webFuuta / History

Joseph Earl Harris
The Kingdom of Fouta-Diallon

Evanston, Illinois. 1965. 180 p. (Ph.D. Dissertation in History)

2. Religious Poems 1

1. God and Fieldwork

Work, work and obey. It is because of these that man can
hope to enter Paradise; without them the responsible adult will not enter.

God has said: "To the one who offers me his body and his everything, I will sell Paradise;" He will not change these irrevocable conditions.

Only the young children will enter, thanks to His goodness, but the adult must pay; otherwise he will not enter at all.

It is by pure Grace that the Most High let Adam and Eve enter into eternal Paradise.
"Paradise" signifies "Perfect garden," fields that He created and cultivated by decree, He, the All Powerful One.

God told them : "Live as you will, but do not partake on that tree; he who eats from it will not remain here"2.

God told them [Adam and Eve]: "Descent to earth and work to buy yourself from that worldly drive which will destroy the idle.

Because I have placed among you, I have glaced in you as well an appetite which will not leave, because what I have decided will surely come.

Everyone who comes into the world, this appetite will enter them; this appetite which I call the Little Fire; see how it works;

Every little child, from his birth, enters into this, and if milk does not flow for him in his mother's breast, he will not be quiet.

When the appetite has consumed the milk, it resumes, for it knows no rest. It will not be quiet.
It is the mother's milk that it seeks continuously....

It is to satisfy these feelings that we cultivate;
Oh Believers, the one who does not cultivate, will he eat?

But God will spare, to those who cultivate, the appetite of hunger;
those who will not have cultivated, will live in the torment of hunger....

2. On the Duties of Women

All thanks to the Most High, the Eternal One, who has taught
everyone to obey Him without going astray;

Prayer and salvation to the best of all creatures, prayers so numerous
that those who could count them can not come to the end,
Everlasting One who dies no more!

Here is a sermon for the women, a sermon which attains the
aim, for the sons of Tierno Sadou, Mohammadou, who made no

Tidjani tariqa,… living in Dalaba, which does not cease to forbid evil;

I repeat what the Almighty pronounced before His relatives and apostles,
His true, infallible words:

For among women, our begetters [mothers]…

Remain true to your duty; that is, obey the obligatory precepts.
The one who refuses to conform to this world will not have the honor in the other world.

The best men, the Prophets, all were married.
They thus obeyed God. Neither they nor their spouses denied marriage.

Madiou, son of Diabal, has said:
"A wife's prayer is worth more than 40 prayers of the spinster, be sure of it."

Ibnou Mas'oudou has said:
"She who washes for her husband, her master,
receives in her account, two thousand good deeds…"

The laundress has cleaned the clothes of all impurities,
and even her sins are raised and purified.

And if it is her heart that she purifies, that is better still;
briefly, the woman in possession of a husband is not impure;…

She who has a husband consults him before spinninig the cloth,
and guards against slanderous gossip and the offensive spread of discord while working;…

She first says: in the name of God, to show her intention
to fight the good fight that God placed before her, while working;…

A wife left her husband without permission.
When she returned, he told her:
"Return to your parents; you will not enter my house."

Someone asked him:
"Why repudiate her? She has returned. He replied:
"The curses on her are innumerable…"

1. Vieillard, Poèmes, pp. 201-202.
2. The Creation.