M. Birame Sow célébre Cheikh Ahmadou Bamba


Images 14                 Cheikh Ahmadou Bamba was born in around 1853 or 1855 in Baol. He is nicknamed Khadim Rassoul, which means the Prophet’s Servant, because throughout his whole life, he worked for the Prophet Mahomet. As a result, he is well rewarded by God almighty.   He accepted to fight against the French colonizers to protect and maintain the Islamic religion in Senegal. The Cheik used a non- violent method just like Martin Luther King in America and Mahatma Gandhi in India to fight against the white men. In fact, he used to say ‘ I do not either want to be wrong towards God or towards my fellow human beings’. Therefore, he can also be called a pacific freedom fighter.

               His contact with the white men caused him a lot of sufferings. They had tried several times to kill him, but he always miraculously escaped. One time they put him in an oven, another time they locked him with a lion which had not eaten anything for three days and still another time, they left him alone in a narrow street facing the mercilessness of a dreadful wild bull which had been ordered to kill him. Having failed in all their attempts to kill Ahmadou Bamba., they decided to exile him from Senegal.                

 This was how he came to be deported to Gabon in an island called Mayomba.  In the difficult journey from Senegal to Gabon he achieved a miracle which amazed his enemies the white men. It was time for the Cheik to pray and the white man told him not to pray in his boat but it was out of question for the cheik to drop a praying hour. Having no alternative he threw the sheep skin that served him a praying mat in the sea and prayed until the fifth hour of that day before getting back on the boat.

                His exile lasted seven years and eight months. He came back in Senegal in 1902. The day of his departure on exile is still celebrated every year in the holy city of  Touba by millions of mourid disciples. He is the originator of Mouridism one of the three most representative tarikhs in Senegal. The Cheik wrote so many books: works on science and religion, poems singing the might of God or relating the life of the prophet…  He passed away in 1927, leaving his sons to carry on the job he started. Cheik Saliou Mbacke his last son alive is the khalif today.Photo 004

Birame Sow (English Teacher)

May 2005

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