Monday, May 7, 2012
Tujaniyya Tariqah is a Neo-Sufi moment that originated from the teachings of Sīdī 'Aḥmad al Tijānī. This Tariquah was big in North and West Africa and reach as far as Indonesia. Though it was widely spread, it was not widely accepted due to the fact that Sīdī 'Aḥmad al Tijānī’s ideas were extreme in the eyes of other Muslims.
Sīdī 'Aḥmad al Tijānī was a scholar born 1737 in Algeria. After studying hadith in Fez he went on a pilgrimage to Mecca in 1772. Upon returning from Mecca he announced that he had been given the task from the Prophet to create another tariqah. Soon after his announcement he revealed his new tariqah which is known as the Tijaniyya Tariqah. Unlike the other tariqah, Tijamiyya focused on the mystical relationship with the Prophet. Most other tariqah focused on the mystical relationship between the believer and Allah. al Tijānī and Alī Harāzim b. al-ʿArabī Barāda wrote the that outlined al Tijānī life and his teachings that were approved by Tijānī himself. This book called Djawāhi al-maʿānī and was seen as the only recorded teachings of the Tuaniyya that was true.
al Tijānī thought high of himself that he went as far as to say that he was an equal to that of the Prophet and that he was higher than other awliyā. His belief in that led to his declaration that it was forbidden to be involved with any other Sufi order once you have accepted the Tijaniyya faith. He himself broke a Sufi way with this declaration. al Tijānī also claimed in the Djawāhi al-maʿānī that he was the only way God could reach his people and visa versa. He tried to make himself the only way to God. al Tijānī also took the title of ḳuṭb (meaning pole). Ḳuṭb is the title given to the person that holds the highest rank in Sufi religion. All in all al Tijānī saw himself and his followers far superior than their other Sufi counterparts. This caused major issues to happen between other Sufis.
From the beginning, al Tijānī was criticized along with Tijaniyya. In the 1920s reformers of the Salfiyya schools in Morocco and Algeria began to speak against Tijaniyya due to the teachings and the fact that there had been open interactions between Tijaniyya leaders and leaders of the French colonization. In the 1970s in Nigeria there has been protest against Tijaniyya in an attempt at unity with in the Muslim religions as a way to secure political power. Over all Tijaniyya was not welcomed with open arms.
Against all odds and critical criticism from the others, Tijaniyya spread with little to no problem. It started to spread the most in the Maghrib and West Africa. In the 1830s Tijaniyya spread in Algeria with the help of ʽAyn Māḋī because they spoke aginst the current Muslim leaders who were against the French colonization. The Algeria spread of Tijaniyya was due to the fact that the Tijaniyya leaders gained favoritism with the French colonist leaders. If it was not for the French pull, Tijaniyya may have not had that strong of a hold in Algeria. Since then Tijaniyya has spread rapidly throughout Africa. Its greatest expansion occurred around the mid-19th century.
In Senrgal, one of the largest areas to accept Tijaniyya, there was a revivalist movement led by Ibrāhīm Niasse. Niasse helped the spread of Tijaniyya by using World War Two as a way to promote it. Under the Niasse Tijaniyya spread into the Republic of the Sudan and deeper into West Africa. Niasse also went as far as to claim that al-Tidjānī came to him in a vision and told him that he was the embodiment of Tijaniyya. That helped him gather followers and continue with his revival of Tijaniyya.
The ideology of Tijaniyya was basically the same as other forms of Islam. There were only three real differences from the other Islamic sects. The first difference was that each individual must perform the wird of the Tijaniyya every morning and evening. The wird is a prayer of forgiveness from Allah 100 times , saying a prayer for the Prophet and fallowed by reciting haylala 100 times. The next difference is that an individual must perform wazīfa at least once a morning along with other prayers. The third and final difference that the hadra, the holy day, is on Friday. Everyone meets and performs the rituals as a group. The only other difference than these there that had been stated before that once one becomes a member of Tijaniyya they are not able to be in any other Sufi group as dictated by al-Tidjānī.
Over all Tijaniyya was a Neo-Sufi movement that was majorly successful due to the fact that they accepted the help and took alliance with foreign colonists. Tijaniyya covers a large area of Africa even though there was great opposition from other Islamic groups. Many still believe in al-Tidjānī view that those that fallow Tijaniyya are superior than other Muslims and that Allah himself have more favor towards them. Tijaniyya through its revival only spread further and take a permanent mark in Africa. In the end Tijaniyya remains one of the most popular sects of Islam.
Voll, John Obert. Islam, Continuity and Change in the Modern World. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse UP, 1994. 48, 53, 128, 143, 265-267. Print
“Tidjāiyya” Enclopedia of Islam, Second Edition.