Succession in Sufism
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The spiritual succession is often represented as a tree : as it grows from a sapling to fully matured tree, it throws out branches, and these in turn sometimes develop still other, lesser branches. The same hold true for Sufi orders, but as time goes by the main trunk gives rise to branches, likewise named after their founders. The branches of the tree represent the principal lines of succession, and are sometimes to be interpreted historically, sometimes only symbolically. On the root of the tree one can read the name Allah, above it, on the trunk, is the name of the Archangel Gabriel (Jibrail), who, in the Islamic perspective is the divine instrument of revelation, and above this is the name of Sidna Mohammed (peace and blessing be upon him). At the point the trunk divides into three branches, which bear the names respectively of the first and fourth caliphs Sidna Abu Bakr as-Siddiq, Sidna Anass ibn Malik, and Sidna Ali ibn Abi Talib since they were the first three mediators and masters of the Sufi tradition.
These three branches divide into many twigs which bear the names of the earliest Sufis such as Sidi Hassan Basri, Sidna Imam Jaafar Sadiq, and Sidi Sari Saqti . Following these come the names of the names of the greatest spiritual masters of the first Islamic centuries such as Sidi Abul Qacem Junaid (d. 297/882), the greatest teacher of Sufi doctrine, Sidi Abul Hassan an-Nuri (d. 295/880), the man of light, and Sidi Zaynuddin al-Qazwini, the fool in God. All these masters lived in the Islamic East, although Tasawwuf appeared as the inner dimension of Islam, wherever Islam prevailed. From about the fourth/ninth century onwards, the blossoms of mysticism also appeared in the Far West, firstly in Andalusia and immediately thereafter in the Maghreb, where the name Sidi Abu Madyan Ghawt (d. 594/1179) stands at the origin of a whole segment of new twigs and leaves. This name appears at the top of the tree at about the same level as other famous names from which henceforth almost all subsequent spiritual orders springs.
For it was at that time that there appeared Moulay Abdessalam ben Mashish’s (d. 622/1207) disciple Sidi Abul Hassan Shadhili (d. 656/1241) in Alexandria (his influence was to sweep across the whole Islamic World), and Abu Madyan al-Ghawt’s main successors Sidi Abu Mohammed Salih al-Majiri (d. 631/1216) in Asfi (a main port city on the Atlantic) and Sidi Muhyiddin ibn Arabi (d. 636/1221) in Damascus. From this time onwards the Sufi tradition became organised in the form of a spiritual order (tariqa) that took the name of their founders. The institutionalisation of Moroccan Sufism in the context of corporately organised Sufi orders, has been simultaneously characterised, from the seventh/thirteenth to the ninth/fifteenth century, by the golden Marinid renaissance that witnessed the return to Sharifian politics, the Arabisation of religious education, the reinforcement of Maliki jurisprudence, the introduction of Madrasa (e.g. Bou’ananiyya, Sahrij, al-Halfawiyyin, al-Attarin; all in Fez), and the adoption of Mukhtasar pedagogical techniques.
What can be said about Moroccan Sufi succession is that Moroccan saints very seldom nominated their successors. The successor usually emerged from amongst the surviving disciples because of his spiritual gifts and divine authority. This kind of succession is best illustrated in the case of the Shadhilite Shaykh Sidi Abdellah Ghazwani (d. 935/1520). The Fasite hagiographer Sidi Mohammed al-Mahdi al-Fasi (d. 1109/1694) reports in Mumti'a al-asma’a:
When Sidi Abdellaziz Tabba'a died in Marrakech in 914/1499, a wrangle occurred between the advanced disciples of the Jazulite Tabba'aiya over who will be Shaykh al-jama'a of the Tariqa. To bolster this dilemma, Sidi Abdelkarim al-Fallah (d. 933/1518) claimed that Shaykh Tabba'a had predicted that Shaykh al-jama'a would come from among the latter's disciples in Marrakech. Believing that this prediction referred to himself, al-Fallah summoned the Shaykhs of the Jazouliya to a meeting at Shaykh Tabba'a's tomb. After dinner, he announced: "You will not leave here until you have told us about yourselves. The Shaykh has sworn that his successor will be one of us and that his secret is among us, yet we will not recognize him. Therefore we will bestow the authority of the Shaykh on the one who attributes most closely resemble those of Shaykh Tabba'a and can prove to be his heir. He should make himself known to us, for the Shaykh has said: 'Neither a secret that that is hidden nor wealth that is divided shall separate the fuqara from one another."
The first to speak up was Sidi Said ibn Abdelmoumin al-Hahi (d. 953/1546; founder of 'Hahiya branch of the Jazouliya) who recounted the paranormal states that he shared with Shaykh Tabba'a and the consideration he had been given during Shaykh Tabba'a's lifetime. The second to make a claim was the Malammati Sufi Sidi Rahhal al-Kush (d. after 945/1530, founder of Gnawa music) who announced: "I am the vehicle of bridegrooms (rikab al-'arais). He who has not ridden his bridegroom is not meant to ride. Verily I am the Nurturer (sahib al-ighata) on land and sea!" Then Sidi Ali ibn Ibrahim Bouzidi (d. 956/1549) said: "I am the most worshipful among you; he who desires knowledge of both outward and inward states should come to me, for I have mastered them." Finally al-Fallah spoke, and said, "I am your provision (maidatukum), he who desires nourishment should come to me, for neither the sharecropper nor the common labourer is excluded from my blessing!"
Throughout all these speeches Sidi Abdellah Ghazwani remained silent. "Each of you has said what he possesses," al-Fallah stated, "but you, Sidi Abdellah, what do you possess and what do you have to say?" Sidi Ghazwani replied, "I am your Sultan and the ruler of your silence; with me alone you are minted. He who stamps his own dirham or dinar will succeed; if not, he will not (wa man la fa la)!" The assembled Shaykhs were stunned by the apparent haughtiness of Sidi Ghazwani's statement. "Why are you silent?" he asked. "Do you dislike my words?" "Yes" they replied. Then Sidi Ghazwani stretched out his hand and said, "God is directing this!" and grasped the empty air. Next he balled his fingers into a fist. "What do you say?" he asked, "and what each of you now possess?" After Sidi Ghazwani's dramatic assertion of divine legitimation, most of those who were present accepted him as the heir to Shaykh Tabba'a.
Nevertheless there was a fairly widespread phenomenon in Morocco to confer the succession to an outstanding spiritual master on one of his physical descendants (Awlad Sayyid). This was very much in keeping with the fact that most of the founders of orders in Morocco were themselves sharifs (descendents of Prophet Sidna Mohammed -peace and blessing be upon him). This is why it often happened that the family of the founder of an order retained only a formal authority, along with the administration of the sepulchral mosque, while real spiritual masters, who had manifested themselves within the order, took over the spiritual instruction and guidance. As the Sufi orders spread amongst the people—and it sometimes happened that that they penetrated whole tribes—it was in the nature of things that there should develop within them circles that aspired to take a more or less active part in the spiritual life. These circles increase all the more, since membership of an order did not preclude marriage or professional activity. In the immediate presence of the master there were usually a number of disciples (called fuqara or murids) who completely renounced the world, and who found food and shelter in the zawiya; but most members of the order, whether men or women were married.
Granted, the Shadhiliya Sufi order (named after the Qutb Sidi Abul Hassan Shadhili; d. 656/1241 in Egypt) was by far the driving force of Moroccan Sufism for more than five centuries. In regards to this line of transmission, Abul Hassan’s successor Sidi Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi (d. 686/1271) is reported to have said: "our Way is from Pole to Pole back to the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him)", this Way being known as the Way of Poles (tariqat al-aqtab). At the beginning of the ninth/fifteenth century, the Shadhiliya brotherhood was closely associated with political and intellectual elites of Morocco and beyond. Almost without exception, the Shadhili Sufis who appear in the biographies of the later Marinid period are ulama, courtiers, or sharifs, e.g., Sidi Abdennur Amrani (b. 685/1270), Sidi Ibn Abbad ar-Rundi (d. 792/1377). To become fully integrated into the social life of the region, the Shadhiliya needed a doctrinal orientation that would appeal to people from all levels of society and enable it to transcend its patrician origins. This would be provided by Sidi Mohammed ibn Slimane Jazouli (d. 869/1454 in Ribat Afughal but buried later in Marrakech) and Sidi Ahmed Zarruq al-Fasi (d. 899/1484 in Tripoli, Libya). The ramification of these two shaykhs mushroomed in the major centres and subcentres of Morocco and the Maghreb.
Each from his position, the branches of the Jazouliya
divided into many twigs: al-Qutb Sidi
Abdellaziz at-Tabba'a (d. 914/1499), al-QutbSidi
Abdellah al-Ghazwani (d. 935/1520), al-Qutb Sidi Abdelkarim
al-Fallah (d. 933/1518), Sidi Abdellah ibn Hussayn Amghari (d. 977/1562) in
al-Qutb Sidi Ahmed ou Moussa Simlali al-Hassani (d.
991/1576) in Tazarwalt, Sidi Ahmed ou Mbarak al-Aqqawi (d. 924/1509), Sidi Said
al-Hahi (d. 953/1538), Sidi Abu Bakr ibn Mohammed Majjati Dilai (d.
1021/1606), Sidi Mohammed Ibn Abi Bakr Dilai (d. 1046/1631) in Dila',
al-Qutb Sidi Mohammed Bou'abid Sharqi (d.
1010/1595) in Tadla, Sidi Abdellah Benhassoun (d. 1013/1598) and Sidi Ahmed
Hajji Slawi (d. 1121/1706) in Rabat; Sidi Ali Salih Andalusi (d. 903/1488),
Sidi Mohammed Misbahi (d. 964/1549), Sidi Radwan Ibn Abdellah Janwi (d.
991/1576), Sidi Bouchta al-Khammar (d. 997/1582), Sidi al-Hassan ibn Aissa
Jazouli (d. 992/1577), Sidi Ahmed ibn Abdellah al-Murabbi (d. 1034/1619) in
Fez; Sidi Abul Abbas Ahmed Harithi, Sidi
Saghir Sahli, Sidi Abdelwarith al-Yaslouti (d. 970/1555), and Sidi al-Hadi
Ben Aissa (d.
Sidi Yusuf ibn al-Hassan Talidi (d. 950/1535), Sidi Abderrahman ben Raysoun
(d. 963/1548) and the
Abdellah Shrif Wazzani (d. 1089/1674) in Ghumara
and Jbala mountains. Moulay Abdellah Sharif’s network of initiation
contains the great Fasi names of Sidi
Qacem ben Rahmun (d. 1249/1834) and Sidi Mohammed al-Khayyat Ruq’i (d.
1115/1700) as well as his blessed offspring (known as “Dar Dmana; House of
Mohammed ibn Sidi Abdellah Wazzani (d. 1120/1705), Sidi
Tuhami ibn Mohammed Wazzani
(d. 1127/1712), Sidi Tayyeb ibn
Mohammed Wazzani (d. 1181/1766), and Moulay
al-Arbi ibn Ali Wazzani
Sidi Ahmed ibn Tayyeb Wazzani (d. 1195/1780), Sidi Ali ibn Ahmed
Wazzani (d. 1226/1811), Moulay al-Arbi ibn Ali Wazzani (d. 1266/1851) and
Moulay Abdessalam ibn Arbi Wazzani (d. 1310/1895). The Wazzaniya by itself pushed the order throughout Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia as far away as
Egypt, Mali, and even Mecca.
The Jazouliya seems to have arisen largely as the powerful devotional manifestation of love for the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him), as we can see in his well known litany on the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him), Dalail al-Khayrat, which has been recited since his day in great parts of the Islamic world. By then, the spiritual substance of Morocco was in need of powerful symbol to allow it to dedicate itself once again to the roots of its collective well-being. And what more regenerative a source could be than the love of the Prophet Sidna Mohammed (peace and blessing be upon him)? Especially was this the case in view of the jihad that was then going on against the Portuguese colonies on the coast that threatened the security of Dar al-Islam. But also —and this needs to be stressed— the devotional passion generated by the Dalail al-Khayrat, was a testimony to its otherworldly origins; and thus it was a kind of divine message that the Jazouliya were destined to spread over other Islamic lands.
The Shadhilite stem of Sidi Ahmed Zarruq al-Fasi had essentially flourished in Morocco through the students of his Algerian disciple, the venerated Qutb, Sidi Ahmed ibn Yusuf al-Malyani (d. 929/1514); namely, Sidi Mohammed Sahli, Sidi Zubir ibn Lakbir al-Fasi, Sidi Omar Sharif Hussayni al-Fasi, and Sidi Ali ibn Abdellah Filali. The most important branches of the Tariqa are figured in the webs established in (1) Figuig: Sidi Abdellqadir Shaykh Smahi (d. 1025/1610), Sidi Shaykh Bouamama , Sidi Ahmed Ben Shaykh ; (2) Sijilmasa (Errachidia): Sidi Abul Qacem ibn Ahmed Ghazi, Sidi Abul Qacem Sawma’i Zamrani (d. 1013/1598), Sidi Abdellah ibn Hussayn Maslouhi ar-Raqi (d. 977/1562); (3) Dar'a valley: Sidi Ahmed ibn Ali Dar’i, Sidi Abdellah ar-Raqi, Sidi Mhammed ibn Mohammed Ibn Nasir(d. 1085/1670), Sidi Ahmed Ben Nasir(d. 1129/1723 in Fez), Sidi Yusuf Ben Nasir Dar'i (d. 1187/1772); (4) Fez: Sidi Ahmed ibn Yahya Lamti (d. 985/1570), Sidi Ali ibn Mohammed Susi (d. 1004/1589), Sidi Ahmed Shawi (d. 1o14/1599), the Imam Sidi Mohammed ibn Atiyya (d. 1052/1637), Sidi Mohammed ibn Ali ad-Darik (d. 1059/1644), and Sidi al-Hassan ibn Masoud al-Yusi (d. 1102/1687).
Sidi Abdellah ibn Ibrahim al-Fahham Zerhouni (d. 939/1524), the second most important disciple of Sidi Ahmed Zarruq, is the origin of another important bough mainly present in Fez. Throughout the ramifications of this line, from the first disciples to their assistant down to the board layers of the laymen followers, divine grace spreads by God's permission in the holy city of Fez. Sidi Abul Mahasin Yusuf al-Fasi Fihri (d. 1013/1598), a disciple of the baraka of Meknes, Sidi Abderrahman al-Majdoub (d. 976/1561), stands on top. Al-Fasi’s order attracted the cream of ulama, sharifs, and intellectuals. He was succeeded by his brother, the al-Qarawiyyine legend, Sidi Abderrahman al-Fasi (d. 1027/1612), who headquartered himself in the zawiya of the Laqlaqliyyine in the Racif district. Sidi Abderrahman was succeeded by both his cousin, the Supreme Allama of Africa and Arabia, Sidi Abdellqadir al-Fasi (d. 1091/1676), and the sober mystic Sidi Mohammed ibn Abdellah Ma'in al-Andalusi (d. 1062/1647), whose zawiya creamed the names of Sidi Qasim Khassasi (d. 1083/1668), Sidi Ahmed ibn Abdellah al-Fasi al-Andalusi (d. 1129/1714). Sidi Ahmed ibn Abdellah Ma'in was the Ghawt of His Time and one of the masters of Moulay Abdellaziz ibn Masoud Debbarh (on whom Kitab Al-Ibriz was written; d. 1132/1717). In Addition to Sidi Qacem Khassasi, Sidi Ahmed had Sidi Ahmed ibn Mohammed Qadiri al-Yamani (d. 1113/1689) as a master. This is also liked to Shaykh Debbarh's chain since he took from the great Nigerian Qutb, Sidi Abdellah ibn Abdelkarim al-Barnawi (d. 1129/1714), who came from Barno to Fez to support Moulay Abdellaziz Debbarh after his first fath (opening; dated the 8th of Rajab 1125/1710), as did Sidi Ahmed Yamani who who entered Fez to support Sidi Ahmed ibn Abdellah after his master's pass in 1083/1668. The latter's chain descends downline to Sidi Ali al-Jamal Amrani (d. 1193/1778) through his son Sidi Abdellah ibn al-Arbi al-Fasi al-Andalusi (d. 1188/1778).
If we look at the causes that might have given rise to the Zarruqiya, named after its founder Shaykh Sidi Ahmed Zarruq al-Fasi (d. 899/1484), they probably have to do with the restoration of piety and conformity to the Dine Law (Shari'a). Not only was the Shaykh an indefatigable commentator on Kitab al-Hikam (The Aphorisms) of Sidi Ibn Ata'Allah Sakandari al-Misri (d. 709/1294), writing something like thirty glosses, but he was also a great traveller. Wherever he went, inspired the strict observance of the Shari'a as a necessary accessory to the thoughtful path. His works on Sufism, like Kitab Qawaid at-Tasawwuf (The Principles of Sufism), demonstrate a careful regard for legal rules that strikes one at first glance as inappropriate in a meditative esoterist, but, after reflection, once distinguishes here and there in his book that he is seeking to re-establish some kind of balance between the Shari'a and the Haqiqa, so that neither of the two will impinge on the other's domain. The Zarruqiya, no doubt, considered the balancing of Sufism and the Shari'a as crucial quality in the would-be-faqir, something that he had to be aware of, or something that he had to incorporate.
The branching out of different orders from the original Shadhili trunk also implied adaptations to a variety of spiritual vocations although the Shadhiliya retained through the centuries of a characteristic intellectual orientation, with time, some of the orders, like the Aissawiya, established by the tenth/sixteenth century master Sidi al-Hadi Ben Aissa ("Shaykh al-Kamil," d. 933/1518), were Malammati-oriented and barely intellectual in nature. Like the Qadirite Jilala or the Shadhilite ‘Hmadsha (after Sidi Ali ibn Hamdush al-Alami; d. 1131/1716), the Aissawiya engaged in practices designed to demonstrate the immunity of their adherents to fire, swords, scorpions, and so on. No doubt all of this had a certain disciplinary function with some of the Majdubs (fools in God) of the order; but sooner or later, the pursuit of such immunities became an end in itself, so that the order was reduced simply to a kind of exhibitionism in the minds of many Muslim. It drew into its ranks a particular mentality, not only in Morocco, of course, where it originated, but also in Egypt and elsewhere. It is generally the likes of the Aissawiya that, on a popular plane, give to Sufism a circuslike ambiance that was certainly not intended by its founders. But it was easy for the critics of Sufism, particularly the ulama of puritanical twisted, to point to such orders as examples of the deviations and subversions of Islam which Sufism produces. Nevertheless, and whatever might be the opinions of the straight-laced believers and scholars concerning such orders, the served the purpose of integrating into Sufism various classes of society that might otherwise have been left out of its zones altogether. In any case, not all such deeds as characterize the Aissawiya, for example, can be attributed to motivations that are incompatible with the spiritual life: everything depends on the teacher and how such unusual practices are seen by him within the deeper perspective of the order. Without him, of course, the practices yield easily to the charge of charlatanism or fraud and lose their real value.
The Zarruqite Fasiya tradition
was revived at the end of the eighteenth century by Moulay al-Arbi Darqawi (1239/1823) who took it in the Zawiya of Lablida from his master
Sidi Ali Amrani (al-Jamal). Several disciples of Moulay al-Arbi Darqawi were
already active as masters in different parts of the Maghreb when he died at
1823: Sidi al-Haj Mohammed al-Khayyat (d. 1241/1826), Sidi
Abdelhafidh Debbarh, Sidi Omar ben Souda (d. 1285/1870),
Sidi Mohammed Kattani (d.
1289/1874), Sidi Malek Zerhouni, Sidi Ahmed Badawi Zwitan
al-Fasi (d. 1275/1860), Sidi Mohammed ibn Abdelhafidh Debbarh (d.
1291/1876), Sidi Abul Qacem al-Wazir (d. 1213/1798), Sidi
Mohammed Bouzidi (d. 1229/1814), Sidi Ahmed Ibn Ajiba
Sidi Mohammed Harraq (d. 1261/1846),
Sidi Ahmed ibn Abdelmoumin Hassani (d. 1262/1847),
Sidi Mohammed ibn Ali Murrakushi, Sidi Ali Darqawi al-Ilighi
(d. 1328/1913). The productivity of these master fed Moroccan spirituality
for many generations: Sidi Abdelkabir ibn Mohammed Kattani (d. 1333/1918), Sidi Mohammed al-Arbi Lamdaghri (d. 1309/1894), Sidi
Mohammed Rwisi, Sidi Ahmed ibn at-Talib ben Souda al-Muri (d. 1321/1906),
Sidi al-Khadir Sejjai, Sidi Mohammed al-Habri (d. 1313/1898), Sidi
Omar ibn Tayyeb al-Kattani, Sidi Mohammed ibn Jaafar Kattani (d. 1345/1930),
Sidi Mohammed ibn Ahmed Hajjami (d. 1362/1947), Sidi Mohammed ibn al-Habib
Filali (d. 1386/1971), Sidi Taya'a ibn al-Mokhtar Manjra Hassani (d.
1371/1952), Sidi Mhammed Lahlou al-Fasi (d. after 1365/1950), Sidi Mohammed
ibn Abdelhay Kattani (d. 1382/1962), and Sidi al-Mokhtar
Susi (d. 1378/1963).
Darqawiya's radiance was not held back by the boundaries of Morocco. During the same period, the Darqawa burgeoned in Algeria (Zawiya of Sidi Ahmed al-Alawi in Mostaghanam and Sidi Mohammed Belqayad in Oran), Sri Lanca, Egypt, Tripolitania, (Zawiya of Sidi Mohammed Dhafir Madani), Palestine Syria, Lebanon (Zawiya of al-Yashturi), and Jordan (Zawiya of Sidi Mustapha Filali). The Alawiya, born in Algeria just before the First World War, has known such expansion that at the same time of Shaykh Sidi Ahmed Alawi's death, in 1349/1934, the number of disciples in Algeria (including the Maghribis living in Paris and Marseille, Tunisia, Yemen, Abyssinia, Syria, in Palestine and elsewhere greatly exceeded 200,000. Nor did this expansion stop with the Shaykh's death since, most notably in Syria, the Alawiya have enjoyed a remarkable popularity under the direction of one of his representatives, Sidi Hachimi Tilimsani (d. 1381/1966) and his student Sidi Abdellqadir Aissa (d. 1412/1997). Sidi Hachimi founded Darqawi zawiyas in Aleppo, Homs, Hama, Latakia, and Amman.
Despite constant interactions with other Sufi schools during pilgrimage and scientific journeys, Moroccans found greater spiritual comfort in Shadhili doctrine which was compatible to the Maliki dogma of jurisprudence. In the middle of twelfth/eighteenth century, however, the Khalwatiya order started to appeal to many Fasi scholars and intellectuals thanks to the fame of Shaykh al-Azhar and Ghawt Zaman, Sidi Mohammed ibn Salim al-Hifni (d. 1174/1759). It was in a situation like this that the Khalwatiya entered Fez, for the first time, by al-Hafnawi’s disciple, al-Qutb al-Kamil of Fez, the Hussaynid sharif, Moulay Ahmed Sqalli al-Fasi (d. 1177/1762). The Sqalliya has been largely an urban order represented by noted theologians, namely the Allama Sidi Mohammed at-Tawdi ibn Suda (d. 1209/1794), Sidi Ahmed at-Tawdi ibn Souda (d. 1253/1820), and Sidi Tayea ibn Hicham Kattani (“Hamamat al-Masjid"; d. 1264/1849).
Another Fasi student of Ghawt Zaman al-Qutb Sidi Mohammed al-Hafnawi is the grand scholar and saint, Sidi Abul Mawahib Abdelwahhab Tazi (d. 1198/1783; buried in the Tal’a district of Fez), who was acquainted as well to his successor, the famous Qutb, Sidi Mahmoud al-Kurdi (d. 1186/1771). However, Sidi Abdelwahhab Tazi’s most influential Sufi master was the wonder of his age, the Ghawt Zaman, the Idrissid sharif, founder of Khadiriya tradition, Moulay Abdellaziz ibn Masoud Debbarh ("Shaykh Abd al-Aziz Dabbagh," d. 1132/1717), whose spiritual experiences are described in Kitab Al-Ibriz. Moulay Abdellaziz' Khadirian Sufi order is the Maghribi equivalent of the "Uwaysi" in the Mashriq. Being "Khadiri" means that one chains of doctrinal transmission (silsila) went directly to the originator of one's spiritual method to Sidna Mohammed (peace and blessing be upon him) through Sidna al-Khadir, bypassing the early Sufi masters. Sidi Abdelwahhab Tazi’s fidelity to the doctrine of Moulay Abdellaziz was unquestionable. Essential to this doctrine is the notion of the “daylight vision" of the Mohammedian Essence (ad-Dat al-Mohammediya). This was also of great importance to Sidi Abdelwahhab Tazi’s successor, Sidi Ahmed ibn Idriss al-Fasi (d. 1252/1837), whose favourite student Sidi Mohammed ibn Ali Sanusi (d. 1274/1859) notes,
All three teachers (Debbarh, Tazi, ibn Idriss) in this silsila took from and met the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him), awake (yaqadatan) and asleep (nanaman) and after their death, and in the last instance none of them had any other support in any thing save the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him), and no other point of return. This is one of the characteristics of the people of Tariqa Mohammediya and a reason for it being so called, even though all [other] tariqas [also] return to the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him).
Sidi Ahmed ibn Idriss has also contacted the Khalwati Shaykh Sidi Hassan ibn Hassan Bey al-Qina'i, a pupil of Sidi Mahmoud al-Kurdi (d. 1186/1771). His line of the Khadiriya order, which later became labelled with the "Idrissiya", proved far more successful in Libya, the Sudan, Egypt, the Hijaz, Somalia, Yemen, and West Java than in Morocco. Sidi Ibn Idriss' disciples fall into three categories; those who established major brotherhoods; those who propagated his teachings but whose endeavours were only consolidated into orders by the generation that followed them; and those who established local schools and or circles teaching Idrissiya doctrines. The first group includes Sidi Mohammed Sanusi, Sidi Uthman Mirghani (d. 1267/1852), Sidi Ibrahim al-Rashid Hassani (d. 1289/1874), and his own family, the Adarisa. Among those orders that ramified directly or indirectly from the generation following the latter names are the Ismailiya, the Majdhubiya, the Mukhtariya (after the champion of Islam Sidi Omar al-Mokhtar), and the Rashidiya; from the latter came the Salihiya and Dandarawiya.
A final category of Shaykh ibn Idriss’ students are those who founded not orders, but local schools propagating his teachings. There are several examples; one from Egypt is Sidi Ali Abdelhaqq al-Qusi (d. 1292/1877), who studied with Ibn Idriss and then spent five years with Sidi Mohammed Sanusi in Cyrenaica before to return and settle and Asyut, Egypt. Our first Sudanese example is Sidi al-Haj Mohammed Ballol al-Sunni, a Bidayri from Kurti in the northern Sudan, who stayed with Ibn Idriss for seven years. It was his master who bestowed upon him the laqab, al-Sunni. On his return to the Sudan, he undertook a series of propagation journeys before settling at Qarri, just north of Khartoum. His school still flourishes under his grandson, Sidi al-Sadiq al-Sunni, and still teaches the doctrines of Ibn Idriss. Another Sudanese example was also a Bidayri, but a student of al-Rashid; Sidi Abdullahi ad-Dufari studied with al-Rashid in the Hijaz before returning to the Sudan. After a period of travelling, he finally settled at al-Kawa on the White Nile. It was al-Dufari who provided a link between Ibn Idriss and the Sudanese Mahdiya, since once of those he taught the awrad and ahzab of Ibn Idriss was Sidi Mohammed Ahmed, the future Mahdi of Sudan.
The growth Tariqa Mohammediya concept flourished in high scale and scope in the thirteenth/nineteenth century Morocco at the hand of the Concealed Magnate (al-Qutb al-Maktum) and the Known Mohammedian Seal, Sidna Shaykh, Mawlana Ahmed ibn Mohammed Tijani (d. 1230/1815), founder of the Ahmediya-Mohammediya-Ibrahimiya-Hanifiya-Tijaniya order, whose career marked the peak of Tariqa Mohammediya’s canon and literature. The Shaykh travelled in 1171/1756 to Fez and met with its famed Shadhili figures. Later he affiliated to the Khalwatiya. His masters included the most noted disciples of Shaykh al-Hafnawi: Sidi Mohammed ibn Abderrahman Azhari Hassani Idrissi (d. 1208/1793 in Algeria), Sidi Mahmoud al-Kurdi (d. 1186/1771), and Sidi Mohammed ibn Abdelkarim Samman (d. 1189/1774 in Medina). He has also sat in the circle of Moulay Ahmed Sqalli in Fez but had not talk to him. Sidna Shaykh Tijani relied in his beginnings on the Khalwati and Shadhili Sufism before he met in daylight (yaqadatan) with the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) in 1197/1782, who ordered him establish his own order, the Ahmediya-Mohammediya-Ibrahimiya-Hanifiya-Tijaniya Sufi order.
The special companions of Abul Abbas Mawlana Ahmed ibn Mohammed Tijani were graced to inherit Sidna Shaykh's spiritual methodology of initiation (tarbiya) and promotion (tarqiya). No hagiographical collection documents the names of these companions than Sidi Ahmed Skirej's (d. 1355/1940) chronicle Kashf al-Hijab 'amman talaaqa bi-Shaykh Tijani mina-l As'hab (Rising the Veil on the Companions of Shaykh Tijani). In his narrative al-faqih Skirej set forth a remarkable hagiography of nearly350 successors (khalifas), representatives (muqaddams) and disciples initiated at the hand of Sidna Shaykh. Among the Moroccan figures reported in the book who made a contribution to the expansion of the Tijaniya are the names of: Sidi Ali Harazem b. al-Arbi Berrada al-Fasi (d. 1212/1797) –author of Kitab Jawahir al-ma'ani wa-bulugh al-amani fi fayd Sidi Abil al-Abbas at-Tijani (Gems of Indications and Attainment of Aspirations in the Overflowings of Sidi Abil Abbas Tijani), Sidi Mohammed al-Ghali Boutaleb (d. 1244/1829), Sidi Tayyeb Sefyani Hassani (d. 1259/1844) –author of Al-Ifada al-Ahmediya li-murid sa’ada al-abadiya (The Ahmedi Notification for the Hunter of Eternal Rapture), al-Qutb Sidi Mohammed b. Abi Nasr Alawi (d. 1273/1858), Sidi al-Haj Abdelwahhab b. al-Ahmar Tawdi (d. 1269/1854), Sidi Mohammed b. Ali Sanusi (d. 1274/1859), Sidi Omar b. Mohammed b. Shaykh Moulay Abdellaziz Debbarh (on whom Kitab al-Ibriz was exposed), Sidi al-Ghazi Lamteri, Sidi Ahmed b. Idriss (d. 1252/1837), Sidi Mousa b. Maazouz (d. 1257/1842), Sidi Mohammed b. Hamza al-Madani (d. 1236/1821), Sidi Ahmed b. Abdessalam Filali Wadghiri (d. 1285/1870), Sidi Mohammed Belqasim Basri Walhaji (d. 1293/1878), Sidi Abu Yaaza b. Ali Berrada (d. after 1303/1891), Sidi al-Haj Ali Amlas al-Fasi (d. after 1269/1854), Sidi Tuhami b. Rahmoun (d. 1263/1848), Sidi Allal Ben Kiran (d. 1276/1863), Sidi Abdelwahhab b. Mohammed Tazi (d. 1277/1864), Sidi al-Haj Tayyeb Laqbab (d. 1310/1895), Sidi al-Haj Taleb Labbar (d. 1265/1850), Sidi Mohammed Lahbabi (d. 1252/1837), Sidi Abdellqadir Idrissi, Sidi Allal Benmousa, Sidi Dawdi Tilimsani (d. 1281/1866), Sidi Tuhami Lahlou (d. 1277/1862), Sidi Allal Ben Kiran (d. 1276/1863), Sidi Abdellqadir Benshaqrun (d. 1219/1804), Sidi Abul Abbas Ahmed al-Mazuni al-Fasi, and Sidi Mohammed b. al-Arbi Lmdaghri Alawi.
Granted, no mystic order in the long and checkered history of Moroccan mysticism has had such far-reaching impact amid scholars as the Tijaniya. Kitab Kashf al-Hijab reveals the names of prominent figures who marked the Tijani mission: Sidi Abderrahman Shinqiti al-Fasi (d. 1224/1809), shaykh al-jama'a Sidi Hamdun b. al-Haj al-Fasi (d. 1232/1817), al-Qutb Sidi Mohammed b. Ahmed Akansus (“minister of the sultan Moulay Slimane”; d. 1294/1879) –author of Al-Jawab al-muskit fi-r-raddi 'ala man takallama fi-Tariq al-Imam Tijani bi-la tatabbut (The Silenced Riposte to the Conferrers of Imam Tijani's Order Devoid of Evidence), Sidi Ahmed b. Ahmed Bannani Kala (d. 1306/1891), Sidi Mohammed b. Ahmed Sanusi (“Imam of Moulay Idriss’ mosque”; d. 1257/1842), Moulay Abdelmalik Darir Alawi (d. 1318/1903), Sidi Mhammed b. Mohammed Genoun (d. 1327/1912), Sidi Abdessalam b. al-Hassan Bannani Kala (d. 1347/1932), Sidi Mohammed b. Abdessalam Genoun (descendent of Saint Sidi Ahmed b. Yusuf Zarwali) –author of ‘Hall al-aqfal li-qurra’ Jawharat al-Kamal (The Locks’ Key-Opener to the Rehearses of Jawharat al-Kamal), Sidi Mohammed al-'Hafyan Sharqi and his father Sidi Abdessalam b. Sidi Mohammed Lma'ati (author of Dakhirat al-Mouhtaj; a great work on the Prophet’s biography, narratives, and attributes) b. Salih b. Lma'ati b. Abdelkhaliq b. Abdellqadir b. Shaykh Sidi Mohammed Bou'abid Sharqi, Sidi Allal b. Abdellah al-Fasi al-Fihri (descendent of Saint Sidi Abul Mahasin Yusuf al-Fasi and grandfather of the nationalist Allal al-Fasi), Sidi Mohammed b. Ahmed Bensultan (b. 1255/1840), Sidi al-Walid Laaraqi (d. 1265/1850), Sidi al-Haj Ahmed Bennis, Sidi al-Hassan Bannani (d. 1271/1856), Sidi Mohammed b. Abdellatif Gessous (d. 1273/1858), Sidi Abdellah Saqqat (d. after 1230/1815), Moulay Zaki Lmdaghri (d. after 1269/1854), and Sidi al-Arbi Zerhouni.
In the twelfth/nineteenth century, the Zawiya al-Kubra of Fez streamed a new pool of second-generation leaders. In addition to the flood of Sidi Ali Tamacini's pupil Sidi Ahmed b. Mohammed Abdellawi (d. 1328/1913) and his direct students, the Tijaniya mushroomed in Fez alone throughout dozens of Fasite al-Qarawiyyine scholars and muqaddams such as Sidi Mohammed b. al-Madani Genoun (d. 1302/1887), Sidi Ahmed Bannani Kala (d. 1306/1894), Sidi Allal b. al-Khatib al-Fasi Fihri (d. 1314/1899), Sidi Idriss Ammur (d. 1320/1905), Sidi Ibrahim Mohammed Yazidi Alawi (d. 1322/1907), Sidi Mohammed al-Maziri al-Jazairi, Sidi Hamid b. Mohammed Bannani (d. 1326/1911), Moulay Taher b. Abi Nasr Alawi (d. 1333/1925), Sidi al-Ghali b. al-Makki Santisi (d. 1338/1923), Sidi Mohammed b. Masoud Debbarh (d. 1340/1925), Sidi Mohammed Bannani Diwan (d. 1341/1926), Sidi Abdessalam Bannani Kala (d. 1374/1932), Sidi Mohammed b. Jaafar Kattani (d. 1345/1930), Sidi Mohammed Taleb al-Fasi (d. 1375/1933), Sidi Abdellah b. Abdessalam al-Fasi Fihri (d. 1348/1933), Sidi Mohammed b. Mohammed Saqqat (d. 1354/1939), Sidi Mohammed b. Abdellah Chinguiti Baydawi (d. 1365/1950), Sidi Abdelwahid b. Abdessalam al-Fasi (d. 1361/1946), and the prolific penman Sidi Mohammed al-'Hajuji al-Hassani al-Idrissi al-Fasi (d. 1371/1952) –author of Nukhbat al-it’haf fi-dhikr man muni’hu mina Shaykh Tijani bi-jamil al-awsaf (The Selected Object D’art in the Memory of the Prettiest Tijani Attributes), Lawami’a al-anwar wa fuyud al-asrar (The Shining Lights and Overflowing of Secrets), and It’haf ahl al-maratib al-irfaniya bi-dhikr ba’ad rijal Tariqa Tijaniya (Pearling the Knowledgeable Cream in the Recollection of Tijani Elites).
Among the other most influencing second-generation Tijani centres is the one established in Rabat by Sidi Abul Mawahib Mohammed b. al-Arbi Sayeh (“descendent of Saint Sidi Mohammed Bou'abid Sharqi”; d. 1309/1894) –author of Kitab Bughyat al-mustafid li-shar'h minyat al-murid (Aspiration of the Beneficiary in Commenting the Demise of the Disciple). The Shaykh took the Tijaniya from Sidi Ahmed b. Akansus al-Qurshi (d. 1294/1879) who had the Idrissid Moulay Mohammed al-Ghali Boutaleb (d. 1244/1829) as a master. Sidi Mohammed b. al-Arbi Sayeh has also received ijazas to teach the Tariqa from Sidi Mohammed Hachimi Sarghini (“student of al-khalifa Harzem’s companion Sidi Mohammed b. Abdelwahid Bannani al-Misri; d. after 1269/1854 in Ain Madhi –buried in the shrine of al-khalifa Sidi Mohammed b. al-Arbi Tazi), Sidi Abdelwahab b. al-Ahmar al-Fasi (d. 1269/1854), and al-Qutb Rabbani Sidi Abul Hassan Ali b. Aissa Tamacini (d. 1260/1845). Huge crowd submitted to Sidi Mohammed b. al-Arbi Sayeh’s call including shaykh al-jama’a Sidi Mohammed b. Moussa Hamdawi Slawi (d. 1328/1908), Sidi Mhammed b. Mohammed Genoun (“He had also ijazas from al-Bahrawi and Bannani”; d. 1326/1911), Sidi al-Makki b. Ahmed Zwawi Slawi (d. 1326/1911), al-Qutb Sidi al-Haj al-Hussein b. Ahmed Ifrani (d. 1328/1913), Sidi Abdellqadir Lepress (d. 1332/1917), Sidi Ahmed b. Qacem Gessus (d. 1331/1923), Sidi Mohammed b. Yahya Blamino (d. 1333/1925), Sidi Mohammed b. Abdellah Tadili Ribati (d. 1336/1921), Sidi Tayyeb b. Ahmed ‘Awwad Slawi (d. 1336/1921), Sidi Abderrahman b. Omar Alawi, Sidi Mohammed b. al-Hassani Alami (d. 1341/1926), Sidi al-Arbi al-Mu’hib Alawi (d. 1351/1936), Sidi Tayyeb b. Ahmed Wadghiri (“Sefyani”; 1357/1942), Sidi Ahmed Alami Rahuni (d. 1373/1958) to mention very few. The centre of Rabat is presided today by distinguished muqaddams particularly the sharifian ‘Allama Sidi Mohammed Erradi Genoun –author of Rasail ma’alamat ma’alim Sus Abi Abdellah Sidi Mohammed Akansous (Letters of the Scholar of Scholars of Sus: Sidi Abi Abdellah Mohammed Akansous), Khulasat al-misk al-fa’ih bi-dhikr ba’ad manaqib Sidi Mohammed al-Arbi b. Sayeh (The Musky Precis in the Recollection of the Narratives of Sidi Mohammed al-Arbi b. Sayeh).
Among the great muqaddams of Sidi Mohammed b. al-Arbi Sayeh who spread the Tijaniya in Meknes, Zerhoun and beyond, is the Idrissid sharif Sidi al-Arbi b. Idriss Alami Lahyani Musawi al-Fasi (d. 1328/1913). Of his downlines; the poet Sidi Allal b. Ahmed Ben Shaqrun al-Fasi (d. after 1313/1898), Sidi Mohammed b. Mohammed Zizi al-Fasi (d. 1344/1930), Moulay Abdessalam b. Omar Alawi Lmdaghri (d. d. 1350/1935), Sidi Abdelkarim b. al-Arbi Bannis (“He got ijazas from Abdellawi and Tayyeb Sefyani”; d. 1350/1935) -author of Dhurrat at-taj wa 'ujalat al-mu'htaj (The Inimitable Gemstone in the Elucidation of Tijani Jurisprudence), the naqib Moulay Abderrahman b. Zidan Alawi al-Maknasi (d. 1361/1946) –author of an-Nur al-lai’h bi-mawlid ar-Rasul al-khatim al-fathi (The Apparent Light in the Birthday of the Opening-Sealing Prophet), Bulugh al-umniya fi-mad’h khayr al-bariya (Reaching of Desires in the Praise of the Chieftain of Mankind), Sidi al-Hassan b. Omar b. al-Haj Idrissi Mazzur (d. 1376/1961) –author of Shifa’ saqim bi-mawlid an-Nabi al-karim (Remedy of the Ill in the Birthday of the Merciful Messenger). In the Tangier-Tetouan block, the Tariqa spread first at the hands of Sidna Shaykh’s companions Sidi Ahmed Jweyyad Tanji and Sidi al-Arbi b. Mohammed Tanji. The Tariqa later flourished by the efforts of Lahyani’s students Sidi al-‘Arfawi al-Bukhari, Sidi Mohammed b. Mohammed Shashun Tanji (d. after 1332/1917), and Sidi Mohammed b. Abderrahman Mghara Tamsluhi, and Mohammed Ben Ahmed Daradibi Titwani.
The third most-ramified Tijani cluster is located in Marrakech and the Sus region. The Tijaniya spread there primarily through the chain of Sidi Mohammed b. al-Arabi Sayeh and his students. Of the most important leaves of this wig we mention Sidi Ahmed Mahmud b. ‘Hnini al-Bahrawi Idrissi al-Murrakushi (d. 1319/1904), al-Qutb Sidi al-Haj al-Ahsan b. Ahmed Ifrani (d. 1328/1913), al-Qutb Sidi al-Ahsan al-Baaqili (d. 1363/1948), Sidi Mahmud Dar’i, Sidi Mohammed b. Abdelwahid Nadhifi (d. 1366/1951) –author of Dhurra al-kharida (The Unique Gem), at-Teb al-Faih (The Blossomed Medicine), the great poet Sidi Ali al-Isiki Susi (d. after 1366/1951), Sidi Ali Drarki Susi (d. after 1370/1951), Sidi Taher b. Mohammed Bakri Susi (d. 1374/1959), Sidi Mohammed b. al-Arbi al-Adwazi, Moulay Ibrahim b. Mohammed Sibai, Sidi Mohammed b. Ali Tazarwalti al-Majjati, Sidi al-Hussein b. Ahmed Nataji Siddiqi, Sidi Mohammed b. Ali Susi, Sidi Mohammed b. Abbu Rasmuki, Sidi Ahmed b. al-Hussein Dwirani (descendent of Saint Sidi Abu Yaaza al-Mahaji -himself Shaykh of Abu Madyan al-Ghawt), Sidi Mohammed b. Ismail, Sidi Mohammed Yazidi Susi, and Sidi Belahssen Jakani Susi (d. 1419/2004) -teacher of Shaykh al-'Haramayn Sidi Mohammed b. Alawi al-Maliki Debbarh Idrissi (d. 1417/2006) and Sidi Mohammed Laqmari Tunusi (d. 1415/2004).
Within the context of profoundly spiritualising revival of Tijani Sufism that the Tariqa was leveraged in the life and work of sultan al-'ulama, the Last Moroccan Judge, al-qadi Abul Abbas Sidi Ahmed b. al-'Iyyashi b. Abderrahman Skirej al-Fasi (d. 1355/1940). He took the Tijani wird in his twenties from Sidi Mhammed b. Mohammed Genoun. However, Sidi Ahmed b. Mohammed Abdellawi (d. 1328/1913) had much influence on him. Abdellawi was the main heir of both al-khalifa Sidi Abul Hassan Tamacini (d. 1260/1845) and Sidna Shaykh’s son Sidi Mohammed al-Habib (d. 1269/1854), and he also had an ijaza from Sidi Mohammed b. al-Arbi Sayeh. After he supervised Skirej’s training, he gave him an open ijaza to teach the Tijaniya. Studying under Shaykh Abdellawi as well as Sidi Hamid b. Mohammed Bannani (d. 1326/1911), Moulay Abdellah b. Idriss Bedrawi (d. 1310/1895), Moulay Abdelmalik Darir Alawi (d. 1318/1903), and Sidi 'Ubayda b. Saghir Chinguiti (d. 1284/1869) gave Sidi Ahmed Skirej the opportunity to draw from the most important sources of Tijani doctrine then available in Morocco; i.e. Bannani is connected to Sidna Shaykh through Allal al-Fasi al-Fihri, Abu Yaaza b. Ali and his father al-khalifa al-akbar Abul Hassan Ali Harazem Berrada; Bedrawi through Abdelwahhab b. al-A’hmar, al-Ghazi Lamteri and al-Ghali Boutaleb; Alawi through the chain of his master b. al-A’hmar; Chinguiti through his brother Sidi Mohammed, Sidi Mawlud Fall (d. 1267/1852) and Sidi Mohammed al-Hafidh Alawi Chinguiti (d. 1245/1830).
Indeed, Sidi Ahmed Skirej’s association with the Tijaniya proved to be the sparkling prowess in the regeneration of the order. In addition to his position as a supreme judge and director of large numbers of disciples, the Shaykh spent his free time in writing. Almost 300 in number, his eye-opening books, pottery and letters have underdisputedly cheered the conditions which have come to foster the Tijani tradition throughout the Muslim world; ex. Kashf al-Hijab 'amman talaaqa bi-Shaykh Tijani mina-l as'hab (Rising the Veil on the Companions of Shaykh Tijani), Raf’a niqab ba'ad kashf al-hijab 'amman talaaqa bi-Shaykh Tijani mina-l as'hab (Lifting the Curtain after Rising the Veil on the Companions of Shaykh Tijani), Jannat al-Jani fi-tarajim as’hab Shaykh Tijani (Paradise of Harvest in the Hagiographies of the Companions of Shaykh Tijani), Tajrid As’ilat Shaykh Mohammed Kattani (Detaching the Questions of Shaykh Mohammed Kattani; a must-read work where Shaykh Skirej proves the Sealness of Sidna Shaykh by answering the questions of Imam Tirmidhi), Nahj al-hidaya fi-ma'ana al-Khatmiya (The Guided Pathway in the Real Meaning of Sealness), Shamail Tijaniya (The Tijani Narratives), Al-‘Hijara al-Mqtiya (The Mighty Stone), Tanbih al-ikhwan anna Tariqa Tijaniya la-yu’tiha illa man lahu idhn-u sa'hih tula zaman wa la yasi'hhu talqinuha 'amman yulaqqinu ghayraha mina turuq kayfama kan (Paying the Brothers' Attention that the Tijani Tradition is Strictly Taught by those who Have Genuine authorizations and Never by Those who Pretend to Incorporate it with Other Traditions be they of High or Small Rank), Shata'hat Skirjiya (The Skireji Dances), and Miftah al-futuhat ar-Rabbaniya (Key to The Divine Openings).
Throughout official appointments as a judge in Fez, Oujda, Marrakech, Tangier, El Jedida and Settat, Sidi Ahmed Skirej worked so hard to restore spiritual life. This is very apparent in his letters (rasalil), journeys (rahalat), and debates (musamarat); of his Rasail we mention: Al-Yawaqit al-Ahmdiya fi al-ajwiba 'an ba'ad al-asila fi Tariqa Tijaniya (The Ahmedi Diamonds in the Reaction of some Question on the Tijani Path), Al-Ightibat fi-l jawab 'ala al-asila al-warida min al-Aghwat (Delight in Answering the Upcoming Questions from Al-Aghwat), Al-balagh al-muwajjah ila Shaykh Abdellaziz Debbarh (The CommuniquÃ Forwarded to Shaykh Abdellaziz Debbarh), Al-Jawahir al-munthathira fi al-jawab a'ani al-asila al-i'hda 'ashara (The Bubbling Gems in Replying the Eleven Inquiries), ad-Durr al-Maknun fi al-ajwiba 'an asilat al-Faqih Sayyed Mohammed Shashun Tanji (The Unique Treasure in Answering the Questions of Scholar Sidi Mohammed Shashun of Tangiers), an-Naf'ha al-'anbariya fi al-ajwiya Skirejiya (The Musky Breeze in the Skireji Reports); of his recorded journeys: Ghayat al-maqsud bi-rihla ma'a Sidi Mahmud Tijani (The Set Objective in the Journey with Sidi Mahmud), Al-Bi'atha al-Makkiya (The Meccan Mission), ar-Rihla al-Hijaziya (The Journey to Hijaz), ar-Rihla al-Barisiya (The Parisian Journey). The Shaykh had also written many commentaries on Tijani litanies and literature, such as 'Aqd al-aal f- i'arab Jawharat al-Kamal (The Golden Necklace in the Grammar of Jawharat al-Jamal), Al-Kawkab al-wahhaj (A Commentary on Dhurrat Taj of Sidi al-Abdelkarim Bannis), 'Hadrat at-tadani ("Presence of Proximity"; a commentary on a poem of Sidna Shaykh Tijani), Al-Ijada 'ala al-ifada (A Commentary on The Ahmedi Notifications of Sidi Tayyeb Sefyani).
The Shaykh’s long list of pupils in Morocco and abroad is moreover astounding: e.g. Sultan Mawlana Abdelhafidh Alawi (d. 1352/1937) –author of al-Jami’a al-‘irfaniya fi-shurut wa jull fadail ahl Tariqa Tijaniya (The Obsolete Divine Exposition in the Introduction of the Conditions and Narratives of the Followers of the Tijani order), his brothers Sidi Hammad and Abderrahman Skirej [The latter is the teacher of the penman Sidi Ahmed ibn Abdellah Skirej -author of Iza'hat sitar 'amma fi-Tariqa Tijaniya min asrar (Lifting the Curtain on the Tijani Secrets) and Min anwar Jawahir al-Ma'ani (From the Lights of Jawahir al-Ma'ani)], Sidi Mohammed Shawni (b. 1286/1871), Sidi Mohammed Mghara, the sharif Sidi Mohammed b. al-‘Abid al-Iraqi (d. 1365/1950) and his son Sidi al-Haj Idriss, Sidi Abdellah b. Sayyed Mohammed Niass, Shaykh al-Islam Abul Fayd Sidi Ibrahim b. Abdellah Niass al-Kulkhi (d. 1390/1975), Shaykh al-Azhar Sidi Mohammed al-Hafidh b. Abdellatif al-Misri (d. 1398/1983), Sidi Maodo Malick Sy (d. 1337/1922), Sidi Abdellaziz Debbarh b. Mohammed b. Abdellah al-Majid (“from Um Darman, Sudan”), Sidi Abdellrahim al-Bur'i Sudani Sammani, Sidi Afandim al-Muddathir b. Ibrahim al-Hijazi (d. 1356/1941), Sidi Mohammed b. Said Afandi al-Misri (A book publisher of various Skireji masterpieces), and Sidi Mohammed b. Abdellah Shafi’i Taftawi al-Misri - author of al-Fath ar-Rabbani fi-ma ya'htaju ilayhi al-murid Tijani (The Divine Opening in the Needs of the Tijani Companion).
For nearly fifty years Sidna Shaykh Abul Abbas Mawlana Ahmed ibn Mohammed Tijani Hassani was the main active propagator of the doctrine. From his Fez headquarters, he organised the born-global Tijaniya Sufi order, which spread in easts and wests in his blessed lifetime. During the same period, some of Sidna Shaykh's appointed khalifas had established new Tijani centres abroad and developed ramifications of their own. Of these the centres of Sidi Mohammed al-Ghali Boutaleb (d. 1244/1829) and Sidi Alfa Hachim al-Futi (d. 1349/1934) in Medina Munawwara; the centres of Sidi al-Mufaddal Saqqat, Sidi Mohammed b. Abdelwahid Bannani al-Misri (d. after 1269/1854), and Sidi Mohammed al-Hafidh al-Misri (d. 1398/1983) in Egypt; the centres of Shaykh al-Islam Sidi Ibrahim Riyahi Tunsi (d. 1266/1851), Sidi Mohammed b. Slimane Manna’i Tunsi, Sidi Mohammed Ben Achour (d. before 1230/1815) and Sidi Taher b. Abdesaadiq Laqmari (d. after 1266/1851) in Tunisia; the centre of Sidi Uthman Filani Aklani (d. after 1230/1815) in the Sudan; the centres of Sidi Mohammed Alawi Chinguiti (d. 1245/1830), Sidi Mawlud Fall (d. 1267/1852) and Sidi Mohammad al-Hafid b. al-Mokhtar Beddi in Mauritania; and the centres of Sidi Mohammed b. al-Mishri Sibai (d. 1224/1809) –author of al-Jami’a li-ma f-taraqa mina-l ‘ulumn (The Absolute in What Has Separated from the Sciences) and al-Qutb Sidi Abul Hassan Ali b. Aissa Tamacini (d. 1260/1845) in Algeria.
Upon the death of Sidna Shaykh in 1230/1815, the direction of the order in Algeria moved to two blocks. Sidna Shaykh nominated the muqaddam of the Zawiya of Tamehalt near Tamacine, al-Qutb Samadani Sidi Abul Hassan Ali b. Aissa Tamacini (d. 1260/1845), as a khalifa and directed him to move his sons from Fez to the desert so that the succession should alternate between his own family in Ain Madhi and that of Sidi Ali in Tamacine. Following a complex scenario, Sidi Ali persuaded Sidna Shaykh’s sons Sidi Mohammed al-Kabir (d. 1238/1823) and Sidi Mohammed al-Habib (d. 1269/1854) to make Ain Madhi their home. Sidi Mohammed al-Kabir b. Abil al-Abbas Tijani was born in the village of Abi Samghoune. His mother is Sayyida Mabrouka. He died as a martyr with more than 300 persons from Abi Samghoune against the Bey’s Turkish forces near the city of Mascara (Mu’ascar, Western Algeria) in 1238/1823. Sidna Shaykh Tijani was aware through the kashf (foresight) about his son’s fate. That is why he implored Allah Almighty that the Turks will meet the same fate as that of the Andalusians in Spain. Upon the death of Sidi Ali Tamacini, the succession went to Sidi Mohammed al-Habib, and then back to the other line. No serious split in the order occurred until the death of Sidi Mohammed al-‘Eid Tamacini (d. 1290/1875), when two groups separated following a dispute over the succession. The result is that these two places came to have only a localized direct authority, and groups of their direct ramifications have made themselves independent. Leadership of Ain Madhi’s lodge has been presided eventually by Sidi Ahmed A'mar b. al-Habib (d. 1311/1896), Sidi Mohammed Bachir b. al-Habib (d. 1326/1911), Sidi Allal b. A'mar (d. 1334/1919), Sidi Mohammed al-Kabir b. A'mar (d. 1346/1931), Sidi Mahmud b. al-Bashir (d. 1349/1934), Sidi Mohammed Budali b. Allal (d. 1382/1967), Sidi Tayyeb b. Allal (d. 1388/1973), Sidi Ali b. Mahmud (d. 1405/1990), Sidi Abdeljabbar b. Budali (d. 1431/2006), and it is guided today by the supreme khalifa Sidi al-Haj Mohammed b. Mahmud Tijani. That of Tamacine had been presided mutually by Sidi Mohammed Sghir (d. 1307/1892), Sidi M'ammar (d. 1309/1894), Sidi al-‘Eid (d. 1342/1927), Sidi al-Bashir b. al-Eid (d. 1415/2000).
A number of outstanding companions of Sidna Shaykh had been involved in the foundation of new zawiyas and expansion of the Tariqa in Algeria; from Ain Madhi, the names of Sidi Mohamed b. Salama, Sidi Salam b. Ahmed, Sidi Ibrahim b. Aliyah, Sidi Ahmed Bouzayan, Sidi Ahmed Abdellqadir; from Bu Samghune; Sidi Najjar, Sidi Allal Abdellqadir, Sidi Ahmed Yaamar, Sidi Ahmed b. Taher, Sidi al-Haj Qattush, Sidi Qaddur b. Zayyan, Sidi Qaddur b. Rajea, Sidi Ben Abi Qacem, Sidi Najjar, Sidi Ahmed b. Achur, Sidi Mohamed Belabas, Sidi Ben Abderrahman, Sidi Abul Qacem, Sidi Mohamed b. al-Abbas; from Tilimsan-Oran, Sidi Ali Ben Abderrahman ("Mufti of Oran"), faqih Sidi Mohammed b. Abdellah al-Jilani (d. after 1269/1854), Sidi Mokhtar b. Taleb (d. before 1230/1815), Sidi Mokhtar Debbarh, Sidi Qaddur b. Ismail, Sidi Ahmed b. Dawdi, Sidi Ahmed b. Mousa, Sidi Mokhtar b. Taleb, Sidi Abdelhalim Ben Soumayya ("Mufti of Algeria"); from Al-Abyad, Sidi Ahmed Zawi Boushikhi, Sidi Bouhafs Ben Shaykh, Sidi b. al-Musqim Ben Shaykh, Sidi Abdellqadir Ben Shaykh, Sidi Slimane Ben Shaykh, Sidi Slimane Bousmaha Boushikhi; from other parts of al-Aghwat (Laghouat), Sidi Slimane b. Saad, Sidi Mohammed b. ‘Herzellah, Sidi Abul Hassan Ali b. Shatiwi, Sidi Ahmed b. Ismail, Sidi Ahmed b. 'Asakir, Sidi Aissa b. Khazzaz, Sidi Ahmed Lakhdar Tamacini, Sidi Za'anoun, Sidi Abdellah Sawfi, Sidi Ahmed b. Mabruk Sawfi, Sidi Ahmed b. Ismail, Sidi Abdellqadir b. Haj Abdellawi, Sidi Ahmed b. Dahtiah, Sidi Ali b. Hammoudi, Sidi Ali b. Lakhdar, Sidi ’Emara b. Saleh Sawfi,, Sidi Ghilan Lahlafi; from Tuwat (Southern Algeria), Sidi Bouzayyan b. Mohammed Bouchikhi, Sidi al-Arbi b. Idriss, Sidi Ahmed b. Mohammed, Sidi Mohammed al-Mufaddal, and Sidi al-Arbi b. Idriss; from al-Jarid (Easter Algeria), Sidi Mohammed b. Uthman, Sidi Ali b. Shatiwi, Sidi Ahmed b. Khalifa, Sidi Abdellah Balbali, Sidi Lakhdar b. al-Mashri.
The Tijaniya first appeared in Mauritania through the efforts of the dynamic sharif Sidi Mohammed al-Hafidh Alawi Chinguiti (d. 1245/1830). Based in Alawiya (his natal village) he bolstered the Tariqa amid great scholars such as Sidi Shaykh Banem, Sidi Mawlud Fall (d. 1267/1852), Sidi Baba b. Ahmed Tiba Alawi (d. 1250/1835 in Medina), and Sidi Mohammed b. Abdellah al-Khalifa. While the latter taught the order to Sidi Shaykh b. Baba Alawi, Sidi Ahmed b. Baba Alawi, and Sidi Tijani b. Baba Alawi (d. 1260/1845) -author of Minya al-Murid (The Demise of Disciple), Sidi Mawlud Fal initiated his son Sidi al-Hadi -author of Ikhraj shurut Tariqa Tijaniya ma'a ma tammanathu mina shurut al-bahiya (Conditions of the Tijani Path with what it contains of Pure Benefits), his grandson Sidi Abdellah–author of Risalat al-qawl al-‘hasm fi-masalat al-khatmiya wal khatm (The Decisive Report on the Subject of Sealness and Seal of Saints), Sidi Abdelkarim Nakel, and Sidi Mohammed b. Saghir Chinguiti b. Taleb b. Mohammed b. Mohammed b. Anbuja Chinguiti Tashiti -author of al-Jaysh al-Kabir (The Grand Army). The latter initiated his brother Sidi 'Ubayda (d. 1284/1869) -author of Mizab ar-Rahma Rabbaniya fi-tarbiya bi-Tariqa Tijaniya (Spout of Divine Mercy in Tijani Training), Maydan al-fadl wal ifdal f-sham rai’hat Jawharat al-Kamal (The Meadow of Grace and Bounty in Smelling the Fragrance of Jawharat al-Kamal), Rihlat tahani fi-‘hilyat Shaykh Tijani (the Journey of Salutations in the Adornment of Shaykh Tijani)– and Sidi Mohammed b. al-Mokhtar Tijani, himself the teacher of Sidi Taher al-‘Himadi and al-Qadi Sidi Ahmed b. Abderrahman.
Simply speaking, no Sufi order had ever stretched the boundaries of Islam in Africa as did the Tijaniya. The Tariqa gained dozens of millions of followers through the career of Sidi Mohammed al-Ghali Boutaleb’s most influential student Sidi al-Haj Omar b. Said al-Futi (d. 1279/1864) –author of Rima'h al-Hizb al Rahim ‘ala Nuhur Hizb ar-Rajim (The Spears of the League of the Merciful thrown at the Necks of the League of the Accursed). Under his leadership, the Tijani spiritual propagation reached Senegal, Gambia, Ghana, and Nigeria (Borno and Sokoto); originally in the form of Sufi activities and later in the form of building lodges propagating Islamic mystic ideals and aiming at a mass effort for the spiritual Tijani culture. In the thirteenth/nineteenth century the Tariqa emerged as both a Jihadist and a political force against the French, the British, and the Spanish south of the Sub-Sahara. Successful in military affairs, Sidi al-Haj Omar developed the doctrinaire side of his thinking and survived his war and political activities and military entanglements, before falling victim to the colonial military supremacy. The French referred his as "Le Faux Prophet" (The Mistaken Prophet); and a very dangerous Muslim fanatic. The Tijaniya became the most vigorous opponent of France and many early French administrators feared the passion that Tijani masters were able to arouse in their followers. "Had Sidi Omar al-Futi not martyred in 1279/1864 the entire African continent could have converted into Islam," said the Lebanese historian Shakib Arsalan. Al-Futi had many successors: his son Mamadu, his niece Sidi Alfa Mohammed Hachim b. Ahmed b. Said al-Futi (d. 1349/1934) –author of ar-Radd ‘ala munkir lafdh al-asqam (The Anecdote to the Agnostic who oppose the Term of al-Asqam -the most straight), Sidi Tierno Aliou Bhuubha Ndiyan (d. 1342/1927), and Sidi Maodo Malick Sy (d. 1337/1922). The successors of this latter contain Sidi al-Hadi Toure (d. 1394/1979), Sidi al-Haj Amadou (d. 1395/1980), Sidi Abdellaziz b. al-Haj Malick b. Uthman Sy (b. 1319/1904), Sidi Mansur, Sidi Daridri al-Khalifa Wadda Duleb, Sidi Aba Bakr, Sidi Mountagha Tall al-Umri (d. 1428/2006), Abdellaziz Sy, and many others.
Few of Sidna Shaykh's indirect disciples were doctrinal innovators. Instead, most were content to provide training for their students and to spread Sidna Shaykh's brand of Mohammedian mysticism around the world. An exception is the Senegalese Sidi Abul Fayd Ibrahim b. Abdellah Niass al-Kulkhi (d. 1390/1975). The Shaykh claimed the paradigmatic status of al-Fayda al-Kubra (The Grandest Overflowing); an awaited rank of a mysterious Tijani that appear at a time of need and hardship and enter masses of people to the fold. This figure is reported by Sidi Tayyeb Sefyani in his Al-Ifada al-Ahmediya in which Sidna Shaykh Tijani informed his companions that, "at the end of time, when people will be faced with tremendous difficulties, a spiitual flood will descend upon one of my companions, who will then lead people into our Tariqa in large flocks". This overflow comes at a time of great need and destitution." Indeed, following Sidi al-Haj Omar's footsteps, Sidi Ibrahim contributed remarkably to the widespread of Islam and Tijaniya in the Salum region of Senegal and Gambia, and throughout Ghana, Sudan, and Nigeria, where he converted virtually nearly 30 millions of his disciples. In the era in which he lived as a wanderer, his mystic activity in the Sub Sahara contained a response to the challenges of the time. The disintegration of African systems affected by colonialism, poverty, corruption, and degeneration of morals weakened the fabric of societies while materialistic pursuits froze the heat of spiritual life. These realities created an atmosphere in which African societies needed moral animation and spiritual renaissance. Granted, Shaykh Sidi Ibrahim filled this gap par excellence with his spiritual gifts and powers.
As Shaykh Sidi Ibrahim’s childhood witnessed the great flourishing of the Tijaniya in West Africa, his father, al-Haj Abdellah b. Sayyed Mohammed –who studied the Tijaniya under Abdellawi, Skirej, al-Mu’hib Alawi, Sefyani, and Mohammed Jallu al-Futjali— was his most important teacher in Maliki traditional sciences and had already initiated him the Tijaniya at the age of 10. As his most important works the Kashif al-ilbas 'an fayd al-Khatm Abil Abbas(The Exposer of Veils of Overflowing Grace of the Seal Abil Abbas), Mifta’h al-fath wal wusul ila ‘Hadrat shykhina ibn ar-Rasul (The Key of Opening and Unification to enter the Presence of the Prophet’s Grandson Our Master), Ru'h al-adab (Spirit of Good Morals) and Nujum al-huda (Stars of Guidance), assert, the Shaykh was not only a prolific writer, a talented speaker, and a great Sufi imam, but was also known as a muhaddith, mufti, and Maliki jurist. He was the only African scholar to attain the title of “Shaykh al-Islam” at the Azhar University of Cairo, and the only imam to lead the congregational Friday prayer in its mosque. While most of today’s African ramifications are tied to his name, Shaykh Sidi Ibrahim had thousands of international students who became shaykhs in their own right reviving the fayda doctrine when he was still alive.
Along with those who fogged Tijani mysticism in Africa the names of Sidi Tafsir Abdu Birane Cisse (d. 1381/1961), Sidi Abul Hassan Ali Cisse (d. 1403/1988), Sidi Hadi Toure (d. 1394/1979), Sidi Walad al-Nahawi Chinguiti (d. 1419/2004), Sidi Mohammed Jamiu Bulala (d. 1419/2004), Sidi al-Mahi Haidara al-Mali (d. 1428/2006), Sidi Abul Fawati’h Ahmed Ali Nayjiri (d. 1428/2006), Sidi Mohammed al-Hassan -author of Rislalat ar-rad 'ala Sulaymi (Answering the claims of Sulaymi), Sidi Mohammed Awal ibn Abdellah Aynala, Sidi Mohammad al-Hafid b. al-Mokhtar Beddi Chinguiti --author of Mawlid Isnan al-Kamal (Birthday of the Most Complete Human Being), Sidi Ibrahim Salih al-Husseini (“Grand Mufti of Nigeria”), Sidi Abdellah al-Mishri Chinguiti, Sidi Ibrahim Diop (“Head of the Ulama of Senegal”), Shaykh Hummayda al-Yanbu'i, Sidi Abubakar Atiku Sanka, Sidi Ahmed Niass, Sidi Mustapha Niass, Sidi Tijani Usman Zangon, Sidi Mohammed Nurudeen Hakeem, SIdi Muneer al-Mali, Sidi Emir Sanusi, Sidi Ibrahim Mahmoud Job, Sidi Abdulmajid Kano, Sidi Liman Buhari, Sidi Bashir Buhari, Sidi Mohammed Salg Ben Omar Kachni, Sidi Uthman Taher Boutchi, Sidi Salisu Shaaban al-Ghani, and Sidi Ibrahim’s living grandson al-khalifa Abu Zayd Sidi Hassan b. Ali Cisse. The Tariqa particularly flowed in the Sudan by the followers of Sidi Abul Fawati’h’s remarkable disciple Sidi Ahmed Mohammed Omar Sharif Tijani. Under his activity the Tijaniya flourished in Khartoum and beyond by abundant of his downlines; i.e. Sidi Mohammed al-Hadi Sabouni, Sidi Abdelmajid Moussa Hassan al-Amin, Sidi Hammad Mohammed Ali Hussein, Sidi Khalid Idriss Ibrahim, Sidi Omar Masoud, Sidi Abdelkader Abu Aakri, and Sidi Zein al-Abidin. All in all, Niassite and Omarite leaders swelled the Tijaniya in Chad (2 million), Gambia (500,000), Ghana (1,5 million), Guinea Conakry (4 million), Ivory Coast (2,5 million), Mali (4 million), Mauritania (3 million), Niger (4 million), Nigeria (40 million), Senegal (6 million), and Sudan (9 million).
Among the Tijani saints that ensured spiritual stability in Egypt are the golden names of Sidi al-Haj al-Mufaddal Saqqat al-Fasi (“Companion of Sidna Shaykh Tijani”; d. in Qina), Sidi Mohammed b. Abdelwahid Bannani al-Fasi al-Misri (“Companion of Sidi Ali Harazem Berrada and Sidi Belqasim Basri”; d. after 1269/1854), Sidi al-Bashir b. Mohammed Zaytuni Talbani, as well as Sidi al-Haj Ahmed Tijani b. Mohammed b. Ibrahim Chinguiti (d. 1345/1930) –author of al-Futuhat ar-Rabbaniya fi Tariqa Ahmediya Tijaniya (The Divine Openings in the Ahmedi-Tijani Sufi Order) and as-Sirr al-abhar fi-awrad al-Qutb al-Akbar (The Surreptitious Secret in the Litanies of the Grandest Pole). Sidi al-Bashir Zaytuni took the Tariqa from Sidi Ibrahim Riyahi Tunsi (d. 1266/1851) and initiated the order to huge crowds; e.g. Sidi Mohammed b. Abdellah Shafi’i Taftawi –author of Ghayat al-amani fi-manaqib wa karamat ashab Shaykh Sidi Ahmed Tijani (The Ultimate Aspirations in the Narratives and Marvels of Shaykh Sidi Ahmed Tijani). Sidi al-Haj Ahmed Tijani, on the other hand, had settled in Egypt after taking from al-Qutb Sidi al-Haj al-Hussein al-Ifrani (d. 1328/1913). He is credited to initiate flood of men such as Sidi Ahmed Sibai Idrissi al-Murrakushi (d. in Beir Chams, Manufiya), Sidi Badr Salama –author of an-Naf’ha al-fadliya wal hidaya al-Mohammediya (The Graceful Breeze and Mohammedian Guidance), Sidi al-Hachimi Mohammed, Sidi Mohammed Alwan al-Jusaqi (known as "Sayyed Tijani") –author of Ghayat al-amani fi-manaqib wa karamat ashab Shaykh Sidi Ahmed Tijani (The Ultimate Aspirations in the Narratives and Marvels of Shaykh Sidi Ahmed Tijani) and Al-Hidaya ar-Rabbaniya fi-fiqh Tariqa Tijaniya (The Godly Guidance in the Tijani Jurisprudence), and an-Naf’ha al-qudsiya fi-ssira al-Ahmediya Tijaniya (The Celestial Breeze in the Memoirs of Ahmedi Tijani Path), Sidi Salahuddin Tijani -author of Tariqa Tijaniya (The Tijani Path) and Kashf al-ghuyum 'an ba'ad asrar al-Qutb al-Maktum (Clearing the Clouds on some of the Secrets of the Concealed Pole), and Sidi Ayman 'Hamdi -author of Ahl safa' min kalam Khatm al-Awliya (The Pure in the Sayings of the Seal of Saints).
However, no Tijani figure had succeeded to refuel the secrets of Tijaniya in Egypt than the Husseinid sharif, Shaykh al-Azhar, al-Imam Sidi Mohammed al-Hafidh al-Misri (d. 1398/1983). The Shaykh had taken the Tariqa from the great masters of his age; namely, Sidi Ahmed Sibai Idrissi al-Murrakushi, Sidi Mohammed b. Abdellah Shafi’i Taftawi, Sidi al-Haj Ahmed Tijani Chinguiti, Sidi Abdelmalik b. Alami, Sidi Alfa Hachim al-Futi (d. 1349/1934), the supreme khalifa Sidi Mohammed al-Kabir b. Sidi al-Bashir Tijani (d. 1346/1931) and his brother Sidi Mahmud b. Sidi al-Bashir Tijani (d. 1349/1934), al-qadi Sidi Ahmed b. al-‘Iyyashi Skirej al-Fasi (d. 1355/1940), Sidi Mohammed b. al-Ghazi Ribati, Sidi Mohammed b. Abdelwahid Nadhifi (d. 1366/1951), Sidi Daridri al-Khalifa Wadda (His father is Sidi Omar ibn Said al-Futi's disciple), Sidi Ibrahim b. al-Mokhtar Chinguiti Tashii, Sidi al-Haj Belqacem Bukabu al-Wahrani, Sidi Abdelmun’im Mohammed Hassani Saaduni (Sidi al-Ghali Boutaleb’s disciple), Sidi Mubashir b. Sidi Omar b. Said al-Futi, Sidi Ibrahim al-Khuzami (Sidi Taher al-Hammadi’s disciple; connected to Sidna Shaykh through the sharif Sidi Mohammed b. al-Mokhtar Saqqaf). Sidi Mohammed al-Hafidh had spread the Tijani doctrine not only in Egypt but also in the Holy Lands, Yemen, and the Sudan. He defended the Tariqa against the agnostics and infidels, and wrote important treatises such as Asfa manahil as-safa fi mashrab Khatim al-Awliya (The Purest Fountain in the Spring of the Seal of Saints), Qasd as-sabil fi-Tariqa Tijaniya (The Straight Trail in the Tijani Pathway), Fasl a-maqal fi-ma yarfa’a al-idhn fi-l ‘hal (The Essential Saga in what Perishes Authorization), and Ahl al-Haqq al-‘arifun billah (The Community of Truth: the Sages of Allah).
The Tijaniya Sufi order spread in the Mashriq (East) at the hands of distinguished scholars in esoteric and exoteric sciences, i.e Sidi Yusuf b. Ismail Nabahani (d. 1347/1932), Sidi Ali b. Abdellah b. Mustapha Tayyeb al-Azhari al-Madani, Sidi Ali Dakr, Sidi Ahmed Dadssi, Sidi Abdelatif Suyuti, Imam Sidi Khalid b. Zekkali, Imam Abdelaziz Samlali, Sidi al-Makki Mohammed Makki, Sidi Ibrahim Bablawi, Imam Sidi Badr b. Abdelhadi, Sidi Hassan al-Akhssassi, Sidi Mohamed b. Madkur Tasfawi, Imam Sidi Mohamed b. Ibrahim al-Bablawi, Imam Sidi Kira’at, Sidi Ibrahim Khuzami, Imam Sidi Ahmed b. Abou Bakr, Sidi Abul Hassan Abdellah Maghribi, and Sidi Ali Alami al-Maghirbi. The latter initiated in Palestine alone the myrtir Sidi 'Izzuddin al-Qassam and his brother Sidi Ali, Shaykh Sidi Hanifi, Sidi Salih al-Wouli, and Sidi Mohammed Abdelghani. The Tijani Path penetrated Turkey for the first time by the charismatic businessman and lawyer Sidi Kamal Bilaw Ughlu and his student Sidi Abderrahman Balji who diffused the doctrine in Ankara and Central Anatoly under the patronage of Ottoman sultans. When Kemal Ataturk won the elections of 1959 and banned imams to learn the Quran by heart in Arabic and ordered the adhan (call for prayer) to start with "Tann uludur" (instead of Allah Akbar) from the top of minarets, Sidi Kamal Bilaw Ughlu stood firm and led a revolution against his party. The Shaykh called for a new Islamic constitution mobilizing imams to continue their call of prayers in Arabic. In 1951, a number of Tijanis destroyed an Ataturk's statue in Kir Shahr and accused Ataturk of atheism. The Shaykh was imprisoned with a 1000 supporter. Following an investigation, Turkish officials found a link between the Turkish Tijaniya and the Egypt Muslim Brotherhood as well as the Iranian Mujahidin of Islam. The Royal Embassy of Iraq in Turkey estimated in the 30th of June, 1951 the presence of 300,000 Tijani in Turkey alone.
The Tijaniya has also flourished in Central Asia as far as India. However it did not reach Indonesia until the late 1920s thanks of the efforts of the Medina-born wandering scholar, Sidi Ali b. Abdellah b. Mustapha Tayyeb al-Azhari, who had been himself initiated in 1324/1909 at the hands of the Nigerian Sidi Adam b. Mohammed Shaib al-Barnawi, student of Sidi Mohammed b. Abdelwahid Bannani al-Misri. He had also received an open ijaza from the Senegalese Sidi Alfa Hachim al-Futi (d. 1349/1934). In the following years, several Indonesians studying in Mecca received initiations into the Tijaniya from teachers still active there after the second Wahhabi conquest of Mecca in 1339/1924. Shaykh al-Azhari's most important students are Sidi al-Haj Abbas b. Abdeljamil (“Head of Buntet Islamic School, Cirebon; d. 1359/1944), Sidi Nuh b. Idriss (“Head of al-I'anah Islamic School, Cianjur; d. 1376/1966), Sidi Mohammed Sujai, (Head of Gudang Islamic School, Tasikmalaya), Sidi Ahmed Sanusi (Head of al-Ittihad Islamic School, Sukabumi), Sidi Usman Dhomiri al-Jawi (Head of a Tijaniya lodge in Cimahi), Sidi Muhammad Badr Zaman (“Head of Al-Falah Islamic School in Garut. He was a principal leader of the Hizbullah Liberation Army during the Indonesian war of independence; d. 1387/1972), the great muhaddith of his age Sidi Mohammed Yasin al-Fadani al-Makki (“Head of Darul Uluum School of Mecca; d. 1405/1990). Under the activity of these masters hundreds of thousands of people entered the Tijani fold in West Java. During the 1980s the Tijaniya experienced a period of rapid growth in East Java by two local leaders connected to Sidi Alfa through Sidi Abdelhamid al-Futi. The Tariqa is led today in Indonesia by various venerated muqaddams such as the veteran Sidi Abul Abass Shiddiq. The living cadres organize around 300,000 Tijanis in Indonesia.
Under the banner of Tariqa-t al-ulama (Path of the Scholars), the Ahmediya-Mohammediya-Ibrahimiya-Hanifiya-Tijaniya Sufi order continues to expand Islam and mysticism around the world. Nearly 300 million disciples follow this elevated path of Sidna Shaykh with complete adherence to the Shari'a law. The majority of this number is based in the Muslim world. However, Imam Abu Zayd Sidi Hassan b. Ali Cisse undertook a vigorous expansion of the order in the United States. The Shaykh made his first visit to the States in 1980, and, in response to the requests of an increasing number of American disciples, in 1985, he established the first Tijani zawiya in New York. This was followed by a number of other centres in Washington, Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, California, and other states by several muqaddams. During the past decade, the number of the zawiyas has continued to increase in the USA and important headquarters in Paris and London have become the centres of the order in Europe.