Friday, October 09, 2009

King Mohammed VI orders restoration of Tijania house

H.M. King Mohammed VI has given instructions to repair and restore the house of the founder of the Tarika Tijania (Sufi order), Cheikh Sidi Ahmed Tijani. The order was announced by Ahmed Toufiq, Minister of Habous and Islamic affairs on Thursday

Addressing an international symposium on the occasion of the bicentenary of Sidi Ahmed Tijani's demise, Toufiq said he was in charged by His Majesty to launch the works to renovate the house, known as "Dar Meraya".

The works, worth 6 million dirhams (some $782k), are expected to last 24 months, the Minister said.

Spanning over 600 square meters, the edifice was granted by Sultan Moulay Slimane in 1798 to the righteous saint, after he took up residence in Fez.

The Tijania Sufi Order, called after the name of its founder, is one of the most radiant pathways. It flourished throughout Morocco in the late 18th century. During the nineteenth century, the Tijania way spread throughout Africa and a number of leaders emerged.

The international symposium, which runs until next Friday, brings together a panel of thinkers and scholars from 30 countries to highlight the thought and works of Cheikh Sidi Ahmed Tijani.

Sheikh Tijani, who was born in Ain Madhi in what is now Algeria, is reputed to have learnt the Koran by heart by the age of seven, and given his first fatwa (religious instruction) at 15. He founded the Sufi brotherhood at the end of the 18th century - using the Gregorian calendar - or towards the start of the 13th Islamic century. Muslims flocked to hear the teachings of the holy man, who had spent long periods meditating in the Sahara Desert. The Moroccan sultan of the time, Moulay Slimane, supported Sheikh Tijani, aiding his rise.

Zoubir Tijani

Tijani disciples from neighbouring countries spread the word and now there are millions of his followers in West Africa. "I have visited many African countries, and there are villages and towns where you don't expect to find even a sign of civilisation, but you find a Koranic school and other buildings put up by the Tijanis,", says Zoubir Tijani, a descendent of Sheikh Tijani, who looks after his mausoleum.


Anonymous said...

Where is it?

Helen Ranger said...

It's in Blida. Walk down to the bottom of Tala'a Kebira and turn left at the Attarine Medersa. Walk past all the fabric shops, and you'll see the Zaouia on the right, on the corner of Derb Blida. Non-Muslims can't go inside, but the outside is beautifully decorated with zellij (tiles), carved plaster and painted wood.

Piggy said...

Its a shame that non muslims are not allowed to enter. Most if not all the worlds religious buildings are open to all.
Why does the King allow this nonsense?

John said...

The directions given above are the same as those to the Sidi Ahmed Tijani Mosque. Is the Dar Meraya referred to in the Press Release and the Tijani Mosque the same place or are they next to one another? Is it not really clear, I has assumed they were different places but I am now confused.

johndonneundone said...

OMG! Hordes of voyeuristic tourist shattering the calm of sacred houses. There is only one reason why anyone should be allowed inside and that is to commune with Allah/God. If you want to go inside for that purpose you only have to say La ilaha illa Allah wa-Muhammad rasul Allah

BTW I am not able to surrender my egotistical will and thus have to remain on the outside of all mosques

Anonymous said...

So where is this Dar Meraya actually located? Anyone?

Helen Ranger said...

I think Dar Meraya is where the zaouia (saint's shrine) is housed, next to the mosque. But I'm not sure - anyone got any other ideas?