Shaikh Mahy al-Cisse al-Tijani, grandson of one of Africa's finest scholars, Shaikh Ebrahim Niasse, visited Cape Town this past weekend. A man of knowledge, peace and prophetic dignity, Shaikh Mahy hails from Senegal, studied at Al-Azhar and is a leader of the Tijani Sufi order.
The Tijani is the biggest Sufi movement in Africa and has millions of followers. It was founded in the 18th century by Shaikh Ahmad Tijani of Algeria. A direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him), Shaikh Ahmad saw his ancestor in a "living dream" in the desert and was ordered to establish a spiritual order based on easy to follow prophetic principles.
Shaikh Mahy's brother, the late Shaikh Hassan Cisse and a man of international influence, paid several visits to South Africa in the early 2000s and met with then president, Thabo Mbeki. Today the Tijanniyyah have zawiyas - places of spiritual learning - in townships, as well as other centres in South Africa. During his visit, Shaikh Mahy distributed food parcels and hygiene packs supplied by Gift of the Givers humanitarian organisation to the needy.
The Tijani order first came to South Africa after 1994 when migrants from West Africa, especially Senegal, arrived in the country. The Tijani order is well-received in South Africa as it carries none of the cultural accretion of the Indo-Pak, Malay or Arab communities.
|Sh Mahy is led into the hall.|
|Greeting local scholars.|
|Chatting with Gift of the Giver's Alauddin Sayed.|
|Members of Sh Mahy's entourage.|
|Sh Mahy meets Gawa Sayed of Gift of the Givers.|
|The Shaikh's table was always busy.|
|Meeting the children.|
|Making du'ah for a daughter.|
|Local Senegalese seek the Shaikh's prayers.|
|Being informed of Cape Town's upcoming Mass Mawlud.|
|Mr IT, Jamaludeen Khan.|
|Shaikh Muhammad Carloo of Madinah Institute.|
|Imam Hasan Walele of the Naqshbandiyyah.|
|Sayed Ridhwaan Mohammed Ziyaee.|
|Sh Mahy addresses the gathering.|
Shaikh Hasan Cisse 2002
In 2002 Shaikh Hasan Cisse paid his first visit to Cape Town and opened the Guguletu Zawiyya and appointed Dr Abu Bakr as its muqaddam, or head. Dr Abu Bakr, a Rwandan, left a prosperous medical practice to head the Zawiyya. The first South Africa born Tijani, also a muqaddam, is Anwar Bayat Cisse. Pictured below is the opening of the Zawiyya in 2002 when many curious onlookers, mesmerised by Shaikh Hasan's presence, became Muslim. The zawiyya has transformed the neighbourhood.
|The first official gathering.|
|The late Shaikh Hasan Cisse.|
|The healing hands.|
|Many onlookers became Muslim.|
Photos Copyright Shafiq Morton