AAII’s Founder and Chairman, Shaykh Hassan Ali Cisse (may Allah be pleased with him) returned to his Lord on Thursday, August 14, 2008 in his home in Medina-Baye, Kaolack, Senegal. He was 63 years old, the same age as Prophet Muhammad, (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) at the time of his return to Allah.
The loss of this great spiritual and humanitarian leader, beloved son, husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend is mourned by his large and devoted family, the community of Medina-Baye, the entire nation of Senegal, the international humanitarian community, all those who benefited from his inspired work and millions of students and followers throughout the world.
Shaykh Hassan Ali Cisse was buried in Medina-Baye, Senegal on August 15, 2008 in the tomb containing his beloved grandfather, Shaykh Ibrahim Niass and his beloved father, Sidi Aliou Cisse, may Allah be pleased with them. Kings, ambassadors, government officials, religious leaders, followers from across the globe and throughout Senegal and the people of Medina Baye comprised the estimated two million people who came to pay respect to this great man and express condolences to his family.
The loss of the physical presence of Shaykh Hassan Ali Cisse, may Allah be pleased with him, is especially profound within the hearts of American Muslims of the Tariqa Tijaniyya Sufi order, for whom he was a spiritual father, guide and shining example of how a Muslim should live his or her life. The formation and naming of the African American Islamic Institute (AAII) reflects the special relationship they shared and his vision of cooperation between Senegal and America to benefit those most in need.
Even as we mourn this immeasurable loss, we dedicate ourselves to continuing the work of Shaykh Hassan Ali Cisse (may Allah be pleased with him) and feel his spiritual presence helping us to do so.