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.

They inquired after this person until they met some people from the Maghreb. Some of them said: “Ask the people of Fes”. So they approached a group of people from Fes who were staying in that place in order to question them. Some of them spoke of a man who was well-read in the Jurisprudence in Fes, renowned for his wisdom and the science of alchemy.

One of them advised the two seekers to ask another neighbouring group for further information. They went to them. The members of this group mentioned a well-read and knowledgeable man known for his sainthood and they also mentioned a man who was among the elite of the elite of the companions, speaking of Sidi Hajj Ali Harazim (may ALLAH be pleased with him). They described the place where they were staying. Indeed the latter was in Mecca at that time. Cheikh Mohamed El Hafidh (may ALLAH be pleased with him) was deeply touched when he met him and decided to go to Fes after pilgrimage and the of the visit the tomb of the Messenger of ALLAH (peace and blessings be upon him). He invited his traveling companion to go with him but the latter could not leave his caravan.

He undertook the journey to Fes, and once he had arrived, he settled in the well-known Zawiya of Seyyidina (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) where he was educated for two successive years and where he witnessed Seyyidina’s astonishing prodigies. When it was time to leave, Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) bestowed a diploma without any limits except with regards to the nomination of Muqaddem which was limited to ten. This limit is specific to those who belong to the spiritual lineage of Mohamed El Hafidh (may ALLAH be pleased with him) similar to the spiritual lineage of Mohamed El Ghali (may ALLAH be pleased with him). Prior to his departure, he requested advice from Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) who answered as follows: “Do not show that you are part of the Tariqa until ALLAH HimSelf decide to call the people to you.” He returned to his homeland and established himself as a teacher, refraining from calling people to the path, in accordance with the advice of Seyyidina (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret).

One day, after the Asr prayer, Sidi Mohamed El Hafidh (may ALLAH be pleased with him) accompanied by his students, sat down and began his speech. Suddenly, a man who was known for his piety and his encounters with El Khadir (may ALLAH be pleased with him) came in. When he approached the assembly, someone informed Sheikh Mohamed El Hafidh (may ALLAH be pleased with him): “This man is so and so.” So he said: “Glory to God.” Then he went towards the man and asked him to sit beside him, but the man refused and sat opposite him saying: “Do you know why I have come?

Sidi Mohamed El Hafidh (may ALLAH be pleased with him) replied : « No ! » Then the man revealed to him: “I have received the authorization to come to you in order that you give me that which you received on the hill (that is to say Fes).” Sidi Mohamed El Hafidh (may ALLAH be pleased with him) said to him: “O Master, what did I bring back from the hill apart from some books. If you need some of them, I will bring them for you and you can keep them.” Then the man answered: “Spare me all of that. I have come so that you give me the transmission and the authorization for the wird of Sidi Sheikh Ahmed Tidjani…” Sidi Mohamed El Hafidh (may ALLAH be pleased with him) gave it to him. The assembly dispersed, and everyone returned home to their family and their tribe and told them what have happened. So, that very night, the news spread in all the households and Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani’s name was spoken everywhere.

The very next day, crowds of people came in a continuous flow to take the wird through affiliation with him. In this way, the path was transmitted through him in a remarkable fashion and an impressive number of men in the region received the authorization from him his hands. Among the ten people to whom he granted the title of Muqaddam was his wife the saintly lady Fatima who attained the knowledge of ALLAH. She used to see her noble husband after his death and discussed various subjects with him. For this, she performed her ablutions and then sat facing the Qibla and veiled her face, and then he would appear. Among the disciples who received the Tariqa from his hands was one of the famous saints, the virtuous wali, the meritorious Sidi Mawlud Fall (may ALLAH be pleased with him). His merit was so great that, alone, this extraordinary person would have sufficed.

Through his intermediary, an eminent group of knowers was formed, of which Sidi Bane Oume, otherwise known as Bouwalid Hamma Khtar (may ALLAH be pleased with them), was a member. This noble person held the wird Kuntiy, having been previously affiliated to the Tariqa Kuntiya, which he left in order to follow the Tariqa Tidjaniya. Shortly afterwards, he saw the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) in a dream, with Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) and Sheikh Mukhtar el Kuntiy sitting beside him. He recounts: “Sheikh Mukhtar blamed me for leaving his wird in order to take that of Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret). At that moment, I was watching Seyyidina (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) thinking that maybe he would reply? But his head and his gaze were lowered before the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) demonstrating exemplary behaviour without moving. When Sheikh Mukhtar’s reproaches became relentless, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) turned to him and said: “Here are the people that ALLAH has guided, follow their guidance.” Then he remained silent.

Sidi Mohammed El Hafidh (may ALLAH be pleased with them) passed away in the year 1245 of the hegira at the age of seventy or seventy-three and was buried in a place called Anfani, near the town of Butilimit (Mauritania).

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