Ain-Madhi- The City Main Entrance

3.Ain-Madhi- The Zawiya’s old Mosque

4.Ain-Madhi- Sidi Mohamed Al Habib Tijani’s Mausoleum

5. A general view of Kourdane Palace

6. Sidi Mohamed Tahar Tijani’s Mausoleum in Kourdane Palace

7. A close view of Kourdane Palace

8.Inside Kourdane Palace

‫بسم ال الرحمن الرحيم‬ ‫أل إن أولياء ال ل خوف عليهم ولهم يحزنون‬ 62-10 ‫القران الكريم‬ IN THE NAME OF GOD THE COMPASSIONATE THE MERCIFUL “Behold Verily on the Friends of Allah there is no fear nor shall they Grieve” Holy-Quran 10-62. *Subject: Muslim Saints of Algeria & the Maghrib *4.SIDI AHMED TIJANI Sidi Ahmed Tijani was born on the 12th of Safar 1150AH/1737AD in Ain-Madhi some 444 km south west of Algiers near the southern city of Al -Aghouat, his father, Mohamed Ben Mokhtar, is said to have been a pious man of learning who lived and taught at Ain Madhi, whereas his mother Sayidah Aicha bint Abdullah bin Al-Sanoussi Tijani was of the original Tijani tribe of Ain Madhi and thus the name At-Tijani for Sidi Abu-Abbas Ahmad is derived from his mother.

So Sidi Ahmed is from a noble Mohammedan’s ancestral lineage that reads as follows: He is Abu Abbas Ahmad Tijani son of Mohamed son of Mokhtar son of Mohamed son of Salim son of Ahmed Al Alwani son of Ahmed son of Ali son of Abdullah son of Abbas son of Abdul Jabar son of Idris son of Ishaq son of Ali Zayn Al Abidine son of Ahmed son of Mohamed Annafs Azzakiyah son of Abdullah Al Mahdh son of Al Hassan Al Mouthana son Al Hassan Assibt son of Ali Ibn Abi Taleb & Fatima Zahra Daughter of Master of the Universe , the Beloved Messenger of Allah Mohamed(PBUH). It would be important to note that Ain Madhi was a town of great scientific importance, with an environment full of devoutness and piety, as it was a centre of knowledge and righteousness since inception. Most of the family members of Sidi Ahmed Tidjani, who constitute part of this town, had possessed a high degree of knowledge in both Shari'a (Islamic jurisprudence) and Sufism, while his grandfathers were amongst the finest religious scholars and were well established in sainthood; like his two grandfathers Sidi Ahmed bin Mohammed, and Sidi Mohammed bin Salim who migrated to Ain Madhi.

It goes without saying and in view of the environment he was living in, which is naturally disposed for special care and guidance, he memorized the Holy Qur’an, by age seven, as narrated by Imam Warsh, under the renowned righteous jurist & scholar Sheikh Mohammed ibn Hammou Tidjani El-Madhawi (of Ain Madhi & Tidjana tribe).afterwards, Sidi Ahmed Tidjani concentrated his efforts in studying the fundamentals and branches of religious and artistic sciences. He mastered them and conceived their intricacies and fine points. As such he went to memorize several books, of which are: the Lakhdaari, the Risaalah of Imam Qairawaani, the Khalil, and the Muqaddimat of Ibn Rushd, he also studied the Risaalah Jama`at alSufiyya bi bilad al-Islam by Abu al-Qasim al-Qushairi, and the Muqaddimat of Shaykh Abd al-Rahman al-Akhdari. Sidi Ahmad Tijani became an orphan in 1752, his mother and father died during a Smallpox epidemic (1752) while he was only sixteen years old. He then decided to further his own education, which he did with great enthusiasm. In 1757, five years later, he went to Fez in Morocco to apply himself to the study the Prophetic Traditions (Hadith), to meet Sufi Sheikhs, and to take advantage of the lessons given by various renowned scholars from different countries. By the age twentyone, he was firmly grounded in religious learning. He also received diplomas conferring on him the authority to teach Islamic Sciences.

During this time, Sidi Ahmed Tijani felt a call for the Sufi life and thereafter participated in Sufi brotherhoods: The Sufi order of Ahmed alHabib bin Mohamed, the Qadiriyya, and the Nasiriyya, moreover a Wali or a Pious God-fearing man by the name of Muhammad bin al-Hasan alWanjili predicted that Sidi Tijani would achieve spiritual realization in the desert. Thus, the Sheikh went to a village on the outskirts of the desert called Al-Abiad Sidi Cheikh and settled in the Zawiya of Sidi Abdul Qadir bin Mohamed, where he sought Allah’s pleasure and taught for 5 years.

Later, Sidi Ahmed went to Medina to visit the Prophet's (PBUH) Tomb and Mosque where he met the leader of the Khalwatiyya Sufi order, Sheikh Abdul Karim al-Samman, the latter informed Sidi Ahmed that he was to become Qutb al-Aqtab (The Dominant Authority, or Pole of Poles) among the Walis. Leaving Medina, this idea led him to spend a prolonged period of seclusion (khalwa) in dhikr and contemplation, in the village of Abi – Samghoune or Boussemghoune near the Saharan city of Al Bayadh.

During the first year of his stay in Boussemghoune, Sidi Ahmed was blessed with the vision of the Beloved Prophet Mohamed (PBUH), where he gave him the glad tidings and commanded him to leave all the ways (paths or tariqahs) he had been following before that time, saying, "No one will reproach you, for I myself will be your intercessor in front of your Lord and your Helper." He informed his followers that the Blessed Prophet (PBUH) asked him to accept the rank of Khalifa of the Messenger of Allah, and that the Prophet himself assigned him the Wird and the new conditions of the tariqah, saying: “Keep this tariqah without retiring from the world, nor ceasing to interact with people until you reach the spiritual station that is promised you, maintaining your state without any undue mortification nor cultural efforts”. [Jawahir Al Ma’aani –page 32-Cairo Edition]. The Tijaniya Path was founded in the year of 1778 (1190AH) and from 1781 to 1799 , Sidi Ahmed was the main teacher of the doctrines of the tariqah through his many travels to the Sahara, the Sudan, and Tunisia setting up Zawiyas, and nominating pious Moqaddams or Tariqa Representatives moreover, the majority of his disciples and students were Scholars or Ulamas , Fuqahah (learned in jurisprudence), Qadis (judges), and Muftis (officially appointed religious heads, usually of a particular country), such that until this day the Tijaniya Tariqa is also known as “'The Tariqa of the Ulamas”.

Around the years 1798 and 1799, and in the midst of growing political difficulties, Sidi Ahmed was compelled to leave his native country of Algeria and settle in Fez, Morocco, he was already well known and respected there at the same time he was well known for his strict observance of Holy Qur`an, the Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh), and principles of the other main Islamic sources. He once was quoted as saying to his followers: “If you hear someone quoting me, place the statement on the scale of the Noble Sharia; if it balances, take it, if it doesn't, leave it, for within the noble Qur`an and Hadith you will find the Tariqa Tijaniya”. Sooth to say that Sidi Ahmed laid the solid foundations of the Zawiya and continued spreading the Tariqa, reaching remote corners as far the whole far west (Morocco), the Sahara, and the west Sudan , and Sidi Ahmed Tidjani emerged as an established Saint that had dedicated his whole life for spiritual education, training, guidance, and promotion of the endeavourers to the divine proximity , mainly in the period following his permanent settlement in Fez until the day he met his Lord on Thursday morning, 17th Shawwal 1230AH-1815AD at 80 years of age, he was buried in Fez (R.A.).

Truly Sidi Ahmed Tijani had genuinely contributed to an outstanding chapter of the History of Islam and Sufism in Africa and elsewhere and no wonder why are the ongoing secrets behind this spiritual legacy still wondering people about the World’s largest Sufi Tarika the “Tijaniyah” with more than 400 million Disciples throughout the five continents of this Planet.

MOHAMED BOKRETA Freelance –Writer‫كاتب مستقل‬ mohbokreta@yahoo.com

‫محمد بوكريطة‬

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