The moral leader of the famous Mouride movement Hizbut Tarqiyyah, Atou Diagne, died this Friday, January 22, 2021 as a result of an illness. He was in intensive care for several days and eventually did not survive.Moral leader of the Islamic Mouridism Organization, Hizbut-Tarqiyyah (ex-dahira of the Mourid students of Dakar), founded during the academic year 1975-1976, under the Khalifat of Sheikh Abdoul Ahad Mbacké, 3rd Khalife of the Mourides (1968-1989), Atou Diagne will have rigorously directed the reins of this religious association. Ze-africanews returns to the life of a fighter for the universalization of the message of Sheikh Ahmadou Bamba, the founder of Mouridism.
From his birth to his attachment to Mouridism
Born in 1951, Atou Diagne spent his youth in The Gambia where he began his studies in French in elementary school. He returned to Senegal, precisely in the region of Kaolack where he continued his studies until obtaining the baccalaureate. He began graduate studies at the University Cheikh Anta Diop of Dakar (UCAD) and managed to obtain his master’s degree in applied geography. So it was at the UCAD that Atou Diagne thought of setting up a movement to popularize the teachings of Sheikh Ahmadou Bamba.
His constant commitment to enforce the recommendations of Serigne Touba and to safeguard the cultural legacy of Mouridism is what many will retain from him. His open-mindedness and mastery of the issues of the day propelled him to the head of the scientific committee of Hizbut Tarqiyyah where he contributed to the translation into French and English of a good number of books of the Sheikh. In 2007, he participated in the creation of the International Institute for Studies and Research on Mouridism (IIERM), of which he is the rector.
His publications and reputation
A researcher specializing in Mouridism, he is the author of several publications, articles and papers on various topics such as Thanksgiving on the occasion of the great Magal of Touba, the hagiography of Muridism and the rehabilitation of the basic cultural values of Islam. Atou Diagne is also known around the world for participating in the International visitors leadership (Ivlp) program and for hosting conferences at major universities such as Western Washington University (Bellingham and Calabar (Cross River Nigeria) at the invitation of UNESCO.
The idea of the creation of the Islamic movement Hizbut Tarqiyyah
It is at the University Cheikh Anta Diop of Dakar that 9 students mourides: Amadou Saliou Mboup, Babacar Mbaye, Madické Seck, Atou Diagne, Mbagnick Niang, Massamba Niang, Allée Samba Gueye, Touba Sidibé and Pape Amadou Sy, found a movement that brought together Mourid students determined to spread the work of Sheikh Ahmadou Bamba. The movement is approved by Serigne Abdoul Ahad Mbacké khalife general of the Mourides who gives him his blessing.Hisbut Tarkhiya thus became the first Islamic movement formed at the University of Dakar.The movement soon welcomed other students sharing the same vision. At the time, Amadou Saliou Mboup was appointed president of the dahira and Babacar Mbaye the vice-president.Among these students who had invested themselves to make Hizbut Tarqiyyah a reference movement, are former master ministers Madické Niang and Alioune Badara Cissé.
Islamic education, research and translation activities, library building,
In the mid-1980s, the Dahira of the Mourid students was no longer limited to the student environment and received other Mourid students from all socio-professional categories who shared the same motivations.Henceforth, the activities of the Dahira became even more diverse: Islamic instruction, research and translation activities, creation of a library, establishment of a Koranic school, etc.. Between 1990, 1991 and 1992, several cells were born such as those of Fatick, Niakhar, Kaolack, Louga, Tambacounda, Ziguinchor, Touba and a little later, in all regions of Senegal. Subsequently, this notion of extended daara is exported with the establishment of headquarters in Europe, Africa and the United States.
In January 1992 Serigne Saliou Mbacké khalife general des mourides changed the name of the Dahira des Etudiants Mourides (DEM) to Hizbut Tarqiyyah, the faction of people whose spiritual ascension to God is done by Grace and directly under the injunctions of their master, the Servant of the Prophet Khadimu Rassoul.
In Senegal there are several thousand active members of Hizbut Tarqiyyah. They are often recognized through their tunic known as Baye Lahad.