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  • WHAT IS AL-MOURIDIYYAH ?

    The Three Founders

    There is another important clue that may show that Sheikh Ahmadou Bamba’s deep vision of his doctrine goes beyond all kinds of sectarianism and takes its root in the basic principles of Islam. This document is an interesting correspondence (found in the Majmũha collected by the third Murid Caliph) in which the French General Governor asked 18 questions about the organization Bamba has founded. We may feel through his questions that the French Governor was regarding the Muridiyya like the other brotherhoods practiced in Black Africa and which originated first from old Arab Sufis and which were just spread locally by Black masters representing them in Senegal. Through the answers given by the Sheikh, we can better understand his own vision of the Muridiyya (which is, in his view, a synthesis and a revival of Islam) and his etymologic conception of this tariqa (which is just the kingly spiritual path of Islam leading towards God):
    “These following questions are asked by the General Governor of Saint-Louis (Senegal) to the great Sheikh [Ahmadou Bamba]:
    Question 1: Who is the initial founder of the Muridiyya order?
    Question 2: When was born the first founder of the tariqa?
    Question 3: Where was he born exactly?
    Question 4: Who were his first disciples?  Question 5: What are the main motivations which led him to found this tariqa?
    Question 6: What are the cities he was traveling through?
    Question 7: Where did he die?
    Question 8: Which communities are still faithful to the initial tariqa?
    Question 9: Who is the first master who introduced this tariqa in Western Africa?
    Question 10: From which area exactly this tariqa penetrated Africa?
    Question 11: What is the present epicenter of this order where most of its followers are gathered?
    Question 12: Which people were first converted by the founder of this tariqa?
    Question 13: What is the history of this brotherhood?
    Question 14: Who are the current leaders of this tariqa?
    Question 15: Where did their present leader [you are] originate from?
    Question 16: When did he convert to this tariqa?
    Question 17: Who has converted him?
    Question 18: What can he say about his own case?
    [Answers of the Sheikh Ahmadou Bamba]
    In the Name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful “Say: He is God, the One and Only. God, the Eternal, Absolute He begetteth not, nor is He begotten. And there is none like unto Him” (Qurãn cxiv)
    Question 1: Who is the initial founder of the Muridiyya order?
    Answer: This Path has been initiated by these [three founders]:
    • Faith in God (Iman) through absolute conviction in God’s Unity (Tawhĩd)
    • Submission to God (Islãm) through worshipping practices in accordance with the rules of Islamic Law (Fiqh)
    • Spiritual Perfection (Ihsãn) through sincere worship allowed by [the rules of] Sufism
    Questions 2 and 3: When was born this first founder of the tariqa and where was he born exactly? 
    2 and 3 Answer: Whenever and wherever a Muslim was born, this Path was born again in such a place. 
    Question 4: Who were his first disciples? 
    Answer: All who aspire to get [religious] knowledge and who are seeking it. 
    Question 5: What are the main motivations which led him to found this tariqa? 
    Answer: The main principle of this Path is the exclusive Face of God, the Honorable. 
    Question 6: What are the cities he was traveling through? 
    Answer: Every country where Muslims are living is among these cities. 
    Question 7: Where did he die? 
    Answer: Every place where a pillar of the different spiritual paths dies.
    Question 9: Who is the first master who introduced this tariqa in Western Africa? 
    Answer: That are [the three founders of the main tariqas]; Sheikh Abdul Qadĩr Jĩlãni, Sheikh Abul Hasan Shãdhali, and Sheikh Ahmad Tĩjãn (may God be Satisfied with them all). 
    Question 10: From which area exactly this tariqa has penetrated Africa? 
    Answer: This Path was introduced [in Africa] by the Great Masters who have attained God – Blessed and Exalted – and who made people attain Him, wherever they may be.
    Question 11: What is the present epicenter of this order where most of its followers are gathered? 
    Answer: We have to acknowledge that nowadays there is no longer a place where genuine followers of this original Path are gathered. 
    Question 12: Which people were first converted by the founder of this tariqa? 
    Answer: These people are all who are seeking sincerely the Countenance of God, from the time of the Prophet (PBH) to the Virtuous Ancients until today. 
    Question 13: What is the history of this tariqa? 
    Answer: It began from the Hegira of the Prophet (PBH) until [this present moment] 1345 h. (1926).
    Question 14: Who are the current leaders of this tariqa? 
    Answer: There is no longer a true leader of this Path. 
    Question 15: Where did their present leader [you are] originate from? 
    Answer: The forebears of who that is answering these questions [myself] were believers (mũminũn), worshippers (muslimũn), and sincere in their worship (muhsinũn). 
    Questions 16, 17, and 18: When did he convert to this tariqa? Who has converted him? What can he say about his own case? 
    Answer: Such a Path was transmitted to me by masters I thought first authentic, which proved to be false. God – Blessed and Exalted – decided to exile me to the sea [Gabon] and to grant me, during this exile, the three main wirds (Qãdiriyyah, Shadhaliyyah, and Tijãniyyah) through the Prophet (PBH) himself, without any other mediator, due to the numerous actions of Khidma I was performing in his Service. Afterward, God Himself – Blessed and Exalted – entrusted to me the Qur-ãn and Islam. And assuredly “God is a witness to what we say." (Qur-ãn xxviii.28)”
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"The three basic principles of] Ethics are (1) showing mercy to anyone that is younger than you, (2) showing respect to anyone that older than you, (3) treating your fellows as you would like to be treated. Mind to do all of this for the sole Countenance of God, the Creator to whom belongs the Majestic Throne"

Khadimou Rassoul

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"Take great care of God’s Rights through your duties towards His creatures…Be always mindful of your duties towards your fellow men, instead of their duties towards you.” 

Khadimou Rassoul

I have reawakened the writings of the Noble Ancients so as to benefit [my fellow creatures] for the sole Countenance of the Lord.
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I set myself to composing writings through which every believer, except a Prophet, can be guided to the Right Path, if God wills.
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I content myself with God, out of all other masters. And I content myself with the Prophet, out of all other intermediaries.
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