Mawlana Ahmed ibn Mohammed Tijani al-Hassani al-Maghribi (1735–1815), in Arabic سيدي أحمد التجاني (Sidi Ahmed Tijani), is the founder of the Tijaniyya Sufi order. The al-Tijani was born in Aïn Madhi, Algeria and died in Fez, Morocco at the age of 80.
Life until 1795
Shaykh Tijani was born in 1735 among the Tijana Berber tribe in Aïn Madhi, a small village in western-central Algeria about 30 miles (48 km) from the Laghouat. Shaykh Tijani became an orphan at the age of 15, and applied himself to his studies. Having learned the Quran by heart at age seven according to its own interpretation (bi tafsirihi), he studied the fundamentals of Maliki jurisprudence and texts like the Mukhtasar of Khalil, the Risala of al-Qushayri (d. 1052), the Akhdari (d. 1538) in logic, the Muqaddima of Ibn Khaldoun, the Mudawwana of Sahnun ("Abdessalam ibn Said Tanukhi Qayrawani," d. 854) with local scholars, such as Sidi Mohammed ibn Hammu Tijani, Sidi Aissa Bouakkaz Tijani, and Sidi Ibn Bouafiya Tijani.
In 1756, at the age of 21, during the reign of the Sultan Mawlana Mohammed ibn Abdellah (d. 1789), a scholar who wrote several books on Quranic commentary and tradition ruling Morocco from 1757 to 1789, Shaykh Tijani entered the al-Qarawiyyine University of Fes and studied in particular the books on the Tradition of the Prophet (al-'Hadith Nabawi Sharif) such al-Bukhari and Muslim. Meanwhile Shaykh Tijani busied himself with meeting Sufi teachers. He first met the head of Shadhilite Wazzaniya order Shaykh Sidi Tayyeb ibn Mohammed Wazzani (d. 1766). He also met the head of Shadhilite Fasiya order Shaykh Sidi Abdellah ibn Shaykh Sidi al-Arbi ibn Shaykh Tijaniibn Shaykh Sidi Abdellah Ma'in al-Andalusi (d. 1778). Shaykh Tijani also took the Qadiriya while in Fez, then he left it after a while; he then took the Nasiriyya (after Sidi Mhammed Ben Nasir Dar'i, d. 1674) from Sidi Mohammed ibn Abdullah Tazzani called “ar-Rif”, then left it; then he took the Shadhilite Ghumariya (after Sidi Ahmed ibn Abdelmoumin Ghumari Hassani; d. 1847), first from a student, then in a dream from its founder, then he left it. He also took from the saint of Taza Shaykh Sidi Abul Abbas Ahmed Tawwash (d. 1791) who counselled him to seek seclusion (khalwa) and invocation (dhikr), but Shaykh Tijani refused. He finally met with Sidi Mohammed ibn al-Hassan al-Wanjali Zabibi (d. 1770), who told him when he first saw him and before he talked to him: "You will attain the rank (maqam) of the Great Qutb Sidi Abul Hassan Shadhili".
Shaykh Tijani did not stay in Fez long and soon returned to Ain Mahdi. He then went to another Saharan centre known as "Sidi Shaykh", where lies the shrine of the Shadhilite mystic Sidi Abdellqadir Smahi (d. 1610), and stayed there retreating for five years. Shaykh Tijani in the following years travelled back and forth between the desert recluses and towns of the region, e.g. Tlemcen. There seems to be a pattern in Shaykh Tijani's travels, in that he went to the desert to meditate, while in the towns he took esoteric, non-mystical knowledge from the acknowledged masters and in the traditional manner. In 1771, Shaykh Tijani travelled to Mecca for pilgrimage. On his journey to the East, Shaykh Tijani was keen to meet the noted Sufi Shaykhs of the time -just like he did in the Maghreb. One was the Algerian master, the Idrissid Sharif, Sidi Mohammed ibn Abderrahman Azharri (d. 1793), from whom the Rahmaniya Order came. Shaykh Tijani took the Khalwatiya from him and was reinitiated into it by the leading teacher in Cairo, Sidi Mahmoud al-Kurdi al-Iraqi al-Misri (d. 1771)—another teacher of the Fasite Sidi Abul Mawahib Abdelwahhab Tazi (d. 1783; direct heir of Moulay Abd al-Aziz Dabbagh on whom Kitab al-Ibriz was written; d. 1717).
Sidi Mahmud al-Kurdi granted Shaykh Tijani a full ijaza (license) to teach the Khalwatiya tariqa. From Egypt, Sidi Ahmed left to Mecca. There he heard of Sidi Ahmed ibn Abdellah al-Hindi (d. 1773); student of the venerated Shahdilite master Sidi Ahmed ibn Mhammed Ben Nasir Dar'i (d. 1717; buried in the Tal'a District, Fez). Sidi Ahmed ibn Abdellah had no permission to meet any body, but in spite of that, Shaykh Tijani received from him special knowledge, through a special envoy, without meeting with him. He foretold Shaykh Tijani about what he was destined to, and gave him good tidings that he will inherit all his secrets, endowments, cognition, and illuminations. He also told him that he would meet the Qutb Sidi Mohammed ibn Abdelkarim Samman (d. 1774) in Medina, and gave him glad tidings that he would attain the status of Sidi Abul Hassan Shadhili (d. 1258), as he had been foretold before by Sidi Mohammed Wanjali of Fez.
Soon after Shaykh Tijani met with Sidi Mohammed Samman. The latter was the guardian of the Prophet's grave and the author of several Sufi works but it was especially as the founder of a new order that he became influential. He combined the Qadiriya, the Naqshabandiya, the Nasiriyya with the Khalwatiya (through Sidi Mustapha ibn Kamluddin al-Bakri ; 1739 -who is himself the teacher of Sqalli, Azharri, and al-Kurdi). This combination became known as the Sammaniya. Sidi Mohammed Samman gave special permission to Sidi Ahmed Tijani in all the Beautiful Names of Allah (al-Asma' al-'Husna), the Ahzab of Sidi Abul Hassan Shadhili (d. 1241), the Wadhifa of Shaykh Zarruq (d. 1484), Dalail al-Khayrat and al-Dur al-’Ala. He told Shaykh Tijani that he is the Grand Magnate (al-Qutb al-Jami') and gave him good tidings that he will realize his aspiration and obtain the "Absolute General Authorization" (al-Qutbaniya al-Jami'a al-'Udhma).
When Shaykh Tijani returned to the Maghreb, he again went to the desert, to a place called Boussemghoun, a Saharan oasis located south of Geryville, perhaps under compulsion from the Turkish authorities. In 1776 he made his second trip to Fez from Tlemcen, with the intention of visiting the Baraka of Fez Mawlana Idriss ibn Idriss (d. 798). He met, during this trip, with the Idrissid scholar, Sidi Mohammed ibn al-Mishri Sibai al-Hassani of Takrat (d. 1809). Since then, Sidi Mohammed al-Mishri, led the prayers for Shaykh Tijani, and wrote the answers on his behalf until 1793; the year that Shaykh Tijani started himself to lead the prayers, in compliance with the instruction of his grandfather the prophet Sidna Mohammed. In the Moroccan city of Oujda (Wajda), while returning to Fez, he met, for the first time, Sidi Ali Harazem Berrada, who accompanied him to Fez. During this meeting, he authorized him in the Khalwatiya and confided him with special knowledge and foretold him of what would be of him in revelation and strengthening.
After visiting the shrine of Moulay Idriss al-Azhar (d. 798), Shaykh Tijani went back to Tlemcen and then departed to Qasr Chellala and Boussemghoun. In Boussemghoun, in 1782, Shaykh Tijani announced that Muhammad has authorised him in a daylight vision (yaqadatan; while he was awake) to establish his own order, Tariqa Ahmediya-Mohammediya-Ibrahimiya-Hanifiya-Tijaniya. The Prophet gave him permission to initiate during a period when Shaykh Tijani had fled from contact with people in order to devote himself to his personal development. He told him that he was to take Sufism directly from him—hence the name—and not use any of the chains of authority of teacher-to-disciple that were the main stay of all the Sufi orders,
"You owe no favour to any of the Shaykhs of the path, for I am myself your medium and provider in every truth. Abandon all that you have taken from all other tariqas and hold fast to this tariqa without seclusion (khalwa), or retirement from people (uzla), until you reach your promised maqam, and you are as you are, without hardship, difficulty, or strive, and abdicate all the saints."
The Prophet[who?] had furthermore assigned to him the obligatory wird (litany) which he has to transmit in general and unstrictly to any seeker who asks for it and accepts to abide by its conditions; 100 of Astaghfirou Allah ("I seek Allah’s forgiveness") and 100 prayers upon the Prophet with any version, preferably with so-called Salat al-Fatih (Shaykh Tijani said, “The lives of all the people have been spent in futility, except the lives of the practisers of Salat al Fatih, for they have gained both worldly and otherworldly profit".) By 1785, the Prophet completed to him the wird by adding a 100 of Haylala (“la-ilaha illa’Allah”; There is no God but Allah). The born-global Tijaniya was widely accepted almost immediately after its birth. Shaykh Tijani became so reputed that great masses of people started visiting him to take his wird, to be affiliated with him, and get more of what he gives them in sense and meaning.
Seal of sainthood
Shaykh Tijani stayed in Boussemghoun for about fifteen years. In 1796, he went to Fez, marking the real beginning of his Tariqa. In Fez Shaykh Tijani was received by the Sultan Moulay Slimane (d. 1823). One year after his entrance to Fez on the Mu'harram of 1797, Shaykh Tijani attained the "Absolute General Authorization" (maqam al-qutbaniya al-jami'a al-'udhma) he longingly sought. One month and few days later Shaykh Tijani declared that the Prophet appeared to him in daylight and had him informed that he is the "Concealed Pole” (al-Qutb al-Maktum). This holder of this status is widely known in Sufi literature as the Khatim al-Awliya (the Seal of Sainthood). In the chronicle he called Khatim al-Awliya, al-Hakim Tirmidhi (d. 905) informs us the Khatim al-Awliya is the person, “upon whom the leadership (imama) of the saints is incumbent, who bears in his hand the Banner of the saints, and whose intercession all the saints have need of, just as prophets have need of Prophet Sidna Mohammed”. Tirmidhi continues that that authority of the Khatim al-Awliya even extends to the eschatological realm. On the Day of Judgment he will come forth as the proof of the saints just as the Seal of Prophets Sidna Mohammed will come forth as the proof of the prophets. Indeed, Shaykh Tijani said to his companions in Fez,
"When Allah assembles His creatures at the place of standing, a herald will proclaim at the top of his voice, so that everyone at the place of standing will hear him: "O people of the final congregation, this is your Imam, from whom you obtained your support!"
The khatmiya maqam's absolute appearance was claimed before by Sidi Muhyiddin ibn Arabi al-‘Hatimi al-Maghribi (d. 1240) when he said: “We no doubt sealed sainthood by inheriting the Hachimi and the Messiah”. However he retracted (taraja'a) later when aware that the full, complete and absolute appearance in that maqam is to be for someone else. He discover not who will attain such absolute appearance. In his ‘Anqa’ Maghreb fi khatm al-awliya wa shams al-Maghreb (The Western Phoenix in the Seal of Saints and Sun of Morocco), which he wrote in Fez, Ibn Arabi introduces the Seal of Sainthood as, “the inheriting saint, who receives from the source, who recognizes the degrees and ascertains the entitlement of their holders, in order to give each creditor his rightful due, for that is one of the virtues of the Chieftain of the Envoys, the Captain of the Community." Very explicitly, the Egyptian Shadhilite Sidi Abdelwahhab Shaarani (d. 1490) illustrated in Durar al-Ghawas, "This community (Ummah) has two comprehensive Seals, and every degree and station has an inheritor. Every saint there has ever been, or will ever be, can only receive from these two Seals, one of whom is the Seal of the sainthood of the elite, while the other is the one by whom the common sainthood is sealed, for there will be no saint after him until the advent of the Final Hour."
Shaykh Ibn Arabi even connected the nature of the Sealness of Prophethood and that of Sainthood. According to him, “The meaning of the Prophet's saying: ‘I was a Prophet while Adam was between the water and the clay -is 'I was a Prophet in actual fact, aware of my Prophethood, while Adam was between the water and the clay.” He then went on to say "None of the other Prophets was a Prophet, nor aware of his Prophethood, except when he was sent (on his mission) after his coming into existence with his material body and his complete fulfilment of the preconditions of Prophethood." Then he added: “the Seal of the Saints was likewise actually a saint, aware of his sainthood, while was between the water and the clay, and none of the other saints was a saint in actual fact, nor aware of his sainthood, except after his acquisition of the Divine characteristics that are stipulated in the definition of sainthood." Because he is characterised by the complete assimilation of the Mohammedian paradigm, the Seal of Sainthood acts as a deputy (khalifa) of Prophet and symbolically takes his place in isthmus (al-barzakh) as well as during the time allotted to him on earth. Shaykh Tijani has expressed his khatmiya-katmiya complex in many sayings,
“The bounties that flow from the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) are received by the natures of the prophets, and everything that flows and emerges from the natures of the Prophets is received by my own nature, and from me it is distributed to all creatures from the origin of the world until the blowing on the trumpet”; “No saint drinks or provides water to drink, except from our ocean, from the origin of the world until the blowing on the trumpet”; “The spirit of the Prophet and my spirit are like this'--pointing with his two fingers, the index finger and the middle finger. 'His spirit supports the Messengers and the Prophets and my spirit supports the poles, the sages, the saints, from pre-existence to eternity (mina al-azal ila abad)”; “These two feet of mine are upon the neck of every saint of Allah, from the time of Adam until the blowing of the trumpet”; “'Our station in the Presence of Allah in the Hereafter will not be attained by any of the saints, and it will not be approached by anyone, whether his importance is great or small. Of all the saints among from the very beginning of creation until the blowing on the trumpet, there is not one who will attain to my station.”
Greatly simplified, Shaykh Tijani developed his path on loose lines. Obligations, as one to be expected in an order designed to expand, were simple. He imposed no penances or retreats and the conditions was not complicated; (1) praying in the mosque with the congregation whenever possible, meeting all the prerequisites for lawfully offering prayer; (2) praying upon the Prophet; and (3) not to visit living saints or the tombs of dead ones. The Shaykh stressed the quite dhikr even in congregation, and forbade above all the visitations of living and dead saints at the command of his grandfather, for they were all associated with baraka-possession. Shaykh Tijani affirmed that the Prophet had told him not to cut himself off from the world, and so he advised his disciples to live in comfort wearing classy clothes and eating choice food. Shaykh Tijani gave good tidings that his followers could rely on his own guarantee of salvation. This includes anyone who saw him on Mondays and Fridays and did not become his enemy, "If someone receives from me the well-known wird, which is essential to the Tariqa, or he receives it from someone I have authorized to teach it, he will enter the Garden of Paradise (“Jannat 'Illiyyine”; that of prophets and saints) -he and his children, his wives, and his descendants- without reckoning and without punishment, provided that they are not guilty of any insult, hatred, or enmity, and that he persists in loving the Shaykh until death.” (…) "Be of good cheer! Anyone who is devoted to our love, until he dies in that state, will certainly be resurrected among those who are safe, provided that he does not wear the garb of security from Allah's cunning (makr ‘Allah)."
For nearly fifty years Shaykh Tijani was the main active propagator of the doctrine. From his Fez headquarters, he organised his born-global Tariqa, which spread in easts and wests in his blessed lifetime. During the same period, some of Shaykh Tijani's appointed khalifas and muqaddams -mostly doctors of the Shari'a law (ulama)- had established new Tijani centres in Morocco and abroad and developed ramifications of their own. Shaykh Tijani remained in Fez until his pass on Thursday 22 September 1815. After the Shaykh performed the Subh prayer, he laid down on his right side while he asked for a glass of water then he returned to his bed. At that time his blessed soul went up to its creator. The funeral ablutions were carried out in his home at Dar-Lamraya. An abundant number of eminent scholars, notables and princes, in addition to the Fasite residents and Tijani community took part in the funeral. The great scholar Sidi Abu Abdullah Mohammed ibn Ibrahim Dukkali led the funeral prayer at the Qarawiyyine mosque. People were rushing and trying hard to have that great honour of holding the blessed coffin of Shaykh Tijani and it was a scene full of deep emotions where tears and sorrows constituted the landmark of this great event. Shaykh Tijani was buried in his blessed Zawiya. Shaykh Tijani is followed today by over 300 million disciples active in the five corners of the globe.
The special companions of Abul Abbas Mawlana Ahmed ibn Mohammed Tijani were graced to inherit Shaykh Tijani's spiritual methodology of initiation (tarbiya) and promotion (tarqiya). No hagiographical collection documents the names of these companions than Sidi Ahmed Skirej's (d. 1944) chronicle Kashf al-Hijab 'amman talaaqa bi-Shaykh Tijani mina-l As'hab (Rising the Veil on the Companions of Shaykh Tijani). In his narrative al-faqih Skirej set forth a remarkable hagiography of nearly 350 successors (khalifas), representatives (muqaddams) and disciples initiated at the hand of Shaykh Tijani. Among the Moroccan figures reported in the book who made a contribution to the expansion of the Tijaniya are the names of:
- Sidi Ali Harazem b. al-Arbi Berrada al-Fasi (d. 1797) –author of Kitab Jawahir al-ma'ani wa-bulugh al-amani fi fayd Sidi Abil al-Abbas at-Tijani (Gems of Indications and Attainment of Aspirations in the Overflowings of Sidi Abil Abbas Tijani)
- Sidi Mohammed al-Ghali Boutaleb (d. 1829)
- Sidi Tayyeb Sefyani Hassani (d. 1844) –author of Al-Ifada al-Ahmediya li-murid sa’ada al-abadiya (The Ahmedi Notification for the Hunter of Eternal Rapture)
- Sidi Mohammed b. Abi Nasr Alawi (d. 1858)
- Sidi al-Haj Abdelwahhab b. al-Ahmar Tawudi (d. 1854)
- Sidi Mohammed b. Ali Sanusi (d. 1859)
- Sidi Abd al-Aziz Dabbagh (on whom Kitab al-Ibriz was exposed)
- Sidi al-Ghazi Lamteri
- Sidi Ahmed b. Idriss (d. 1837)
- Sidi Mousa b. Maazouz (d. 11842)
- Sidi Mohammed b. Hamza al-Madani (d. 1821)
- Sidi Ahmed b. Abdessalam Filali Wadghiri (d. 1870)
- Sidi Mohammed Belqasim Basri Walhaji (d. 1878)
- Sidi Abu Yaaza b. Ali Berrada (d. after 1891)
- Sidi al-Haj Ali Amlas al-Fasi (d. after 1854)
- Sidi Tuhami b. Rahmoun (d. 1848)
- Sidi Allal Ben Kiran (d. 1863)
- Sidi Abdelwahhab b. Mohammed Tazi (d. 1864)
- Sidi al-Haj Tayyeb Laqbab (d. 1895)
- Sidi al-Haj Taleb Labbar (d. 1850)
- Sidi Mohammed Lahbabi (d. 1837)
- Sidi Abdellqadir Idrissi
- Sidi Allal Benmousa
- Sidi Dawdi Tilimsani (d. 1866)
- Sidi Tuhami Lahlou (d. 1862)
- Sidi Abdellqadir Benshaqrun (d. 1804)
- Sidi Abul Abbas Ahmed al-Mazuni al-Fasi
- Sidi Mohammed b. al-Arbi Lmdaghri Alawi.\
- Arabic: إن جميع الأولياء يدخلون زمرتنا ويأخذون أورادنا ويتمسكوا بطريقتنا مـــن أول الوجود إلي يوم القيامة حتى الإمام المهدي إذا قام آخر الزمان يدخل زمرتنا بعد مماتنا وانتقالنا إلى دار البقاء." "طائفة من أصحابنا لو اجتمعت أقطاب الأمة ما وزنوا شعرة من بحر أحدهم والآن قد ظهر واحدا منهم." "لو أطلع أكابر الأقطاب على ما أعده الله لأصحابنا في الجنة لبكوا عليه طول أعمارهم وقالوا ما أعطيتنا شي يا ربنا." "أنا سيد الأولياء كما كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم سيد الأنبياء"."لا يشرب ولي ولا يسقى إلا من بحرنا من نشأة العالم إلى النفخ في الصور." "إن نسبة الأقطاب معي كنسبة العامة مع الأقطاب." "إن لنا مرتبة تناهت في العلو عند الله تعالى إلى حد يحرم ذكره وليس هو ما أفشيته لكم ولو صرحت به لأجمع أهل الحق والعرفان على كفري فضلا عمن عداهم وليست هي التي ذكرت لكم بل هي من ورائها." "طابعنا يغلب على كل طابع ولا يغلب عليه طابع."وقال رضي الله تعالى عنه وأرضاه مشيرا بأصبعيه السبابة والوسطى: "روحه صلى الله عليه وسلم وروحي هكذا روحه صلى الله عليه وسلم تمد الرسل والأنبياء عليهم السلام وروحي تمد الأقطاب والعارفين والأولياء من الأزل إلى الأبد.""كل الطرائق تدخل عليها طريقتنا فتبطلها وطابعنا يركب على كل طابع ولا يحمل طابعنا غيره""من ترك وردًا من أوراد المشايخ لأجل الدخول في طريقتنا هذه المحمدية التي شرفها الله تعالى على جميع الطرق أمنه الله في الدنيا والآخرة فلا يخاف من شيء يصيبه لا من الله ولا من رسوله ولا من شيخه أيا كان من الأحياء أو من الأموات. وأما من دخل زمرتنا وتأخر عنها ودخل غيرها تحل به مصائب الدنيا وأخرى ولا يفلح أبدًا" "وليس لأحد من الرجال أن يدخل كافة أصحابه الجنة بلا حساب ولا عقاب ولو عملوا من الذنوب ما عملوا وبلغوا إلا أنا وحدي" "إن أصحابنا يوم القيامة ليسوا مع الناس في الموقف بل هم مكشفون في ظل العرش في موضع وحدهم و لا يقدم عليهم أحد في دخول الجنة إلا الصحابة رضي الله عنهم." لما قيل له رضي الله عنه و أرضاه و عنا به بمَ نالوا ذلك قال: "من أجلي." قلتُ (أي العلامة سكيرج) و سره يظهر في قوله صلى الله عليه و سلم له رضي الله عنه و أرضاه و عنا به: "و فقراؤك فقراءي و تلاميذك تلاميذي و أصحابك أصحابي." فعُلِم أن بين أصحابه صلى الله عليه و سلم و بين أصحاب هذا الشيخ رضي الله تعالى عنه مناسبة تامة و لتلك المناسبة كانوا عند الله من الأكابر و إن كانوا في الظاهر من جملة العوام." ويستطرد ﺍﻟﺨﻠﻴﻔﺔ ﺴﻴﺪﻱ ﻋﻟﻲ ﺤﺭﺍﺯﻡ: "ووراء ذلك مما ذكر لي فيهم وضمنه أمر لا يحل لي ذكره ولا يرى وﻻ يعرف إلا في الدار الآخرة بشرى للمعتقد علي رغم أنف المنتقد." ويستطرد سيدي عمر الفوتي: "ومن هنا صار جميع أهل طريقته أعلى مرتبة عند الله تعالى في الآخرة من أكابر الأقطاب وإن كان بعضهم في الظاهر من جملة العوام المحجوبين"
Sources on the life of Al-tijani
The greater part of the life and teaching of Shaykh Tijani can be drawn from two primary hagiographical works:
- Kitab Jawahir al-ma'ani wa-bulugh al-amani fi fayd Sidi Abil al-Abbas at-Tijani (Gems of Indications and Attainment of Aspirations in the Overflowings of Sidi Abil Abbas Tijani) by Sidi Ali Harazem Berrada (d. 1797), and
- Kitab al-Jami’a li-ma f-taraqa mina-l ‘ulumn (The Absolute in What Has Separated from the Sciences) by Sidi Mohammed ibn al-Mishri Sibai Hassani Idrissi (d. 1809).
Later hagiographies tend to be works of compilation drawn from these two primary sources. Such hagiographies are:
- Kitab Rima'h al-Hizb al Rahim ala Nuhur Hizb ar-Rajim (The Spears of the League of the Merciful thrown at the Necks of the League of the Accursed) by Sidi Omar ibn Said al-Futi (d. 1864),
- Kitab Bughyat al-mustafid li-shar'h minyat al-murid (Aspiration of the Beneficiary in Commenting the 'Demise of the Disciple' ) of Sidi Mohammed ibn al-Arbi Sayeh (d. 1894), and last but not least,
- Kitab Kashf al-Hijab 'amman talaaqa bi-Shaykh Tijani mina-l As'hab (Rising the Veil of the Companions who encountered with Shaykh Tijani) by Sidi Ahmed ibn al-'Iyyashi Skirej al-Fasi (d. 1940).
Most of what we know about Shaykh Tijani comes from these books.
- Wright, Zachary; On the Path of the Prophet: Shaykh Ahmad Tijani and the Tariqa Muhammadiyya Atlanta, 2005, p. 24-77.
- Al-Qutb al-Maktum Mawlana Abul Abbas Ahmed Tijani
- A letter from Shaykh Ahmad Tijani
- (French) Website of Pr. Abdelaziz Benabdallah
- (French) Le Tawhid des Awliya par le Shaykh Ahmad At Tijani
- (French) Al Haqiqat Ul Muhammadiyyah par le Shaykh Ahmad At Tijani
- Davidson, Basil; Africa in History. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995.
- John Esposito (2003), The Oxford Dictionary of Islam
- Nasr, Jamil Abun; The Tiyânniya. A Sufi Order in the Modern World,Oxford, 1965
- Jean-Louis Michon (1999), The Autobiography of a Moroccan Soufi: Ahmad ibn 'Ajiba (1747–1809)
- Triaud, Jean and Robinson, David (eds.); La Tijâniyya: Une confrérie musulmane à la conquête de l"Afrique. Paris: Karthala, 2000
- Trimingham, J. Spencer; The Sufi Orders in Islam, ISBN 978-0-19-512058-5