There is no doubt that the African poets have made an effort in praising the Prophet peace be upon him. Praising the Prophet Mohammed and singing his beloved personality are present in the poems of different African countries such as Senegal, Mali, Nigeria, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Gambia and Guinea.
The prophetic praise is a kind of expression of religious emotions filled with sincerity, sincerity, love, sacrifice and indulge in spiritual love. How not to be so and its subject the best creature and the master of human beings, the Prophet Mohammed. The Prophet’s praise derives its sources from the Holy Quran, the Hadith, the books of interpretation and the Prophet’s biography. Among who praises of the Prophet peace be upon him his uncle Al-Abbas Ibn Abdelmoutaleb, Abu Talib, Hassan Ibn Thabit, to name but a few.
The Prophetic Praise: The Original Factors in Africa
Like the Arab poets, the African poets mastered the praise of the beloved Prophet Mohammed, peace and blessings be upon him since God sheds the light of the Mohammedian message on them. The prophetic praise in Africa is a religious poetry centered on Mohammedia truth, which is concentrated on sovereignty and preference. The main feature of religious poetry in Africa is the Sufi and spiritual characteristics. It is said that Ibrahim Assahli Al-Muhandiss is credited for the development of the prophetic praises in Africa in the 14th century AD during the succession of Kinki Musa, the King of the Islamic Kingdom of Mali. One of the most important features of the prophetic praise in Africa is influenced by the Sufism. So that most of the Sufis, especially Qadiri and Tijani Sufi Sheikhs had been brought up in Zawaya singing the praise of the Prophet, spending time and making efforts to memorize the poems the prophetic praise.
It is worth mentioning that the poem of Al-Busayri has a profound influence on the prophetic praise in all of Africa. It is because the Shadili Sufi Order, which was one of the Sufi Orders that is spread all over Africa, made the poem of Al-Busayri among the most important Wirds (rosary), where it became common to read it facing the Qibla after taking an ablution. The African poets were influenced by this poem, and this is explicit in their poetic composition, which contributed to agitating their emotional desire in expressing their love to the beloved Prophet Mohammed peace be upon him by mentioning his qualities and his attributions.
One of the most important factors that motivated the African poets to praise of the Prophet Mohammed is the conversion of Africans to Islam voluntarily and by choice not by fear and coercion. Islam was an internal factor that instilled the love of the Prophet Mohammed peace be upon him) in the hearts of Africans. Meanwhile, The Arabic language was an external factor; it is, for the adorable lovers, a means to express their love for the beloved Mohammed peace be upon him. The prophetic praise in Africa is considered as a religious poetry dominated by the Sufi character, and its poems are dependency and follow the style of simulation.
The Type of the Prophet’s praise in Africa
Prophetic praise can be classified into the following types:
- The poem:
The poem in the science of prosody is considered to have seven verses or more, with the union of its narration and topic. The poem is one kind of the Prophet’s praise in Africa. In Nigeria, there is a poem by Othman Ibn Foudi, entitled “Do I Have a March”:
Do I have a fast march to the Holy Medina ** to visit the tomb of Al-Hashemi Mohammed
When the Fragrance spread in its corners ** the pilgrims gathered around Mohammed
I swear by Al-Rrahman I have no joint ** only the love of the Prophet Mohammed
Sheikh Mohammed Al-Nasser has a poem chanted by the followers of the Sufi Order of Al-Qadiriyah, it is said:
O Messenger of Allah Take my hands **you take care of me, you are my father
You are my choice and my support ** And here is today my return
In Mali, there is a poem of Sheikh Habib Abdellah called “a rose on the approach of the Burda”, and, in Guinea-Bissau, we find Al-Nuniya of Sheikh Ibrahim Fal called “the turban of Al-Mukhtar” which is said in the beginning:
Lord and the Lord of all creation enough for me ** praising Ahmed here and afterlife my wealthy
The Judge Ali Saag has a lengthy poem in praise of the Prophet Mohammed whose number of verses is 180 verses; its title is”Neil Al-Arb fi Madhi Khair Al-Arab“.
Perhaps the Guinean poet Ali Boubdim is the earliest poet who praised of the Prophet in the form of Diwan where he mastered its context through his poem “Maqalid Al-Sa’ada fi Madih Al-Ssadat,” which consists of 578 verse in 28 poems. His career was followed by his fellow citizen Kramo Talbi, who wrote his Diwan under the title “Qudwat Al-Mawlud Hadwa Al-Walidi fi ‘Ihyae Laylat Al-Mawlidi li Sayidina Ahmed Mohammed, ” which consists of 211 verses in 25 poems. He said:
His creation is explicit text ** His pleasure is a happy star
His victory for the right is right ** Opposing him is a shame of shame
A support for peace seeker**a Masterpiece for the followers
In the same vein, Gerno, the master of poets, follows the same method in Diwan whose title is “the ultimate question in the praise of the Messenger Taha,”which consists of 262 verses in 32 poems. In Senegal, there is Diwan Sheikh Abbas whose title is “Jawahir Al-Budai’a fi Tawassuli ila Allah Al-Badi’a fi Madh Al-Habibi Al-Shafi’a,” which consists of 416 verses in 32 poems. In the Country of Ghana, we find Sheikh Al-Haj Al-Amin praising of the Prophet Mohammed in his Diwan “Tuhfat Al-Ahrar fi Madhi Nour Al-Anouar,” which consists of 874 verses in 25 poems. Perhaps Diwan of Senegalese Sheikh Ahmed Jiy is the largest and most magnificent Diwan in the Prophet’s praise in all of West Africa, which he called “gifts of the Prophet,” it consists of 3777 verse in 54 poems.
Features of the Prophetic Praise of Africa
Most of the poems written by the African poets in the prophetic praise can be observed that they are religious poetry characterized by mystical Sufism, and they are centered on the truth of Mohammedya and its basis of sovereignty and partiality. An example of this is the statement of Sheikh Mohamed Al-Nasser Al-Kubra:
you are the best of all worlds**your reward is infinite and countless
the Nigerian Othman Idris Kenkawi says:
there is none on the earth **Contains good things
Except that who Allah ** reveals the Quran to him
Through the poetic models and examples we have mentioned in this context, it is evident that the praise of the Prophet of Africa is characterized by the tenderness of conscience and honesty of feelings and sincerity and sincere passion immersed in the love of the Prophet Mohammed peace be upon