AAII Founder/Chairman

Shaykh Hassan Cisse

Shaykh Hassan Ali Cisse was the Founder and Chairman of the African American Islamic Institute (AAII) from 1988 until his death in 2008. He was an internationally respected Islamic scholar and leader, as reflected in the responsibilities entrusted to him.

  • Chief Imam, The Central Mosque, Medina-Kaolack, Senegal
  • President, Elhadji Ibrahim Niass University, Dakar, Senegal
  • President, Network of African Islamic Organizations for Population and Development
  • Special Adviser for Islamic Affairs, Republic of Ghana
  • Honorary Member, Ulama League of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania
  • A Distinguished Leader of the Tariqa Tijaniyya.

Shaykh Hassan Ali Cisse was born in Kaolack, Senegal in December, 1945, the first grandson of Shaykh-al-Islam, Al Hajj Ibrahim Niass and the son of Seydi Aliou Cisse and Fatimata Zahra Niass. His educational accomplishments include:

  • Memorization of the Holy Qur’an at 10 years of age
  • Completion of elementary and secondary studies in Senegal and Mauritania
  • Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Islamic Studies and Islamic Literature, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt
  • Master of Philosophy (MA), University of London, England
  • Diploma in English Language, University of London, England
  • Diploma in French Language, University of London, England
  • Courses and Research toward Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Islamic Studies, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, USA (interrupted).
  • Fluency in English, French, Arabic, Hausa and Wolof

Shaykh Hassan Cisse emerged as the preeminent leader of the Tariqa Tijaniyya. In 1976, he introduced the Tariqa Tijaniyya to American Muslims. Since then, he continued to teach, guide and inspire Muslims throughout the world to fear Allah and love Prophet Muhammad (SAW), and reminded them to do what Allah says do, and stop where Allah says stop. Over the past thirty years, Shaykh Hassan Cisse received the following honors in the United States as a distinguished Islamic scholar and for his vision and leadership in the humanitarian work of AAII:

  • Key to the City of Cleveland, OH
  • Key to the City of Washington, DC
  • Proclamation of June 16, 1986 as “Shaykh Hassan Cisse Day”, Washington, D.C.
  • Key to the City of Detroit, MI
  • Key to the City of Memphis, TN
  • Honorary Citizen, Memphis TN
  • Honorary Member of the City Council, Memphis, TN
  • Proclamation of October 2, 1996 as “Shaykh Hassan Cisse Day”, New Orleans, LA
  • Key to the City of New Orleans, LA

Internationally, Shaykh Hassan Cisse’s contributions have been recognized in the following manner:

  • Appointed Ambassador of Good Will for the Promotion of Child Survival and Maternal Breastfeeding by the Senegalese Ministry of Health, 2008
  • Recipient of Rotary International 2007 “Polio Eradication Champion Award”
  • Key to the City of Banjul, The Gambia
  • Recognized by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) for outstanding work and cooperation toward achieving the goals of the Beijing and Cairo Conferences regarding family planning, the status of women and the education of the girl child.
  • Recognized by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for scholarship, leadership, cooperation and advocacy for the eradication of violence against children, prevention of drug abuse and other issues vital to the health and education of children.
  • World Association for Non-Governmental Organizations (WANGO) 2002 Education Award
  • Honorary Degree of ‘Highest Distinction”, Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt

Shaykh Hassan Cisse was a key speaker at major international conferences held in Africa, Asia, Europe and the United States, where he dispelled misconceptions about Islam and promoted collaborative initiatives with followers of diverse religious traditions to improve living conditions and promote peace. The following events reflect the nature and scope of Shaykh Hassan Cisse’s commitment to lifting the barriers of ignorance, poverty and disease, especially as they affect women and children, through access to education, health care, and economic empowerment.

  • Participation in the U.N. World Summit on Sustainable Development, Johannesburg, South Africa. Chosen to attend three-hour meeting with the President of South Africa.
  • Participation in the Inter-religious and International Federation of World Peace Summit of World Muslim Leaders
  • Participation in the Governance and the Role of Religion in Peace and Security Symposium, United Nations, New York
  • Organization of the Steering Committee to form Network of African Islamic Organizations for Population and Development
  • Participation in the Conference of Intellectuals in the African Diaspora, Dakar, Senegal
  • Address to  the Secretary General’s Study on Violence Against Children, Regional Consultation: West and Central Africa, Bamako, Mali
  • Participation in UNFPA Conference during which the Network of Islamic African Organizations for Population and Development was established and AAII’s Founder and Chairman was elected President, Abuja, Nigeria
  • Organization and leadership of conference entitled, “Islam and the Fight Against Terrorism”, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, and in Kumasi, Ghana
  • Participation in meetings with U.S. Department of State to present the true fact of Islam and the role of Islam from a Sufi perspective as a means of combating extremism and international terrorism.
  • Cited in the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Health Ministers Conference, Islamabad, Pakistan for work to eradicate Polio in Africa

Shaykh Hassan Cisse continues to be the beacon of light that illuminates AAII’s educational programs. His vision and determination to make health care available to children and adults in rural, severely medically underserved communities gave rise to the establishment of AAII‘s Shifa al-Asqam (Healing of the Sick) Clinic in Medina-Kaolack and its Satellite Clinic in Kossi-Atlanta, Senegal. Shaykh Hassan Ali Cisse’s commitment to serving Allah through service to humanity and protection of Allah’s creation was transparent through his leadership of AAII and the generous use of his life for the benefit of humankind. AAII is committed to continuing his work.Publications:

  • “Shaykh Ibrahim Niasse,” Introduction to Pearls from the Divine Flood: Selected Discourses from Shaykh al-Islam Ibrahim Niasse, African American Islamic Institute, Atlanta, GA, 2006
  • “Khutbat al-Kitab”, Introduction to Shaykh Ibrahim Niasse Kashif al-Ilbas, Shrikat al-Dawliyya, Cairo, 2001
  • Sincere Advice MIJ Publishing, New York, 2000
  • Spirit of Good Morals of Shaykh Ibrahim Niasse, Translation and Commentary, African American Islamic Institute, Detroit, 1998
  • Shaykh Ibrahim Niasse: Revivalist of the Sunnah, Tariqa Tijaniyya of New York, New York, 1984

TO HONOR THE LEGACY OF SHAYKH HASSAN CISSE, PLEASE CONTRIBUTE GENEROUSLY TO RENOVATE AAII’S QUR’AN SCHOOL BY VISITING http://www/gofundme/com/62sfw.  Nasrul Ilm America is committed to continuing the tradition that AAII’s Founder and Chairman established in Medina-Baye, Senegal and that pioneering students, parents and elders have supported over more than a quarter of century.

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