Aḥmad al-Tijānī

views updated

Aḥmad al-Tijānī (1737–1815). Founder of the African Sūfī order, the Tijāniya. He was born in Algeria, and early in life joined several Sūfī orders before withdrawing for five years to a remote community. In 1781, he saw Muḥammad in a vision, and received from him the command to establish his own order. He attracted little support until he received royal support in Morocco. After his death, the order spread rapidly in N. and W. Africa, becoming increasingly aggressive against French colonialists and non-Muslims. This use of the jihād, combined with the personal cult of al-Tijānī, makes the order suspect to other Muslims.