Allama Sidi Mohammed ibn Mohammed al-Hajouji al-Idrissi al-Hassani (d. 1371/1952)
The Concealed Pole & Known Mohammedian Seal, Seal of Special Mohammedian Sainthood, Shaykh Abil Abbas Sidi Ahmed Tijani (may Allah be pleased with him)
“If the greatest Poles (Aqtab) of the Ummah are added together they would not reach the hair weight of the ocean of a group of my companions.” (Sidna Shaykh Abil Abbas Tijani)
The second-generation Tijani awakening that took place at the beginning of the twentieth century Morocco at the hand of unique muqaddams, which paralleled simultaneously parallel Tijani movements in the Maghreb, West Africa and the Hijaz to turn the Ahmediya-Mohammediya-Tijaniya Sufi Path the most widespread, numerous and influential order amidst the ulama, the elite, the notable and the common alike; this awakening was set in motion by a sharif leader called Sidi Mohammed ibn Mohammed ibn al-Mahdi al-‘Hajuji al-Idrissi al-Hassani al-Fasi who followed the footsteps of the direct companions of our Master and Lord, the Seal of Special Mohammedian Sainthood, the Concealed Pole, Mawlana Abul Abbas Ahmed ibn Mhammed ibn al-Mokhtar Tijani al-Hassani (may Allah provide us from his overflowing with the best of receptacles). Under the career of Sidi Mohammed ibn Mohammed al-‘Hajuji, the Tijani Path diversified in the Sus al-Aqsa and particularly in Damnat –a vast vicinity between Marrakech and the Atlantic ocean. His initiates there had already spread widely, forming new zawiyas, but retaining the ascription. The Tijanite ‘Hajuji branch became the most important Sufi movement in the region, but also networked with the Tijani veterans of Marrakech, i.e. al-'Allama Sidi al-Hassan al-Baaqili (d. 1363/1948) and al-'Allama Sidi Mohammed ibn Abdelwahid Nadhifi (d. 1370/1951) to spread the Tariqa throughout the Maghreb, Egypt and the Hijaz, excelling, interestingly and most effectively, in the exploitation of the nineteenth century’s new telecommunication and transportation innovations. Some long established zawiya groups attached themselves to the new line; this includes the Shadhilite Nasiris, who deserted their Nasiriya attachment and joined the Tijaniya for obvious reasons.
Al-Allama Sidi Mohammed ibn Mohammed al-‘Hajuji was born in Fez on Thursday on the 27th of Ramadan, 1297 or 1882. The date of his birth was of considerable significance, as it fell on the day that Laylat al-Qadr (Night of Power) is traditionally celebrated. Later in his life, it was said that it was his being born on the Laylat al-Qadr that led to him being given the sharifian name Mohammed. There is certainly no doubt that this coincidence with the Holy Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) contributed to give him a mark of piety and mystic force. Later, the sharif Sidi Mohammed al-‘Hajuji was to comment on the need to know both one’s physical father and one’s spiritual father; remarking that it was more important to know the spiritual father than the physical one. We do not know very much of Sidi al-‘Hajuji’s father. He was also noted for his scholarly knowledge.
His full name included several nisbas that showed his high status. He was known as al-‘Hajuji al-Idrissi al-Hassani al-Fasi. The most important of these was no doubt that he was a sharif, one of the descendents of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) through the line of the eldest of his grandsons, Mawlana al-Hassan ibn Ali (may Allah be satisfied with both of them). A sharif has a high status anywhere in the Islamic world, but this is very marked in Morocco. Here the descendents of Mawlana al-Imam Idriss ibn Abdellah al-Kamil, a great-great grandson of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) are particularly revered among the Holy Prophet’s family. This goes back to the 780’s, when Mawlana Idriss set up an independent state in defiance of the ‘Abbasids. The Idrissids became, by the course of time, the object of widespread veneration, and their members, the numbers of who increased, played important social roles both as propagators of Islam, and also as middlemen between the Bedouin tribes when conflicts arose. The veneration also had a political side, in that both of the Sa’adi and the ‘Alawi dynasties, who have ruled Morocco since 1536, claimed their legitimacy from their sharifhood.
The memory of this tradition is very strong, and
was to contributed to its transmission through his would-be-hundred writings
which relates the sharifian background of the Moroccan Kingdom, and thus his
own ancestry. The al-‘Hajuji family is an Idrissid one. Later in his life
when he was invited by the people of Damnat to establish a Tijani centre in
their vicinity, his career took on the function of a middleman very similar
to the one the Idrissid scholarly families plated nationwide. The family,
then, was one whose status was based on religious piety, as is seen among
his immediate relations.
Having memorized the Quran, it became clear that he had a special devotion to prayer and contemplation. In 1315/1900, he began attending the al-Qarawiyyine University, students throughout the Maghreb came to study Islamic sciences. While at the Qarawiyyine, the young Sidi Mohammed al-‘Hajuji received instruction from a number of distinguished ulama in the standard subjects of Hadith, exegesis, scholastic theology (‘ilm al-kalam), grammar (na’hw), and commentaries on notable works among the cannon of Maliki fiqh. Sidi Mohammed al-‘Hajuji complied a “catalogue of learning” or fahrasa he called, Kitab Nayl al-murad fi-ma’rifat rijal al-isnad (The Ambition in the Introduction of the Men of Initiation) where he officially lists the learning he has acquired and from whom he took it. It contains those teachers he considered the most significant; those who had the greatest knowledge, notably. Most or all of them considered being the sultan’s leading allies within the al-Qarawiyyine and also in the group of scholars, e.g. Shaykh al-Jama’a Sidi Mhammed ibn Mohammed ibn Abdessalam Genoun (d. 1326/1911), Shaykh Mohammed ibn Tuhami al-Wazzani (d. 1311/1896), Shaykh Tayyeb ibn Abi Bakr Ibn Kiran (d. 1314/1899), Shaykh Moulay Abdellmalik ibn Mohammed ad-Darir Alawi (d. 1318/1903), Shaykh Ahmed ibn al-Jilali al-Amghari, Shaykh Moulay Abdellmalik ad-Darir Alawi (d. 1318/1903), Shaykh Mohammed ibn Jaafar al-Kattani (d. 1345/1930) and his father Shaykh Jaafar al-Kattani (d. 1323/1908), Shaykh Mhammed ibn Qacem al-Qadiri al-Hassani (d. 1331/1916), Shaykh Ahmed ibn Mohammed ibn al-Khayyat Zakkari al-Hassani.
Biographical sources stress that al-Allama Sidi Mohammed al-‘Hajuji was noticed as a learned scholar at young age. He is said to have read the Sahih of al-Bukhari in fifty sessions and to have known it by heart; a wondrous feat. The Shaykh did not only study religious science in Fez. In his curriculum were also subjects like arithmetic, geodesy, astronomy, physics, geography, algebra, music, geometry and the calculation of spaces (taksir), judical astrology, genealogy, and arcane sciences like awfaq and sirr al-‘huruf (alphabets’ secrets), and similar. The relationship between students and teachers was normally not closed. Only after some time would the teacher recognize a prominent student, perhaps after having being invited by the student to take food with him. When the teacher deemed the student advanced enough to teach on his own, he would give him and ijaza, or license to teach. The teachers would change their teaching schedule regularly, for example teaching ‘Hadith only in Rajab, Sha’aban and Ramadan. Whenever one of the great scholars started or finished teaching or commenting on a particular major work, it was a notable occasion.
Al-Allama al-‘Hajuji is said to have acquired the status of the Grand Shaykh (al-mashyakha al-kubra) and to have been appointed teacher at the al-Qarawiyyine. Kitab Nayl al-murad is not his best-known work. The Shaykh’s famed exoteric chronicles are rather traditional references, mostly in the ‘Hadith curricula, e.g. Kitab ‘Aqd ad-dur wa al-yaqut wa al-marjan fi-tafsiir al-Qur’an (The Ribbon of Pearls and Corundum and Corals in the Interpretation of the Quran) in four volumes, Kitab Bughyat al-sail fi-takhriij A’hadiit al-Shamail (The Desire of Investigator in the Perception of the ‘Hadiths of Kitab Shamail), Kitab Mi’hat al-Wahhab fi-takhrij A’hadiit al-Shihab (Endowment of the All-Giver in the Perception of the Hadiths of Kitab al-Shihab), Kitab al-Muqiim wa al-saa’ii li-fahmi a’hadith al-Qudha’i (The Book of the Resident and the Wanderer in the Comprehension of the Hadiths of al-Qudha’i), “Fat’h al-Qadir fi-shar’h at-tarikh as-sakhir” (The Opening of the Most Capable in the Commentary of Imam al-Bukhari’s Book: ‘The Short History’), “Shifa’ al-gharam fi-‘hajji Bayti Allah al-‘Haram wa zayrat al-Mustapha ‘alayhi as-salat wa as-salam” (The Antidote of Affection in the Pilgrimage to Allah’s Sanctuary and Visitation of the Chosen Prophet, Blessing and Peace be upon Him). Sidi Mohammed al-‘Hajuji has also complied a summary on the Commentary of Shaykh Jassus, a commentary on the Musnad of al-Darami, and a hagiography on the scholars mentioned in Kitab as-Shifa bita'rif huquq al-Mustapha (The Antidote in Knowing the Rights of the Chosen Prophet) of Sidi Qadi Abul Fadl Iyyad (d. 544/1129).
Firmly grounded in the more legalistic subjects of Islamic learning, al-Allama al-‘Hajuji desired to further his understanding of the “divine secrets” through the academic teachings of Sufism. During this period, he studied the writings of Shaykh Abu Najib as-Sahrawardi (d. 563/1148), Shaykh Muhyi'd-Diin ibn Arabi (d. 636/1221), Shaykh Abu Hamid al-Ghazali's (d. 526/1111), Shaykh Ahmed ibn Ata'Allah al-Iskandari (d. 709/1294), Shaykh Abdelwahhab Shaarani (d. 905/1490), and Shaykh Abdellaziz Debbarh (d. 1132/1717). He also practiced solitary and group prayers in the tradition of Moroccan Sufism. His interests in mysticism led him to perform constant visitations to his grandfather Mawlana Idriss al-Azhar (d. 213/798). He also took the attributes of Sufism seriously and acetic practices such as the rejection of worldly goods, isolation, and silent contemplation to facilitate his travel along the path of illumination and bring him closer to Allah Almighty.
It appears to be a milieu of strictly orthodox scholars that Sidi Mohammed al-‘Hajuji joined the Tijaniya. After he passed through the usual stages of induction into the religious disciplines he was initiated into the Ahmediya Mohammediya Ibrahimiya ’Hanifiya Tijaniya circle the hand of the great scholar, the Qutb Sidi al-Ahsan ibn Mohammed al-Baaqili al-Hassani. Although most of what we know about Sidi Mohammed al-‘Hajuji comes from oral tradition and testimonies of his direct students, much of his spiritual work appears in a body of his letters recollected in “Rasail al-‘Allama Sidi Mohammed ibn Mohammed al-‘Hajuji”, by the living baraka of Rabat, Dr. Sidi Mohammed Erradi Genoun al-Hassani al-Idrissi. In this contemporary treatise we are informed that few months after Sidi Mohammed al-‘Hajuji’s attachment to the Mohammediya Tijaniya Tariqa, the faqih began to have mystical experiences that influenced him permanently; Allah Almighty stripped the veil from his sight, the imperfection from his hearing, and sense of smell, the flatness from his taste, the knots from his hands, and the heaviness from his feet and body. Similar to the opening (al-fath) of the eighteenth century pole, Moulay Abdellaziz Debbarh (d. 1132/1717) which is described in Kitab al-Ibriz, al-‘Hajuji saw things far away like near things and heard distant sounds like close ones. He smelt the good smell of the worshiper of Almighty Allah, sweeter than any sweetness, and the bad odor of the sinful man, more repugnant than any putrefaction.
However, such limited opening (al-fat’h al-saghir) is not necessarily
identical to breathe the death of the lower ego (mawt al-nafs). According to
Shaykh Abdellaziz Debbarh, two kinds of openings are distinguished: the
normal fath where Moulay Abdellaziz writes about his own early limited
(dayyiq) fath and the ultimate, all-inclusive, al-fath al-kabÄ?r. The first
step is that the novice descends into his inner self, into the region of
darkness of his veins which are the locus of his lower character traits, in
order to purify these traits. If he succeeds in this, he can attain the
first stage of illumination. The secrets of the material cosmos reveal
themselves to him (futiha). His sense organs become capable of perceiving
the whole of the physical cosmos. Since the cosmos, that is the different
worlds of the earths and the stars, belong to the realm of darkness
(dhalam), this is a fath dhulmani, an illumination which the unbelievers can
also attain, an enlightenment which does not bring with it any certainty of
knowledge. It is only to the believing Muslim that the spiritual cosmos
reveals itself. He beholds the angels, the prophets, the spirits of the
Friends of God, as well as Paradise, Hell and the barzakh. This is the
al-fath al-kabir, the great illumination. But even at this stage there is
the danger of falling into error. For example, spiritually consorting with
Sidna Aissa (“Jesus,” peace upon him) which is made possible by fath can
seduce the illuminated individual to renounce Islam and become a Christian.
Mawt al-nafs usually pave the way to maqam of fana’ (annihilation); an antonym to the maqam of baqa’ (subsistence, duration, or life in Allah). In the Sufi terminology, the term “al-maqam” (stage) is distinguished from that of the “al-’hal” (station). Whereas the “al-maqam” is a matter of conscious discipline and spiritual concentration, the “al-’hal” is a divine grace that comes over the Sufi without preparation or striving, such as constriction (qabd), expansion (bast), longing (shawq), anxiety (nashat), fear (khawf), or joy (nashwa). Because the spiritual state is a combination of feelings, one might say that every "maqam” is associated with many a’hwal (plural of al-'hal). The 'hal then progresses to the interior (batin) of the 'hal, which is realization (tahqiq), then to the secret of the interior of the 'hal, which is the transparency of the heart, then to the essence of the secret of the interior of the 'hal, which is the stage of direct vision of the heart, leading finally to maqam al-baqa’.
To illustrate further it is at the stage of fana’ that the Sufi can become flooded with light and receives revelations of the truth. The fana’ is the result of detachment from this world which proceeds to the obliteration (mahw) of the nafs. This is supported by the ‘Hadith of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him): "Die before you die." The fana’ is the death of the ego, or more specifically its desires. "The Sufi in the station of fana”, said Sidi Abul Hassan Shadhili (d. 656-1258), "sees his own existence as particles of dust made visible by a ray of sunlight: neither real nor unreal." Of the same spiritual vision the famous Shaykh Sidi Abu Madyan Ghawt (d. 594/1198) says in a poem:
Everything is outside of Almighty Allah is unreal, everything taken individually
or collectively, when you truly know it.
Know: without Him the whole creation, including you, would
Disappear, and come to naught.
Whatever does not have it roots in His Being, can in no wise be real.
The Knowers of Almighty Allah are as if extinguished. What else can they look upon,
but Him, the Transcendent, the Glorious?
Everything you see outside of Him, has truly being destined for
destruction, the past, in the future, and in the present moment.
The Shaykh Sidi Ahmed Zarruq says, “The fruit of the company of the men of Allah is the realization of the station of arrival (tahqiq maqam al-wisal); and the arrival (al-wusul) is extinction in the Essence (al-fana fi ad-daat), the station of perfect accomplishment (ihsan), the station of the contemplative vision in which that which exists is extinguished and in which only the Existenciator submits. It might also be said that which appears to the senses evaporates, while that which is spiritual remains, such that the servant is submerged by the ocean of spiritual meanings and he is served from the vision of material containers.”
Nonetheless al-Imam Abil Qacem al-Junaid (d. 297/910) emphasizes that the Sufi's final goal should not be fana’ but baqa’. Sidi Muhyi'd-Diin ibn Arabi (d. 636/1221) states, “To return to one's primordial nature voluntarily while in this world demands the shedding of illusions. This journey of awakening ends with the complete fana’ of all other than Almighty Allah, out of which arises a new kind of baqa’ in full consciousness. Here the true human being becomes the one with two eyes, seeing the One and the many, Almighty Allah in the creature and the creature in Almighty Allah, without being veiled by either. The world is seen as the theatre of divine theophanies (tajalli), renewed at each instant by the ‘breathing-out’ of Almighty Allah.” Sidi Abul Qacem al-Qushayri (d. 467/1074), on the other hand, describes both concepts in ethical sense: fana’ is the annihilation of blameworthy characteristics, and baqa’ is the establishment of praiseworthy characters. The one naturally entails the other. Those who abandon blameworthy deeds have died to their passions, and those who renounce the luxuries of this world have passed away from their desires.
Some Sufis point out, furthermore, that the maqam of wajd is the real essence of Sufism. It is possible that a person may loose the state of expansion (bast) and enter a state of giddiness and unconsciousness in laughter. Almighty Allah protects the murid from this with what is called wajd. This wajd is a state of constant longing (shawq). He longs, with all his being, for Almighty Allah. Longing is higher than love (mahabba). Love contains the seeds of the tree of longing. Longing has another gate inside it, which is called passionate love ('ishq). If the passionate lover becomes fixed, he is created in the object of his love. If he is created in the Beloved, then he is born in Him. Every intoxicated drink (khamra) increases his longing. Longing seizes only in witness (shuhud), which is the condition of the al-Qutb al-Jami’a only. In this station, if the heart of the Qutb leaned towards the Real (al-‘Haqq), it would see Him. Complete vision, without limitation. Nevertheless only the al-Qutb al-Jami’a would reach this stage. It is at this time that the Qutb Moulay Abdellaziz Debbarh said:
I see within my essence the seven heavens and earths, the Throne and the Seventy Covers above; between every two covers seventy thousand years filled with angels, as well as the realm of al-Ruqqa above the Seventy Covers. I am the disposer of the affaires of these universes (wa hatihi al-akwan la tatasarrafu illa biamri).
As the station of al-Allama al-‘Hajuji matured, his
earnings of divine secrets grew. Based on the famous Sufi saying, "Every
maqam in which you stop veils you from your lord," Sidi Mohammed al-’Hajuji
felt the need to an extra and final spiritual exercise through which he
completes his mystic training profile: to see the Holy Prophet (peace and
blessing be upon him) in daylight. This Mohammedian-centered artery is
originated from the coaching of our
Master Abul Abbas Mawlana Ahmed Tijani who saw Sidna Mohammed (peace and blessing be upon him) in a "awakened
vision" (yaqadhatan) and told him: "No Shaykh has favor on you, as I am your
true intermediary and supporter. So abandon all that you have taken from all
other orders and hold fast to this Tariqa".
Tijani literature says little about tarbiya (mystic training) or the preconditions for fat’h: traveling the path through the stages of fana’ and baqa’. These matters are taken for granted. The focus is rather on the absolute, continuous daylight witness of the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) in daylight mushahada-t al-Nabi yaqadhatan). It is in this stage that one of the great Sufis said: "Were the Messenger of Allah is absent from me for the blink of an eye, I would not consider myself to be among the living." As long as the Sufi can see the Messenger, he can see the whole universe. Seeing the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) in a waking state is possible because the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) is endowed with a light that fills the entire world. However, in order to experience a vision of the Prophet while awake, a person must be in a special mental state. Shaykh Sidi Abdellaziz Debbarh describes in his Ibriz the state in the following terms,
His mind is constantly occupied with the noble Prophet, such that the Prophet never leaves his thoughts. Other matters he is busy with, do not cause him to stop thinking of the Prophet. People see him eating, but his thoughts are with the Prophet; people see him drinking, but his thoughts are with the Prophet. Even when his is asleep, his thoughts are with the Prophet. As for seeing Sidna Mohammed (peace and blessing be upon him) in a dream (ru'aya). Whoever sees the Lord of Being (sayyidu al-wujud) in a dream can do so in two ways… Usually what is seen is the image of the Dat (essence) (suratu datihi), not the Dat itself ('aynu datihi), since the Dat of the Prophet can take on various forms… because the Dat of the Prophet possesses light which emanates from it and fills the entire world… If an enlightened person (al-maftuhu alayhi) beholds the image (sura) of the Prophet before him, he then follows it with his spiritual deeper-sight (basira) and penetrates through light of the image of the Dat of the Prophet himself.
If he attains the witness (mushahada) of the Prophet while awake (yaqadatan), he is secure from Satan’s deceit, because he is united with (li-jtima’ihi m’a) the Mercy of God, who is our Lord and Prophet and Master, Sidna Mohammed (peace and blessing be upon him). Thus his meeting with the noble body (ad-Dat Sharifa) is the cause of his knowledge of the Real (al-Haqq) and his witness of His eternal essence, because he finds that the noble body is absent (ghaiba) in the Real, enraptured (faniya) in witnessing Him (fi mushadatihi). The saint, by the blessing of the noble body, remains attached to the Real and increases in his knowledge of Him Almighty little by little until he attains witness and the secrets of mystical knowledge and the light of love. This is the second fath, and it divides the people of truth from the people of vanity. As for the first fath, that is what happens to the people of darkness (ahl dhalam) who witness ephemeral things and gain mastery over them. You will see a person engaged in such vanities walking on water or flying over the sky or bringing food from an unknown source, though he doesn't even believe in God.
From this it is perfectly clear that the
Mohammediya Ibrahimiya ’Hanifiya Tijaniya is a mystic path in a form of
prophetic concentration. It is the mystical intensification of the
traditional conformity to the Sunna of the Prophet (peace and blessing be
upon him) which involves replacing the authority of the written word by the
Qudwa al-Hasana —by beholding the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him)
and communicating with him directly. Beholding the Prophet (peace and
blessing be upon him) is the greatest pleasure (ladha) that a human being
can experience. It is even greater than the joys of Paradise. The Prophet
(peace and blessing be upon him) is of course emphasized by all the Sufi
orders, but in the practice of the this Ahmediya Mohammediya Ibrahimiya
’Hanifiya Tijaniya, the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) tends more
to occupy the position of focus of concentration than in other tariqas,
almost or entirely replacing the focus on the Shaykh and/or the name of
Allah found elsewhere. In its most characteristic form, the 'wakening
vision' of the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) is the objective of
all the followers of the Ahmediya Mohammediya Ibrahimiya ‘Hanifiya Tijaniya
tariqa, not just the Shaykh himself.
This Mohammedianism of the Tijani Path explains the Tijani scholars’ obvious lack of interest to tackle matters of tarbiya or the preconditions for fat’h. The illustrious Shaykh and venerable Qutb, Sidi Mohammed ibn al-Arbi Sayeh (d. 1309/1894) had so little to say on the subject in his Bughyat al-Mustafid (Aspiration of the Beneficiary),
The sphere of training and purification in this noble Mohammedian Spiritual Path of ours is centered on the performance of the well-known basic wird, without which entry into the Path is not permissible for anyone, neither among the elite nor among the common folk. The same applies to its adjuncts, i.e. remembrances (adhkar) that are necessarily connected with it: namely the well-known daily office (wadhifa) and the remembrance of the Haylala in the wake of the evening ritual prayer on Friday.
In all of that, there must be careful observance of the stipulated conditions and the proper modes of conduct, which are dependent on the utmost excellence and the ultimate perfection. Of all the stipulations, that which is most imperative and most important is careful observance of the five daily prayers with their customary practices, to the extent prescribed for them by the Divine Law (Shari’a), as far as possible, as well as the perfect fulfillment of their stipulations and their customary practices, and the complete performance of all their basic elements.
Then comes the dedication of the moments and the hours, to the maximum extent possible, to the invocation of blessing upon the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him), especially the invocation of Salat al-Fatih Prayer, which is one of the most exalted treasures and the most radiant commodities. This training consists of loving affection, thankfulness, and reliance on the sheer grace which is the only reliable support in the domain of realization, without the necessity of secluded retreat, a great deal of strenuous exertion, and other methods of training adopted after the earliest period.
Sidi al-Arabi ibn Sayeh said in al-Jawab Shafi (The Reply of Remedy):
For someone who is driven by force of good fortune to enter this Ahmedi Spiritual Path, and who is attracted by the attraction of providence to embark on the course of the people of this Mohammedian line of succession (silsila), and whom Allah has made fit by His gracious favor to experience this superb peculiarity, and whom He has admitted by His generosity to this mightiest treasure and most splendid store, his only remaining option is to yoke himself to this sublime teacher. He must set himself at his door and cling to his threshold, by means of loving affection, submission, surrendering his will to him, and accepting his judgment. He must apply himself with diligent perseverance to his noble Mohammedian wird with complete observance of its stipulated conditions, and making the utmost effort to keep within it precise limits, so that Allah may permit him to achieve success, while he remains in his normal state without secluded retreat, or strenuous exertion, or conventional spiritual exercises of other kinds. If he perseveres with diligence in the manner described, success will either come upon him suddenly or take him by surprise. Allah will favor him by removing the veil from the eyes of his heart, so he will begin to unite with the spirituality of the Shaykh (may Allah be pleased with him) or with the spirituality of the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) and his training will thus be directed by the flow of abundant grace from one of them, or from both of them together. Such is the grace of Allah, which He gives unto whom He will, and Allah is All Embracing, All Knowing (5:54)"
As we are told in Jawahir al Ma'ani,
The Prophet told our master (Shaykh Tijani) that he was the mediator between him and Almighty Allah and one who assisted him, really and truly. He let him know that he was his guardian and his trainer, not any of the other Shaykhs of the Spiritual Path. He also informed him that he owed no favor to any one of them, because everything he received from Allah came with his help (peace and blessing be upon him) through his mediation from Him to him. Then he told him in the advice he bequeathed to him: "You must adhere to this Spiritual Path without seclusion or isolation from people, so that you may attain to your spiritual station which you have been promised, while maintaining your normal state without restraint, without constriction, and without a great deal of strenuous exertion."
The gnostic sage Sidi Sharafuddin al-Busairi (d. 697/1282) said in a poem of his,
Excellence is not achieved by someone who resorts
to narrow abstinence, nor to asceticism
If that is said to be the medication, you must say:
"The antimony of the healthy is unlike the antimony of the sore eyed?"
The active person moves wherever he will, but any other
moves like a stone, with the movement of one who is shackled.
Sidi Mohammed al-‘Hajuji obtained various
distinguished ijazas of taqdim (supreme Tijanite authority) from Sidi
Mohammed ibn Abdellwahid al-Nadhifi. Studying under these scholars, Sidi
Mohammed al-’Hajuji had the opportunity to draw from the most important
sources of Tijani doctrine then available in Morocco. When he came out after
years of formation, the Shaykh turned with great vigor and enthusiasm to
preaching exoteric and esoteric sciences. Achieving a firm grounding in the
realms of classical jurisprudence and their principles on the Maliki rite,
the young Sufi’s affiliation with the Tijaniya, his associations with the
Tijani ulama and all the companions and confidents of the blessed Tariqa,
and his numerous extant writings assure that esotericism not only informed
his outlook, but was central to his understanding of the Shari’a and its
interpretation. Although the fuqaha were deeply respected for their learning
and piety, Sidi Mohammed al-‘Hajuji held that it was only the Sufis who
could know revelation in its fullest meanings.
The remainder of Sidi Mohammed al-’Hajuji's life was devoted to the spiritual path and the training of disciples. Brought up in the formal Tijani tradition grafted on to the legal tradition, Sidi Mohammed al-‘Hajuji reacted against the blameworthy innovations (bida’a) in the Moroccan Badiya (countryside) which went under the guise of Sufism. Clearly this came later in his life after he abandoned Fez to Damnat, never to return. As an experienced faqih, claiming to restore the pure faith as it was before it had been corrupted by the ‘ulama, an upstart moreover, not a recognized member of the religious hierarchy of a place where Jazouli and Nasiri domination were well-established for centuries, he was naturally not welcome. The ulama whose hearts were eaten up by hatred and envy, disputed with him, but his divinely inspired floods of eloquence, to say nothing of sharifian bloodline and al-Qarawiyyine profile, gushed forth and it was said that masses of people joined the Tariqa afterwards in folds. He became amongst the most imminent scholars in the Damnat region and grouped around him a great number of pupils, and of the many who took the Tijaniya from him simply to accept the invitation of the driver of rapture (saiq as-sa’ada). Like his Tijani predecessors, Sidi Mohammed al-‘Hajuji was constantly in the state of abstinence and pursued the groovy style of Malamatiya established by the greatest Companion, the first Righteous Caliph, Mawlana Abi Bakr al-Siddiq (may Allah be pleased with him). Sidi ‘Hamdun al-Qassar (d. 271/884) is reputed with a saying on the path of blame (tariq al-malama): "Avoid impressing human beings at all times and avoid seeing their pleasure in any type of characteristic or behavior. If you do not, you will soon be blamed for what Almighty Allah agency has caused you to possess." The Fasite Sidi Ali ibn Harzihim (d. 559/1246) is credited for founding the path of blame in Morocco. But n Ibn Harzihim's case, malamati behavior did not imply the open contravention of the Shari'a that earned antinomian extremists the censure ulama throughout the Muslim world.
Ibn Harzihim’s line of Malamatiya represents the stance of the followers of the Concealed Pole, Mawlana Abul Abbas Ahmed ibn Mhammed Tijani al-Hassani (may Allah provide us from his overflowing with the best of receptacles). Spiritual life, Sidi Mohammed al-‘Hajuji used to say, is not possible unless one controls his natural urges and adopts the path of the Shari'a in every matter, whether it is related to food and drink, dress and material relations, or habits and preferences, one has to subordinate himself to the injunctions of the Shari'a. Sidi Mohammed al-’Hajuji's utmost source of inspiration on the Shari'a was Sidna Shaykh Abil Abbas Tijani, whose views he often cited in assemblies. He usually referred to him in the regard of adherence to the Shari'a and reaffirmed his creed of not separating the tariqa from the shari'a because the haqiqa could only be obtained through the integration of both. He usually recited this Quranic verse in support of his exhortations: "Whatever the Messenger gives you, take; whatever he forbids you, give over" (LIX, 7). Shaykh Abdellaziz Debbarh has said,
The science of esoteric knowledge (ilm al-batin) is tantamount to the inscription of ninety-nine lines in gold, while the science of exoteric (ilm dhahir) is tantamount to the inscription of the final one-hundredth line in ink. Nevertheless, if that black line was not together with those golden lines, they would not be of any benefit, and their owner would seldom be safe and sound;" "The science of exoteric knowledge is equivalent to the torch that shines at night, for it provides a splendid benefit in the darkness of the night. The science of esoteric knowledge is equivalent to the rising of the sun and the brilliance of its lights at the time of high noon. Perhaps its owner will say about this torch in his hand: ‘Allah has enabled me to dispense with it by the light of day,’ so he will extinguish it. At that moment, however, the light of day will depart from him, and he will return to the darkness of the night. The continuance of his daylight is therefore conditional on his refraining from extinguishing the torch in his hand."
Al-Allama Sidi Mohammed al-‘Hajuji, despite his malamati hard-line, is credited with many virtues (karamat), especially the ones of kashf, such as knowing people before they are introduced to him, seeing events that happen far away, and being able to be present in two places at a time. Like all the saints, he is someone whose prayers are answered. He sometimes made privileged claims for himself. Other saints were restricted in their access to the Prophet's presence (peace and blessing be upon him), he said, but he had constant access to it. This is characteristic to the Ghawt alone. He addressed himself with al-Qutbaniya al-‘Udhma (Absolute General Authorization), and that he was presented by the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) to all the saints at a great congress of saints (i.e. the Diwan) so that no true gnostic could ever think that he had appointed himself.
Tomb of Sidi Mohammed al-Hajouji
Demnate, 190km esatern Marrakech, Morocco, Shawwal 19, 1431/ August 27, 2010 |
Teachers: The Allama, the Imam of the Grand Tijani Zawiya, Sidi Mohammed ibn Mohammed ibn Abdessalam Gannun al-Hassani (his initial teacher), the Sultan of Muqaddams, the Allama Sidi al-Arabi ibn Idriss al-Alami al-La'hyani; the Allama Sidi Alfa Hachim al-Futi al-Madani; the Allama Sidi Mohammed al-Amine Shinghiti; the Allama Sidi Mohammed al-Eid Tamasini; the Sharif, the Baraka Sidi Mahmoud, the grandson of Shaykh Abil Abbas Tijani, may Allah be pleased with him; the Muqaddam Sidi Mohammed al-Zizi; the Allama Sidi Mohammed ibn al-Hassani al-Alami al-Ribati; the Allama Sidi Abdellah ibn al-Haj Fattan Shinguiti; the Allama Sidi Mohammed ibn Ahmed al-Manouzi al-Susi al-Hassani; the Sharif, the Baraka, Sidi Tayyeb Sufyani; the Muqaddam Sidi al-Arabi ibn Mohammed ibn 'Azzouz Bannouna al-Fasi; the Allama, the Sharif, Mawlay al-Arabi al-Muhib al-Alawi; the Allama, the Knower of Allah, Sidi Mohammed ibn Abdelwahid al-Nadhidi; the Allama, the Sharif, Sidi Mahmoud ibn al-Matmatiya. He has also benifited from the Sharif, the Baraka, Mawlay Taher ibn Abi Nasr al-Alawi; Sidi Mohammed al-Makki al-Qubrusi; the Allama Sidi Mohammed al-Mokhtar al-Shinguiti; Sidi al-Makki al-Ziwawi; Sidi Mohammed ibn al-Haj Ahmed ibn Ali ibn Sultan al-Shargui; Sidi Mohammed ibn Hachim al-Balghiti.
Directions: It takes less than ten minutes Petit Taxi ride from anywhere in downtown Marrakech to Bab al-Khamis. You will now take a one hour and half minutes Grand Taxi ride to the small town of Demnate. It will end up being a five minute walk to the Zawiya Tijaniya and the Shrine of the Allama Sidi Mohammed al-Hajouji, may Allah be pleased with him, located right next to Café Fatwaka. The phone number of the Muqaddam of the Zawiya is: 00-212-61714408. (Download Map)
Al-Allama Sidi Mohammed al-‘Hajuji, in addition to disseminating esoteric knowledge
and directing large number of followers, spent his free time in writing,
making his occupation model for the brothers and confidents to emulate and
visibly demonstrating to his companions that the best form of Tijanism and
the most excellent way to purify the heart and purge the self (nafs) was by
service to the Tijani society. His mystic books of
are indeed huge and remarkable. Among his widely used works, Kitab Nukhbat
al-it’haf fi-dhikr man muni’hu mina Shaykh Tijani bi-jamil al-awsaf
Exceptional Object D’art in the Memory of the Most Righteous Tijani
Companions), Kitab It’haf ahl al-maratib al-irfaniya bi-dhikr ba’ad rijal
Tariqa Tijaniya (Pearling the Knowledgeable Cream in the Recollection of
Some Tijani Elites) in eight volumes, Kitab Fat’h al-Malik al-‘Allam
bi-tarajim ba’ad ulama’ at-Tariqa at-Tijaniya al-A’alam (The Opening of the
Almighty All-Knowing in the Recollection of Some Tijani Knowledgeable
Scholars) in two volumes, Kitab Lawami’a al-anwar wa
fuyud al-asrar (The Shining Lights and Overflowing of Secrets), Kitab
Nasihat al-ikhwan wa murshid al-murtab wal hayran liman yurudu al-fawza
bi-Ridwan (Advising the brethren and guiding the cynic and the confused
that are seeking the Ridwan), Kitab Nafahat al-Qudsiya fi al-qasaid
Shi'ariya (The Sacred Grants in Poetry), Kitab Fath al-Mannan
fi-Mura'at Huquq al-Ikhwan (The Opening of Al-Mannan in Observance of
the Rights of the Brethren), An-Nafha
al-Mukhtasara fi-Rad 'ala Awliya al-Khiyara (The Short Profile in
the response to the Benevolent Saints of God), al-Qawl al-Muhkam fi-Sifat
al-Muqaddam (The Firm Account in the Narrative of the Muqaddam), al-Qawl
Sadid fi-Sifat al-Murid (The Apposite Account in the Narrative of
the Murid), Al-Hikam
al-Nuraniya wal Futuhat Samadaniya (The Enlightened Aphorisms and the Absolute Opening),
Kamal al-Abd wa ghinah fi-Ta'aluqihi Billah wa i'aradhihi 'amma Siwah (The
Excellence and Wealth of the Servant in his Attachment to Allah and
Avoidance of Other).
By his own actions, al-Allama Sidi Mohammed al-’Hajuji demonstrated that retirement from the world and laziness resulted solely in apathy, stupor, and depression, and that social activity and association with people, combined with service in the Name of Allah, resulted in contentment and expansion of the soul and the mind. Sidi Mohammed al-‘Hajuji frequently warned his followers against any attachment (ta'alluq) to the things of this world (dunya), and the oral tradition of his disciples affirms that he himself cared nothing for his own nourishment, happily went without food for days at a time, and was satisfied with only half of a watermelon rind. Whoever desires spiritual progress must come out of his nafs and develop a gradual attitude of detachment (tajrid) toward all things worldly and material. Obsession in material pursuits deadens man's spiritual sensibilities and makes his heart irresponsive to divine communication (wisal). In developing his doctrine about detachment, the Shaykh asserts that real illumination only occurs if the one passes through all the material and spiritual worlds and is honored with the mushahada of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him). After this experience he is omniscient and permanently protected against error. His knowledge is far superior to that of all others, in particular to that of the theologians and the fuqaha. Now he is actually the infallible source of interpreting the law. Shaykh Sidi Mohammed al-‘Hajuji went to the extent of saying that unless one obtains this blessed mushahada, his spiritual being remains dormant.