Conference Serigne Aliou Mbacke
Magal 2009 - Detroit Michigan
Radio Lamp Fall
27500 franklin rd suite 200
Southfield, MI 48034
Phone: 248 350 1450 Fax: 248 564 5215
Waxtaan Serigne Khadim Lo Touba Michigan mosque on July 13th, 2009
Remembering Serigne Saliou Mbacke: A hero of faith
He was the remaining son of the well known Sheik Ahmadou Bamba, founder of Mouridism, Senegal's most powerful Islamic brotherhood. Serigne Saliou Mbacke is the fifth caliph of Muridism. After the passing of the founder, Sheik Ahmadou Bamba his preeminent sons replaced him under the guidance of Murids. The first was Serigne Mouhammadou Mustapha Mbacke from 1927 to 1945, then Serigne Mouhammadou Fadilou Mbacke from 1945 to 1968, after him came Serigne Abdou Ahad Mbacke from 1968 to 1989.
Serigne Abdoul Ahad was succeeded for a short period of one year by the former imam of the great Mosque of Touba, Serigne Abdou Khadr Mbacke, from 1989 to 1990 and the latter by Serigne Saliou, my hero.
They all played the role of the father in the community and in the development of the holy city of Touba. But Serigne Saliou has marked the Senegalese politico-religious scene. On seeing him at first, one will be convinced that the man is not interested in worldly affairs despite his spiritual power. One day an ambassador told me that what impressed him much about this man was that, despite his power and the attachment of people to him, he is humble.
Sheik Saliou occupied that function of Caliph in 1990 at the age of 76. But immediately he traced a clear and indubitable way that showed he was a rehabilitator of what his master and father had founded. Indeed, in his memorable inaugural speech, he clearly indicated that nothing interested him apart from Islam and consequently the management of Sheik Ahmadou Bamba's heritage. That's why nothing can hold his attention. Serigne Saliou, like his father, pays no importance to temporal power or worldly possessions. And since 1990 up to now he remains constant in his position and is always dedicated to the promotion of Islam through the fructification of the bequest of his eminent father.
He is undoubtedly the greatest agricultural producer in Africa, with more the 45,00 hectares. Besides, he takes care of thousands of children and teenagers learning the Koran and other importance sciences. But what is more exceptional with him is that he asks nothing from their parents or relatives. He takes all their needs in charge, from their shoes to their food. Each month he spends millions CFA francs to by rice, millet, oil, clothes, sugar, et... for those students. That's why the boys preferred him to their parents and feel a great affection towards him, as all Muslims and Senegalese as a whole do.
In this enormous undertaking, Serigne Saliou is well known for his sound knowledge of Koranic and religious Sciences, an incommensurable generosity and a beyond description humility. Very intelligent man and very cultivated, he is also too aware of the magnitude of his mission of Caliph. Very open to modernity and progress, he is however of a firm faith and an absolute vigilance for the defense of the purity of Moslem orthodoxy, like his father, Sheik Ahmadou Bamba. Obviously, Serigne Saliou is determined to follow the traces of Sheik Ahmadou BAMBA in the guidance of the brotherhood and the protection of the heritage of Seyyidina Muhammad (PBUH).
Serigne Saliou Mbacke is well known for his building of great Mosques and Sheik Ahmadou Bamba's residences throughout the country and even the whole world. As an illustration, in January 2002, he bought an impressive building in Taverny, in France for the Muslim community over there.
For him Islam is a universal message, a message of peace, tolerance and mutual help. And he shows that throughout his attitude with other Muslim communities which he helps when they are in need. One cannot begin to count his contributions to other community's mosques.
In Senegal even Christians feel affection towards the holy man and pay visits to him to have his prayers. Anyone who is in need or in difficulty thinks to meet him so as to be assisted: politicians, teachers, drivers, students, academics, and trade unionists to name but a few.
When public services are in difficulty Serigne Saliou gives his money to the help the government. His contribution for the development of Senegal and especially the holy city of Touba is also considerable. Last year he gave more than 15 billion for the road network of the city. He made of that former village the second greatest city in Senegal after Dakar.
Everyday he is visited by eminent personalities from all over the world: ambassadors, Arab people, researchers (Muslims and non Muslims) etc...
As an undoubted heir of his father, the apostle of non violence, founder of Muridism based on the values of peace, solidarity, love of others, noble feelings, Serigne Saliou is the heart of every Senegalese. And they are all happy to name their sons after him and all the time pray for him.
Unfortunately my hero passed away December 28, 2007, may Allah shed his benedictions and charisma on all of us.
Written by Papa Diouf from Kaolack