Friday, 26 July 2019

THE LAST JOURNEY OF SHAYKH IBRAHIM NIASSE

THE LAST JOURNEY OF SHAYKH IBRAHIM NIASSE (RTA) - PART 1
{FROM KAOLACK, TO DAKAR}
Authored by: Ambassador Usman Ahmad Tijani Ibrahim Niasse (Culled from the book below)
Translated & Compiled by: Sayyidah Bilqis Bolajoko Grillo
 
The last journey of Shaykh al-Islam, Alhaji Ibrahim Niass took place in the year June 1975 corresponding to Jumada thani of the year 1395 AH.

He informed his household that he wanted to travel briefly abroad to London. At that time he was 75 years old, and had a pending surgery which he felt was time for him to attend to.

Last Supper that Shaikh Ibrahim Niasse had with his family before embarking on the Journey



Apart from that, the travel will give him opportunity to enjoy the cooler London weather.

So he instructed Kabir Faye, his regular travel companion to pack the essential travel utilities. Kabir Faye who had been used to carrying along the Shaykh's main kanash (bound volumes of prayer formulae), which normally make the baggages heavy, since he may not know which of these documents may be called for, by Shaykh.

Imam Kabir Faye (Gambian Muqadam of Shaykh Ibrahim Niass)


However, on this occasion, his master, seeing him piling up the travel luggage remarked: "Oh Kabir Faye! Were you to realize what heavier loads or burden you will be charged with on our return journey, you will need no one to tell you not to labour yourself with any heavy load in this our impending journey"!

This kind of remarks coming from Shaykh al-Islam had a lasting impact on his soul, hence he cut short the size of luggage he initially intended to carry.

As was usual, many of his other sons and mureeds wanted to go with him, but Shaykh declined their offer on the excuse that the voyage was a short one.

To many of his elder children and muqadams, he sent them on errands to various part of the Africa continent.

However some very few escorted him up to Dakar before embarking on their trip.

His son, Shaykh Ahmad Tijani stayed with him for three days in Dakar and his father (Shaykh Ibrahim Niasse) discussed many important matters with him.

On reaching Dakar, he gave some awraad (litanies) to Kabir and granted him idhni/permission of three days khalwah (seclusion to chant the supreme names of Allah, in the manner prescribed by shaykh).

He also had many people who paid him Ziyaraah. Ziyaarah connotes visit to men of Allah in order to benefit from their presence, and seek spiritual benevolence.

(After the three days spent at Dakar)…they then set out, just Shaykh Ibrahim Niass and Kabir Faye.





THE LAST JOURNEY OF SHAYKH IBRAHIM NIASSE (RTA) - PART 2

{FROM DAKAR, TO THE LONDON HOSPITAL}

Authored by: Ambassador Usman Ahmad Tijani Ibrahim Niasse 

Translated & Compiled by: Sayyidah Bilqis Bolajoko Grillo


At the conclusion of the special prayer, Shaykh boarded a flight to London, disembarking at the Heathrow Airport, terminal 1 in London.

He was immediately conveyed straight to St. Thomas Hospital, the destination of his travel. Prior to leaving home, necessary arrangements had been finalized for admission into the hospital.

When the Head of State of the Republic of Ghana; His Exellency Dr. Kwame Nkrumah got message from Shaykh, someone to whom he was well acquainted, he sent his own personal physician, Doctor Maltin. 

Dr. Kwame Nkrumah (First Prime Minister & President of Ghana), with his personal physician (Doctor Maltin) and Sheikh Ibrshim Niasse


When the doctor heard of Shaykh's aliments, he recommended a specialist physician in London and assured Shaykh of his expertise and the high vote of confidence he had in his professional acumen as a surgical doctor.

Hence, necessary contacts were ensured and admission formalities made prior to setting out. This was why Shaykh was taken straight to the said hospital.

By the beginning of the second phase of the journey, Kabir Faye had long sitting sessions with Shaykh, who was telling him many matters unknown to him and which started sending feelings to him that his master is gradually bidding the world farewell.

Otherwise, how could Shaykh be talking about the reality of death and after life? 

Sheikh Ibrahim Niasse & Sheikh Kabir Faye


This was despite his being in a very good state of health and engaging himself in his normal daily prayer routine.

Two days before the death, he was scheduled for the minor surgery, he asked Kabir Faye to connect him to one of his students living in Tunisia by name Omar bin Khattab popularly called Khattab Sokhna.

He overheard their conversations as Shaykh asked him to sit by his side. After the greeting formalities Shaykh reminded the man about a question he asked many years ago, when he was young.

Then, Khattab asked him if he was ever going to die one day, to which Shaykh replied in the affirmative but that the time was not yet due for that. Khattab said he remembered.

Shaykh then went further to say: now is the time for that promise of Allah and that was why he called him, but that he will like the man to come and visit him in London, in addition, he should get him an elephant's tooth which he wants to present as a gift to his doctor.

Khattab confimed that he will immediately be on his way to him. The operation was carried on the d-day and it was successful. A couple of days later, Khattab came and he spent a whole day in Shaykh's company. At the meeting, Shaykh re-iterated that all souls must die and told Omar the day of the week and the time (of his passing away).

He also gave him many useful admonitions which lasted a whole day. After his meeting with Shaykh, he felt he could not wait further to see how the promise of Allah will come to pass over Shaykh, hence with a heavy heart, asked for idhni/permission to go.

At that period of time, Hassan Cisse, a young student in one education center in London, also made it a point of duty to visit his grandfather daily, spending long hours with him in the company of Kabir Faye and retiring home at night to come back the following day.

Shaykh Hassan Cisse(RTA) at St.Thomas hospital in London, UK during Shaykh Ibraheem Niasse(rta)'s last days in 1975


Shaikh Ibrahim Niasse with Imam Hassan Cisse

Also, during the same week, one of the close khaadim (loyalist) of Shaykh in Kano, Nigeria in the person of Alhaji Uba Waru dreamt and saw Shaykh who said he needed an elephant tooth to give as present.

Alhaji Uba Waru







THE LAST JOURNEY OF SHAYKH IBRAHIM NIASSE (RTA) - PART 3

{THE NIGERIAN VISITORS AND THE FINAL PREPARATIONS}

Authored by: Ambassador Usman Ahmad Tijani Ibrahim Niasse 

Translated & Compiled by: Sayyidah Bilqis Bolajoko Grillo


Uba Waru was a gentleman of a noble origin. His father Alhaaj Ibrahim Waru and mother Seyyidah Aisha Shettima known as Hajiah Baba, came from a rich Islamic background.

At an early age, Uba Waru got to know Shaykh Ibrahim Niasse and he immediately fell in love with him, vowing to be his khaadim throughout his entire life. 
Alhaji Uba Waru and Shaikh Aliu Cisse


As a wealthy but humble personality, he was known for his selfless Khidmah (selfless service) and hadiyahs (generosity) to the family of Shaykh Ibrahim Niasse on regular basis. Annually, he used to send sixty people on Hajj and Umrah trips to Makkah.

His close association with Shaykh earned him his blessings to the point of marrying one of Shaykh's grand-daughter. After many years, his daughter also got married to one of Shaykh's grandson.

His devotion to khidmah of Shaykh was such that he was always in close touch with him, and receiving many written messages from Shaykh.

Uba Waru was already aware that Shaykh had travelled a few weeks back to London.

So, on waking up, he linked up with London and told Shaykh on the telephone of his dream in order to get his idhni (permission) before coming over to London.

Shaykh gave him the go ahead and confirmed that he truly need the elephant's tooth. Shaykh further instructed him to come in the company of his son, Shaykh Ahmad Tijani who was then in Lagos, Nigeria, having been sent on some assignments the week his father was leaving Dakar.

Alhaji Uba Waru, went to Lagos from his home in Kano and informed Shaykh Tijani who immediately arranged his travel papers for a flight that will move from Lagos via Addis Ababa to Amsterdam, London.

However, at the last moment, there were problems of documentations with the Nigerian Immigration which made Alhaji Ubu Waru to travel alone to London. When he got to Shaykh, he asked where is Shaykh Tijani?

Alhaji Uba Waru explained the immigration impediments to which Shaykh-l-Islam remarked;

"WHAT A GOOD THING THAT HE WAS UNABLE TO COME! FOR HAD HE COME WITH YOU? YOU WOULD HAVE LOST PEOPLE INSTEAD OF ONE!"

 

Thereafter Shaykh collected the elephant's tooth and prayed for him, also talking to him for hours on end. During the third week, the Master had daily sessions with all the four people: Kabir Faye, Hassan Cisse, Uba Waru and Umar bin Khattab Sokhna.

He asked Khattab to go and enquire at the airport the flight schedules for the coming week, so as to get information about the days of flight availability to Senegal from London. He came back with the information that the British Airways flights will run twice a week the first day being Monday and the second, mid-week. Shaykh asked him to go and make a booking for coming Monday.

In addition, Uba Waru who was happy at seeing Shaykh in good health and spirits and obviously unaware of the haal/condition of Shaykh.

Kabir Faye and Uba Waru called the Ulamas of Kano to send representative to London on Ziyaara/Visitation to Shaykh. So they sent Mudi Salga and two other people. They came promptly and visited Shaykh. After their usual ziyaarah they left. 



“Around this time…Shaikh’s the core ideological adversary in Nigeria (Alhaji Abubakar Gumi) had alleged that Shaikh Ibrahim composed a poem of repentance to renounce his Tijani sufi membership. So..Shaikh Sanni Awwal and some others were delegated by the Nigerian disciples of Shaikh Ibrahim for clarification. Hence, the Shaikh replied with a letter titled Risalatu tawbah (Epistle of Repentance)".
However the usual ziyaarah of Uba Waru and Hassan continued daily till Friday. On Friday Shaykh asked Umar to procure tickets for his return flight taking Hassan Cisse with him to deliver the tickets because he was boarding his own flight that day to Zaire. On Friday of that week, necessary preparations were made for the noon prayer after which Kabir Faye was instructed to read some long awraads (litanies) for hours as has been the norm these couple of weeks.

The Master also continued his set of litanies and by night time, the two visiting guests left Shaykh as was the usual practice leaving behind Kabir Faye once again, alone with his Master.

That same night, being the end of the week, the doctor in charge came to bid Shaykh bye(farewell) for the weekend to his residence in Cambridge, since there was no work on Saturday and his patient had responded well to post-surgery care. After exchanging pleasantries, he left.

When no one except Kabir Faye was around, Shaykh handed over his best perfume which he was using called al-kalin goma (in Hausa dialect) and also asked Kabir to open their luggage and pull out a white cloth. He asked these to be laid on one side of his ward.

Thereafter, he went into long explanations on how the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was bathed when he departed this world. He also instructed Kabir Faye to remain close to him during all his long conversation.

At Fajr time, they prepared for Salat Subh and Kabir Faye was asked this time to lead the prayers as Imam while he, Shaykh will pray behind him. He told him to recite Ayat al-Kurisiyy after Suratul Fatiah on the first rakah and to recite laqad ja'akum in the like manner on the second rakah.

After the completion of the prayer, the necessary awraads(litanies) were individually made. When it was getting close to 8a.m, Kabir Faye was told to lend in setting him on his bed to take a rest.








THE LAST JOURNEY OF SHAYKH IBRAHIM NIASSE (RTA) - PART 4

{THE APPROACHING HOUR}

Authored by: Ambassador Usman Ahmad Tijani Ibrahim Niasse 

Translated & Compiled by: Sayyidah Bilqis Bolajoko Grillo


Thereafter, Shaykh asked him (Kabir Faye) to move very close to him in a manner that he was just at face' distance. He was asked to recite some specified awraads. This took him for a couple of hours until around 11 a.m.

Then he was instructed to move yet closer in a manner that his master's breathing which had become more laboured could fan his own face and his breathe was actually entering his nostrils.

He was asked to caress his upper arm in a manner akin to a mother petting a child. He could hear clearly the recitals of his Master and his voice was audible enough to hear him reciting the verses in Surah Yunus chapter 10 verse 23 which went thus:

“The example of [this] worldly life is but like rain which We have sent down from the sky that the plants of the earth absorb - [those] from which men and livestock eat - until, when the earth has taken on its adornment and is beautified and its people suppose that they have capability over it, there comes to it Our command by night or by day, and We make it as a harvest, as if it had not flourished yesterday. Thus do We explain in detail the signs for a people who give thought.”

This was heard to this point when his Master stopped and indicated to him to reply to his raised affirmation thus:

LA ILAHA ILLA ALLAH, to which he chorused with his Master:
MUHAMMADU ROSULULLAH; LA ILAHA ILLA ALLAH, MUHAMMADU ROSULULLAH, LA ILAHA ILLA ALLAH, MUHAMMADU ROSULULLAH! 



After this, he heard no further word emanating from his Master's lips. His Master seemed to be asleep but the arm he was holding was getting colder. The realization of death dawned immediately on him.

His Master was no longer breathing: he had quietly slipped out of this world and returned to the Mercy of His Lord. He immediately took a pen and paper and looked at the time on the clock. He then wrote as follows:

"Praise is due unto Allah, Surely it is from Allah we come and unto Him shall we be returned. Our Master, the Harbinger of the Faydah (Sahibul Faydah), Shaykh Ibrahim Niass died in London on the 16th of Rajab 1395AH corresponding to the 26th of July, 1975 A.D at 12.03 p.m in St. Thomas Hospital in Simeon's Ward. His room number is 2632. There was no one present with him at this critical period except his companion Muhammad Kabir Faye".








THE LAST JOURNEY OF SHAYKH IBRAHIM NIASSE (RTA) - PART 5

{PREPARATION FOR JANAZAH BATH}

Authored by: Ambassador Usman Ahmad Tijani Ibrahim Niasse 

Translated & Compiled by: Sayyidah Bilqis Bolajoko Grillo


Immediately, Kabir Faye went about the bathing process for his Master's body. He wrapped him in the prescribed white cloth and applied his perfume. He tidied him up and not long thereafter, the doctor who was not expected came in.

Kabir Faye was surprised as to his coming since he was not expected until Monday. He replied that the affection which had developed in his patient as well as feeling of restlessness which he had over-night made him anxious to want to see his loving patient.

This was what prompted him to come. Kabir Faye then gave him the news of his passage out of this world barely an hour ago. The doctor did his own cross-examinations in order to satisfy himself of the status quo. After this, he informed him of the need to prepare necessary documentations to facilitate the return flight against Monday the 28th of July as has already been booked.

To this end, he wanted to take the late patient's pictures. Kabir Faye said he was not sure his master will like any picture of him to be taken in that state. This was because, when he was alive, he never loved taking pictures but since his lovers and followers were always doing so, he may have no option than to accede to the doctor's request.

He re-iterated however that had it been his Master was alive, he would have requested for his express permission. So, the doctor made an attempt at taking the pictures only to realize at the third attempt that the picture was showing blank; nothing showed.

So he had to ask for Kabir Faye's picture to be taken in place of his Master, in order to facilitate documentations.







THE LAST JOURNEY OF SHAYKH IBRAHIM NIASSE (RTA) - PART 6

{LAST PHASE}

Authored by: Ambassador Usman Ahmad Tijani Ibrahim Niasse 

Translated & Compiled by: Sayyidah Bilqis Bolajoko Grillo


DEATH NOTIFICATION TO UBA WARU AND HASSAN CISSE

All these while, no sign of either Uba Waru or Hassan Cisse were noticed. So he (Kabir Faye) sent word that Uba Waru should be summoned to the hospital. When he came around 2 o'clock, he explained that he had to attend a court session as a witness.

Kabir Faye broke the news of the passing-away of their Master and asked Uba Waru to go and look for Hassan so that he too will be aware. This, Uba Waru did and Hassan came after some time.



DEATH NOTIFICATION TO THE PUBLIC

From the three, messages were wired across the people all over Nigeria, Senegal and London. There was nothing left, except preparation for boarding arrangements on the British Airways flight already scheduled for Monday.

This was how Shaykh Ibrahim was flown home by them. In Nigeria, at the time news of Shaykh's death reached the people, Seyyid Aliu Cisse was in Yola, Nigeria. He was immediately informed and summoned by Shaykh Tijani to come to Lagos. 



In Lagos, Alhaji Ramalan, a close student of Shaykh along with a few of his colleagues arranged a chartered flight to convey them on the corpse of Shaykh from London in Dakar.

From this point, other thousand of lovers all converged in Dakar on the solemn drive back to the city of Kaolack for immediate burial the sameday.

At Madina Kaolack, amidst the teaming mass of people, the Qutb(Spiritual Pole/Axis) and Gawth(Succour) was laid to rest in his rawdah just a few metres from his mosque, a place which had become popular for the unprecedented number of visitors of numbering millions from all over the world and who thronged the place, in order to pay their respects to the Saahibul Faydah(Catalyst of the Spiritual Flood), who came and gave all to drink from his sea of love and generosity.

From Allah we come from, and to Him we shall return (Innaa lillahi wa Innaa ilayhi Raaji'uun).

Primary Source: 
 Imam Cheikh Kabir Faye of Gambia, in a book he wrote on this story!


Authored by: Ambassador Usman Ahmad Tijani Ibrahim Niasse
 
Translated & Compiled by: Sayyidah Bilqis Bolajoko Grillo
Originally posted (online) by: Omar Thiam
Compiled & Edited (online) by: Isma’eel Bakare




THE LAST DAYS OF BAYE

Originally posted by: Baye Senghane Seck 

In 1944, Ibou Diouf, one of the senior muqadams of Shaikh Ibrahim Niasse cried aloud (ecstatically) saying that "the great star will change course in London."

Ibou Diouf

Consequently, thirty-one (31) years later, in 1975, Baye Niasse passed-on at St. Thomas hospital, London, United Kingdom. 

Retrospectively, at Medina-Baye Dakar in 1975: Cheikh Ibrahima Niasse had already begun to make his farewells (to his family, students and loved ones).

The people of intelligence could guess that the great Sheikh was leaving. Indeed, he used to say he would live as long as his father, the venerable Al-Haji Abdullahi Niasse, who died at the age of 76.

When Baye Niasse was 75 years old, one could guess that the time was near. Then, during his last "Laylatul Qadr", the night of destiny was the twenty-seventh night of Ramadan, in 1975, he had said in his last speech:

"On this blessed night of Laylatul Qadr, you know that we will be missing some (of us) before the next Ramadan, may Allah accept them at His side (into His Mercy)."

Moreover, during his last Friday prayer, he could not continue because of an illness, he had appointed his eldest son Ibrahim Al-Haji Abdullahi Niasse to replace him (in the salat). By this act, O how symbolic! Baye had to choose his successor. 

The day of his departure from Medina Baye, Sheikh Ibrahim visited the tomb of his illustrious father, who is situated at the great mosque of Leona Niasséne. 

Leaving Kaolack with a heavy heart, Sheikh al-Islam knew that this trip was the last. From Dakar to London: Once in Dakar, before taking the plane, one of his Mauritanian muqadams visited him and told him: "Pray for me that I may be present at the reception of the afterlife." Sheikh nodded and proclaimed aloud: "Glory to Allah, the one with the destiny of mankind in his hands!. 

It started raining when the plane that conveyed Baye Niasse flew to London. 

At London: Accompanied by his grand-son, Sheikh Hassan Cisse and Kabir Faye, one of the faithful companions (of Shaikh Ibrahim Niasse). Sheikh was admitted into St. Thomas hospital, London.

On Saturday, July 26, 1975, Sheikh al-Islam Al-Haji Ibrahim Niasse (BAYE) gave up the ghost, leaving behind millions of orphans (followers and lovers).

Three days later, his corpse was conveyed to Senegal, Sheikh Ibrahim’s mausoleum is sited beside his mosque in Medina Baye, Kaolack.

Originally posted by: Baye Senghane Seck 

Edited by: Isma’eel Bakare





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THE LAST JOURNEY OF SHAYKH IBRAHIM NIASSE

THE LAST JOURNEY OF SHAYKH IBRAHIM NIASSE (RTA) - PART 1 {FROM KAOLACK, TO DAKAR} Au t hored by: Ambassador Usman Ahmad Tijani Ibrah...