Friday, February 4, 2011

Revival the Old Tradition in the Mahdharahs.

Was salaatu was salaam.
Not too long while we were waiting for a car going to Nouakchott, a driver stopped by coming from boutilimit, a very busy district not far from Nabbaghiyya, Muhammad al Amin, a wonderful Algerian advanced student and I jumped into the car after bargaining with the driver. Behind us was a young shabby but well donned beard Mauritanian, a woman and the driver in front and a young man by our side. Few minutes later was a loud hailalah (Laa ilaaha illa ALLAH) came from the man behind us in the usual Mauritanian dhikr tone like someone chanting some verses of poem. He continued the dhikr and no one complained of him disturbing or asked him to lower his pitch. This is not my first time of having such an experience with a Mauritanian chanting the hailalah loudly in a car. Then the driver stopped along the road to speak to a man in one of the shops along the road side. While we were waiting in the car, the young shabby man behind brought out his pharmaceutics (cigarette), lit it and then polluted the beautiful atmosphere of dhikr coming from him to a smoky one.
The drive down to Nouakchott wasn’t too nice as we almost collided twice with two cars coming opposite us. I usually don’t take cars from the place we waited this morning but destiny had it for us that way. This is because we didn’t get any of the cars immediately after the fajr prayer waiting outside the jumu’ah masjid. The cars available were full of students leaving the village for Nouakchott for the usual month of mawlid break. The driver we agreed to take us to the city didn’t turn up and he didn’t inform us that he wasn’t turning up.

Now we arrived Nouakchott with so many things to do...use the internet, eat good foods, enjoy a bit of halaal dunya, see the ugliest scenes on earth and buy necessary needs for the village. In the last two months, I have been to the city about three times which is not a good thing for me. Last month, I came with my friend and his mother who came visiting him from the United states.
Masha ALLAH, we say she is the first woman who came to visit her son in Nabbaghiyyah. It was a beautiful experience for her as she was given wonderful treats by the Nabbaghiyyian women, the shuyukh and other students who came giving her salaams. On the day she was leaving Nabbaghiyyah for the city where her flight was for the next day to Morocco, I volunteered to go with her and her son (my friend). We passed a night at the apart hotel and she took off very early the next day.

Arriving the apart hotel was an unbelievable sight. We were informed that our friend sidi Abdul Malik from france was there preparing to leave for Nabbaghiyyah the next day. It’s over two years since we last met although we have been keeping contact once in a while. Sidi Abdul Malik was the one whom I contacted before coming to Mauritania and suggested to me to join him during his early days in nabbaghiyyah. We both lived in the same room during our stay together before he travelled to France for a short break and I returned to Syria.

Unfortunately for him, he couldn’t come back to continue with his studies when his father took ill because he was the one to attend to him all the time. AlhamduliLLAH, after his return to France, he got married and now has a son by name Muhammad Amin al Khadeem. Also to this, he started a new Islamic organisation for new Muslims in France and under this platform was his younger sister’s reversion to Islam. Masha ALLAH, one door closed and another to opened. He has been using this time to teach new reverts the true Islam instead of falling into the hands of wahhabis as he cried of their increase and hegemony in France. Together with him was his friend sidi Abdul Kareem, also a revert from France who was loyal to the wahhabi school but now a subscriber to a tariqah.

Shortly after our arrival, we had wonderful fresh fish soup dinner prepared by sidi Abdul Malik and I had a very long discussion with him that extended to the next day before we went to sleep. The next day we returned to the village while Yusuf’s mum had taken off.

Two days later, I returned to the city for something very important but left for the village after a night. It was after my return to the village that I had a very bad malaria attack. Recently, I have been complaining of fever that kept resurfacing after every two weeks since my arrival from my country. This time around, I couldn’t escape it as it gave me no breathing space. I was completely down for four days in the house without lessons while the brothers especially sidi Yusuf and Habeeb kept serving me. The fourth day, I thought I was going to the next world when the angel of death gave me salaam. I refused to respond to his salaam because it wasn’t time to do that, alhamduliLLAH.

Masha ALLAH I am back on my feet again but it feels weird ever since my recuperation. I get hungry quickly, I can’t concentrate, I sometimes consume a lot but alhamduliLLAH I feel better than being ill.
Mentioning some of the events that took place in recent weeks; was the day Muhammad al Amin the Algerian finished a long awaited text in grammar by name ihmiraar ibn Bunaa: a text that took him almost four years to finish. This text is the uncle of the Alfiyyah of Ibn Malik. We had a beautiful gathering in our house and invited one of the Shuyukh (Shaykh Arafaat) who is his teacher. A long discussion went on before and after the delectable meal we had.

Moreso, Yusuf and Habeeb finished their text of Qatr an Nadaa on grammar. This text is the nephew of the alfiyyah of Ibn Malik. A text that has been making sidi Habeeb looks little less than a mad man. Yusuf and Habeeb arranged for a beautiful gathering in the house and Shaykh Mukhtar was invited. Shaykh Mukhtar delayed before coming and at that point, I couldn’t stop crying when my stomach was about tearing apart due to severe hunger. After the meal, Yusuf prepared tea for us all which he admitted looks like medicine. I will prefer dissolving twenty tablets of paracetamol in a glass of water and drinking it than drinking the so-called tea (concoction). We laughed over it when few people sipped it except for a brother who had two cups of it.

After the meal, we had a short discussion on the protests happening in different part of the Muslim world, the position in the shari’ah, their merits and demerits and other protests in different parts of the world like Europe and others.
Same day was the newly revived tradition of maqaamat in the mahdharah by Sidi Ali Ismaa’il of Yemen. For those who have studied maqaamat al Hariri will know what this means. Thanks to the Abbasid empire when much scholarship of Islamic literature was promoted. Maqaamat is about a platform created where people with different level of oratory, rhetoric and deep knowledge of Arabic literature would come out in front of people and chant verses of poems and prose and narrations from the heart with in depth creativity.

Such tradition used to be the order of the day in Mauritania but beginning to die off. This tradition has now been revived in the mahdharah where young and old students show their skills in prose and poetry, in eulogy of our Prophet (SAW) and scholars, jokes, etc. You see some students whom you think are like empty barrels fill your brains and ears with amazing verses.
AlhamduliLLAH, everyone is given equal opportunity to showcase what he has in stock, no discrimination, no rascism, no debasement....As I am too ignorant and have nothing to offer, I have been made the usual camera man for those offering us what they have.

In my next post, I will mention one out of the many maqaamaats which was read to us by a brother from Morocco in form of joke...
As I enjoy my little halaal dunya in Nouakchott (Nouakchinton), more eventful posts will come your way and always remember to include me in your duas especially now that I am yet to recover fully.

May ALLAH be with us all.
Was salaamu alaykum wa rahmatULLAH.


AbuIsa said...

"You see some students whom you think are like empty barrels fill your brains and ears with amazing verses." Ma sha Allah,
JazakaAllah Khayr for the post.

Musafira said...

ma sha Allah, so heartwarming to hear such tales.

jazakumAllah for the post, indeed.

Anonymous said...

Akhi salaamualaykum,

Please bro I need some information about going to Mauritania, I am ready to leave but don't know anything about the place, please email me at
Baarak Allahu feek