Black History and Islam: The Sage of Senegal Honored in New Yorkby Suryani Omar
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Annually on July 28, the streets of Harlem in New York City, are filled with members of the Mouride Islamic Community in America. These Muslims gather to remember their teacher, Shaykh Ahmadu Bamba, an important West African Muslim leader.
Who was Shaykh Ahmadu Bamba?
Ahmadu Bamba was a religious leader and the founder of the Mouride brotherhood, a religious order in Senegal known for their teachings of peace, tolerance, and hard work.
Shaykh Ahmadu Bamba
Source: African Research Consult
Shaykh Ahmadu was born in 1853 in the village of Mbacké, Senegal. His influence extends far beyond Senegal and his teachings continue to shape the lives of millions of people around the world.
The Mouride brotherhood united the Senegalese under a common banner of faith with emphasis on spiritual rectification and love of Allah and Rasulullah ﷺ.
A still from the documentary “Sufi – Soldiers of Love” available on Qalbox. The show talks about the Mouride brotherhood and the legacy of Shaykh Ahmadu Bamba.
The French rulers wanted to silence Shaykh Ahmadu and kept him under house arrest until his passing in 1927.
Despite the efforts of the colonial authorities to diminish his influence, Ahmadu Bamba’s charisma only grew.
His legacy continues to inspire and guide people, and his charisma remains undiminished even after all these years.
From Touba to New York.
Touba, the most famous Mouride city, is the largest city in Senegal outside of Dakar. It was founded in 1887 by Bamba’s sons and his followers.
It is known as a center for groundnut production and most of Touba’s residents are active in farming and shipping the groundnut harvest. Touba also boasts the Great Mosque which is one of the largest mosques in all of Africa.
Muslims gather to pray a the Great Mosque in Touba, Senegal.
Hard work is valued highly by members of the Mouride community, and has helped them flourish wherever they are- running businesses globally including in New York.
In 2017, the UPF International Chair Dr. Thomas G. Walsh addressed a special program at the UN General Assembly in honor of Shaykh Ahmadu Bamba Day.
Recommended Books to Read
- Beyond Bilal by Mustafa Briggs
- Ahmadu Bamba: Sage of Senegal by Rukayat Yakub
Films to watch on Qalbox