructed him to lie down and refrain from all movement, advising his father to take care that he remained thus, for fear of losing the use of his legs. Sidi Ahmed Bannani (may ALLAH be pleased with him) was afflicted because he thought that the doctor’s advice was very difficult to follow, and so he begged for Help from ALLAH through the intermediary of Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctifiy his precious secret). Due to the intense pain, he fell drowsy. He saw Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctifiy his precious secret) accompanied by a man to whom he said: “O Ali, prepare some medicine for him.” He placed his blessed hands on Sidi Ahmed Bannani’s (may ALLAH be pleased with him) legs and said to him: “Take my hand, stand up and walk.” Then, he felt the freshness of relief and was sure that Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) had healed him through the famous Wali, doctor of Awliya, Moulay ‘Ali Boughaleb (may ALLAH be pleased with him). The pain subsided. He moved his legs and wanted to stand up.

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