Was salaatu was salaamu ‘alaa al Nabiyyi al Kareem wa aalihi was sallam.
Almost fours year ago, I left my country and family to seek knowledge of the Islamic sciences without knowing when I will be visiting my family after my departure. AlhamduliLLAH, I took the decision of returning home some weeks back and here am I, back to my family. Surely I enjoyed my stay all through my study days in Damascus and the Mauritania but was it like home away from home? I think no place can take the place of our homes. For me I say, there is no place like home.
It was so nice leaving Mauritania for my country home. The few days before I left the village, it was me and different kinds of arrangement. I was feeling so anxious and in a state of unrest. I was wondering what kind of things will I be meeting back home. Many have traveled after spending long time away from home and after their arrival, they tell you so many things and that kept me thinking and thinking.
When I first posted on this blog on the issue of my intention to travel, one of the comments was that, I should be expecting a bitter sweet experience. I sat wondering what it means for one to have a bitter sweet experience. This is no different from what I am experiencing now.
The day before I left the village for the Mauritania’s capital where my flight will be taken off, I went around giving salaams to my friends and people in the village I have good acquaintance with. My teachers were worried that if I left them, I may not remember calling them or coming back to the village. I had to convince them that I was only going for a short visit after which I will be back. I informed my fiqh teacher that it was high time people benefited from the little I have studied all these years. He agreed with me and gave some important advices.
I went around collecting my books I gave to brothers, saying farewell and other necessary stuffs. Before I realized, it was about 2:00AM in the morning and the cars that leave from the village to the city take off by 5:30AM. I was yet to complete arrangement for my journey. It was unlike me seen in the middle of the night in the village since no one goes out during the hour I was alone wondering about.
I got home, got my remaining bags ready then went to bed. Before having a good sleep, it was the athaan and before I could get ready, prayer was recited and I missed the car leaving for the city. Was it a good omen? I believe it was due to my bad sleep and carelessness.
Notwithstanding, I observed my fajr solah and got set to wait at the exit of the village to see if cars from the neighbouring villages were passing by for the city. So fortunate I was after waiting for less than five minutes with a friend from the village who is not what I will call a sane person, I got a pickup that we both joined. How nice it was and easy unlike other days!
I got to the city, met with friends, announced to them my intending travel and did visit some places. I spend about five days in the capital before the day of my departure. A day before, I met with my room mates who were already in the capital and other friends we study together at the village. We arranged to go to the beach to relax ourselves. It was a sweet but bitter experience. It was nice having a wonderful bath in such a very salty water but too bad to see some people not properly dressed and the mixing between sexes. What is wrong with Mauritania? So new to this. We rounded up with swimming and took off for a friend’s house where we prayed maghrib. From his house, we left for the traditional bath (HAMMAAM). The last time I had such a bath was during my early days in shaam. It was a nice bath as I was advised by a Yemeni brother to do that before I leave in order to remove all the dirts and thick stains from my body due to the sun toning and desert dirts.
I couldn’t ask for a massage due to time but sure was satisfied with what I had. The next day was short as I was rounding up my arrangement and other necessary things. Before knowing, it was two hours to my flight take off. I went to the airport with my friend, joined the queue for clearing and there came the problem of excess luggage. After little arguments, I ended up paying for the charges and returning to my friends outside the airport waiting. Before going out, I saw the nephew of my Shaykh who was arriving from Shaam. We had a very warm hug. Masha Allah, he is such a nice person and I remember during my days in shaam, I would go to his house during the weekends to have couscous and other Mauritanian delicacies well prepared by his wife who is the daughter of our teacher Shaykh Baah.
It wasn’t a bad flight to Senegal where I was taking another flight for my country. Before an hour, we arrived and I got on with normal flight bookings and stuffs. I was again charged for excessive luggage. I pleaded with them to see reasons with me, that I am a student bla bla bla but it didn’t help issues. I paid again then joined the other passengers.
It wasn’t a nice flight to my country as there was two stops at two different countries, I had a very bad stomach upset and I wasn’t comfortable because I didn’t have enough to eat and drink the day of my taking off from Mauritania.
Finally, it was me arriving my country. My brother had informed me that he will be the one to pick me after convincing my old father to stay back. I got off the plane, got my bags, pushed through the immigration and the processes were so easy seeing me in my long gown, my imaamah cloth around my neck, my walking stick by my side. Now me walking out of the airport to meet my elder brother waiting.
Coming out, he wasn’t of sight so I kept wondering where he was sitting or go buy phone credit to call. I had no sim card and the Mauritania network doesn’t work in my country. While I was waiting, I was caught by my greatest surprise. I saw a young my with a bag walking towards my direction answering a call who I was thinking was my brother. After a deeper look, I was shocked to see that he is a friend of mine I met in shaam traveling to Qatar but his flight was canceled. I called him and he was so surprised, he came forward and hugged me. After a short discussion I collected his phone and dialed my brother. He came out of the airport where he was waiting answering a call from my sister and behold, it was him. After years, he changed so much. With a loud shout and cry hugging me.
Before knowing, it was another of my sister calling then my Mum and followed by my father and sisters. ALLAHU akbar.
So we took off for a park where we could get a car for the place where I live. It was a long drive as I remained silent and hungry in the car thinking of so many things and looking at the things around.
Finally we arrived my place and to the park where we were going to alight. My sister, her husband and children were already waiting there for us. Masha ALLAH it was a sight to behold. My nephews and nieces have grown so big that I almost couldn’t recognize them. They were very happy to see me and that was how we took off for my house where my parents kept calling and calling.
Getting closer to my house I saw old friends standing, sitting and chatting. My parents and siblings were already on their feet walking towards our direction as we were about to stop. What a hug from my mum! My dad couldn’t control himself, my sisters grabbed me and who owned me was something to decide at that point.
They ushered me in and that has been how far it went for me from Mauritania to my home. What a beautiful welcome I had!. It wasn’t a red carpet one but I can say a white carpet description suffices.
Since my arrival, my mother has been treating me like a baby, friends have been visiting and I am trying to study the environment. Well, I am not happy with the state of people that I have met meaning; there are lots to be done.
My first lesson was yesterday in my old local mosque about knowing the Prophet (SAW) instead of loving Kaka and Ronaldo, etc. like taking him as our mentor and exemplar. By next week insha ALLAH I will start the teaching of Shamaail Muhammadiyyah of Imaam Tirmithi and fiqh. Friday lessons will also begin soon at our local jumu’ah mosque insha ALLAH.
Make duas for my success as you read this and tell your family and friends to pray for my sick mother and sister, pray for my family for an improvement in their state and don’t forget the ummah.
I love you all.
Wa sallaa ALLAHU ‘alaa Muhammad wa aalihi wa sahbihi was sallim.