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The Mouride
Mouride
brotherhood (Wolof: yoonu murit, Arabic: الطريقة المريدية‎ aṭ-Ṭarīqat al-Murīdiyyah or simply المريدية, al-Murīdiyyah) is a large tariqa (Sufi order) most prominent in Senegal
Senegal
and the Gambia with headquarters in the city of Touba, Senegal, which is a holy city for the order. Adherents are called Mourides, from the Arabic
Arabic
word murīd (literally "one who desires"), a term used generally in Sufism
Sufism
to designate a disciple of a spiritual guide.The beliefs and practices of the Mourides constitute Mouridism. Mouride
Mouride
disciples call themselves taalibé in Wolof and must undergo a ritual of allegiance called njebbel, as it is considered highly important to have a sheikh "spiritual guide" in order to become a Mouride
Mouride
[1][page needed] The Mouride brotherhood was founded in 1883 in Senegal
Senegal
by Amadou Bamba. The Mouride
Mouride
make up around 40 percent of the total population in Senegal. Their influence over everyday life can be seen throughout Senegal.

Contents

1 History

1.1 Amadou Bamba 1.2 French colonial rule

2 Structure

2.1 Leadership 2.2 Dahiras 2.3 Daaras 2.4 Sects

2.4.1 Baye Fall

3 Beliefs 4 Influence in Senegal

4.1 Political influence 4.2 Economic influence 4.3 Cultural influence 4.4 Influence outside Senegal

5 References

5.1 Notes 5.2 Sources

6 External links

History[edit]

Amadou Bamba.

Amadou Bamba[edit] The Mouride
Mouride
brotherhood was founded in 1883 in Senegal
Senegal
by Shaykh Aḥmadu Bàmba Mbàkke, commonly known as Amadou Bamba
Amadou Bamba
(1850–1927). In Arabic, he is known as Aḥmad ibn Muhammad
Muhammad
ibn Habīb Allāh or by the nickname "Khadīmu r-Rasūl" ("Servant of the Prophet"). In Wolof he is called "Sëriñ Tuubaa" ("Holy Man of Touba). He was born in the village of Mbacké
Mbacké
in Baol, the son of a marabout from the Qadiriyya, the oldest of the Muslim brotherhoods in Senegal. Amadou Bamba
Amadou Bamba
was a Muslim mystic and ascetic marabout, a spiritual leader who wrote tracts on meditation, rituals, work, and tafsir. He is perhaps best known for his emphasis on work, and his disciples are known for their industriousness. Although he did not support the French conquest of West Africa, he did not wage outright war on them, as several prominent Tijani marabouts had done. He taught, instead, what he called the jihād al-akbar or "greater struggle," which fought not through weapons but through learning and fear of God. Bamba's followers call him a mujaddid (a "renewer of Islam"). Bamba's fame spread through his followers, and people joined him to receive the salvation that he promised. Salvation, he said, comes through submission to the marabout and hard work[clarification needed]. There is only one surviving photograph of Amadou Bamba, in which he wears a flowing white kaftan and his face is mostly covered by a scarf. This picture is venerated and reproduced in paintings on walls, buses, taxis, etc. all over modern-day Senegal. French colonial rule[edit] Main article: French West Africa At the time of the foundation of the Mouride
Mouride
brotherhood in 1883, the French were in control of Senegal
Senegal
as well as most of West and North Africa. Though it had shared in the horrors of the pre-colonial slave trade, French West Africa
French West Africa
was managed relatively better than other African regions during the Scramble for Africa
Scramble for Africa
and ensuing colonial era. Senegal
Senegal
enjoying small measures of self-rule in many areas. However, French rule still discouraged the development of local industry, preferring to force the exchange of raw materials for European finished goods, and a large number of taxation measures were instituted.

French West Africa
French West Africa
around 1913.

At the end of the 19th century, French colonial authorities began to worry about the growing power of the Mouride
Mouride
brotherhood and its potential to resist French colonialism. Bamba, who had converted various kings and their followers, could probably have raised an army against the French had he wanted. Fearful of his power, the French sentenced Bamba to exile in Gabon
Gabon
(1895–1902) and later Mauritania (1903–1907). However, Bamba's exile fueled legends about his miraculous ability to survive torture, deprivation, and attempted executions, and thousands more flocked to his organization. For example, on the ship to Gabon, forbidden from praying, Bamba is said to have broken his leg-irons, leapt overboard into the ocean, and prayed on a prayer rug that miraculously appeared on the surface of the water. In addition, when the French put him in a furnace, he is said to have simply sat down and had tea with Muhammad. In a den of hungry lions, it is said the lions slept beside him. By 1910, the French realized that Bamba was not waging war against them and was in fact quite cooperative. The Mouride
Mouride
doctrine of hard work served French economic interests, as addressed below. After World War I, the Mouride
Mouride
brotherhood was allowed to grow and in 1926 Bamba began work on the great mosque at Touba where he would be buried one year later. Structure[edit]

The Great Mosque of Touba, Senegal.

Leadership[edit] Amadou Bamba
Amadou Bamba
was buried in 1927 at the great mosque in Touba, the holy city of Mouridism and the heart of the Mouride
Mouride
movement. After his death Bamba has been succeeded by his descendants as hereditary leaders of the brotherhood with absolute authority over the followers. The caliph (leader) of the Mouride
Mouride
brotherhood is known as the Grand Marabout
Marabout
and has his seat in Touba. The caliphs up to Serigne Saliou Mbacké
Mbacké
have all been sons of Bamba, starting with his oldest son:

Serigne Mouhamadou Moustapha Mbacké
Mbacké
(1927) Serigne Mouhamadou Fallilou Mbacké
Mbacké
(1968) Serigne Abdoul Ahad Mbacké, (1988) Serigne Abdou Khadre Mbacké, (1989) Serigne Saliou Mbacké
Mbacké
(1915-2007), caliph from 1990 until his death on December 28, 2007 Serigne Mouhamadou Lamine Bara Mbacké, (1925–2010) first grandson of Ahmadou Bamba to become caliph Serigne Sidi Al Moukhtar Mbacke, since July 1, 2010 until his death on January 9, 2018.[2] Serigne Mountakha Mbacké, since January 10, 2018.

The Grand Marabout
Marabout
is a direct descendant of Amadou Bamba
Amadou Bamba
himself and is considered the spiritual leader of all Mourides. There is a descending hierarchy of lower-rank marabouts, each with a regional following. Dahiras[edit] Dahiras are urban associations of Mourides-based either on shared allegiances to a particular marabout or common geographical location, for example, a neighborhood or city-specific dahira.[3] Daaras[edit] Daaras are madrassas or quranic schools. They were originally founded by the shayh, his descendants, or disciples to teach the Quran and the Khassida as well as cultivating the land. Hence they have grown to be associations of Mourides, generally based on shared allegiance to a particular marabout. Sects[edit] Baye Fall[edit]

Ibrahima Fall.

See also: Ibrahima Fall One famous disciple of Bamba, Ibrahima Fall, was known for his dedication to God
God
and considered work as a form of adoration. Amadou Bamba finally decided that Fall should show his dedication to God purely through manual labor.[citation needed] Ibrahima Fall
Ibrahima Fall
founded a sub-group of the Mouride
Mouride
brotherhood called the Baye Fall
Baye Fall
(Wolof: Baay Faal), many of whom substitute hard labor and dedication to their marabout for the usual Muslim pieties like salah and sawm. Sheikh
Sheikh
Ibrahima Fall
Ibrahima Fall
was one of the first of Amadou Bamba's disciples and one of the most illustrious.[4] He catalysed the Mouride
Mouride
movement and led all the labour work in the Mouride
Mouride
brotherhood. Fall reshaped the relation between Mouride
Mouride
talibes (disciples) and their guide, Amadou Bamba. Fall instituted the culture of work among Mourides with his concept of Dieuf Dieul, ("you reap what you sow").[5] Ibra Fall helped Sheikh
Sheikh
Amadou Bamba
Amadou Bamba
to expand Mouridism, in particular with Fall's establishment of the Baye Fall
Baye Fall
movement. For this contribution, Serigne Fallou, the second Caliph (leader) after Amadou Bamba, named him "Lamp Fall" (the light of Mouridism).[6] In addition, Ibrahima Fall earned the title باب المريدين Bab al-Murīdīna, "Gate of the Mourides." The members of the Baye Fall
Baye Fall
dress in colorful ragged clothes, wear their hair in dreadlocks which are called ndiange "strong hair", which they decorate usually with homemade beads, wire or string. They also carry clubs, and act as security guards in the annual Grand Magal pilgrimages to Touba. Women usually are covered in draping coverings including their heads and occasionally are known to wear highly decorative handmade jewelry made from household or natural items. In modern times the hard labor is often replaced by members roaming the streets asking for financial donations for their marabout. Several Baye Fall
Baye Fall
are talented musicians. A prominent member of the Baye Fall is the Senegalese Musician Cheikh Lô. Beliefs[edit]

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (May 2008)

Amadou Bamba
Amadou Bamba
is considered a mujaddid (renewer of Islam) by his followers, citing a hadith that implies that God
God
will send renewers of the faith every 100 years. The members of all the Senegalese brotherhoods claim that their founders were such renewers. The Mouride beliefs are based on Qur'anic and Sufi traditions and influenced by the Qadiri and Tijani brotherhoods, as well as the works by the scholar al-Ghazali. Mourides sometimes call their order the "Way of Imitation of the Prophet". Parents sometimes send their sons to live with the marabout as talibes rather than giving them a conventional education. These boys receive Islamic training and are instilled with the doctrine of hard work.[citation needed] Many Mourides consider the city of Touba as equally or even more important than Mecca. Pilgrims regularly come to Touba all year round, but the peak of the year is a mass pilgrimage called the Grand Màgal, which celebrates Bamba’s return from exile.[7][page needed] Influence in Senegal[edit]

Mural on a wall in Dakar, Senegal, showing Amadou Bamba, Ibrahima Fall and [Serigne Fallou].

Political influence[edit] Senegalese politicians have courted the Mouride
Mouride
brotherhood since independence. Even before independence, French colonial administrators recognized that the Mouride
Mouride
brotherhood was well-respected among the Senegalese and partnered with them to promote political and social order. Traditional Wolof aristocrats had proven problematic as intermediaries for the colonial authorities, and they hoped that Mouride
Mouride
leaders would be more effective and legitimate.[8] When the Senegalese population was allowed to elect a deputy to the French Assembly during the 19th century, the Mouride
Mouride
brotherhood played a key role in shaping who that deputy was. This was the first instance of their role in politics.[9][page needed] During the French colonial reign, the marabouts usually gave their support to politicians based upon their support of the brotherhood’s leaders and interests.[9][page needed] This successful partnership lead to future cooperation between the Senegalese government and the Mouride
Mouride
brotherhood. After universal suffrage was given in 1956, Senegal
Senegal
saw a rapid increase in the number of voters, almost triple the number just 10 years prior. This swift increase meant more power for the marabout whose outreach spread largely over the rural and peasant communities, which now had the opportunity to vote.[9][page needed] A loyal follower of the Mouride
Mouride
is ideologically required to follow his religious leaders instructions, if the follower decided to disregard his instructions, the follower is at risk of losing any material support that would have been given to him.[9][page needed] Because of the marabouts far reaching influence in Senegal, politicians made a considerable effort to attain the support from these religious leaders for their personal advancement.[9][page needed] In order to attain their support in elections, bribes and material incentives were given to marabouts from political parties and potential candidates.[9][page needed] Many believed that no party could hope to attain political power if the marabouts were completely opposed to it, and any party who rose to power had to comply with the Marabout’s demands or lose their political support.[9][page needed] While the political elite finds itself regularly in the position of working through the marabouts, their ultimate goal is to function without them. Marabouts
Marabouts
for their part seek to maintain and ensure that the state remains dependant on them for influential control over citizens.[10][page needed] Besides their influence over many rural and peasant communities, the religious leaders also have other means of maintaining political influence. One such mean is the power the religious leaders have as magicians.[9][page needed] In exchange for political favors, these magicians give political leaders a powerful amulet which is thought to bring advancement for oneself or disaster for ones enemies.[9][page needed] This power is believed in by many and is sought after by ministers, civil servants, and followers alike. Another aspect of influence that the religious leaders have is the material means to influence local leaders and politicians. The shaikh (religious leaders) can seek to buy the agreement through gifts and help to promote the career or threat to ruin the career of these local politicians and leaders.[9][page needed] Marabout
Marabout
very rarely themselves participate directly in the political process. What is more common is to see them exert their influence over their followers and use this in return to gain a larger presence in the Senegalese politics.[9][page needed] Such things as withholding seed from granaries, unless followers purchase party cards, is a way that some marabouts exert their influence in the region to attain votes.[9][page needed] Other marabout may actually seek out political office, but most prefer to use their influence as an intermediary of politics in Senegal.[9][page needed] Although recently Mourides have become more involved in the highest level of politics. Abdoulaye Wade
Abdoulaye Wade
who is the immediate former president of Senegal
Senegal
is also a devout Mouride. The day after his election in 2000 Wade travelled to Touba to seek the blessing of the Grand Marabout, Serigne Saliou Mbacké. Economic influence[edit] Groundnuts are the third largest export from Senegal
Senegal
after fish and phosphates.[11] The amount of groundnut crop which the Mourides produce has been estimated to range from one-third to three-quarters of Senegalese groundnut production, although others[who?] have now estimated it to equal around one-half of the national total of groundnuts produced.[9][page needed] This partnership between the Brotherhood and the government stems from the French colonial administrators, who had viewed the production of groundnuts by the Mourides as a means of economic advantage through the increasing production of crops for export.[8]

Interior of the Great Mosque

Due to this high proportion of groundnut crop produced by the Mouride, the brotherhood has always seemed to have a large influence in the groundnut market and the economy.[9][page needed] Economic involvement is in fact encouraged by the religious leaders to their disciples through the use of ideology that places great value on the production labor which is performed in the service of God.[9][page needed] Thus the Mourides devoted themselves to prayer and unpaid agricultural labor in service to their religious leaders. They cultivated the marabout’s fields for a decade, and then returned all land profits earned from the groundnut production. After ten years of dedicated work, laborers then received a share of land (large estates were divided up among the laborers). They continued to turn a share of their agricultural output over to their spiritual guide, as groundnut production was the community’s only means of sustenance.[8] The large share of the Mouride's control over the groundnut production has placed them in the center of the nation's economy.[9][page needed] The government's economic planners in turn have kept the brotherhood in their minds when establishing policies about groundnut production.[9][page needed] Though the government places an importance on the Mouride
Mouride
cultivators, the disciples do not have efficient ways of cultivating groundnuts, and their techniques are often destructive to the land.[9] Rather than looking out for the best use of the land, the Mouride
Mouride
cultivators are more interested in a fast payback. The methods used by the marabout have led to a constant depletion of the forests in Senegal
Senegal
and have taken much of the nutrients out of the soil. Government agencies have made attempts to help the marabout become more efficient in groundnut production, such as providing incentives for the workers to slow down their production.[9][page needed] Because of their emphasis on work, the Mouride
Mouride
brotherhood is economically well-established in parts of Africa, especially in Senegal
Senegal
and the Gambia. In Senegal, the brotherhood controls significant sections of the nation's economy, for example the transportation sector and the peanut plantations. Ordinary followers donate part of their income to the Mouridiya. Cultural influence[edit] Further information: Muslim brotherhoods of Senegal
Senegal
and Islam
Islam
in Senegal Islam
Islam
is central to the political sociology of Senegal: the religious elite carry great weight in national politics; political discourse is replete with references and appeals to Islam. There is virtually no opposition to the principle of the secular state, socio-political cleavages based on religion, whether between Muslim and non-Muslim or between Sufi orders, are also virtually non-existent.[10][page needed] Within Muslim discourse we find constant reference to such concepts as Islamic government, Islamic economics, or Islamic social order. The essential Islamic core lies in the shared belief in the fundamental unity of the Muslim world.[10][page needed] The sense of belonging to a larger community, felt by many Muslims, is reinforced by the common use of Arabic
Arabic
as the language of prayer and religious learning.[10][page needed] Islam
Islam
is a powerful mobilization instrument and provides the rhetoric for the formulation of ideological movements, and serves as a force for mobilizing people in the pursuit of goals defined by those movements.[10][page needed] The role of local Islamic social structures, the nature of leadership and the relations between leaders and followers, the nature and sources of power and authority and the limits and constraints of the economy are all factors, which mediate and direct the impact of Islam
Islam
on Politics.[10][page needed] Senegalese elites have not found appeals to ethnic solidarity a productive means of building a mass following. Common religious affiliation has played a role in defusing the potential for tensions that arise from other social cleavages. There however remains a potential for ethnic and caste divides to enter the Senegalese socio-political organization.[10][page needed] The Senegalese have a mystical aspect to Islam, much like other Sufism brotherhoods. In Senegal, Islamic practice usually requires membership in religious brotherhoods that are dedicated to the marabouts of these groups. Marabouts
Marabouts
are believed to be the mediators between Allah and the people. The people seek the help of marabouts for protection from the evil spirits, to improve one’s status (in terms of career, love or relationship, finances etc.), to obtain a cure or remedy for sickness, or even to curse an enemy. Marabouts
Marabouts
are believed to have the ability to deal with the spirit world and seek the spirits’ help in things impossible for humans. The spirits’ help is sought since they are thought to be a source of much baraka "blessings, divine grace".[7][page needed] The marabouts of the Mouride
Mouride
Brotherhood devote less time to study and teaching than other brotherhoods. They devote most of their time to ordering their disciples’ work and making amulets for their disciples' work and making amulets for their followers. Devout Mourides’ homes and workplaces are covered with pictures and sayings of their marabout, and they wear numerous amulets prepared by them. These acts are believed to bring them a better life and solve their problems as well. Even taxi and bus drivers fill their vehicles with stickers, paintings and photos of the marabouts of their particular brotherhoods.[7][page needed] The marabout-talibe relationship in Senegal
Senegal
is essentially a relationship of personal dependence. It can be a charismatic or a clientelistic relationship. In a charismatic relationship demonstrations of devotion and abnegation towards the marabouts can only explained because their talibes see them as intercessors or even intermediaries with god. This charismatic relationship is reinforced and complemented by a parallel clientelistic relationship between marabout and follower. The results is that marabouts are expected to provide certain material benefits to their follower in addition to the spiritual ones.[10][page needed] This patronage function has been important in the distribution of land, especially during periods of expanding peanut cultivation. Mouride
Mouride
social organization was developed in the context of the expanding peanut economy and its unique formulation was adapted to the economic imperatives of that context. The most distinctive institutional expression of Mouride
Mouride
agro-religious innovation is the daara, an agricultural community of young men in the service of a marabout. These collective farms were largely responsible for the expansion of peanut cultivation.[10][page needed] A Mouride peasant may submit to a marabout’s organization of agricultural work because it is the best option available to him, independently of the ideology which supports it.[10][page needed] In contrast to a vision of masses blindly manipulated by a religious elite, the ties of talibes to their marabouts are frequently far more contingent and tenuous than assumed. As a result, marabouts confront the problem of recruiting and retaining followers. People at times confront a choice of which marabout to follow, the level of attachment to that marabout, and the domains or situations in which to follow him. While there is a widespread belief in the marabout system in Senegal
Senegal
and a strong commitment to it, it is not necessarily accompanied by an absolute attachment to any one living marabout.[10][page needed] Influence outside Senegal[edit] The brotherhood has a sizable representation in certain large cities in Europe and the United States. Most of these cities with a large Senegalese immigrant population have a Keur Serigne Touba (Residence of the Master of Touba), a seat for the community which accommodates meetings and prayers while also being used as a provisional residence for newcomers. In Paris
Paris
and New York City, a number of the Mouride followers are small street merchants. They often send money back to the brotherhood leaders in Touba. In 2004 Senegalese musician Youssou N'Dour
Youssou N'Dour
released his Grammy Award winning album Egypt, which documents his Mouride
Mouride
beliefs and retells the story of Amadou Bamba
Amadou Bamba
and the Mouridiya.

Africa portal Sufism
Sufism
portal

References[edit] Notes[edit]

^ O'Brien, Donal Brian Cruise (1971). The Mourides of Senegal: the political and economic organization of an Islamic brotherhood. Clarendon Press.  ^ "Décès de Cheikh Mouhamadou Lamine Bara Mbacké," APS, July 1st, 2010. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-04-26. Retrieved 2011-12-08.  ^ Bava, Sophie (August 2001). "The Mouride
Mouride
Dahira: Between Marseille and Touba". ISIM Newsletter: 7. Retrieved 2011-09-19.  ^ Savishinsky, J. N. (1994) The Baye Fall
Baye Fall
of Senegambia: Muslim Rastas in the Promised Land? Africa: Journal International African Institute, 64, 211-219 ^ Les origines de Cheikh Ibra Fall (2000, December). Touba', Bimestriel Islamique d'Informations Générales. Retrieved May 25, 2007 from "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-07-08. Retrieved 2007-06-14.  ^ Ngom, Fallou (June 2002). "Linguistic Resistance in the Murid
Murid
Speech Community in Senegal". Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development. 23 (3): 214–226. doi:10.1080/01434630208666466.  ^ a b c Senegal
Senegal
Society and Culture Report. Petaluma, CA: World Trade Press. 2010.  ^ a b c Boone, Catherine (2003). Political Topographies of the African State. New York: Cambridge University Press. pp. 46–67.  ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t O'Brien, Cruise (1971). The Mourides of Senegal: The Political and Economic Organization of Islamic Brotherhood. Oxford: Clarendon Press.  ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Villalón, Leonardo (1995). Islamic Society and State Power in Senegal. New York: Cambridge University Press.  ^ Adigbli, Koffigan. "Groundnut Production in Freefall". Archived from the original on 15 January 2012. Retrieved 6 November 2011. 

Sources[edit]

Coulon, Christian (1981) Le Marabout
Marabout
et le Prince: Islam
Islam
et Pouvoir au Senegal
Senegal
A. Pedone, Paris, ISBN 2-233-00100-1 Coulon, Christian. The Grand Magal in Touba: A Religious Festival of the Mouride
Mouride
Brotherhood of Senegal, in African Affairs, Vol. 98, No. 391 (Apr., 1999), pp. 195–210. Villalón, Leonardo Alfonso (1995) Islamic Society and State Power in Senegal: Disciples and Citizens in Fatick Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, ISBN 0-521-46007-7 Ukrainian Immigrants in Touba. travelblog.org, November 10, 2007, retrieved 2007-11-13. Thiam, Cheikh (2005) MOURIDISM: A LOCAL RE-INVENTION OF THE MODERN SENEGALESE SOCIO-ECONOMIC ORDER in West Africa
West Africa
Review, Issue 8 (2005), ISSN 1525-4488. Mecca
Mecca
too far? Senegalese Muslims head for Touba By Daniel Flynn, Reuters. Mon Mar 12, 2007. Industrious Senegal
Senegal
Muslims Run a 'Vatican' By NORIMITSU ONISHI, New York Times Published: May 2, 2002, retrieved 2007-11-13. A song and a prayer. by Mark Hudson Interview and portrait of Youssou N'Dour, The Observer. Sunday May 23, 2004. On Touba: "And to the orthodox fundamentalist it's utter heresy. Bringing bin Laden here would be like taking Ian Paisley
Ian Paisley
to the Mexican Day of the Dead." Profiting from One's Prayers, by Joel Millman No such article exists on this webpage as of October 10, 2012., Forbes
Forbes
magazine, 1996. Inside the Holy City of Touba, by Kabiru A. Yusuf. No such article exists on this webpage as of October 10, 2012 The Weekly Trust (Kaduna, Nigeria), May 8, 2000. This article incorporates information from the French and German articles on this subject. Boone, Catherine. 2003. Political Topographies of the African State. New York: Cambridge University Press. 46-67 World Trade Press. (2010) Senegal
Senegal
Society and Culture Complete Report. World Trade Press, Petaluma, CA, USA

External links[edit]

The Online Murid
Murid
Library (DaarayKamil.com) This is a bilingual English/French language webpage - accessed October 10, 2012.

v t e

Islam
Islam
in Africa

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Coordinates: 14°52′00″N 15°52′00″W / 14.8667°N 15.8667°W /

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