The Mouride Sufi Order

Author: Saliou Mbacke

January 15, 2016

Senegal has a distinctive form of Islam, as it has one of the highest—if not the highest—percentages of Sufis among the world’s Muslim-majority countries. Adherents of Sufi Islam belong to various orders or turuq (plural form of tariqa). Each order, commonly known in Senegal as confréries, pays heed to the teachings of its founder and consequently has its own practices, rituals, and leadership structures. One order is Mouridism, founded in 1882/1883 by Cheikh Ahmadou Bamba Mbacke. In Senegal approximately 30 percent of Muslims affiliate with Mouridism. This report, written by Sheikh Saliou Mbacke, great-grandson of the founder, provides a historical overview of Mouridism, its leading personalities, and reflections on current challenges and future directions.

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