Go to media page

The Wisdom Behind the Trip to Ivory Coast

Account by Ali Diallo

On Wednesday, 24 February 2010, Mawlana Shaykh Hisham (q) and his mureeds were unexpectedly invited for lunch by a humble sister. Her name is Maguette and she is a pious Senegalese sister married to an equally pious man from Ivory Coast. It was difficult to schedule this invitation for Mawlana as it wasn't part of the official schedule of the trip, but at the last minute Mawlana canceled another meeting in order to come. Her house is a nice place filled with piety.

We are all sitting in the living room and after a while the hosts say, "Let's go sit on the open patio to eat." The patio is an open area surrounded by a nice garden with green vegetation. Some mureeds go check it out first and then come back, saying, "Mawlana, it is nice, there is even a lizard with a multi-color head!"

Mawlana Shaykh Hisham (q) , "Oh, it's not safe then; check again, we don't want to catch malaria or mosquito bites!"

People laugh. Finally we convince Mawlana (so it seems) that the patio is nice and cooler than the living room, so we all go there to eat with Mawlana. The patio is surrounded by some green vegetation: beautiful green and yellow flowers, nice trees and a green and clean grass. One can even hear the small insects making noise on the branches and on the leaves.

At the end of the meal, Mawlana starts talking with the sister who hosted us and with her husband. She is explaining how she had such a strong desire to meet Mawlana and her "brothers," the Naqshbandi mureeds. She relates how she came to New York a couple of months ago, but couldn't go to Michigan and was heart-broken because of this.

Diomande says, "Allahu Akbar, you tried to visit Mawlana Shaykh Hisham in his house in the US, but couldn't. Now they heard your sadness and they are coming all the way to your house in Africa!"

Mawlana listens and then says, "Inshaa-Allah you have to start making dhikr in your house. Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q) is informing me right now that he is establishing the first spiritual center for dhikr here in your house and is opening for Abu Bakr to lead dhikr in this place. This is the only reason of my trip to Ivory Coast: to come to this house's backyard and establish dhikr here on behalf of Mawlana Shaykh!" Awliyaa are with humble people. I was supposed to go to another event, but Mawlana Shaykh (q) said, 'Go to her house.' Now we all see the secret behind this."

Mawlana addresses Diomande, "I told you from the very beginning in Michigan when you were planning the trip that I am not coming to meet politicians and high people. What did I tell you? I told you Mawlana Shaykh Nazim instructed me to go look for a place in the jungle of Ivory Coast to open the door of the first dhikr and to establish Abu Bakr's presence in this country." I told you 'I want to go to the jungle and look for a place for dhikr. Didn't I tell you that?

Diomande replies, "Yes Mawlana."

Mawlana says, "Look around you and what do you see?"

Everybody looks around and suddenly it hit us: we are indeed surrounded by a natural ecosystem like that of a jungle. There are even lizards with multi-colored heads just like in the jungle.

Mawlana says, "This is the jungle awliyaa were referring to! Look around! You don't see the trees and the animals? We are in the jungle. This is the place Mawlana Shaykh was seeing. We are sitting in the middle of it. You can't understand awliyaullah, their words carry secrets. Don't take them lightly. My only purpose to this country was this spiritual event we have just witnessed: to come to this humble house and to sit in this jungle and open the door of Naqshbandi dhikr in Ivory Coast."

(Crowd responds) Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar!

Mawlana addresses the sister, "Maguette, you have to open your house every Saturday for dhikr and invite everybody. Don't let them leave your house without eating. Give them food, a little bit of rice with sauce, it's enough. Everybody is welcome. Abu Bakr is Mawlana Shaykh Nazim's representative in Ivory Coast and he will lead dhikr here. Whoever helps him is helping Mawlana Shaykh (q). You and your husband are blessed people."

Diomande says, "Mawlana, we didn't know! We all thought you were joking when you said you wanted to go to the jungle of Ivory Coast and open a place for dhikr! SubhaanAllah!"