Chérif Mohamed Aly Aïdara

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Chérif Mohamed Aly Aïdara
Darou Hidjiratou, Kolda Region, Senegal
🏳️ CitizenshipSenegalese and Mauritanian
💼 Occupation
Shi'i religious leader and international development specialist
Founder of Mozdahir
👴 👵 Parents
  • Cherif Al-Hassane Aidara (father)
  • Maimouna Diao (mother)
👪 RelativesCherif Habib Aidara (brother)

Cherif Mohamed Aly Aidara is a Senegalese-Mauritanian Shi'i religious leader who is known for his work on international development in West Africa. He is notable as one of the primary Shi'i religious figures in Senegal and West Africa.[1]

Early life and family[edit]

Of mixed Mauritanian and Fulani descent, Cherif Mohamed Aly Aidara was born in 1959 in Darou Hidjiratou, a village in Bonconto Commune, Kolda Region, southern Senegal that was founded by his father. His father is Cherif Al-Hassane Aidara, a Mauritanian man from the Al Lakhal branch of the Laghlal tribe of Mauritania who claims descent from Cherif Moulaye Idriss of the Idrisid dynasty, while his mother is Maimouna Diao, a Senegalese Peul (Fulani) woman from the Diao clan.[2] As a Senegalese sharif, Aidara claims direct descent from the Prophet Muhammad (see silsila).[3]

After completing traditional Islamic education in Senegal, much of which was taught by his father, Aidara continued his education at the Alliance française in Paris, France. He is fluent in Arabic, English, French, Pulaar (Fulfulde), and Wolof.[4]

His brother Cherif Habib Aidara is the leader of Bonconto Commune.[5][6]


In 2000, Cherif Mohamed Aly Aidara founded the NGO Mozdahir International Institute in Senegal.[7] Aidara has focused on education and development, such as managing social development projects, promoting the use of Islamic microfinance,[8] and increasing awareness of Shi'i Islam in Senegal.[9]

During his early career, Aidara focused his development and educational projects mostly in the Casamance region (Fouladou) of southern Senegal, but has since expanded beyond Senegal into other parts of West Africa, including Mali, Guinea Bissau, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, and other African countries.[10] He frequently travels internationally and collaborates with major international NGOs such as the World Food Programme.[7]

He has built and expanded the Mozdahir community across Senegalese cities such as Dakar, Dahra Djoloff, Kolda, Ziguinchor, Saloum, and Vélingara. He also founded the Mozdahir community village of Nadjaf Al Achraf and helped develop Teyel and Foulamori villages, with schools and mosques constructed in each of those villages.[11]

Aidara also directs the radio stations Radio Mozdahir FM in Dakar, and Radio Zahra FM in Kolda (see also list of radio stations in Senegal).[4]


Books in French:[4]

  • Les Vérités de La Succession du Prophète
  • Sayyidda Zaynab (pslf) l’héroïne de Karbala
  • La prière du Prophète Mouhammad (pslf) selon les membres de sa famille
  • Ghadir Khoum : Qui relate l’évènement de Ghadir et le fameux discours du prophète (pslf) ce jour-là.
  • Achoura jour de deuil ou jour de fête ?
  • Principes de la finance islamique

See also[edit]

  • Shia Islam in Senegal
  • Mozdahir
  • Darou Hidjiratou


  1. Leichtman, Mara A. and Mamadou Diouf. (2009). New Perspectives on Islam in Senegal: Conversion, Migration, Wealth, Power and Femininity. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
  2. Qui est Cherif Mohamed Aly Aidara.
  3. Leichtman, Mara A. (2015). Shi‘i Cosmopolitanisms in Africa: Lebanese Migration and Religious Conversion in Senegal. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, Public Cultures of the Middle East and North Africa series.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Portrait de Cherif Mohamad Aly Aïdara. Institut International Mozdahir.
  5. "Présentation de Chérif Habib AÏDARA". Retrieved Feb 21, 2020.
  6. "SORTIE DU MAIRE DE BONKONTOU : Les précisions de Chérif Habibou Aïdara". Retrieved Feb 21, 2020.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Diop, Macoumba (2013). L'introduction du chiisme au Sénégal. In Histoire, monde et cultures religieuses 2013/4 (n° 28), pages 63-77.
  8. Finance Islamique : « C'est un moyen de lutte contre la pauvreté » (Chérif Mohamed Aly Aïdara, Président de l'Institut Mozdahir International). Politique221.
  9. Sénégal : 127 jeunes de Vélingara s'informent sur l'islam chiite. Shafaqna.
  10. Leichtman, Mara A. (2017). The NGO-ization of Shi'i Islam in Senegal: Bridging the Urban-Rural Divide. ECAS7: 7th European Conference on African Studies. Basel, 29 June - 1 July 2017.
  11. Le chiisme au Sénégal Mozdahir. Shia Africa.