His Faith Became Their Weapon To Resist Colonization

Mouride Mural
Shonda Buchanan
August 22, 2020

The call to prayer suffused the air. He washed in the cool water his disciple prepared, then stepped onto his prayer rug and held up his hands.

The arrogant French generals seethed. Why couldn’t they just kill this troublesome African leader?

Cheikh Ahmadou Bamba bowed, making dua, and whispered: “There is no God but Allah.” The Senegalese Mouride Brotherhood he had founded in 1833 moved as they had been for thousands of years: rising and bowing as if one body. 

Why was he being persecuted?

His power had grown too dangerous.

“Vite!” A soldier yelled. “Hurry!” Bamba ignored him, thinking of his parents. He vowed to make them proud by helping his people use their faith to resist the cruel and repulsive French.

He touched his head to the ground.

They exiled Bamba to Gabon. But when they told him he couldn’t pray on their ship, he tossed his prayer rug into the ocean – and stepped out on faith! This news made the Senegalese redouble their resistance.

Bamba’s peaceful movement became the lynchpin in battling French imperialism.

Bamba’s "anti-colonial disobedience” policy made him a cultural hero for Africans as well as Muslims worldwide.

Bamba’s spirituality became his people’s liberation – and in short order they triumphed over France! We too can triumph over oppression by staying true to ourselves and having faith.

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