The Vice-Principal, Bakhtyar Pirzada al-Azhari, yesterday evening (Saturday 23 July 2016) attended and spoke at the Tijaniyya Annual Conference held at the Crescent Hall in Luton. The event was presided by Shaykh Ahmad Tijani Ali Cisse who is counted as the 13th most influential Muslim in the world, a scholar of Al-Azhar and head of the prominent Grand Mosque of Madina Baye in Senegal, which is one of Western Africa’s key positions of Islamic leadership, and the leader of the global Tijaniyya Sufi Order (Fayda Tijaniyya), which is the largest Sufi Order in Western Africa.
In his talk, the Vice-Principal welcomed Shaykh Ali Cisse to the UK and paid tribute to the leading light of the Fayda Tijaniyya, the late Shaykh al-Islam Ibrahim Niass (ra) who represented intellectual scholarship as well as spiritual development and insight. Knowledge coupled with spirituality and the commitment to serve people of the world is what his teachings exemplified. The beauty of Islam is reflected in its diversity of cultures and races as well as in the breadth of its intellectual and spiritual (Sufi) traditions. He further reflected on the counter-narrative to extremism and terrorism which is the moderation (al-Wasatiyya) of Islam, which the people of spirituality and Sufism represent.