The islands and coastal areas of the Saalum River are inhabited primarily by “Ñoominka,” or Séeréer-speaking communities that survive on a combination of fishing and farming. Ñoominka were largely animist before the 20th century, although they have nearly all been Islamized by now and many have become Taalibe Baay. There are several major Taalibe Baay muqaddams in the area, and the movement is very strong in some villages, including , , , and . This profile brings together data about Ñoominka Taalibe Baay communities gathered through interviews with Ñoominka conducted by Aadi Faal, Aamadu Njaay, and Joseph Hill.
Muqaddams who participated in bringing the Fayḍah to the Saalum Delta
Several early muqaddams played a role in implanting the Fayḍah in the Saalum islands. Some Njolofeen from Saalum have played a role: Omar Faati Jàllo Ñas; Allaaji Usmaan Ñas was assigned by Baay to represent him in Jam Ñaajo, so he is still the village’s moral authority there. Among Ñoominka muqaddams, Baabakar Saar was instrumental in bringing the movement to Jam Ñaajo; Baabakar Caam, Omar Faati Jàllo Ñas’s pupil, has a lot of direct disciples and is a legendary chants and gàmmu leader. Baay’s daughter Seydaa Mariyaama Ñas, who runs several major schools in Dakar, has set up an Islamic school in Jam Ñaajo.1
Early Ñoominka leaders in and around Sóokóon
muqaddams were active in spreading the Fayḍah in and around Sóokóon, and all apparently had houses in Sóokóon but most of them were primarily active in their own village. He says that Baay Ñas did not have many Ñoominka disciples during the beginning of the Fayḍah, although today he estimates that 90% of all Ñoominka are Taalibe Baay and 70% of these have dome tarbiyyah.mentions four early Ñoominka leaders, all now deceased, who were instrumental in bringing the Fayḍah to Sóokóon and the villages of the Saalum Delta: Tamsiir Alliw Ngom in Sóokóon, Tamsiir Baaba Saaxo in Sanc ba, Allaaji Maalig Saar in Ndangan, and Allaaji Mamadiŋ Koor in Njaafat. Sóokóon is not only the commercial and administrative center of the area but has been the most important center of Taalibe Baay religious activities. All these
Tamsiir Alliw Ngom
Tamsiir Alliw Ngom of Sóokóon (father of the interviewee, Omar Ngom), was among the first disciples and participated in building ceddo. He returned to Medina a year later for tarbiyyah.. He was part of the movement from the beginning, helping to build Medina during its first year. He accompanied Baay Omar Màlle Caam, one of Baay Ñas’s closest disciples and the one who first called him “Baay,” to Kaaraŋ to get wood and straw for the first huts. After this first year he returned to his village, but during that early period the Ñoominka villages were not safe for Muslims, as they were dominated by
He spent a year in Kóosi (I would think this was before Medina) and after he came back he and the two other first TB in Sóokóon organized a dhikr every day, so people called them Kóosi-Kóosi. Baay instructed Tamsiir Alliw’s Qur’an teacher, Allaaji Usmaan Ture (also a TB), who lived 7 km from Sóokóon, to give him the title of Tafsīr.
Tamsiir Baabu Saaxo
From the village of Sanc ba. He had a daara, which his sons now run.
Allaaji Maalig Saar
Allaaji Mamadiŋ Koor
Allaaji Mamadiŋ Koor lived in Njaafat, where Baay’s Ñoominka disciples first farmed fields for him. The village is 75% Taalibe Baay and 90% Séeréer (Ñoominka), the rest being Wolof and Mandinko. Allaaji Mamadiŋ Koor did not run a daara like the other muqaddams mentioned, but he was therefore responsible for organizing the work in these fields. Each year the disciples would farm 4 hectares, 2 of them millet and two peanuts. After the land tenure laws of 1964 tightened up ownership rules, the disciples could no longer unofficially keep these fields free for their leader, so the title was signed over to Baay’s son Sheex Tijaan. People from Njaafat and neighboring villages such as Sóokóon and Mbuumeen still cultivate a field of millet every year for Sheex Tijaan Ñas.
Baabakar Saar was a disciple of Allaaji Abdulaay Ñas, who, toward the end of his life, told Baabakar Saar to pledge allegiance (jébbalu) to Baay after Allaaji Abdulaay’s death. Baay (Ibrayima) was very young at the time, but Baabakar became his disciple after Allaaji Abdulaay died. Baabakar Saar’s original wird came from Allaaji Abdulaay.
Ammat Bittéy of Kaaraŋ, in an interview with Aamadu Njaay, named Mbara Jaase of muqaddam of Baay Ñas who “contributed greatly to bringing the Ñoominka Séeréer to Shaykh al-ᵓIslām.”as a
Baabakar Caam is no doubt the most well known Ñoominka muqaddam in the larger Taalibe Baay community, as he is today’s foremost sikkarkat and has a large number of daayiras attached to him and regularly makes appearances at various religious events to speak and chant. He is known for delivering gàmmus in Séeréer, reaching out beyond the Wolof-speaking population.
1. Interview with Buubakar Saar, Jam Ñaajo’s muqaddam, by Aadi Faal, June 4, 2005.
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