Among the companions, the great scholar, perspicacious and endowed with understanding, the Malikite, practitioner of the most righteous knowledge, custodian of secrets and knowledge, pundit of the Tariqa Tidjaniya, the sherif of great worth Abu Abdallah Sidi Muhammad Ibn Mechri (may ALLAH be pleased with him). He was one of the elite among the elite of the companions of Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret), among those who inherited from the source of revealed knowledge and who had access to certain secrets of the world of mysteries.

Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) nominated him Imam for the prayer, and scribe to compose his letters and answers, to write what he heard or what was dictated to him. His first encounter with Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) was in 1188, the year that he returned from pilgrimage to Tlemcen. Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) transmitted the khalwatiya path to his companion, custodian of his secrets, the great scholar Sidi Muhammad Ibn Mechri El Hassani As-sa-ihi At-Touqourti (may ALLAH be pleased with him). Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) also gave him other secrets and other azkar and he stayed with him until he died in 1224.

Sidi Muhammad Ibn Mechri (may ALLAH be pleased with him) devoted his whole life to the service Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) and the Tariqa, and he died six years before Seyyidina Sheikh Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret). The most famous precursors among the companions of Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) took the Tariqa Khalwatiyya from him, as did Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Harazim (may ALLAH be pleased with him). Indeed, the latter mentioned his lineage of affiliation to the Khalwatiyya in the book Djawahiru-l-Ma’ani and specified that he received it from Sidi Muhammad Ibn Mechri (may ALLAH be pleased with him) who himself had received it from Sheikh (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) prior to receiving the Tariqa Tidjaniyya. Then, when Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) transmitted the special authorization in the Tariqa Tidjaniyya, he authorized Sidi Muhammad Ibn Mechri (may ALLAH be pleased with him), in turn, to transmit the Tariqa.

Sidi Muhammad Ibn Mechri (may ALLAH be pleased with him) returned to the East of Algeria and transmited the Tariqa to the people of his tribe, the Awlad Sayah, and also to the great companions of the Sheikh in that region, and so the Tariqa spread from the region of Souf as far as Tunisia. Among those to whom he granted his authorization in Constantine, was Sheikh ibn Matmatiya.

For his whole life, he never did anything for his own benefit, he made himself completely available in order to accompany the Sheikh (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret). He left neither money, nor children, nor wife. He was buried in Ain Madhi next to the parents of the Sheikh (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret). He was an intimate friend of Seyyidina Sheikh Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) and when he died, Sheikh (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) wrote the following letter of condolence to his family:

« In the Name of ALLAH, The Beneficient, The Merciful,
And may the prayer and the salutation of ALLAH be upon our master Muhammad, his family and his companions,
After praising ALLAH, His Majesty is Exalted, His Greatness is Powerful, His Glory is Most High, His Magnificence and Generosity are Sanctified,
This letter is intended for our loved ones and our friends, all who hold a special place in our hearts, members of the tribe of Awlad Sidi Muhammad Sayah, to each and every one of you in person, individually […], may the Peace, the Mercy, the Blessing of ALLAH The Most High be upon you and upon all your children and your beloved, from the poor servant in ALLAH, Ahmed ibn Mohamed Tidjani,
We request ALLAH to increase our retribution and yours, and to grant us and you the deepest condolences (formula used to offer condolences), and to relieve us and you of our pain upon the loss of Sidi Muhammad ibn Mechri. You should know that our pain upon this loss is greater than yours […].”

Sidi Muhammad Ibn Mechri (may ALLAH be pleased with him) is the author of the book El Jami’ which is a collection of various knowledge. He also wrote a book called Nousra El Chourafa Fi rad ‘ala ahlou jafa (Supportive response for the shourafa to arrogant people), also known as Mawahib el Minan which was the first book ever written in the Tariqa.

Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) appointed him Imam to lead the prayer, because at that time, he didn’t want to take the role of Imam except when he was at home with his family. In 1208, He was obliged to take on this role due to circumstances. This was narrated in Djawahirou-l-Ma'ani. It was handed down by the companions that Sidi Muhammad Ibn Mechri (may ALLAH be pleased with him) became Imam upon the authorization of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and fulfilled this noble function for about fifteen years. Later, Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) said: “He who I cannot contradict instructed me to never pray behind anyone except the prayer on Friday.” If he was obliged to perform dry ablutions (tayamum) and it was time for the prayer and he was with his companions, he led the prayer nonetheless although they had performed their ablutions with water. But he warned them in advance: “I am obliged to perform tayamum. If you wish you may pray behind a different Imam.” And he did not blame those who did. The prayer of those who performed it behind him was perfect according to the Qadi Abu Bakr ibn Arabi and Ibm Majichouche. In addition, Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) had said the same thing concerning the merits of performing the prayer behind people of high rank.

The spiritual states of love (Mahaba) of Sidi Muhammad ibn Mechri (may Allah be pleased with him) was powerful.

Among the events proving this, it has been said that one day Sidi Muhammad Ibn Mechri (may ALLAH be pleased with him) was riding his mare in the desert when he passed the tomb of a famous wali endowed with the power of governance (Tasrif), who happened also to be his ancestor. Out of love to Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret), he had not wanted to visit the tomb, but the mare’s hooves suddenly sunk into the sand. He turned towards the tomb and said: “I swear upon ALLAH, if you do not release my mare, I will complain Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani who will take action against you. The mare was immediately released, as if nothing had occurred.”

It is said in Djawahirou-l-Ma'ani , praising the qualities of Sidi Muhammad Ibn Mechri (may ALLAH be pleased with him), that Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) only prayed behind Imams if they were not subject to reprobation according the Law (Shari’a). For example, if someone accepted bribes, Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) would not pray behind him. Therefore Seyyidina’s Imam was the perspicacious scholar endowed with understanding who had gathered together the Haqiqa and the Shari’a and the knowledge of the Tariqa, who was the guardian of his secret and his covenant, place of his compassion, his intimate companion: Abu Abdallah Sidi Muhammad Ibn Mechri , the Sherif of high rank.
He originated from Toggourt, in Algeria, a city famed for its knowledge and its Saints, its scholars and well-guided Imams. All the inhabitants of the town had taken the Tariqa. They would visit Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret), and the journey to meet him would take more than 20 days. They brought for him monetary gifts as well as dates and clothing. They could often be found at Seyyidina’s house and their behaviour, their religion and knowledge was unequalled. Indeed, they were already scholars before meeting Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) and groups bringing gifts came from all over the region. No one was more worthy than them, nobody’s intention was better. Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) paid special intention to them, more so than to his near and dear. When questioned about this, He (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) answered: “They are unlike others because they seek the highest degrees and all the aspects of the Sunna. May ALLAH be pleased with them.”

Sidi Mechri stayed with Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) from 1188 to 1213, and joined Seyyidina’s journey from Bussemghum to Fes. He was among those who attained the spiritual opening in this tariqa Muhammadiya during Seyyidina’s lifetime, and this is the reason why he was instructed to leave the country. He (may ALLAH be pleased with him) wrote in his book El Jami’: “One day, I heard Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani saying: “If ALLAH grants spiritual opening to one of my companions who resides in the same region as me and who fears for his personal loss should leave.” Some of his companions asked: “Does this come from you or from ALLAH?” To which he answered: “This comes from ALLAH, without any personal choice.” Sidi Muhammad Ibn Mechri (may ALLAH be pleased with him) went to Tlemcen as he had been instructed and then to Bussemghun and finally to Ain Madhi and after presenting his apologies to the brothers in Fes. He succumbed to disease in Ain Madhi. Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) instructed all those who had received the wird from him, wherever their origins, to renew their affiliation.