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

Among them is Sidi Muhammad El Ghali (may ALLAH be pleased with him), the knower, the guide towards God, the example of perfect conduct, the well-known Wali of great apparent prodigies, of noble character, of exemplary disposition. This remarkable man was among the elite of the elite of the companions of Seyyidina (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret). He was also one of the ten people who had received from the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) the guarantee of the great opening, and one of the pillars of the Tariqa.

Before his departure to the holy places, Seyyidina (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) had qualified him in the Tariqa and instructed him to appoint four Muqaddam : each one of them, in turn, would appoint four others and not more. This special status was only valid during Tidjani’s lifetime. When he returned from the holy lands the restriction in the number of muqaddam was lifted.

Sidi Muhammad el Ghali (may ALLAH be pleased with him) was among those who spread the Tariqa both in the East and in the West, and it is he who brought it to Sub-Saharan Africa (Formerly West Sudan) due to his encounter with his well-beloved disciple, the warrior of the faith Sidi Hajj Omar Futiyu (may ALLAH be pleased with him). The latter had recounted the circumstances surrounding their meeting in his famous book “Rimah”:

« Upon reaching a certain region, I heard that Sidi Muhammad el Ghali (may ALLAH be pleased with him) was there, staying at the Noble city of Mecca and so I was overwhelmed with great joy. I begged ALLAH The Most High to allow me to meet him, and through His Grace, ALLAH granted my request. And thus ALLAH reunited me with him in the majestic city of Mecca, after the Asr prayer, in front of the Station of Ibrahim.

We made acquaintance, he rejoiced greatly to meet me and he paid tribute to me due to the truth that he perceived in me. He offered me the book Djawahiru-l-Ma’ani that I still have today so that I can refer to it. I stayed with him until the completion of the pilgrimage rituals. Having accomplished these acts of devotion, I left with him for Medina the Radiant, may the best prayers and the purest salutations be upon its noble inhabitant. We reached there on the first day of the month of Muharram. That year I stayed with him in the Medina the Radiant, may the best prayers and the purest salutations be upon its noble inhabitant, putting myself and all my wealth at his disposition, devoting myself entirely to him. I remain at his service for about three years.

I renewed my affiliation through him and he transmitted the essential litanies to me. He corrected my practice for my progression on the path of the people of the way and he ceaselessly conveyed the azkar to me and entrusted me with secrets. I obtained the lights from him in accordance with the fields of Law and spiritual Realities… »

On this subject, he also related: « Often He would (Sidi Mohammed el Ghali) watch me when I was sitting near him and would say: “By ALLAH, I testify that you love Sheikh.”” For this reason, he loved me intensely to such an extent that when he visited the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), he remained seated there for the time needed to read five parts of the Quran (Hizb of the Quran) and then he would say to me: “By ALLAH, and there is no other God but Him; know that I only remain seated before the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) in order to perform invocations in your favour. »

He also said: « I stayed continuously in Sidi Muhammad el Ghali (may ALLAH be pleased with him)’s company in Medina the Radiant until, through His Grace, ALLAH brought about the intervention of our Sheikh, our master and our link to The Lord, Seyyidina (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret).” Indeed, he (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) said to Sidi Muhammad El Ghali (may ALLAH be pleased with him): “I have already granted Sheikh Omar ibn Said all that he needs in terms of azkar and secrets from this Tariqa, it remains only for you to transmit them to him. »

Thus, he complied with the instruction of the Sheikh and after the Isha prayer, in the Prophet’s mosque, he took my hand and placed me in front of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) facing his noble tomb. He gave me all that the Sheikh has asked him to transmit to me in the presence of our generous Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) in order for him to bear witness that he had in fact perfectly conveyed that which had been ordained by his child, our Sheikh Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret), may he receive from us the best things that a Sheikh can receive from his disciple. In this way, I am able to say that I received it from Sheikh Tidjani himself (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret).»

On completion of his educaiton, Sidi Muhammad el Ghali appointed him Caliph of Seïdina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) saying: «We have appointed certain people Muqaddam in order to transmit the noble wird but you have been appointed Caliph among the Caliphs of the Sheikh and not as a simple Muqaddam. »

Many other people of great worth such as Sidi Abu Yaza, the son of the great Caliph Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Harazim, and Sidi Mohammed Kensoussi (may ALLAH be pleased with them) among others received the Tariqa and the Taqdim from his blessed hands.

Sidi Muhammad el Ghali (may ALLAH be pleased with him) was renowned for endeavouring to obey ALLAH (The Glorified, The Exalted). One day, while he was absorbed in his zikr before the Divine Presence, his daughter fell off the roof of the house but this has no effect on him. He remained where he was until he had completed his wird. The psalmody of his adoration was unequalled. It is said that with one single prostration or bow, he glorified ALLAH for as long as it would have taken to recite twenty-seven Salatoul Fatihi and he did this for each bow and prostration. It has been said that he used to accomplish the Isha prayer and then he performed his lazim for two full hours, chanting it overwhelmed by the Divine Presence.

He saw the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and Seyyidina (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) also after his death, and questioned them regarding certain matters. It was related that one time he saw the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) in a dream saying to him: “You are the son of the beloved and you have taken the Tariqa of the beloved.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) also told him that whoever saw his face would be forgiven. Sidi Ghali (may ALLAH be pleased with him) told some of his special companions that he had seen Seyyidina (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) after his death and that he had said to him: “O Sidi, you have gone, and you have left us.” Seyyidina (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) replied: “I have not gone and I have not left you: this is only the passage from the earthly dwelling to the luminous dwelling (nuraniya).

He reserved a special place to which he withdrew at specific moments for specific zikr. If he was overwhelmed by a spiritual state, he instructed people to wait at the door of his retreat room until he had finished his zikr. One time, when he had finished, he invited his companion to come in. The latter found him so hot that one would have thought that he was in a hammam. When he asked Sidi Muhammad el Ghali (may ALLAH be pleased with him) for the reason, he smiled and said: “Put your finger here” showing him the back of his hand. The companion said: “When I put my finger on his hand, it was as if I touched a burning coal. I immediately removed my finger and saw that I had been burnt.

In the case of the Truthful Ones, this not unusual, considering that which they have received the authorization to recite. Some people may burn their own tongue when reciting the Majestic Name. Others among them experience other kinds of manifestation of the effects of Zikr. It is also said that certain people experience a sugary taste when reciting the prayer upon the Prophet (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret).

Sidi Muhamma el Ghali (may ALLAH be pleased with him) held an honorable place and degree with Seyyidina (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) who often made compliments about him and demonstrated sincere love for him. He stayed for thirty years in Seyyidina’s company and Seyyidina (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) granted him the Supreme Name. He was also well-known for his governing power. Seyyidina (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) loved his speech. He used to inquire of him when he was not present with the brothers.

One night, Seïdina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) asked the gathering: “Where is Sidi Muhammad El Ghali?” When the latter arrived, Seïdina (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) said: “Both of my feet are on the shoulders of each Wali.” So Sidi Muhammad el Ghali (may ALLAH be pleased with him) said to him: “O Master, are you in a state of knowing and of presence, or in a state of bliss and extinction?” He (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) answered: “I am in a state of knowing, praise be to ALLAH

Sidi Muhammad el Ghali (may ALLAH be pleased with him) replied: “What do you think about the words of Sidi Abdul Qadr Djilani (may ALLAH be pleased with him): “My foot is on the shoulders of every saints?”” Seyyidina (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) answered: “It is true but he was speaking of the saints of his time. However, in my case, I say: “My two feet are on the shoulders of all the Wali since Adam and until the end of the world.”

Sidi Muhammad el Ghali (may ALLAH be pleased with him) said to him: «O Sidi, what would you say if someone after you said the same thing?” Seïdina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) anwered: “No one after me will say this.” Sidi Ghali (may ALLAH be pleased with him) replied: “O Master, you are limiting that which is vast. Is ALLAH not able to grant a flux in terms of divine manifestation, acts of grace, elevated rank, knowledge, secrets, elevation and state to a wali superior to what you have received?

Seïdina (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) answered him: “Yes, ALLAH is able. He is able to do much more, but He will not because He does not want to. Is He not able to make someone else a Prophet and send him among men, granting him more than He had given to Muhammad (peace ans blessings be upon him)? » Muhammad El Ghali (may ALLAH be pleased with him) replied: “Of course, but he had not wanted it in the pre-existence.” Then Seïdina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) said: “These two things are similar. He had not wanted in the pre-existence and His Knowledge did not decree it.”

Following his spiritual opening, Sidi Muhammed el Ghali (may ALLAH be pleased with him) settled in the holy land, in accordance with Seyyidina’s order. During his journey, travelling overland to Hijez, he experienced numerous prodigies. This road was the most feared because there were many bandits and only the poorest of pilgrims resigned themselves to travel in this way. Sidi Ghali (may ALLAH be pleased with him) chose this route, accompanied by his children, his wives, his mounts and his money.

When the bandits fell upon them, Sidi Muhammad el Ghali (may ALLAH be pleased with him) simply waved his hand signalling them to move aside and the thieves cleared the road. In some places, people vigorously warned against spending the night there, but Sidi Ghali (may ALLAH be pleased with him) did just this. One time, in one of these places, thieves came and mingled with them but ALLAH (The Glorified, The Exalted) deprived them of their sight and so they could not see them.

Sidi Muhammad el Ghali (may ALLAH be pleased with him) passed away in 1244 of the Hegira in Mecca, and was buried in the cemetery of Khadija (may ALLAH be pleased with her), mother of the believers. Among the strange things that happened to him, Seïdina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) informed some of the companions that it was indispensable that Sidi Muhammad el Ghali (may ALLAH be pleased with him) performed the funeral prayer upon him at the moment of his death.

However, Sidi Muhammad el Ghali (may ALLAH be pleased with him) was traveling at that time, and so he was not able to be present at the time of S’s passing nor during the prayer upon him, nor at his burial. But, according to the decree of ALLAH, Seïdina’s children unearthed the blessed body several months later in order to take it to Algeria*, but the disciples from Fes managed to bring it back and put it back in the noble tomb. At that time, Sidi Muhammad El Ghali (may ALLAH be pleased with him) was present and prayed upon him. In this way, the prediction of Seïdina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) was accomplished.

* The wooden box that was used as a coffin to transport the blessed body of Seïdina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) is, to this day, conserved in the blessed Zawiya of Fes.

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