Sheikh Umar Futi Taal Ziyareh

Sheikh Umar Futi Taal Ziyareh

The history of Sheikh Umar Futi Taal is deeply intertwined with the spread of Islam in West Africa during the 19th century. Sheikh Umar Taal was born in 1793 in the village of Bondali in Senegal. He became a prominent figure in the Tijaniyya brotherhood, a Sufi order that emphasizes spiritual development and the pursuit of knowledge.

Sheikh Umar Taal’s mission was to spread Islam throughout West Africa, and he traveled extensively throughout the region, establishing mosques and teaching the principles of Islam. He was particularly active in Senegal, Gambia, and Guinea-Bissau, where he is remembered as a revered figure.

The Gunjur Sand Dunes Mosque, where the Sheikh Umar Futi Taal Ziyareh takes place, is believed to be one of the sites where the sheikh stayed during his travels. The mosque is considered a sacred place by the local community, who hold the annual ziyareh (pilgrimage) to honor the sheikh’s legacy and seek blessings.

During the ziyareh, visitors come to the mosque to pray and make offerings, and there are also cultural performances and other activities. It is an opportunity for the community to come together and celebrate their shared heritage and religious traditions.

The Sheikh Umar Futi Taal Ziyareh takes place in Gunjur, at the Sand Dunes Mosque, in the ending days of June, annually. It is a pilgrimage to the site where the Tijanniyya Sect leader, Sheikh Umar Taal, stayed during his mission to spread Islam in West Africa.

Tourists are welcome to visit the mosque and witness the pilgrimage, but it is important to respect the religious significance of the event.

To get to Gunjur, visitors can take a taxi or bus from Banjul, which is about a 45-minute drive away. From there, the Sand Dunes Mosque is located within walking distance from the town center.