Kaolack (pop. 180,000) is home to a major branch of the Tijâniyya order, one with a global reach. It became a center for the Tijâniyya in 1910, when Al-Hâjj Abdoulaye Niass (1844-1922), already a famous sheikh, settled there with his family and disciples. However, it was one of his sons, Ibrahima Niass (1900-1975), who expanded the order internationally, first across West Africa and then on to North America. In the 1930s Al-Hâjj Ibrahima Niass moved away from his father's initial zâwiya in Kaolack's Leona neighborhood to settle his followers in a new neighborhood he called Madina Baye. Today, Madina Baye is one of the city's most important neighborhoods. It is dominated by the Great Mosque and attendant mausoleum and is dotted with institutes of religious instruction and numerous Koranic schools.
Back Home Next