A few months ago, I received an email from someone who had read my article on Murabit al-Hajj. He explained that after reading it, he too had decided to undertake the same journey, and asked me for some travel advice. Recently, I heard from him again, and by the Grace of God, he had managed to travel to Tuwamarat and visit the blessed Shaykh, who lives in a remote mountainous region in the desert of Mauritania. Below is the message he sent, sharing details of his journey:
“Alhamdulilah I was able to go and meet him. It was an amazing trip. I met a guy in Meknes from Canada who told me he wanted to go visit the Shaykh. I had been waiting for months in Morocco for a means for me to go and as soon as he said this, I leapt out my seat and said to him, “I can’t even remember your name but I’m coming with you!” We both laughed and a few days later we were in Rabat to apply for our visas. Once we received the visas, the next day we flew out from Casablanca to Nouakchott and I was finally going.
The first few days were spent looking for a driver to undertake the momentous journey ahead and after some glitches we were eventually able to set off for Tuwamayrat, the village of Murabit al Hajj. It must have been just after midday and we were full of excitement for what was to come. The journey was a long, but most enjoyable one, with pit stops along the way to either freshen up, pray, take in the beauty of the desert or just meet some locals- one of the many beauties of travelling that I have found. The first half of the trip had already proven to be full of little gems.
Just before we reached the nightcap stop, we stopped for our evening meal; by this time I was famished so even food with sand included as an extra ingredient was a delicious option! At approximately 10pm after driving further, it was decided that we would stop and spend the night in some tents along the road in the desert. As we took our bags out of the car, I asked the driver who we would have to pay for our stay; he replied; “No one, it’s free!” – A blessing.
So our first night in the desert comprised of us staying up and talking about what had brought us to this trip, a discussion that ultimately made us renew our intentions. After the conversation I decided to immerse myself into some poetry as I had been doing throughout my travels. I took out my little book and let The Almighty speak to me through the wise, poetic and evocative words of Mevlana Rumi. I felt the need to share this enlightenment with my friend and he was also moved by the poetry and soon after he fell asleep. Then I was completely alone, in a tent, in the vast deserts of Mauritania- just me, Allah and the beauty of the starry night sky above us. I spoke to The Almighty, the best of Listeners and in that most special and most emotional moment, I prayed. I prayed for everyone, those at the forefront of my memory and those at the very depths of my memory. I prayed as a traveller, journeying on a physical and spiritual road to a man of God. I thanked him for bestowing me this gift of going to meet one of the greatest sages of our time.
“I pulled a thorn from the fence of his garden,
And it has not stopped making its way to my heart”- Rumi
Sorry, i just realised, I started getting all Sacred Footsteps with my experience. lol. To cut the story short, the next day we arrived and I was greeted by Shaykh Mohammed Salik who is the grandson of Shaykh Murabit Al Hajj. We spent some days there and then we left. We got to meet the amazing man on two different occasions, once when he was asleep and once when he was awake. What an amazing moment. We spent the rest of our time exploring Mauritania and after a week we returned back to Morocco. It was an amazing experience and one I will hold close to my heart until the day I die.
Thank you for all your help before and i want to congratulate you too as you also made this journey.
Ahhamdulilah, May Allah make us always thankful for his blessing and allow us truly be at this level.
I hope you enjoyed just a small part of my journey.
Keep me in your duas always and I will you, inshaAllah.”