Shared Religious constants a Factor of Unity between Morocco and African countries
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful!
Praise be to Allah
Peace and blessings be upon the Prophet, upon his Family, and upon his Companions!
Mawlây Ameer Al-Mumineen (Majesty, Commander of the Faithful)!
I am honored to take the floor in this council, which is graced by your august Majesty to deal with a topic of utmost significance, both for the Kingdom of Morocco and several African countries. These countries are bound to Morocco with ties, which go back through centuries, as they have a common religious basis-which in the past has been the essence of relations and still retains all of its energies to foster and strengthen present-day and ever future ties. I have in mind here the relationships which exist at a deeper level -the popular level which has ever been faithful to the spiritual and intellectual dimensions that are usually unaffected by circumstantial changes. Nor are they swayed by personal choices which are subject to narrow political calculations which may, through cheer ignorance, impact adversely on such commonalities and even provoke denial of them by certain categories of people in these countries. They may also be targeted by ambitious desires from without, driven by competition or rivalry. Yet, the shared heritage is unshaken because it is built on the bases of sincerity, goodness, rightness, in truthful compliance with Almighty Allah’s verse which reads: “Allah will establish in strength those who believe with the Word that stands firm, in this world and in the Hereafter”. (Süra Ibrahim, verse 27)
The blessed renaissance, that we are witnessing, O Majesty, in the development of relations with African countries, on the basis of mutual counselling, expertise, identity protection, and shared benefits must be accompanied by an awareness-raising movement directed at Moroccans and their brethren in African countries. They must be reminded of the strong foundations which have been laid out by their ancestors-notably, the common constants in the religious sphere. This is all the more necessary now when religion is targeted by its archenemy-extremism and fanaticism. Outside the Continent there are many who perceive African people as “an easy prey,” whose identity can be tampered with in utter disregard to the destructive consequences that such tampering may have. The spiritual links between Morocco and African people were built on the basis of righteousness and piety and were geared toward reform and betterment. This being the case, the (common) identity of these people was never challenged by any danger having to do with creedal, denominational, or behavioral choices. Today, alas, some people, having lost all godliness, have deviated from the path of their ancestors and the respect that the latter had always shown for diversity and difference in all of the aforesaid spheres. Worse, present-day neglect of the ethics of diversity and difference in the area of Ijtihad (or, exercise of independent judgment)-which our ancestors had so staunchly preserved -has brought about impending and widespread evil which provokes the suffering of each and all. We have in mind here the scourge of extremism which wreaks havoc, violating sanctities and letting blood. We can readily recall the warning issued by the Glorious Book wherein Almighty Allah says: “And fear the trial which affected not in particular (only) those of you who do wrong” (Süra Al-Anfâl, (or the Spoils of War), verse 25). It is hoped, O Majesty, that you will keep up your current strivings in terms of enhancing mutual counselling in religious matters, promoting mutual benefits in this worldly life in these African countries, and cooperating with them so as to ensure their spiritual security and assert their cultural identity around the aforementioned shared constants.
Given that many people in several African countries, and perhaps even in Morocco, hear about these constants but do not know about their substance or their significance in religious life and relevance to spiritual security, we have deemed it worthwhile reminding these people of the constants, in compliance with Almighty Allah’s command: “But remind: for reminding benefits the Believers”, (Süra Ad-Dhâriât, or the Winds that Scatter, verse 55). Some people may wonder about the intended meaning of the term Thawâbith (or, constants). These constants refer to the religious choices made by Moroccans, along with a number of African people, notably in West Africa, in terms of Aqeedah (creed), Madhab (school of law and rites), and Sulûk Rûhy (or, the spiritual path to take). The choice was free, the outcome of the independent strivings undertaken by the vanguard Imams who had derived religious rules from the fundaments. All of these Ijtihâdât are sound Sunni strivings which do not differ but in small and minor details in terms of their harmony and compliance with the essential rules in matters of creed, worship, and interpersonal dealings. Put another way, these choices constitute a faith related and spiritual security reference, so to speak, and as such, ought not to be altered by anyone from within the community or from outside it. It is because of this continuity through time that these choices are called Thawâbith (or, constants). Obviously, these constants are by no means new but rather traceable to several centuries ago. They have in the past been described by Moroccan Sheikh, Abdelwahed Ibn Ashir who said:
(Teaching) Al-Ashary’s creed, Malik’s Fiqh, and Al-Junaid’s (Sûfi) Way
In the consecration of the religious constants shared by the Kingdom of Morocco and African countries, a quatrain or rather an ensemble made up of four assets emerges, namely:
- Imârat Al-Mumineen (or, the Commandership of the Faithful);
- Al-Madhab Al-Maliky (the Malikite School of islamic Law);
- Al- ‘Aqeedah Al-Ash ‘ariah (the Ash ‘arite Creed); and
- Tassawûf, (or, adoption of Sufism)
The First Constant: Imârat Al-Mumineen (or, the Commandership of the Faithful)
Each of these African peoples has its own nation and its own political system. And this system has its own modern legitimacy by way of choice and election. However, Muslims in each of these countries are aware of the symbolic significance of the Commandership of the Faithful in Islamic history, as well as its ancient and effective history in the Kingdom of Morocco. It is then a symbolic commonality which does not affect the political life in these countries, but still has a symbolic significance which African people have, time and again, expressed. This significance was also evident in the stand taken by some African religions leaders who have sought to strengthen ties binding them to your forefathers, O Majesty. Some of them even travelled thousands of miles to pay a visit to your grandfather in his home of exile. This symbolic asset is also readily seen in the spiritual blessedness wherewith they perceive your Majesty and the warmth of welcome they reserve for you-a privilege no one, but the most ignorant or ungrateful, would deny.
As for the history of the Commandership of the Faithful in Morocco, it is viewed by African people with a great deal of admiration and reverence because of its rightness, legitimacy, and its Sunni landmarks and occurrences. In fact, when Mawlay Idriss came to Morocco, he did with a testament from his brother in hand. It will be recalled that Idriss’s brother, Mohammed lbn Abdellah (An-Nafs Az-Zakiah, or the Guileless Self), had received a plight of fealty from the most influential and notable people at the Madinah Al-Munawarah-the town of the Messenger of Allah, Peace and blessings be upon him-before another allegiance was paid to the Abbassid Aby Jaafar Al-Mansur. On this legitimate ground, then, the people of the Maghreb plighted fealty to Mawlay Idriss, the first person to have carried the title of Ameer Al-Mumineen (the Commander of the Faithful) in this Western part of the Islamic world. He is also the first to have established the first Islamic state, independent from the one in the Orient. In the East, Imams Malik Ibn Anas and Abu Hanifah gave preponderance to his Imamat over that of the Abbassid dynasty. They also considered that his leadership was more valid than that of Aby Jaafar Al-Mansur, due to the fact the fealty was plighted to Mohammed lbn Abdellah, An-Nafss Az-Zakiah, first.
Accordingly, the Commandership of the Faithful was established in Morocco after having met all validity criteria: it was based on a legal and legitimate plight of allegiance. Moreover, it was seconded by two of the greatest Imams in Islam-Malik Ibn Anas and Abu Hanifah. Thus, was founded the first Imarat Al-Mumineen in Moroccan quarters.
As the Western part of the Islamic world started to open up during the sixth decade of the first Hijri year, the crisis was exacerbated with the emergence of denominations and continued opposition to the Umayyad and the Abbassid dynastic rule-notably the opposition staged by the supporters of Ahl Al-Bayt (or, the Prophet’s Family). The latter suffered relentless persecution directed against them by the two aforementioned dynasties for decades, namely between the 40th year of the Hegira-which coincided with the assumption of power by Mu’ âwiyyah -and 169 which saw the slaying of Mohammed Ibn Abdellah (An-Nafs Az-Zakiah) in Waq ‘at Al-Fakh (or, the Battle of the Trap) near Mekkah. Meanwhile, Morocco endured more than a century of mismanagement at the hands of Umayyad and Abbassid governors. It was in the context of this shared injustice that Idriss Ibn Abdellah resorted to Morocco, after having escaped death narrowly at the Battle of the Trap. He was thus the first Commander of the Faithful to have received the plight of allegiance away from the war-torn and coup-rife scene, after the Well-Guided Caliphs.
It is a well-known fact that a given political system is legitimate only if it is right and capable of furnishing such security and stability as would make it possible for people to attend to the affairs of worldly life and to prepare for a life of felicity in the Hereafter. This is because Islam is the message addressed by Almighty Allah to all of His servants in regard to matters of concern pertaining to worldly and religious affairs. It was necessary that the message should comprise guidance apt to help them regulate their affairs in this world, which is the place of their livelihood, and the Hereafter, which is the abode of the final return. For this reason, one of the first matters of concern to the Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings be upon him), as he settled in the Madînah was to lay the first cornerstones of a secure and stable community, whose members are committed to foster cooperation that is apt to procure mutual benefits to each and all and to ward off corruption and iniquity. It would be a community managed by a state seasoned in governance and imbued with wisdom so as to ensure that community life would be orderly and straight.
The Second Constant: Al-Madhab Al-Maliky (the Malikite School of Islamic Law)
Al-Madhab Al-Mâliky stands out among the major schools of Islamic Law. It is attributed to Imam of Dar Al-Hijra (or, the Migration’s Destined Abode), Imam Mâlik Ibn Anass. It is one of the most common and widespread schools of law in the countries located in the Islamic West as well as in several African countries.
It is a well-known fact that the first embodiment of Islamic unity, in the framework of a political entity premised on Bei’ah (or, the plight of fealty) and Shûra (or, mutual consultation), came to be, thanks to the endeavors of the Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings be upon him) in Madinah. It is a model which Muslims in Africa have continued to perceive as an ideal model worthy of emulation and scrupulous compliance.
As has been the case with the Medinans’ ‘unorthodox practices have been uncommon in most African countries thanks to Muslim people’s attachment to the Madhab established by Imam Malik. In the same vein, one of the most notable the merits of Morocco and Andalusia is that none of the preceding Imams, who have gained in prominence, has ever been questioned or denigrated. And this actually led Abu Al-Waleed At-Tartushy to attribute this unimpeachable standing to the fact that the populations of the Islamic West have always held fast to the Sunnah wal Jamma’ah (or, Sunnism). And this, in turn allowed them to keep away from indulging in unorthodox practices and unwarranted innovations in religion and to follow the exemplar set by the righteous ancestors. The unity of the Madhab constitutes one of the commonalities shared by these countries, which qualify them indeed to form a mighty organic unity within the Islamic Ummah in this Western wing of the Islamic world and through Africa.
Now if we were to consider the main characteristics of the Malikite School of Law, we will notice that they center on the following:
- Intermediation and moderation;
- Evolution and renewal;
- Realism, meaning that interest is focused on actual occurrences and lived
- Flexibility and this is clearly manifest in the rule which stipulates that difference should be heeded and taken into account. Besides, it plays an important role in bringing about rapprochement between the various schools of Islamic laws/rites.
Imam Malik was in fact still alive when the Idrissid Dynasty was established in Morocco. And it seems that Idriss Ibn Abdellah El-Kamil, who knew Mâlik’s Al-Muwatta’ (or, the Path made Smooth), was the first person to have called upon Moroccans to adopt Malik’s way and to read Al-Muwatta’. In his Muqaddimah (Prolegomenon), Ibn Khaldûn reported him as having said: “we are indeed worthy to follow Mâlik’s school of law and to read his book.” This conviction was thereafter entrenched by his successor and heir, Idriss Ibn Idriss.
In his book, Al-Mu ‘jib (or, the Wondrous Account), Al-Murrakushy reports what has witnessed firsthand during the era of Yacoub El-Mansur in regard to the development of the branches of Fiqh (jurisprudence) and the attempts made by the authorities to put an end to it, out of precaution and desire to shield the conscience of the people at a time when the latter were not adequately advised and supervised by a sufficient number of jurists and scholars. However, when the authorities realized that branch law constituted worthy endeavors, and not really a corpus of knowledge intended to confound people or to make their ritual worship abstruse, they allowed it to flourish. Today, people in African countries ought to understand that a Madhab (or, school of Islamic Law) is meant to shield people from the risk of confusion, especially within mosques. Some of our brethren in the Levant should fear Allah and respect the denominational choices we have made because the generality of people are easily impressed by minor differences. They also tend to view insignificant differences as differences between truth and falsehood, even though the reality is otherwise.
The Third Constant: Al- ‘Aqeedah Al-.Ash ‘ariah (the Ash’arite Creed)
During the era of the message-revelation and even the era of the Well-guided Caliphs, Muslim people constituted genuine unit, in creedal, intellectual, and communal terms. And even when differences arose, they were soon settled and concord was achieved because people often had direct recourse to the Book (the Quran) and to the Sunnah (the Tradition).
However, during the latter era of the Well-guided Caliphs, Islamic sects began to emerge. And in the ensuing decades, their respective ideas proliferated and developed further. Among the issues that people needed to understand mention could be made of what the Quran and the Sunnah said in regard to the nature and attributes of Almighty Allah and to the understanding of the requirements of Imâne (or, faith). Some people interpreted them so literally as to stick to narrow textual dimensions, while others took so much liberty in their interpretation as to develop negative or flawed perceptions. This, in essence, was the area of research pertaining to Aqeedah (creed or dogma). Predictably, dogmas proliferated in proportion to the diversity of schools of law. Of the many schools which took interest in this field, the Ash’arites stood out. Named after Aby Al-Hassan Al-Ash’ary (died in 324 of the Hegira), the school set out to oppose the interpretations proposed by Al-Bateniah (a school interested in esoteric aspects of religion) and Ar-Rafidhah (the rejecters, a sect which questioned the authority of certain Caliphs). ln this respect, the founder and his followers expended commendable efforts.
ln order to show lay people why the choice of the Ash ‘arite creed has been of high significance, especially in our present time, we may make the following assertions: the Ash ‘arites consider that anyone who professes the faith by saying, “there is no other deity but Allah”, is an actual believer. Everything else is left up to him and to Almighty Allah. This means that no person may, on any account, be charged with Kufr (or, unbelief). Obviously, groups which oppose with the Ash ‘arite creed are more inclined to hurl the charge of Takfeer at people and even kill them on the bases of charges which, they think, undermine faith. The first casualties of these “fanatics” are Muslim people. Besides, their heinous deeds cause serious damage to the reputation of the Islamic faith, itself.
These then are the constants and religious specificities that Moroccans have satisfactorily adopted and observed for centuries. Similarly, Malikite scholars realized the importance of connecting the Malikite School of Law with the creedal aspect in order to immunize the articles of faith that people uphold. To this end, they devoted entire introductory sections to creedal issues, as evidenced by Ar-Rissalah (or, Epistle) penned by Aby Zaid Al-Qayrawany (who was also known as Malik As-Saghir or, Junior Malik, the Mandhumah (or, treatise in verse) by Ibn ‘Ashir, and Al-Jami’ mina Dakheerah (the Comprehensive Provisions), by Shihab-Eddine Al-Qarafy.
Any talk about the Ash’arite School highlights its status as an authentic Sunni school which has largely bolstered the Islamic Creed by way of Ahl-Sunnah wal Jamâ’ah (or, Sunnis), in line with Islam which has exhorted Muslims to form one community and to adhere to the Tradition (of the Prophet). The Ash ‘arite School has always been the official Madhab of great Imams, like Malik Ibn Anass, Aby Hanifah An-Nu’man, As-Shâfi’y, Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, and others.
Imâm Al-Ash’ ary (May Allah have mercy upon him) neither engaged in unorthodoxy nor set up a whole new school from “out of the blue”; rather, he simply re-asserted the way followed by the predecessors and staunchly defended the practices observed by the Companions of the Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings be upon him). Affiliation to it amounts to the recognition of the fact that Al-Ash’ary showed strong adherence to the Way of the ancestors and set out to find proof and evidence in support of it. And followers of this path came to be known as Ash ‘arites. Sheikh Al-Isslâm, ‘Izz-Eddine Ibn Abdessalam noted that Al-Ash’arite creed, which commanded the consensus of the Shafi’ite, Malikite, and Hanafid schools of Islamic Law, managed to spread and prevail thanks to the moderate path it had chosen to tread. The Ash ‘arite creed spread in many different countries of the Islamic world, first in Iraq, and from there into the Sham region (present-day Palestine, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon) and in Egypt, at the bands of Sultan Ennasser Salah Eddine El Ayoubi, and then in Morocco, through the office of Aby Abdellah Ibn Toumert.
Moroccan people adopted the Ash ‘arite creed by virtue of being a complete creedal school possessing tremendous power of establishing proof, persuading, and engaging in discussions. They also opted for it because they felt that it preserved the core creedal tenets and diligently sought to obviate Tashbeeh (or, anthropomorphizing of the Deity) and Ta ‘teel (denying God all attributes). They also appreciated its moderation and middle course which transcended literalist readings of texts and far-fetched interpretations which unduly “highjack” the meanings of the text.
The Ash’arite creed spread through the Islamic Ummah (the Islamic Community, at large), by virtue of its moderation and intermediation. It received good reception and soon mingled with the Islamic science of conduct after the founder became impressed by Imam Abdellah Al-Harith Ibn Assad Al-Muhassiby (died in 243 of the Hegira). The latter was one of the leading and most knowledgeable Sufi leaders, as well as the mentor who trained such would-be prominent Süfi figures as Abulqâssim Al-Junaid Ibn Mohammed.
The Fourth Constant: Sufism
Sufism and its movement constitute an integral part of the history of Morocco. Indeed, they form an essential and core component of the Moroccan identity, through history, as has been established by historical, intellectual and cultural scholarship. The outcome of this reality is the forceful temporal and spatial presence of Sufism in Morocco, as well as its quantitative and qualitative radiance ever since the early advent of the Islamic Conquests with Oqba Ibn Nafi’a, Mussa Ibn Nussair, and Mawlay Idriss Ibn Abdellah, up to the present time, in the era of the Commander of the Faithful, His Majesty King Mohammed VI (May Allah guard him). In fine, Sufism has always been and still is a lively element as well as a pillar in the life of Moroccan society and in the conduct of its members. As such it has come to be one of the nations sturdiest constants, perfectly attuned to the remaining constants which find their origins in the same source, namely Allah’s Book and the Sunnah (Tradition) of his Messenger (Peace and blessings be upon him).
The Sunnah (Tradition) of Allah’s Messenger (Peace and blessings be upon him) constitutes the basis of Sufi conduct among Moroccans, whether in fine Sufi ethics or actual Sufi practices. Moroccans seem to have found “their stray-camel”, so to speak in the practical aspects of Sunnah which has furnished the soil for high ethics and tastes to flourish. They have likewise adhered to the Prophetic Hadith and relied on it for proof, conceptualization, and deeds. A Qudussi Hadith reads: “verily, my Awlia’ (loyal devotees and supporters) from among my servants and beloved creatures are remembered whenever I am remembered. Similarly, I am remembered when they are mentioned”.
In the evidence we have produced above in relation to the Sunni origin of Sufism in Morocco, we notice that there is a convergence of views between the main Aqtab of Sufism (pl. Of Qutb, literally, Pole, but figuratively, an outstanding and highly-revered Sufi leader). This convergence is suggestive of the truthfulness of the Sunni chain of ascription and evidence-basis claimed by Moroccan Sufism. The truth assumes even deeper significance, when we invoke a Prophetic Hadith which uplift the standing of the people living in the Islamic West (who are the people of the Maghreb, in fact), according to some commentators. Muslim reports, on the authority of Saad Ibn Aby Waqqass that the Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings be upon him) once said: “Ahl Al-Gharb (the People of Western Part of the Islamic World) shall continue to uphold the Faith, up until the Advent of the Final Hour”.
In this connection, Abderrahmane Ibn Al-Jawzy says: “I have come to see that working with Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) and hearing the Hadith can barely suffice to straighten the heart. These activities need to be supplemented with the finest ethical values and pondering the life-stories and conduct of the Worthy Ancestors (for moral lessons)”. Along the same lines, Hujjat Al-Islam (the Proof of Islam), Abu Hamid Al-Ghazaly says: “the Sufis are among the first to take the Path (leading to) Almighty Allah. This is because all of their movements and rest, their outer aspects and actions, as well as their innermost feelings are derived from the light of the luminous niche of Prophecy. Other than the light of Prophecy there is, indeed, no other light affording guidance”.
It seems to follow then that adherence to the foundations of (Revealed Law) namely, the Book and the Sunnah-is the basis of the teachings of Sufi Orders. It is also the main criterion in Morocco to set rightness apart from error. This explains why Abu Al-Hassan Ashâdily once addressed his disciples, saying: “If your own illumination should be at odds with the Book and the Sunnah, then hold fast to the Book and the Sunnah, and quit your pursuit, telling yourself that Allah has guaranteed me infallibility by way of the Book and the Sunnah, and not through inspiration, illumination, and visions, unless these are subjected to the authority of the Book and the Sunnah”.
Now if we were to consider the role played by Moroccan Sufi orders and leaders in spreading Islam, a mere consideration of the history of Sub-Saharan Africa do amply. It will reveal the achievements made by the Tijânies, Kunties, Fâdilyeen, and Ma ‘alayniyeen in the Western parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, where the state of Omar El-Fouty, with its Tijâny Sufi Islamic identity, rose to some prominence. Equally noteworthy are the achievements of the Ahmadiah-Idrissiah School, along with its branches, in the Eastern parts of Bilâd Sudân (the land of Dark-skinned People), in the interests of Islam and Muslim people.
However, the trend that prevailed as a genuine representative to Al-Junaid’s Sufi Way is guidance, action, and conduct geared-Sufism, which is also known as practical Sufism. Among the Orders that are affiliated to this version of Sufism, though they are themselves full-fledged and independent Orders with their own prominent leaders and characteristic features, mention could be made of:
- Al-Qâdiriah School ;
- Ashâdiliyah. School ;
- At-Tijaniah School.
The Qadiriah School stands out as the first Sufi school to have appeared in Islam, while Ashâdiliah School is most famous for being the most widespread one and also with the most prolific branches both in the Maghreb and the Mashreq (the Western and Eastern parts of the Islamic World, respectively). Examples of these branches include: Al-Jazouliah, Azzarouqiah, Al-Waffâ ‘iah, An-Nâssiriah; and others -all representative of Imam Al-Junaid’s way. The Tijaniah School has worldwide renown, with strong outreach in Africa. Its followers are known as Tijaniyeen (or, Tijanies).
Sufis Schools in Africa, along with their Landmarks and Prominent Leaders
Moroccan people’s choice of Al-Junaidy extended to Africa in terms of both scholarship and actual practice. History books, biographies, and bibliographies.
It is a well-known fact that Sufi communication channels between Morocco and Africa evolved quite early. Historical sources suggest that Bilâd Shingeet (present-day Mauretania) served as a bridge for Moroccan Sufi Schools to transit from Morocco to Africa, via Senegal. This has been the case for the Qâdiriah; Al-Bakâ ‘iah, Al-Fâdiliah, Ashâdiliah, and Tijâniah Schools. All of these schools are the most recently prevalent in Bilâd Shingeet, as well as the most widespread in West Africa.
Moroccan Sufi Sheikhs have not only striven to entrench the values of tolerance and co-existence but also raised the challenges and confronted the dangers besetting the African Continent. They have also contributed to the enhancement of spiritual and ethical links for the purpose of disseminating the lofty values of moderate Islam. Likewise, and through history Morocco has shown care for the affiliates to Sufi Orders in these quarters, by preserving and promoting the spiritual ties binding the populations of African countries and the Commander of the Faithful and Defender of the Faith, and related institutions. This spiritual and educational heritage has certainly done much to consolidate the values of peace, tolerance, moderation, and intermediation for the purpose of achieving stability, certainty, and (spiritual) serenity.
The Moroccan religious model, is strengthened by the three constants-the (Ash’ arite) Creed, the (Malikite) Rite, and Sufism-under the aegis of the Commandership of the Faithful which guarantees protection and immunity for this moderate religious model. And this has given Morocco a special standing-one that allows him to receive an elite of African students and also a number of students from European countries who benefit from training at the Mohammed VI Institute for the Training of Murshidûn (Gentleman Religious Counsellors) and Murshidât (Lady Religious Counsellors). And all of these trainees receive thorough instruction in religious principles, in accordance with a moderate approach and method geared towards the fulfilment of safety, peace, security, and tranquility.
The Constants as a Factor of Unity between Morocco and African Countries
Mawlay (Majesty), the Constant of the Imâmah Al- ‘Udhmah (the Grand Religious Leadership) is of utmost significance in terms of the role it plays in preserving and guarding the Constants. This is a natural role, considering the trust vested in the Grand Imam, who is entrusted with protecting the faith, and also the term of the legal plight of fealty, binding the Ummah and Waly Amrihah (the Person in charge of its Affairs).
Among the offshoots of your Majesty’s solicitous care for African countries -and they are many- stands out an African scholarly institution, called the Mohammed VI foundation of African Oulema (Scholars), which is headquartered in Fez, the lighthouse of scholarship and faith. Still at its beginning, the institution already gathers together an élite group of lady and gentleman religious scholars who convene to exchange opinions, mutually enjoin one another in truth and patience, and discuss any matter of concern to our Continent, our religious scholars, and our Shari’ah (Revealed Law). All of this, of course, enables them to make notable contributions to the achievement of moral security for their continent. As the work of this institution gains momentous visibility, Allah Willing, the praiseworthy impacts of your noble deeds in the interest of the religious constants federating Muslims in Africa will come to the fore. Your contributions to the establishment of spiritual security and public order in these countries, and beyond, in the world at large, will be evident to all. In so doing, you are not seeking either reward or gratitude; you are simply responding to the command of the Lord of All Beings: “And say: ‘Work righteousness: soon will Allah observe your work, and His Messengers, and the Believers”. We implore Allah to be among the believers who bear witness to the achievements already made by the Commandership of the Faithful. The achievements will be notable, considering what the Commandership of Mohammed VI has achieved within a ten-year time frame. The feats are so many and grand that they cannot be enumerated in such short time and space.
May Allah accept all of your deeds, O Majesty!
May Allah send His peace, mercy, and blessings upon your all!
 A Hassanian lecture delivered before The Commander of the Faithful, His Majesty King MOHAMMED VI, by Pr. Rawan Mbaye, Professor at the Sheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar, Senegal, On Ramadan 6th 1439 A.H. (May 22nd, 2018), in: “the Hassanian lectures Ramadan 1439 A.H./May-June 2018, published by The Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs, p:33-45”.