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Momodou



Denmark
8991 Posts

Posted - 12 Jan 2008 :  21:15:02  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message
Recently I attended a conference in Copenhagen on Mouridism where the main speaker was Serigne M. Cham. The following is a paper from him..




Serigne M. Cham


Introduction To Mouridism

Boudoul woon yooni geej gui Wolof yep nassarani . . .
If it was not for the exile to the sea all Wolofs would be Europeanized . . .


These words start the essay, “Jazâ'u sakûr” (The Exile to the Sea), the magnum opus of Serigne Moussa Ka, who can be considered the master of all mouride poets and historians and the pioneer of the commentary of the treatises of Cheikh Amadou Bamba Mbacke (Serigne Touba). Serigne Moussa Ka was Serigne Touba’s disciple. His master named him Cheikh in charge of the exegesis of Mouride Philosophy. For Ka’s ordination, Serigne Touba asked him to translate his philosophy into Wolof and to explain his doctrine to the masses who did not have access to Arabic: “Musa, Leeralal mbir mi talibee yi!” (Mousa, clarify the subject to the Talibees!). Moussa Ka’s essay, “Jazâ'u sakûr'' narrates the exile of Serigne Touba to Gabon and is considered to be the most accurate commentary and explanation of the foundation of Mouridism. Serigne Touba’s exile to Gabon is considered by Mourides, to be a spiritual and physical contest between the colonial Western European organization of society and the Wolof traditional culture. The two first verses of Serigne Moussa Ka’s “Jazâ'u sakûr'' introduce the reader to the importance of Mouridism in the development of a modern Senegalese culture that coexists with the European and Arabic cultures, yet retains its particularities.


Cheikh Amadou Bamba Mbacke (Serigne Touba) founder of the large Mouride Brotherhood


More than a religious phenomenon, Mouridism is a social revolution, an uprising against the French colonizer, and a cultural project that aimed at challenging the doctrine of French cultural supremacy imposed by the French colonial system through its policies of assimilation. Mouridism started in 1887, one year after the fall of Lat Dior in Dekhele, which officially marked the end of military resistance in Senegal and two years after the Berlin Conference, where Africa was divided, like a piece of cake, by the European powers of the time. In that context, Serigne Touba, like numerous marabous, decided to oppose the Western social and political organizations proposed by the mighty French colonial apparatus with a new weapon: Islam. In fact, since the military confrontations that resisted the European colonial enterprise were unfruitful, Islam became the next form of resistance against the oppressor in Senegal. However, while using a similar strategy to other Cheikhs’, Serigne Touba avoided the Arab cultural dimensions of Islam. Separating himself from the Arab culture of Islam, he proposed a new way of reading the Koran, based on a Wolof traditional perspective. Mouridism marked the beginning of what Mourides like to call “a black Islam.”

This context gave birth to Mouridism, which appeared as a new force against French imperialism as it aimed to restore and re-organize the society under the values of an Islam mixed with Wolof tradition and values. Thus, all those who were considered outcasts in the Wolof society and the new colonial system found shelter in the Mouride brotherhood, notably, descendents of royal families, ex ceddos, and low cast members of the society. Mouridism was a refuge for the “wretched of the earth” and a hope for a society administered by a foreign power whose project was to disintegrate all traditional structures. Mouridism became the place where the community was reconstructed and their cultural pride boosted.

Today, while Senegal is experiencing tough economic depression, and an extraordinarily high rate of joblessness, Mouridism is spreading like wildfire. Anytime people’s existence is threatened, anytime their survival is in question, there are mass conversions to Mouridism. As it did at the end of the 19th century, Mouridism functions, today, as an answer to people’s existential questions and a refuge for all those whose survival is endangered by the existing social and economic system. Although during the beginning of the colonial system it was a reaction to an invading power, Mouridism functions as an alternative to the economic and social chaos unleashed by the structural adjustment policies of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the twin heirs of the former colonialists. It should be understood that Mouridism is not only a safe haven, it is also an example of a different socio-economic system that promises a new society.
A century and a half after Serigne Touba’s “exile to the sea,” Mouridism continues to develop, in the margins of the Western political system, as a social organization, which, consistently, succeeds in all the spheres where the Western-inspired Senegalese state has failed. In present day Senegal, the holy city of Touba is the fastest growing city in the county. Constituting one third of the population of Senegal, Mourides (Baol Baols, in particular) own two-thirds of the wealth and monopolize a sizable portion of the economy, despite the fact that they ignore all the Western economic doctrines. Baol Baols have never heard of Adam Smith or Benjamin Franklin since they have never set foot in a Western school. Yet, these graduates of Daaras (Islamic schools) succeed everywhere where alumnae of prestigious Western business schools fail. Mourides exemplify that it is possible to create a system outside of the Western socioeconomic philosophy. Their success is due to the social and political organization of their movement, which made possible the emergence of new “models” for the whole society. The Moodou, as the model of the new “woman” and “man,” challenges the nation state and announces its death.

Wolofal

There are, in the Senegalese context, two major intellectual currents: On the one hand, the Western school, which stems from the French educational tradition, is founded on the very idea of Westernization. On the other, the Islamic school claims the superiority of the civilized Arab culture and the values of the Orient. There were also, for a long time, two major literary productions: one in French, taught and valorized in Western schools and another more religious one, in Arabic. Meanwhile, native literatures were considered pseudo literatures. Wolof and other local cultures were considered trivial by both currents and these cultures' national languages, values, and traditions were reduced to folkloric levels. This conception of education and its treatment of native literatures are still ongoing, even though the development of Mouridism is changing the system.

Mouridism has developed a body of literature in Wolof, which challenges not only the French colonizer but also Arabic imperialism. In fact, traditional literatures, which were formerly not taught in the school system, have recently been incorporated, with the development of Wolofal, into the university curriculum. The expansion of Mouridism and the subsequent development of Wolofal are reversing the traditional tendency, for students, to specialize in French literature. The popular view of Wolof literature and language is changing dramatically so that what was, until recently, considered to be a minor literature, by the regular citizen, is regaining its nobility through the development of Wolofal. From the not-so-distant period, when they were viewed as a pseudo language and literature symptomatic of the Kaw-kaw (derogative term designating people from rural areas), the badoolo (poor uncultured citizen, peasant), and the ghetto, Wolofal and Wolof are progressively spreading to all levels of the population and have gained respectable status in university campuses, Plateaux, and Sicaps, which were, until recently, the cradle of French imperialism.

Every language is beautiful when it transports the human out of her or himself, and praises the nobility of humanity. .

And so, as early as the nineteenth century, Mouride Wolofalkats theorized the importance of languages in the process of the maturing of cultures. Wolofals are about Serigne Touba’s hagiography, the superiority of Wolof culture over French culture, moral, and civic education. Lastly, and more importantly, Wolofal is a new way of thinking about Islam which separates the Muslim religion from the Arabic culture. In consequence, Mourides have routinely been criticized for their lack of religiosity, since, to their detractors, they do not respect the universality of Arabic culture and the a-temporality of Allah’s Words. But Mouride wolofalkats reject the a-historicism underpinning these critiques. They insist on the kind of universality that does not negate or demean their identity. For them, the Koran is universal not because everybody can adapt to it and assume an Arabic approach to Islam, but because it can adapt itself to everybody and to the values of all cultures. There are as many Korans as there are cultures, generations, and even persons. For Mouride wolofalkats, the Koran is an open text and its sense can be produced and re-produced every time it is read. Properly interpreted, it cohabits with any culture without calling for its obliteration, this is because being Muslim and being Arab are two completely different things.

Mouridism and the Society: The Image of the Talibee

One of the consequences of Wolofal and Mouride art is the de-colonization of the Senegalese woman and man, which resulted in a total shift of the social ideals. The present model is no longer the Europeanized “boy Dakar” as it used to be until the 1980’s. It is not the intellectual who speaks flawless French “with no accent” either. The new model is a new actor in a new social context: the talibee.

The talibee is the exact opposite of the African intellectual of the 1960’s and the 1970’s. Not only does she or he consider Mouridism as a cultural revolution, but she or he also shakes the foundations of the society in which she or he lives. For the talibee, Mouridism is the outcome of Serigne Touba’s struggle against the French colonizer and, as such, it marks the superiority of the Senegalese culture over the French one. In effect, as a threat to the stability of the French colonial enterprise in Senegal, Serigne Touba was exiled by the French administration. He was sent to Mayomba in Gabon, reputed for its perilous conditions, before he was brought back to Senegal seven years later. The Cheikh’s return was considered by Mourides as a victory of the Senegalese tradition against the French colonizer. For talibees, while all members of the resistance movements against French colonization were either killed or coaxed into collaborating with France, Serigne Touba was the only one who was able to resist the power of the mighty French oppressor and, not only survive, but also propose an alternative to the French social and political projects. Thus, for Mourides, the consequence of Serigne Touba’s exile and triumphant return is the manifestation of the victory of the Wolof tradition and culture over that of the colonizer.

The struggle between the Cheikh and the French is, for Mourides, the competition between two cultures: the Senegalese and the French. As a result of the intrinsic relation between language and culture, speaking French in Mouride milieus is the hallmark of the uncultured. The better one masters Wolof, the more cultivated one is considered since language is the means for conveying history and cultural awareness. This is the reason why, in Senegal, Mourides are easily recognizable by the way they talk. In fact, while non-Mourides speak “Frwolof,” (a Frenchified version of Wolof), Mourides watch their language and are particularly concerned with the quality and the purity of their Wolof. On the streets of Dakar, the response to “hi how are you?” varies depending on whether the speaker is a Mouride or not. For the non Mouride, it is “Wa boy alors ca va?” and for the Mouride it is, “Sa ma serigne na ka mbirr yi?”

In some cases, however, this attitude toward language can be pushed to the limit so that it becomes a threat to the stability of Senegalese society. For example, some years ago a problem occurred in Senegal and Mourides took over the court demanding the liberation of a talibee who disrespected a judge during a court session. The talibee, a witness in a case, answered in Wolof when he was asked to approach the bench. The judge then demanded that he answer all questions in the court's official language, French. The talibee refused to abide by the court’s rules and was arrested on contempt of court charges. When questioned about his irreverent attitude, his reasons were simple: a hundred years earlier the Cheikh won his battle against the French colonizer and he was not going to allow history to be falsified by speaking French. Although such an attitude may seem extreme, it shows the depth of Mourides' commitment to Wolof language and culture. Mourides are far more proud of Wolof culture than most Western educated Wolofs. They are also more nationalist.

Nowadays, with the supposed transformation of the world into a village, the threats are even bigger and the African subject is, in many cases, blurred by the misuses of the concept of globalization, which, in reality, means Westernization. In fact, globalization, instead of being what it claims to be, the transformation of the world into a village and the erasure of barriers, nations, and cultures, is the exportation and imposition of one identity, one culture, and one nationality to the rest of the world. Globalization is a one-directional movement, from the North to the South. To actively participate in this global world, one needs to have the right passport, since the rules of the game are decided by and for the G-8 nations. The “rendez vous du donner et du recevoir” (the rendez-vous of give and take) that Senghor was dreaming about forty years ago is definitely happening, but not in the way he anticipated. Far from being a forum of equal exchange, there is only one force that commands (the West) and one that responds (the Third World). In this context, the only global subjects, invented by the theories of globalization, are the wealthy Euro-American species.

Under the new colonizing regime of globalization, nationalism functions as a necessity for the survival of the African or “third world species.” Mouridism, with the help of the popular culture it developed (wolofal and art), is the Senegalese tool for resisting this new colonization. In the social sphere, for example, it is the instrument that compels a shift in orientation. In fact, the fast growth of Mouridism in the last ten years corresponds to the actualization of this process. For example, before the mid 1990s, which marks the emergence of Hip Hop in Senegal and corresponds to the Mouride expansion, models of lifestyle for the young generations were still the product of the Western school. During the 1990s, however, a significant change occurred, in which new societal values began to emerge and to underscore a strong feeling of being Senegalese and “proud to be black.” While in the late 1980s it was not rare to see young kids, in white sneakers and striped sweatshirts break-dancing to the rhythm of Public Enemy, New Edition or MC Hammer, today, though break-dance is still popular in the Hip Hop movement, it is nonexistent in Dakar. Although, Nikes and Timberlands are just as popular as they used to be, the new generation became Mouride and, instead of break-dancing, they are singing Serigne Moussa Ka’s Wolofal or Serigne Bethio Thioune’s Zikr. This shift is due to the fact that, while their older brothers were mainly Tidjanes, or unaffiliated to any brotherhood, most of the younger generation is Mouride and willing to be talibees


Mouridism and the Conception of a New State Organization

The Mouride philosophy establishes a standpoint from which it is possible to critique, evaluate, and judge the Senegalese society from a different perspective. As a product of a different intellectual system, the Mouride has the means to evaluate and, if need be, propose an alternative to the postcolonial Western Senegalese system. Educated outside of that system, the Mouride puts to question the production of truth, truth itself, and the way it is presented by the mainstream power structure. Mourides are conscious that the current political system, represented by the state, is imported. Thus, it does not match the social realities of their society. In consequence, Mourides either radically ignore this Western imposition or threaten it in order to install their own socio-political organization. Mourides pioneer a critique of the society based on the knowledge they learnt in the three Daaras: Daara kaamil (first stage of the Mouride school system, pupils focus on studying the Koran), Daara Tarbiyou (second stage, pupils learn the values of modesty and endurance) and Daara ligueey (third and last stage, pupils have a practical training).

Moodous understand that the current system is shaped to fit the interest of a minority of which they are not part. By refusing to pay taxes, they reject the regulation of the state and its market. As a result, they are, frequently, portrayed as responsible for the impoverishment of the state. Yet, in reality, the Moodous are innovators. While intellectuals consider the whole system as a given, which they are willing to transform from the inside, Moodous question the state as such and propose another social organization that does not share common ground with the existing one. For Moodous, the economic, political, and social crises of African countries are neither due to a lack of democracy, nor to the necessity of Africanization. The problem is not the failure of liberalization policies, economic adjustment programs, or the Omega Plan which metamorphosed into the continent-wide NEPAD. For them, the problem is the entire system. In their view, the post-colonial state has failed totally because it is unable to fulfill the basic needs of the masses. Moodous understand that the imported system does not correspond to the natives’ needs and social realities. This is why Pacotille, a Mouride rapper, rapped: “Guemou ma plan alpha walla Omega/ beneen system bou Babilone tekk la/ pour gueuneu meune creer ay degats.” [I do not believe in an alpha or omega plan/ It is just another system that Babylone set/ to create more problems.] The Moodou considers Mouridism as a social and cultural doctrine, which makes possible a different diagnoses of the post-colonial question and sets the basis and the conditions of possibility of a new system based on a different set of principles and values.

It is safe to say that Mouridism goes much further. It is not only a theory, it is also a practice. Mouridism is the concrete example of a society that developed on the margins of the classic Western one, and succeeded in its economic projects, while the state of Senegal is going through its worst political and economic period. In effect, while it is obvious that the Western model has failed everywhere in Africa, and when seminars, colloquiums, structural adjustment plans of the World Bank and IMF, etc., are exponentially organized to find an alternative to the current economic disaster, Touba radiates and thrives economically from one year to another.


Touba: A State Within a State and Outside

Touba is the capital of Mouridism. Created in 1888 by Cheikh Ahmadou Bamba Mbacke (Serigne Touba), it is situated in the center of Senegal, in the arid climate of the Diourbel region. Although it is still defined as a village by the Senegalese administration, Touba is the fastest growing city in Senegal with a population growth rate of 15% per year. It is the second largest city in Senegal, with over than one million inhabitants. From a geographical size of 575 hectars in 1970, Touba extended exponentially to over 10,000 hectars in 2000. Touba’s political, economic, and social organizations can be used as an example of an alternative to the existing state system in Senegal in particular, and in Africa in general.

Often considered as an independent state by talibees, Touba has its own organization and is almost sovereign from the central government of Senegal. Although Touba has all the superstructures of any regular rural community, the official Senegalese administrators have very limited authority and are usually no more than advisers to the real administrator, the Khalife General. Touba, in reality, functions as an autonomous state with its own laws and political organization. Until the early 1990s, for example, the Senegalese police did not have the right to step into Touba. The security of the “village” was guaranteed by the “Baay Falls and the Yaay Faals.” Today, even though the Senegalese police is present in Touba, not only is their authority restricted, they also have to work in collaboration with the traditional Mouride Baay Fall corps. All judicial matters are handled by the Cheikhs, except crimes, which are transferred to Diourbel, the capital city of the region.

Western schools are still forbidden in the holy city, and until 2000, there was no taxation in Touba. When in the 1990’s the government representative in charge of the “rural community of Touba” proposed the implementation of taxes in the holy city, the whole city rejected the idea as an unacceptable imitation of the Western form of governance, and the law did not pass the first time it was proposed.
The existence and rapid growth of Touba shows that there is a possibility that a state does not have to abide by the basic rules of the Western system. For example, the tax system might appear to the Western mind as a necessary condition for the survival of the state, but Touba disproves this certainty. Even if the tax system has recently been adopted under pressure from the Senegalese government, most of the talibees refuse to pay what they consider to be foreign tithes. Nevertheless, Touba is still a welfare state and the “village” is growing in an exponential way. Education and health are free. The “state” even provides food and housing for needy families. Until recently, all electric bills were paid by Touba, but the recent rapid growth of the population made it impossible to sustain this financial support in most parts of the city. All this helps to explain the significant migration of people from all parts of Senegal to Touba, the Mouride Promised Land.

Touba has two essential sources of revenue: addiya and the community’s gigantic peanuts fields. The latter dominate the country's production of peanuts, and the former is a sort of donation given by almost all Mourides to the cheikhs who are supposed to disburse the funds to the community. Mourides believe that the addiya is one of the conditions to be a Mouride. The money collected is directly used to benefit schools, hospitals, and other “municipal” expenses. The idea of the addiya might seem ludicrous and is often criticized by Senegalese intellectuals, but for Mourides, who have benefited from the system, it provides a means to give back to the same system that educated them and to participate in the functioning of an organization that had made them who they are. Mourides give back to Touba through addiya, while their peers, who benefited from the Western system of education, pay taxes to the state and reimburse school loans to banks.

The Mouride relation to addiya is more than a nationalist sentiment, it is devotional. Conscious that the addiya is necessary for the existence of Touba, Mourides from all over the world do not hesitate to give or pay this tithe. For example, in 1986 the Senegalese government started a campaign to support the national soccer team, after it qualified for the African Cup of Nations soccer tournament in Egypt. For a month, the government organized fund raising campaigns which was aired on national television and on all the radio stations. Even the President and the Minister of Sports participated in the campaign. Rallies were organized and special programs were held in almost all schools. The team needed one billion CFA. Yet, after two months of campaigning the target had not been reached. Meanwhile, the Khalif General aired a message to Mourides on the radio, asking for seven billion CFA for construction work on the central mosque in Touba. A week later, he aired a second announcement asking the talibees to stop sending the contributions. The target amount had been met. The social, economical, and political organization of Touba shows that it functions on another system, different from the pre-established colonial one. This system offers a viable alternative to the existing Western Senegalese state. Touba shows that the Western-based system can be replaced completely with a workable one. Touba provides us with the basis for re-thinking the current socio-political organization of Senegal, which is drowning the country in desperation.

Touba does not only offer a political system. It also provides an economic set of guidelines that differ from the Western economic model. Uneducated, under the Western system of education and unaware of the basic Western principles of business, the Baol-Baol, also known as the Moodou, perform the phenomenal feat of taking over segments of Senegal's economic sector. They progressively replaced and undermined the economic power of the French, the Lebanese, and the first generation of Senegalese alumni of European business schools, who benefited from the economic policies of Africanization started by Senghor in the 1970’s.

From the Waning of Western Legitimacy to the Announcement of a New Dawn

In colonial Africa, education is a weapon of domination. Schools created French parrots, instead of producing authentic subjects with the abilities to rebuild a new country. The native intellectual, as an invention of the western schools, was taught to mimic “the other” without any spirit of entrepreneurship. The dream of every native graduate of any business school was to hold an office in their local administration. The dream of these native graduates was to be part of the system with the hope to create, in their country, the model of the “civilized world.” Yet, these new African ex/colonial subjects lacked the spirit of initiative. They were not taught to think and create, but rather, to learn and repeat. They were consequently either Marxist or capitalist, either socialist or liberal. They knew all the existing Western economic doctrines, but they ignored that these doctrines are particular to one geographic area, the West—“vérité au dela des Pyrénées, erreur en deça.” (Truth on this side of the Pyrenees, error on the other). To create a system that is adapted to the African cultural values, these ex-colonized subjects needed inventiveness, innovativeness, creativity, spirit of initiative, capacity of adaptation, ingenuity; in other words, everything they lacked and everything the three Daaras taught the Baol-Baol.

The Baol Baol is the product of what Malick Ndiaye calls “société d’accaparement” (1998, 1). The “société d’accaparement” or a “monopolistic society” was the political and social system of Senegal from the 1960’s to the 1980’s. For Malick Ndiaye, that society is characterized by two different classes: on one hand the ruling class, constituted by the first post-colonial intellectuals representing a new bourgeoisie that monopolized the country’s wealth, and on the other, a second class constituted by all those who never had access to the spheres of power and decision making and who should never have it. In this form of social organization, the Baol-Baol was the principal loser. But his or her spirit of initiative enabled him or her to reject the power system in place and to substitute the image of the talibee to the one of the intellectual. Once this substitution was done, a whole new ethics emerged, and soon, thanks to the Baol-Baol ethic and the spirit of Mouridism, the Moodou began to control the national economy.

The Moodou odyssey starts when he or she unveils the myth of the Western school system and rethinks its notion of knowledge. As says Malick Ndiaye, as soon as former “nittou all” started saying “Nun jangu nu tubaab waaye jang nanu al Quran. . . . ” (We did not go to the Western school but we went to Koranic schools) or “Menu maa jang waaye loo ma laacc ma wax la ko.” (I do not know how to read [French] but I can answer any of your questions) (Ndiaye, 205), they were ready to challenge the French businessmen and the Senegalese graduates of Western business schools...

A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone

inez



279 Posts

Posted - 14 Jan 2008 :  11:14:42  Show Profile Send inez a Private Message
I might have heard of this from someone who is into Mouridism, not sure, hope I´m not mixing things here...That person told that religion sometimes had to step back when a person is working, like praying five times a day was not the most important if one was busy with work. Am I mixing up things here?
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kayjatta



2974 Posts

Posted - 14 Jan 2008 :  12:21:57  Show Profile Send kayjatta a Private Message
I am impressed by the term "Black Islam". Many of us are under Arab-Islamic imperialism (while we continue to attack Western imperialism). I have argued here before that Islam as wwe practiced it in the Gambia is distinct from Middle Eastern type militant Islam.
However, is Touba losing its autonomy to the 'Western inspired' administration in Dakar, since they now pay tax and have police presence, none which existed until very recently ?
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kaanibaa



United Kingdom
1169 Posts

Posted - 14 Jan 2008 :  17:04:33  Show Profile Send kaanibaa a Private Message
I have tried to understand the mouride doctrine and visited Touba several times . On my last visit what I saw nearly and mean nearly put me off and this was when i and a lot of other so called pilgrims were asked in a very forceful manner to run between two particular areas or designated points within the mosque and the persons who were asking us to do so added that as it is the norm at the Saffa and Marwa, for pilgrims to walk fast or run so is it a requirement for us at those points. I being stubborn naturally resisted and did not conform but saw a lot of pilgrims obey the command as it were . What was clear to me was that Mecca and the holy mounts of Saffa and Marwa are being replicated here in Touba which I being uneducated in those directions believe was an innovation so became in my own unconsidered judgment Bidda and so unacceptable to me . But then after this incident I posed a question to my host who belongs to the Bussoh family and he then informed me that as far he knew that was not a requirement at all and that this most have been the work of certain zealots .That explanation not withstanding ,rumors abound that the mouride consider their mosque as at par with both the mosques of Mecca and Medina . I most add here that I did not hear this declaration from any person of authority so therefore hold the forgoing as rumor perhaps some one can clarify the sticking points to me and for the benefit of this forum thanks again
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kaanibaa



United Kingdom
1169 Posts

Posted - 14 Jan 2008 :  17:59:26  Show Profile Send kaanibaa a Private Message
Similarly, I got a switch off when one maraboutic indidvidual explain to me and some other enthusiasts when discussing the tijanniyah ala nyassen , when he told us in a rather convincing manner that he could elevate us by that i seem to gather that he could make us recite certain peotic verses in a set pattern thereby we shall be given some insights of the Lord Manisfest. I at this point made an excuse of sorts and got away because I do not now or then believe I could stand the challenge of seeing the hidden raddiance of MY LORD Allah (SAW). May be If I stayed I would have understood what he was trying to tell us but the little i got from the intro it seems he was saying that by doing the said prayer Allah would manifest himself to us individually and the process we had to undergo is called Aagal or some convuloted wollof jargon . I am pretty sure that was what he said to me . Recently though I saw the venerable Abdul Azziz Sey junior on RTS talking about the very same thing and he in no uncertain terms condemned the act and said that some of those who were Aagalled became demented and that he actually had to help cure them.Did I tread on some toes oops sorry but I am trying to find out the way I mean Sirratal Mosta quima May Allah guide us all Ammeeeen
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kayjatta



2974 Posts

Posted - 15 Jan 2008 :  02:33:36  Show Profile Send kayjatta a Private Message
I personally do not object to some kind of innovation (if you called it bidda). Considering the economic situation of today's Africans and the cost of going to Mecca, some kind of indigenization of Hajj may be arguably reasonable. The christians have 'Kunkujang Mariama' in the Gambia afterall. But hey may be knowledegable people like Santafara, Mansasulu (by the way is Mansasulu in town?) and the indefatigable Kobo, can shed more light on this...
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Santanfara



3460 Posts

Posted - 15 Jan 2008 :  11:04:16  Show Profile  Visit Santanfara's Homepage Send Santanfara a Private Message
kay, i will express my take on the piece time permitting. but just to clarify one point you raise ,there is no middle eastern or african islam. islam is one religion. cultural adaptation that doesn't negate the sharia are acceptable but any innovation which goes against the supreme law of Allah is not acceptable be it in middle east or africa.
remember sufi mythism is not just in senegal but also in India,Pakistan,Morroco,Egpt and even Albania. not forgetting Turkey and now in Europe and U.S.
It has now become a complete set of spritual orders that advocate a kind of islam some how distinct from what the sahabas preached. the influence have to do with hindusm ,monastic christianty and some greek philosophies. the prophet of islam advice agaisnt all that. in his famous hadith ,he state that ''if any one bring any thing into this our religion that is not from me will be rejected.''. the current hard times cannot march the hard times of 1400 years ago. we are allow to engage in trade and business, we are allow to engage in agricture and many other industry. that is not a problem. we are forbind to accept or pay riba or interest as it is an unjust way of financial dealings etc.
when it comes to worship ,the simpler form ,which is what the messenger brought should be what believers follow. if not then ,one has to look for another faith or religion that one feels is most acceptabel to him or her.
there is no saintism in islam or monastism .no one should abandon marraige for the sake of God .we follow what the quran teaches and how the hadith interprets it. one doesn't need to engage in politics of religion if you don't want to. in middle east ,only a handful engage in politics,infact most of them are pro-western .those who speak against the west ,do that on grounds of injustice to people of palestine and esle where. the moridis calls to touba and sherim bamba .this is misguided . remember ,acts of worship should have a moral obligation to it. the touba elite ,profit from poor people base on ignorance and simple mindedness. they don't tell them the truth. they call to grave worship .they call to veneration of the touba siants. where is that allow in the quran and the hadith? they cannot point at a single verse or hadith.its money that drive touba. if they build schools to teach islam and erect institutions that teach engineering,maths,medicine,politics, and comparative religion ,no one will have any issue with them. they have branches all over the world collecting money for the serign seating in touba and dakar .what benefit those that have for payers of that money? any where you go ,there is some form of Daira .what do they preach or discuss ? i have met some of them in London only interesd in pleasing the seating sereign in Touba and dakar. they don't advice to performance of Sallah or even advice towards moralty. what do you call that? africans can establish there own institutions devoid of religious influences and do there fund raising and business ,that is not a problem. no middle eastern will tell you don't engage in that. infact many mega businesses are own by middle eastern tycoon in the west now. all we need is to learn our religion properly and do our business .no one should be deceive into believeing salvation through dancing in touba or any where. but obedienec of allah as he told his messenger Muhammad in the Quran and how the prophet exlain in his sayings and actions. we can seek explanations of matter that are new in our generations from the consensus of scholars .this are been done daily.

Surah- Ar-Rum 30-22
"And among His signs is the creation of heavens and the earth, and the difference of your languages and colours. verily, in that are indeed signs for men of sound knowledge." Qu'ran

www.suntoumana.blogspot.com
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kayjatta



2974 Posts

Posted - 15 Jan 2008 :  11:26:19  Show Profile Send kayjatta a Private Message
Thanks for that clarification Santa.
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mbay

Germany
1006 Posts

Posted - 15 Jan 2008 :  15:10:38  Show Profile Send mbay a Private Message
Man! why don't you simple stop that your jackdaniel / buds bier mouth
and lets those who has understanding comes forward, while YOU have absolutely nothing in that your S... head.
You're here again after nothing but your hobby meanly by flaming the fire in expectations of having a negative points about/among Muslims.
You think this is the way of man with understanding by having a sharped pen and folding tongue?
Oh man you are very clonogenic of your master who's in Mideast right now by flaming fire among Muslims /Arabs. so far because anyone that is not with you by pumping that black-gold in your tanks are nothing but againsing you, what a fools egoist!
We don't need agony-mosquito as you in affair of Islam, so stop that your bugging operation & stick with your Kentucky's or chili con carne in that your country of prison & shut up !
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Alhassan

Sweden
807 Posts

Posted - 15 Jan 2008 :  15:50:18  Show Profile Send Alhassan a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by kayjatta

I personally do not object to some kind of innovation (if you called it bidda). Considering the economic situation of today's Africans and the cost of going to Mecca, some kind of indigenization of Hajj may be arguably reasonable. The christians have 'Kunkujang Mariama' in the Gambia afterall. But hey may be knowledegable people like Santafara, Mansasulu (by the way is Mansasulu in town?) and the indefatigable Kobo, can shed more light on this...


kayjatta,
Did the all mighty command us to become MURIDS? I think this is a big joke. Exploting poor people is against the will of God. I am a TALIBE but only to God and The Prophet. I do not belive in the MORIDS or TIJAN. Is there any body on the forum that can point out these sekts from the text of the QU-ran? Is there a sura that tells us to follow these sekts? Were these sekts existing during the time of the prophet? I as for one is a simple muslim and nothing else. I am against these religious propaganda between us because there are people I know who just snobb you because you are not of the same sekt. This is not Godly. We must accept eachother as God accept us.
Mby I am sorry , but I am not impressed with these religious things. It is the leaders of these sekts who colaborate with the governments we critize to supress us. Why must I vote for candidate X because my marabout says so?
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mbay

Germany
1006 Posts

Posted - 15 Jan 2008 :  18:12:18  Show Profile Send mbay a Private Message
Alhassan don't be sorry, and i hope you are not believing that i belong to an sect of religion, Well am just a simple Sunna, when am talking here more about a religion than politics is that becuase i understand little much than politics. My Brother, Alhagie Banta Camara(may he rest in peace) was belonging to one sect. i dont need to talk much about it but just to said i had enough trouble with that.
I know most is thinking that I may belong to Taliban or so , well that's up to those people to judge while they do know nothing about me. i only know am Muslim and nothing else, and i don't know much about these other sect of Muslim that's why i doesn't mix my self before with the topics of Ahmadias since i know little about them. in fact i took my time much more with Bible than those other sects.
That's why shut up my mouth and i want this guy follows the same, since he in fact knows nothing.
Who do hell he think is, our spokesman?,he is mixing him self in every topics, and mostly waiting in every moment some thing comes up about Islam then start his dirty tricks.
Hell with losted son.

Edited by - mbay on 15 Jan 2008 18:13:37
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Sister Omega



United Kingdom
2085 Posts

Posted - 15 Jan 2008 :  20:51:48  Show Profile  Visit Sister Omega's Homepage Send Sister Omega a Private Message
I think its important to put Mouridism within its historical context by highlighting the relevance of Chiehk Amadou Bamba and the challenges which he faced as a direct consequence of French colonialism. Despite the injustices which he faced it was his faith that delivered him through those perilous times, and enabled him to return from exile in Gabon. Touba is a Holy place for many of those who are inspired by Amadou Bamba. As an alternative to a post colonial model the spreading of Mouridism is accommodating a renaissance in Senegalese culture.

As Touba is a theocratic system which predates colonialism coming up with a viable model which bridges the gaps of the poor, galvanizing the continued resistance against Colonialism, Neo-colonialism and Globalization. It seems as the Senegalese are looking internally for solution by embracing their culture and Islam. Therefore if culture is older than religion one doesn't have to be indoctrinated and lose their culture to accept a religion. I agree with the Author that Islam and Arabianization are two separate things. There is no where in the Q'uran which states one must become an Arab to be a Muslim or a causasun to be a Christian.These stereotypes were put into place to control peoples minds to monopolize the worlds resources.

The renaisson of Mouridism is enabling the youth to look internally for solutions. There has to be choices / opportunities for this generation to build positive futures for themselves. The Globalization model has only provided them with false solutions to developing their themselves. The reality for many of Africa's youth emulating the west has ended up with them seeking pastures new and then being washed up on African and European shores with wasted dreams. African needs to find alternatives systems for itself and Mourdism is only one of them. Modou this Conference sound quite interesting. I visited Touba in 1996 its a beautiful city. It is Senegal's equivalent to a country within a country or city within a city. Like the Vatican in Rome or City of London in London UK. In other words a dominion within a dominion.

Peace

Sister Omega



Peace
Sister Omega

Edited by - Sister Omega on 15 Jan 2008 21:06:19
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gambiabev

United Kingdom
3091 Posts

Posted - 15 Jan 2008 :  21:02:30  Show Profile Send gambiabev a Private Message
This is very interesting to me. I am fascinated about the interaction between culture, religion and history/geography.
For example I am english, from leicestershire, living in Yorkshire, brought up c of e and now humanist.

There is interplay and movement between these areas and I am interested in how people decide which is their priority.
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kaanibaa



United Kingdom
1169 Posts

Posted - 15 Jan 2008 :  22:52:14  Show Profile Send kaanibaa a Private Message
Certainly Touba is a magnificent city what with its beautiful imposing mosque towering above everything else. That mosque can be seen from afar and its minarets with the central one called Lampa Faal is a beacon if not for the pilgrims , but for any body lost one can surely get your bearings by looking for it and trying to get to it that way.One cannot go to Touba and fail to be impressed by its people , this includes visitors and pilgrims and the various edifices thereby. The mourides are steadfast followers of Seriegn Touba and no amount of criticism can sway them from doing so. I still want to know if the said rumors are the official stance of Touba or not and will try to get some sort of answer for this query.
On the other hand I simply cannot understand why some people get offended when their religious affiliation/leaning is put under scrutiny, my own unconsidered view is that the best approach would have been a simple and clear explanation to those who do not know what your creed stands for and not being abusive. Having said that, it is matter of choice for each individual to respond according to his or her nature . Let there be peace enlightenment for all, let those know educate those who do know, No man has all the answers and the more we learn the more yearn for knowledge, we pray though that this quest for knowledge does not lead us astray and thus onto perdition. May Allah guides us all for indeed it is by his Gracious will that we Humans can discern anything of substance.
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MADIBA



United Kingdom
1275 Posts

Posted - 15 Jan 2008 :  23:43:14  Show Profile Send MADIBA a Private Message
Kaanibaa the way you recounted ur Touba experience is how a personal friend in The Gmbia told me. He went on the invitation of a senegalese who was working in The Gambia with him. He told me what he saw in Touba was amzing. He told me that they in Touba imitate all the rites performed in Mecca at the time of the Hajj. In sum what he saw there was not proper Islam. A prominent senegalese preacher on Senegal TV, Alh. Mustapha Gaye dared to thrash out the 'illegal' practices of some mourids such as no person can intercede or guarantee heaven for any mere mortal, he he was dismissed from the national TV. The mourid sare powerful in Senegal and hold sway on the authorities. Recently a so-called sheik of the late Serign saliou, Sheik Bethio Thioune declared that serign saliou was God. Astafirilah! The video was posted on Seneweb.com. i will find time and provide it. Some senegalese mourid asked for him to be ex-communicated based of this blashphemy.

I support Santa's take on the issue. Islam is only one. Our Prophet is reported to have said during his last sermon, that our guide is the Quran and Sunnah. Any other thing is BIDA.

madiss
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Santanfara



3460 Posts

Posted - 16 Jan 2008 :  14:01:38  Show Profile  Visit Santanfara's Homepage Send Santanfara a Private Message
it is my personal thinking that at the time of serign bamba ,knowledge was limited in our region. any one with an ounce of islamic education can fabricate a lot of things and the ignorant folk will follow it to the later.
when the spread of knowledge from bagdad to lebanon and syria reach the mid of africa ,then dogmas already in place became difficult to uprooot. the marabouh practces are all link to the high priest system in pre-islamic africa. infact most grand marabouts in senegambia are known to have contacts with jinns which is worship by them in private. this people knew what they are practicing is wrong and unislamic but then they have already created a name for themself. there source of income will dry once they stop worshiping this jinns. yet still many are engage in jinn worship. if one read the history of kabu,mali,etc, you will find the brave men boarsting of their relations with jinn ,the likes of kelefa sanneh, ngalen sonko ,janke wally ,sundiata keiter ,susu sumanguru etc. this men use magical powers to do strange acts which bafle others. this ancient practices are secretly inculcated in a certian brand of islam to deceieve the illitrate. the saying of god in the quran''know me before you worship me'' is very powerful. there is a place where every year an anual cammo or magal takes place. this people inorder to continue to bewitch people ,will make a dunkey drink a charm for days before the event and then they will strangle this donkey ,place it in an empty barrel and then fill with water. this water is then secretly place in a small quantity in a all drinking jars ,people will unaware will be drinking a contaminated water just for them to blindly follow the elite in those places year in year out. i don't want to mention the name of the place .but what is islam is clear and not comfusing that is why people are entering into it in numbers. may Allah guide us always.

Surah- Ar-Rum 30-22
"And among His signs is the creation of heavens and the earth, and the difference of your languages and colours. verily, in that are indeed signs for men of sound knowledge." Qu'ran

www.suntoumana.blogspot.com
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