AAII News and Views

Welcome to AAII News and Views, an online newsletter of the African American Islamic Institute. This feature is devoted to articles that focus on AAII's activities and accomplishments and highlight AAII's Founder and Chairman's leadership and participation in international events that support AAII's mission. Subscribers to AAII News and Views will receive information as soon as it is reported.



Shaykh  Tidiane Ali Cisse, trusted adviser and brother of AAII’s Founder, has been named President of AAII.  In assuming leadership of AAII, Shaykh Tidiane Ali Cisse brings Islamic scholarship, a distinguished background in international business and diplomacy (he is fluent in Arabic, French, Enlgish, Hausa and Wolof) and intimate knowledge of and commitment to the mission and programs of AAII.

AAII will continue to work tirelessly for universal education, access to health care, empowerment of women, protection of children, alleviation of hunger and poverty and promotion of peace. Under Shaykh Tidiane Ali Cisse’s leadership, AAII will continue to work collaboratively with the Special Agencies of the United Nations and with AAII’s strategic partners, AmeriCares, Voice of America and US Doctors for Africa.

Shaykh Tidiane Ali Cisse will be assisted in his role as President of AAII by those who worked closely with AAII‘s Founder and first Chairman, Shaykh Hassan Ali Cisse, may Allah be pleased with him.


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.


AAII and US Doctors For Africa (USDFA) have entered into a strategic partnership based upon their shared belief that health care is a basic human right and that a healthy population is essential for the development of any nation. The very first manifestation of this significant partnership is USDFA’s donation of a Mobile Clinic to AAII to provide medical services to rural communities. The Mobile Clinic, which will be administered and maintained by AAII‘s Shifa-al-Asqam Socio-Medical Center in Medina-Baye, is fully equipped and includes a small laboratory and access to a satellite communication system.


Since its formation in 1988, AAII has advocated for accessible health care for rural communities. USDFA’s Mobile Clinic Project addresses the need for access to health care of millions of people living throughout sub-Sahara African small towns and villages. While the primary mission of USDFA’s Mobile Clinic Project is to provide vaccination against preventable diseases, AAII’s existing partnerships and collaborations with UNICEF, UNFPA, WHO, the Senegalese Ministry of Health and AmeriCares allow Shifa al-Asqam Socio-Medical Center’s rural outreach to expand the Mobile Clinic’s focus to include maternal and child health, Malaria and chronic diseases.

AAII welcomes the opportunity to work together “on many fronts for many years to come”, as stated in the letter from USDFA endorsing the partnership between the two organizations.

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Shaykh Hassan Ali Cisse attended the ‘Peace and Harmony Conference’ held in Tonsberg, Norway, June 21-22, 2008, as a representative of Islam, Senegal, the Network of African Islamic Organizations for Population and Development and AAII.

The ‘Peace and Harmony Conference’ was organized by Norwegian Dr. Aril Edvarsen, along with a coalition of Muslim leaders in Norway, and was sponsored by the Norwegian government. They recognized that as a “Christian country” with a growing Muslim minority, there is an urgent need for significant progress toward integration, mutual respect and tolerance for all religions and ethnicities within Norwegian society. Shaykh Hassan Ali Cisse’s work toward inter-religious harmony and peaceful relations between Christians and Muslims in Nigeria rendered his participation especially relevant and valuable.

Moving beyond the borders of Norway, the organizers and participants urged sending a strong message against weapons of mass destruction to their respective governments, as well as promoting peace, democracy and human rights around the world. Shaykh Hassan Ali Cisse emphasized that the teachings of Islam as a religion of peace and compassion are in full support of these goals.


On June 18, 2008, Shaykh Hassan Ali Cisse and Medina-Baye, Kaolack, Senegal were honored through the inauguration of Al Fayda Radio FM by Mr. Farba Senghor, the Republic of Senegal’s Minister of Air Transport and Crafts. Al Fayda Radio FM is the premier media project of the African American Islamic Institute (AAII), the international, humanitarian NGO founded by Shaykh Hassan Ali Cisse in 1988. In addition to being Founder and Chairman of AAII, Shaykh Hassan Ali Cisse is Chief Imam of the Central Mosque in Medina-Baye, the Senegalese Ambassador for the Promotion of Child Survival and Maternal Breastfeeding, President of the Network of African Islamic Organizations for Population and Development, President of Elhadji Ibrahim Niass University and the First Honorary Member of the Imams and Ulama Association of Mauritania. As a respected Islamic scholar and leader, Shaykh Hassan Ali Cisse will enroll Al Fayda Radio FM airwaves to inform listeners around the world that Islam is a religion of peace that does not advocate terrorism, nor condone terrorists. [Read more →]

AAII Founder and Chairman Named Ambassador of Goodwill For The Promotion of Child Survival and Maternal Breastfeeding

On May 14, 2008, Shaykh Hassan Ali Cisse was appointed Ambassador of Good Will for the Promotion of Child Survival and Maternal Breastfeeding by the Senegalese Ministry of Health. Mrs. Safiyatou Thiam, Minister of Health and Medical Prevention, announced the prestigious appointment at the Meridien President Hotel in Dakar in the presence of Shaykh Hassan Cisse’s family members, friends and students from the United States, China, Great Britain, Nigeria, Mauritania, Ghana, Gambia, Namibia and South Africa. Mrs. Thiam identified the criteria for appointment to this position, and affirmed that the person upon whom this honor was being conferred exceeded them:

  • To be actively committed to the promotion of breastfeeding.
  • To be open and capable of mobilizing populations for the benefit of children.
  • To have a strong personality.
  • To be a respected and well-known person. [Read more →]

AAII Founder and Chairman Confirms Islam’s Support of Children’s Rights and Maternal Breastfeeding

On May 14, 2008, Shaykh Hassan Ai Cisse addressed a huge, international audience that had gathered to witness his appointment as Ambassador of Good Will for the Promotion of Child Survival and Maternal Breastfeeding. Standing before the hundreds of people who filled the largest ballroom in the Meridien President Hotel in Dakar, Senegal, the Shaykh demonstrated a deep sense of humility and gratitude to Allah. Referring to the advice of his grandfather, Shaykh Ibrahim Niass (RA) to the respective presidents of Russia and Yugoslavia many years ago, he stated that he would gladly exchange all of the prestigious titles mentioned when he was introduced for the title of “farmer.”

When speaking about the privileged position that God has given to the children of Adam, both before and after their birth, Shaykh Hassan Ali Cisse reminded the audience of God’s advice to human beings to choose their partners according to the best criteria of Islamic behavior, and underscored the importance of raising babies in an Islamic environment. Then, referring to both the physical and psychological benefits of breastfeeding mentioned by the scientists whose remarks preceded his, the Shaykh described the social benefits of breastfeeding by relating the history of Prophet Muhammad’s (SAW) freeing of a captive and all the members of his tribe because Prophet Muhammad(SAW) and the captive had both been breastfed by Halima Sadiya, who was their mutual foster mother. [Read more →]

In His Own Words…..Shaykh Hassan Cisse

On February 10, 2008, as part of a series of preparations for the then upcoming Summit of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) to be held in Senegal, the Founder and Chairman of the African American Islamic Institute (AAII) and President of the Network of African Islamic Organizations, Shaykh Hassan Cisse, accompanied the Secretary General of the OIC, Professor Ekmeledeen Ihasanoglu, to Nigeria. There, in the palace of the Emir of Kano, Shaykh Hassan Cisse was interviewed by Adamu Abuh of Guardian Newspapers. The following quotations are excerpted from the Guardian article that emerged from that interview.

On Islam and the War On Terrorism:
“Here in Africa, we have no terrorists, no terrorism. During a recent visit, an adviser to President Bush on African Affairs and member of the delegation to Senegal from the White House asked me why we don’t have terrorists and terrorism despite the fact that the majority of Senegalese are Muslims. My answer was: Our country has no terrorists because of Islam. [Read more →]

The Role of Religious Leaders in Polio Eradication

Kuala Lampur, Malaysia
June, 2007

By invoking a moral imperative to fulfill society’s duty toward its most vulnerable members, religious leaders possess a unique opportunity to mobilize communities toward the global eradication of Polio. When combined with a heightened sense of responsibility to address the socio-economic factors that contribute to the spread of Polio and other disease, this opportunity resonates with enormous potential for fostering an effective partnership between public health and religious leadership.The WHO Global Polio Eradication Initiative 2005 Annual Report cited “uncontrolled transmission of poliovirus in northern Nigeria,” and identified the states of Bauchi, Kaduna, Jigawa, Kano and Katsina as, “the greatest threat to the global eradication of Polio.” With Nigeria as the epicenter of the disease on the African continent, the President of Nigeria, the World Health Organization and the Organization of the Islamic Conference sought our help to address the unwavering opposition to immunization in the Muslim north. [Read more →]

Islam, Christianity, Protestantism and Traditional Religions

Bamako, Mali
May 23-25, 2005


Shaykh Hassan Cisse
Founder and President
African American Islamic Institute (AAII)

After thanking Allah and praising Prophet Muhammad (SAW), I wish to express my appreciation for the opportunity to represent the moral imperative that the religious perspective contributes toward ending violence against children. [Read more →]

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