[dropcap]A[/dropcap]s a part of our history of Islam in Senegal course, my professor, Cheikh Mbacke Sène, took my classmates and I on a one-day adventure exploring Ndiassane (the spiritual capital of Qadirya), Tivaoune (the spiritual center of Tidianya) and Touba (the spiritual capital of Mouridya).
Touba was particularly memorable due to the 100+° heat and our professor and his wife’s extremely warm and welcoming hospitality. We were greeted midday at Prof Sène’s house in Touba with a HUGE bowl of ceebu jën (this was the first time I ate around the bowl with my hands), tons of ice cold water (we desperately needed de l’eau at this point), and endless, fresh mangoes for dessert. After we ate, we all took a nap to rest from the heat before heading out to visit la Grande Mosquée de Touba – our last destination of the day.
Touba stands as one of the most populated cities within Senegal, and is well known as the holy city of Mouridism. The Grande Mosquée de Touba, or the Great Mosque of Touba, overlooks the sacred city and simply cannot and should not be missed. The fascinating mosque holds the tomb of Cheikh Ahmadou Bamba, a Senegalese religious leader who founded the Mouride Brotherhood of Senegal.