Tivaouane

 

Tivaouane (pop. 40,000) is an important center for the Tijâniyya order. Al-Hâjj Malick Sy (1855-1922) settled in the town with his family and students in 1902. At that time Tivaouane was a bustling little colonial trading center and railroad town (called an escale in French), important to the peanut cash-crop economy. Al-Hâjj Malick moved to Tivaouane as part of a larger initiative to anchor the Tijâniyya in colonial Senegal 's emerging urban network. He settled in the “African” neighborhood, just to the south of the colonial escale, a neighborhood now called Hadji Malick. Al-Hâjj Malick opened the first zâwiya there in 1907, across the street from his house, and when he died he was buried next to it. He was succeeded by his eldest surviving son, Khalifa Ababacar Sy (reigned 1922-1957). When Ababacar died, a new mosque-mausoleum was built for him two blocks away from his father's initial zâwiya. In the 1980s the second caliph, Sëriñ Abdoul Aziz Sy (reigned 1957-1997), began construction of a large Friday mosque on properties expropriated and demolished for the purpose. He also had many city blocks in the vicinity of the two older religious edifices demolished to make room for vast open spaces. These are necessary to accommodate the large crowd of pilgrims, over one million strong, which congregates in Tivaouane each year to celebrate the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad, an event called the Gàmmu . The Friday mosque is still under construction.

 

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