Popular Portraits of Sheikh Ahmad Tijani - Another Little (Procrastination) Gem

Once again I have been procrastinating for few minutes to get over a temporary writing blog and what did I find? Look, the iconography of the Sheikh Ahmad Tijani poster I have collected in Kano has been more influential in West Africa than I originally would have thought. Granted, this is again an image from Senegal, a country with a strong tradition of Sufi Islam and adaptation of imported religious prints into new media, behind glass painting, followed by the subsequent extension of this artistic practice to include a variety of other religious and profane subject matter … anyway, its related to my research so I’m excited about it! So here you go, this is what I found:

I guess, the choice of this image speaks of its ubiquity and iconic power in Senegal at least – iconic, here, in the sense of the image’s potential to symbolise not only the depicted person but also the ideas and philosophy associated with his name. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find out when the book was actually published, hence, cannot assess to which extent the image’s use here benefited from and/or contributed to the iconisation of this particular version of Sheikh Ahmad Tijani’s portrait.

By the way of reference (yes, I almost forgot that) this is where I found the image: Islam in Mijn Dagelijks Leven. And the closest I (yet) got to a date for the publication of the book is a tentative estimate I found in its entry in the Library of Congress’s website: “198-?”.


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