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Magal of Mbacke Cayor

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The magal of Mbacke Cayor will be celebrated on May 13th around the world. We will have a gathering at Keur Serigne Touba, Raleigh, NC. This will celebrate the commemoration of the life of Serigne Bara Mbacke, the third son of Serigne Touba Mbacke.

Read below his biography



Sheikh Mouhamadou Lamine Bara was born on the 28th of Jumada Awwal, during 1309 Hijra (which approximately corresponds to December 29th, 1891 A.D.), in the village of Touba founded the same year by his father, Sheikh Ahmadou Bamba.  He was so Bamba’s first son to be born in Touba. His mother, named Sokhna Aminata Lô, was a member of the famous Serigne Mukhtar Ndoumbé’s family, who founded the school-village of Coki renowned for its educational quality and skills. Serigne Bara’s grand-brother, Sheikh Mouhamadou Moustapha (1888-1945), was Sheikh Ahmadou Bamba’s elder son and his first caliph. He succeeded during his 18 years of reign to initiate, in very trying circumstances, major projects of the murid community among which the building of the great mosque of Touba and extending the railroad system from Diourbel to Touba.


Serigne Bara began learning the Quran with Serigne Abdou Rahmane Lô, the well-known tutor of Sheikh Ahmadou Bamba’s children. Afterwards, he was entrusted to others religious teachers such as his uncle Mame Thierno Ibra Faty, Serigne Ibra Binta Sylla and Serigne Mbaye Diakhaté. He succeeded, in despite of heavy health difficulties, and with the Lord’s Help, to complete his studies and to acquire a notable degree of knowledge about which he expressed his gratefulness to the Lord in such verses :
“O Lord ! I thank You for granting me guidance, for teaching me and educating me.”
“O Lord ! You granted me a knowledge coming from yourself and which guards me from troubles and doubt.”

In fact, Serigne Bara’s true personality is very different from the popular image of a quick-tempered miracle-worker which is usually conveyed through murid popular epics. All his close relationship have rather testified of his sweetness, his generosity, his fine qualities, his attachment to worshipping duly Allah, his asceticism, his disliking for misbehaviour and for sining, his kindness, his erudition, his fearing for the Lord, his love for Allah’s Messenger (PBH) and for Sheikh Ahmadou Bamba. Indeed such virtues can be demonstrated as well by his deeds as his numerous writings.


We can safely argue that Sheikh Mouhamadou Lamine Bara is among the most prolific authors of the Mouridiyah and among the poets whose style is the most similar to Sheikh Ahmadou Bamba’s. The themes he was used to treat in the most of them were praising and paying tribute to Allah, praising the Prophet (PBH) and Sheikh Ahmadou Bamba, advice for his murid disciples, and pleas to Allah. Among his most known poems, we may quote : Munawiru-l-Bunyân (The Illumination of Works), Safinatu-l-Abrâr (The Ship of the Virtuous), Sahâdatu-l-Akhyâr (The Felicity of the Chosen People), Tibu-l-Fuâd (The Serenity of the Hearts), Zahabu-l-Ibrîz ( The Pure Gold) and numerous other poems.


In Sheikh Mouhamadou Lamine Bara’s works, we can find many evidence of his perfect submission and of his genuine hope to the Creator, as well as his infinite gratitude for Allah’s uncountable favors. As he wrote:
"I rely on the Creator who granted me knowledge and who gave me generously priviledged favours.”
“I render thanks to the Lord who granted me His Grace, He who gives honor to whomever He pleases.”
“My heart will never cease to thanking my Lord and my mouth will express my gratitude to Him forever."


Sheikh Mouhamadou Lamine Bara’s great love and respect for the Prophet Muhammad can be evidenced by his following verses:
“My only honor is to remain forever at the service of the Prophet, so never shall I stop working for him, by Allah’s Permission.”
“Muhammad is assuredly the noblest creature and a Divine Grace granted by the Lord to humankind.
Indeed I have made of him my shield in this world and in the coming world."


In having chosen to bargain his priviledged status of Sheikh Ahmadou Bamba’s son for that of his humble disciple, Sheikh Mouhamadou Lamine dedicated him numerous poems showing his great regard and his love for the founder of the Mouridiyah:
"I have totally submitted myself to the Eternal Lord and I have entrusted my affairs to the Servant of the Prophet who never fails to honor his disciple. The Sheikh is really matchless and whoever pays him a visit will obtain Allah’s forgiveness."

When Sheikh Ahmadou Bamba died and was buried in Touba, he wrote in a  memorable poem :
"O Earth of Touba ! Be delighted at the Grace which has been granted to you the day you received this eminent Sheikh in yourself.
Rejoice of this Divine Favour no other ground except you has obtained !"

It has been reported that Sheikh Mouhamadou Lamine wrote by himself about 25 manuscripts of the Holy Quran he offered to his father and master. He was also used to send him numeorus gifts in expressing him his love. His sense of human relations and his affection for his relatives contributed very much in the friendly terms Serigne Bara lived with all his brothers and sisters


Sheikh Mouhamadou Lamine was profoundly attached to the Islamic values taught by Sheikh Ahmadou Bamba to his disciples, such as seeking for knowledge, worshipping the Lord, respecting the rules of muslim ethics (adab), attachment to work and so. So did he settle numerous daaras (religious schools) in all the villages he founded, as Mbacké Cayor, Mbacké Ndiock, Khabane, Khélléré, Mbarakhane, Gouye Mbind and so. In those schools, he trained many disciples who became very eminent figures of the Mouridiyah, such as Serigne Niane Diop in Touba, Serigne Modou Diara Guèye in Khawlou, Serigne Assane Guèye Diagne in Coki, Serigne Macodou Kassé, Serigne Mama Ndiaye and many others.
In his éducational methodology, Sheikh Mouhamadou Lamine gave always priority to acquiring knowledge and its genuine putting into practice for the sole Sake of Allah. So did he write:
“Three qualities are essential and are the most beneficial activities in which man can dedicate himself – seeking for knowledge, performing good deeds and cultivating fear of Allah.”
“The only virtue one may pride oneself is assuredly fear of Allah and acquiring knowledge, but not pretigious dynasty and hoarding money."

In analyzing the education rules promoted by Sheikh Mouhamadou Lamine through his writings, we can guess that he adopted the same educational method (tarbiya) revivified by Sheikh Ahmadou Bamba himself. Regarding the education of youth people, Sheikh Mouhamadou Lamine wrote:
"O you my Muslim brothers! Know that educating one’s child is not assuring him only plain theoretical instruction (in books).
Every parent has the duty to make due effort so as to cultivate in his children love for the Holy Quran and loving the Prophet, and to teach them such qualities as generosity, kindness and the sense of family relationships.
He is also incumbent to any parent to guard his children from such defects as envy, hypocrisy and lies.
Remember that you must educate your children in behaving first yourselves as valuable models before them.
So both of the parents must always endeavour to show their children the right way and to avoid arguing before them."

Sheikh Mouhamadou Lamine disapproved also strongly the cultural psychology of his society which leads them often to neglect educating girls :
"O you my Muslim brothers! Stop neglecting educating your daughters. Because you do not know who among your children will be the most beneficial to you. Do not behave as the ignorant fellows the Quran criticizes in such terms: “When news is brought to one of them, of (the birth of) a female (child), his face darkens, and he is filled with inward grief!” (16:58)
“O you my muslim brothers ! Know that lack of care for your children can produce very bad effects for their behavior in the future."

Sheikh Mouhamadou Lamine died in Mbacké Cayor the 1st of Dhul-Hijja, 1355 Hijra, corresponding to June 18th, 1936, at the age of about 45 years. He was buried in Touba. His death caused great sorrow to all of his close relations and disciples, especially his brothers and sisters. Serigne Ahmadou Sakhir Mbaye (father of the Late Serigne Sam Mbaye) who was among his relationship , devoted him a touching elegy in which he said:

"Sheikh Muhammadu-l-Amîn’s return to Allah has saddened us all.
May the Lord’s Forgiveness and Felicity dwell with him for aye"

English Translation by Majalis




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