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

Sidi Abu AbdALLAH Muhammad Belqacem Basri El Meknessi (may ALLAH be pleased with him) was a Muqaddam and Imam, a well-known scholar and one of the pillars of the Tariqa, holder of the Law (Shari’a) and the Truth (Haqiqa). He was the person in charge of delivering sermons at the great Mosque of Meknes and he was renowned for his piousness, his virtue, his noble character, his exemplary practice of the prophetic Sunnah. 

His merits were demonstrated, for instance, by the fact that Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) addressed no other person by the title of Muqaddam apart from him, although, at that time, he did not hold the title of Taqdim. In fact, Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) was referring to the title that he held in the Tariqa he had followed previously. Sidi Muhammad Belqacem Basri El Meknessi took the Tariqa Tidjaniya from the blessed hands of Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret). He only received his title of Muqaddam (Taqdim) after the death of Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret), specifically from Sidi Hajj Ghazi El Matyari in 1244 of the Hegira as well as Sidi Abdelwahhab ibn El Ahmar, Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Tamacini and others (may ALLAH be pleased with them). 

Once, Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) covered him with his “reeda” (a piece of cloth used to cover the upper part of the body) saying: “You have our approval in all situations.” It is also said that when he died, and was undressed for the funeral cleansing, he opened his eyes and looked at every person present. One of them said to him: We know, o Master, that you are living.

According to the renowned scholar Hajj Hussein El Ifrani, in the beginning, Sidi Muhammad Belqacem Basri El Meknessi (may ALLAH be pleased with him) was in the Tariqa Wazzaniya of the famous Pole, Mulay Tayeb (may ALLAH be pleased with him). In conformity with the divine decree, one day, he left on a boat to accomplish the mandatory pilgrimage. One night, as was his habit, he got up to perform his ablutions on the boat’s deck, but he fell into the sea, and no one but ALLAH (of course) noticed. He begged for help through the intermediary of the men of God. Suddenly, He saw a man stretching out his hand to pull him back on board who then mysteriously disappeared without even revealing his identity. 

Sidi Muhammad Belqacem Basri El Meknessi (may ALLAH be pleased with him) thought that it was his Sheikh Sidi Ali ibn Muhammed ibn Tayeb El Wazzani (may ALLAH be pleased with him) and in the morning, he made a written note of this extraordinary event and attributed his rescue to him. 

On his return from the Hajj, he went to visit one of the Zawiya of his Sheikh in Fes. However, the only street allowing access to the Zawiya was blocked by a collapse which prevented people from passing and blocked some disciples inside the Zawiya. Sidi Muhammad Belqacem Basri El Meknessi (may ALLAH be pleased with him) wished to enter the Zawiya and found himself in front of the door without knowing how he had arrived there. He knocked on the door and the disciples who opened it were astonished to see him there and wondered how he had managed to cross the blocked street. Sidi Muhammad Belqacem Basri El Meknessi (may ALLAH be pleased with him) thought: “This extraordinary event is similar to that which occurred on the sea.” Again, he attributed this prodigy to his Sheikh. 

Then he returned to Meknes, and there he experienced the spiritual irrigation of the Khatmiya: Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) went to his home and said to him: “I have come to give you the litanies.” Sidi Muhammad Belqacem Basri El Meknessi (may ALLAH be pleased with him) replied: “I cannot accept this from you because I am already in the Tariqa of Mulay Tayeb.” Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) said nothing more and returned to Fes. On further consideration, Sidi Muhammad Belqacem Basri El Meknessi (may ALLAH be pleased with him) changed his mind and wanted to join him on the road but despite his efforts he was unable to do so. Finally, he reached Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani’s house (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) in Fes. Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) welcomed him warmly and kindly and he unveiled to him: “Know that we love you and that it is I who caught you in the sea and who carried you on my shoulders in the blocked street, although you attribute this to someone else.” Then Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) conferred the Tariqa upon him. This was how he took the Tariqa. 

Sidi Muhammad Belqacem Basri El Meknessi’s words were noble (may ALLAH be pleased with him) and his spiritual states were subtle. Here is a beneficial letter that he received from a scholar in Shinguiti which offers insight into the merits of Sidi Muhammad Belqacem Basri El Meknessi (may ALLAH be pleased with him). 

“Master, the reason why I was unable to visit you during the six months that I spent in Fes […] is an event that occurred with so and so, may ALLAH forgive us both. As a matter of fact, this person and myself were discussing  the permissibility in our Tariqa Ahmediya Tidjaniya of visiting the saints: he was for and I was against. I had mentioned the prohibition of Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) according to his words: “All those who have taken our Wird and affiliation to our path must not visit any saint whether living or dead.

And also: « The Master of Existence (peace and blessings be upon him) ordered me to annul the authorization (that is to say to practice the Tariqa) for two people who had visited AbdSalam ibn Machich (may ALLAH be pleased with him)” and “The Master of Existence (peace and blessings be upon him) spoke to me of an issue that is overlooked by the Shouyoukh, namely that all those who already benefit from a Sheikh and then visit another will not benefit from either.” And also: “The Master of Existence (peace and blessings be upon him) told me: “ If your companions pass by my people, they can visit them, but they cannot visit the others. ”

It is written in the Djawahirul Maani: “Pertaining to their rewards, The Master of Existence (peace and blessings be upon him) told Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) that those who follow him and love him will also be beloved by him (i.e the Prophet/ The Master of Existence (peace and blessings be upon him)), that they will undoubtedly die as Walis (Awliya). The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) instructed Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) to forbid his companions from visiting other saints whether dead or alive; all those who would have visited other saints will be stripped of their Tariqa and will not be able to attain their goal.”

Having heard all statements concerning the ban of visiting other saints, he replied that Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) often visited Mawlana Mulay Idriss (may ALLAH be pleased with him). I answered: “What are you talking about!? Sheikh is the master of the path and as such, it is who allows or forbids all things. It is through him that all things come or do not; he can be authorized something for which his disciples have no authorization, and he can forbid something to certain disciples although it is authorized for others, according to ALLAH’s will and the benefits that they would receive as He had informed him and also according to his clairvoyance and according to divine wisdom so that they may be irrigated by Divine Help. In the Tariqa, there are duties and prohibitions, there is that which is recommended and that which is not, there is that which is permissible, and all of that depends on the Sheikh. We are guided by him, even if we are unable to perceive the secret and the hidden wisdom of a matter. It has been said that whosoever says to his Shaikh: “But why” (in other words, calls into question his Sheikh) would never succeed. People can be strong or weak, ordinary or elite, mediocre... and the Sheikh knows their situations and their achievements. Consequently, he speaks to them according to their understanding and instructs them according to their capacity. His spirit is with each and every one of them, whatever their achievements and whatever their situations. He does not require for the strong to descend to the level of the weak, and he does not require for the weak to ascend to the level of the strong. Any dispensation is not granted to the strong and rigor is not imposed upon the weak. In the same way, he talks to the strong with firmness and caution whilst he talks to the weak with indulgence, making things easier (lighter). This is in accordance with the path of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him): this follows his rules (Law, Sharia), as can be learnt from the study of his biography and his application of the rules with his companions and his pious family. Thus, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was permitted to fast continuously although this was forbidden to his family and his companions. Likewise, certain things were forbidden to him (peace and blessings be upon him) and his family such as the Zakat when it was authorized for his companions. He (peace and blessings be upon him) was under obligation to accomplish certain things such as Duha prayer, sacrifice, nocturnal prayer, Witr prayer, using siwak for each prayer although he did not make this obligatory for his companions. He permitted certain things to certain companions, and forbade them to others, such as donating all their money. He instructed Abu Bakr Siddiq (may ALLAH be pleased with him) to raise his voice during the meritorious prayers, and Umar (may ALLAH be pleased with him) to lower his. He (peace and blessings be upon him) approved for Ahlu Sufa to renounce worldly life but he instructed Hakim ibn Hazim (may ALLAH be pleased with him) to go and provide for his own subsistence. He taught Muaz ibn Jabal (may ALLAH be pleased with him) that Paradise is granted to he who says “La ilaha illa ALLAH” but instructed him to hide it from others. He singled out Houdheyfa (may ALLAH be pleased with him) by entrusting him with secrets, He advised Abu Hureyra (may ALLAH be pleased with him) not to sleep without having accomplished the Witr. He woke Ali and Fatima (may ALLAH be pleased with them) to pray at night, whereas Aicha (may ALLAH be pleased with her) was beside him, lying like at a funeral (sleeping) and he did not wake her, and so on so forth according to his biography. Regarding visits to the Saints, according to our path, they must be forsaken, this is one of the necessary conditions in order to receive our litanies as mentioned in Muniya el Murid (and he recited the relevant verses). That Sheikh (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) forbids visits to the Saints for all his disciples is recognized as being necessary in our Tariqa, but this does not apply to him […]

Having heard this undeniable point and to which he was unable to reply, he was inclined to submit and he said to me: “You almost managed to change my mind with your truthful words but I have just remembered something” and he took out an official document and declared that it had been written by your noble hand and so I could not think that it could have been deceitful. This document contained exemption from the ban to the visits to the Saints. As for me, Master, I have no interest in those who grant exemption from this ban, even if it were Sidi Muhammad El Habib (may ALLAH be pleased with him) the son of Seyyidina (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret). Later, when I met the Fqih Sidi Muhammad Kensussi (may ALLAH be pleased with him), he explained the circumstances of this person to me. ALLAH gave me to understand that you were not responsible for this document. Indeed Sidi Muhammad Kensussi (may ALLAH be pleased with him) asked me, although he already knew my answer, whether I was familiar with your handwriting and I replied that I did not. Then he said: “So how can you believe this person when you do not even recognize the handwriting of the Muqaddam?! Seyyidina (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) himself called him “Muqaddam” during his lifetime and in him he placed his intention (he chose him).” Then he added: « I swear by ALLAH that, in this country, nobody complies to the Tariqa Ahmediya better than he: the esteem that he has for the Tariqa and the way he established it, his circles and his upholding of its conditions, the accuracy of his litanies, secrets and invocations, through his solitude, serenity, intimacy, magnificence, orientation, the way he complies with its foundation and details, his accuracy of that which authenticates and corrupts it, in terms of values, abodes, lights and rewards and also spiritual stations, propriety, merits, degrees and methods.”

Upon hearing these words, I greatly rejoiced, and my soul was filled with the scent of his words, then I was pained and full of regrets although regrets are useless and I said: ““We belong to ALLAH and we return to Him.” […] I made a mistake, and Sidi, I repent to ALLAH and beseech his Forgiveness. By ALLAH, I have not been at peace since I have returned to my country and you are constantly in my mind. May I request, Your Eminence, to forgive me and to invoke ALLAH on my behalf, in order that I may redeem my misunderstanding of the worth and blessings of Mawlana Sheikh and yourself […]

Sidi Abu AbdALLAH Muhammad Belqacem Basri El Meknessi (may ALLAH be pleased with him) died on Monday 22nd of Dhul Hijja in the year 1293 of the Hegira at the age of 91, may ALLAH have mercy upon him. 

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