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Introduction to Tariqa Tijaniyya.

An Introduction to Tariqa Tijaniyya

       Tariqa Tijaniyya is a path, a way (Tariqa), and method of studying and putting into practice Islamic Spiritual Science (Tasawwuf). Spiritual Science has at times been misleadingly called Mysticism. However, in Islam it is a regular Science with its set laws and a full scheme in details. It is based on definite experiences that can be reproduced, just like in any other science. Every person passes through the same stages in their spiritual journey as the Masters before them. Even the humblest learners can at least aspire to develop a living sense of the presence of Allah and acquire an increasing control over their passions and desires for things worldly. Studying Spiritual Science is a means of learning:

Muraqabah - to see Allah in everything i.e. (being conscience of Allah at all times),


Mushahadah - to witness Allah in everything, and


Ma`rifah - to know, or to experience Allah in everything.

 

 

(Qur`an al Kareem, Sura 5:38 & 51, and also 6:62)

Bismi-ilahir Rahmanir Raheem.

5:38. O ye who believe! Do your duty to God (Allah), seek the means of approach onto Him, and strive with might and main in His cause that ye may prosper.
5:51. To thee We sent the Scripture in truth, confirming the Scripture that came before it and guarding it in safety: so judge between them by what God (Allah) hath revealed, and follow not their vain desires, diverging from the truth that hath come to thee. To each among you have we prescribed a law and an open way. If God (Allah) had so willed, He would have made you a single people, but (His plan is) to test you in what He hath given you: so strive as in a race in all virtues. The Goal of you all is to God (Allah); It is He that will show you the truth of matters in which ye dispute;
6:62 Then, are men returned unto God (Allah), their Protector, The (only) Reality: is not His the command? And He is swiftest in taking account.

Sahih Muslim - Kitab al Zikr Ch. mcxxii (1122).
(6498) Abu Hurairah (ra) reported Allah's Messenger (pbuh) as saying that Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, thus stated: "I live in the thought of my servant as he thinks about Me, and I Am with him, as he remembers Me. And if he remembers Me in his heart, I also remember him in My heart, and if he remembers Me in assembly, I remember him in assembly, better than he, and if he draws near Me by the span of a palm I draw near him by the cubit, and if he draws near Me by the cubit I draw near him by the space (covered by) two hands. And if he walks towards Me, I rush towards him".

       The Tariqa Tijaniyya is based purely on Qur`an and Hadith. To describe the Tariqa, we will say that it is simply to rule oneself according to the teaching of Qur`an and the teaching of the Prophet (pbuh). The Tariqa Tijaniyya was founded by Shaykh Ahmad Al Tijani (ra), who lived from 1739 to1815. The Tariqa was granted to Shaykh Ahmad Al Tijani from the Prophet (pbuh). It should be noted that to see the Prophet after his death is not impossible. Until today, virtuous Muslims are still seeing him and meeting him. In a Hadith reported in Bukhari, (also Muslim) the Prophet (pbuh) said, "Whoever sees me in a dream has seen me in reality because Shaytan cannot take my form". In another report he said, "Whoever sees me in a dream will see me". Therefore, we should know that to see the Prophet (pbuh) today is not impossible, that Allah provided this gift for His beloved and righteous servants.

       Since Shaykh Ahmad Al Tijani passed, many of the Ulama of the Tariqa have come and performed their duty in propagating Islam and expanding the Tariqa. In time, and in West Africa, the responsibility of leadership passed to the hand of Shaykh Ibrahim Niasse (1900-1975) who was to play an even greater role in spreading Islam and the Tariqa in that area of the world. Throughout West Africa and among the adept throughout the Islamic world, Shaykh Ibrahim was called Maulana Shaykh Al Islam Al-Hajj Ibrahim Niasse (ra). He passed in 1975 designating leadership to his son-in- law Shaykh Ali Cisse, and now to his grandson, Shaykh Hassan Cisse, the Chief Imam of Medina Kaolack, Senegal. Shaykh Ibrahim declared that those Sufis who neglect the observance of obligatory religious duties like Salat (Prayer), and Siyam (Fasting) etc. and who break the stipulations of the Shari`ah on marriage, divorce, inheritance, and other social behavior, have gone out of Islam and the Tariqa and are only following a mirage.

       Let us grease our elbows and work harder, for Allah is Infinate. The ladder leading to Him has an indefinite height. According to Shaykh Ibrahim in the "Mine of Wisdom", whenever you come upon a Murshid (Rightly Guided One), that is a competent Murshid and not a Master who will exploit you for nothing, but a Master who wants to make you successful and will teach you until you arrive at the full Realization of His Majesty's Likeness, follow him.
       Until a Muslim has accomplished such a stage, he may never completely avoid associating partners with Allah. The Muslim should accomplish the stage of knowing the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is the only doorway to Allah, therefore he who doesn't pass through him shall never reach Allah. One should also know who the Master is.

Tariqa Tijaniyya is based on three (3) principles:

1.  Seeking the forgiveness of Allah (Astaghfirullah), Sura Hadid (57) v. 21, "Be ye foremost in seeking forgiveness from your Lord". The Prophet (pbuh) used to ask Allah for forgiveness and repentance more than one hundred times every day.
2.  Saying La ilaha illa-llah. In the Hadith, the Prophet (pbuh) said, "The best word I have ever said together with the previous prophets is the word La ilaha illa- Ilah". Sura Baqara (2) v. 152, "Then do ye remember Me; I will remember you".
3.  The offering of prayers upon the Prophet (pbuh) Salat `Ala Nabiy, Sura Ahzab (33) v. 56. Moreover, the Prophet (pbuh) said in the Hadith,, "Whoever offers one prayer on me, Allah will offer ten on him; if' he makes it ten, Allah will make it one hundred for him, if he makes it one hundred, Allah will make it one thousand for him, if he makes it a thousand, he will enter paradise shoulder to shoulder together with me".

So these are the principles and some bases of support for the Zikr of the Tariqa Tijaniyya. It is solely derived from Qur`an and Hadith. In the final analysis, we are Muslims looking for the truth, and wherever we see the truth, we shall follow.

CONDITIONS OF MEMBERSHIP IN THE TIJANIYYA ORDER.

The following conditions are explained in Rimaah, I, 211 - 28, from which these passages are translated (see also VE, 233-9). Only the first twenty-one conditions are obligatory for all members; the last two are encouraged for those who can achieve them.

 

1.      The shaykh who transmits the adhkaar should be authorized to do so by proper initiation (talqeen) from the founder or by someone who has been properly authorized to do so.

2. *** Those who seek initiation must free themselves from the wird of any other shaykh which may have been required of them and abandon such a wird and never return to it.

3.***  One must not visit any saints living or dead (implying that the disciple is bound to the one shaykh who has initiated him).

4.       One must seek to observe the five daily prayers in a group and to fulfill the requirements of the shari`a.

5.      One must ceaselessly love the shaykh until his death, and one must love the successor (khaleefa) to the shaykh and all that which was close to the shaykh, such as his chosen followers and his directives, in the same way that one loved the shaykh.

6.     One must not think that he is secure from the ruses of God (see Schimmel, Mystical Dimensions, 127-8).

7.        One must not express any insult, hatred, or animosity toward the shaykh.

8.***  One should persevere with the wird until death.

9.        One must maintain a firm belief [in the tariqa].

10.      One must remain free from all blameworthy acts.

11.    A disciple should be properly authorized to recite the dhikr through a genuine initiation (talqeen) by someone who has received a genuine authorization from the founder or from another authorized person.

12.    One must gather in a group for [the recitation of] the wazeefa and for the recitation (dhikr) of the hailala on Friday afternoon.

13.    One must not recite the jawharat al-kamaal without performing the ritual ablution with water.

14.   One must refrain from any activities which might result in the rupture of good relations between himself and his fellow-men, and especially between himself and his brothers in the tareeqa.

15.    One must not be negligent of the wird, such as delaying it from its proper time, except for good cause.

16.    One must not presume to bestow the wird without a genuine authorization to do so.

17.    One must respect everyone who has been affiliated with the shaykh, especially the eminent members of the tareeqa.

18.    [For the recitation of the dhikr] one must be concerned for the cleanliness of one's clothing and one's person;

19.    One must be concerned for the cleanliness of the place where one is sitting;

20.   One must sit and face the qibla unless one is travelling, one is very close to the ka`ba, or one is in a group;

21.  And one must refrain from speaking [words other than the dhikr] unless absolutely necessary.

22.    If one is able, one should envision the image of the founder before him from the beginning of the dhikr until its end, and one should seek assistance from him. And what is preferable to that, and more beneficial, more exalted and more accomplished, is to envision the Prophet.

23.   One should also call to mind the meanings of the formulations of the dhikr if one is able to understand them.

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Al Hamdu li-llah.