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Mourides (Muridiyya) Perkins, Tasi


The Mouride tariqa (brotherhood) is headquartered in Ṭūbā, in north-central Senegal, the site of Amadu Bamba Mbaké's 1890s vision of the angel Gabriel and the location for the brotherhood’s Grand Magal, an annual pilgrimage that attracts as many as two million devotees. The brotherhood grew out of the Qādiriyya (Xaadir) tariqa, a Ṣūfī movement to which Bamba was himself an adherent. Three distinctive features mark the Mourides. First, their devotion to their order's founder, Amadu Bamba, mirrors the level of veneration often reserved by Muslims for the Prophet Muhammad. Second, their adherence to the principle of hard works makes them ideally suited for agrarian life in the Senegalese countryside. Third, their commitment to principled Islamic nonviolence, even during decades of resistance to French colonial overlords, has much to do with the emergence of Senegal as a nascent West African democracy in a region often beset by civil wars. Bamba's influence cannot be overstated. Mouride Wolof believe that by serving Bamba's vicegerents they participate in the blessing (baraka) of their founder and find a path to eternal life. A suborder of the Mourides, the Baye Fall, was initiated by a close disciple of Bamba’s, Ibrahima Fall, who continued his predecessor’s emphasis on the virtue of hard work. Other principles that are important to Mourides include mild asceticism, charity toward the order, filial devotion, Arabic and Islamic education, faith in the Hereafter, communal solidarity, the repetition of God’s names (dhikr), and the Grand Magal, an annual pilgrimage to the holy city of Touba.

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