Farewelling Murabit Al Hajj
One of the greatest scholars of the modern era has just passed away in Mauritania.
Muhammad bin Salek Bin Fahfu also was known as Murabit Al-Hajj, has passed away at 111 years old. He was a master of the Maliki school of thought and a leading teacher in many Islamic sciences. Teachers and students from around the world would often travel to study under his guidance.
Yet despite his excellence in the various Islamic sciences, above all, he was a master of disciplining his soul. He was well known for his piety and his strong connection with Allah.
In the early 1920’s as a young man, he traveled on foot to complete the Hajj pilgrimage in Makkah. Upon his return, also by foot, he dedicated his life to worship, solitude and teaching. He was in fact rarely seen outside of the tent in which he taught or the local Masjid in which he prayed in.
He nevertheless spent most of his time teaching with little time for sleep and basic necessities. He would teach late into the night and would never refuse a student who came for a lesson.
He was listed as one of the top 500 influential Muslims this year.
One of his close students, Salek Bin Siddina commented on his passing “I challenge anyone by Allah, to find a day in his life that he did not use it in his preparation to meet Allah.”
His passing is a striking reminder of the narration of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ:
“Allah does not take away the knowledge by taking it away from the people, but rather He takes it away by the death of the scholars.”
(Bukhari and Muslim)
We ask Allah to have mercy on him and grant him the highest stations of Paradise. May Allah make the knowledge he left behind a continuous charity for him and a beacon of light for him on the Day of Resurrection.
As we came into Tuwamirat, I was completely overwhelmed by its ethereal quality. It was the quintessential place that time forgot. The entire scene reminded me of something out of the Old Testament. Many of the people had never seen a white person before and the younger people had only heard about the French occupation, but never seen French people or other foreigners for that matter. I entered the tent of Murabit al-Hajj. My eyes fell upon the most noble and majestic person I have ever seen in my life. He called me over, put his hand on my shoulder, welcomed me warmly, and then asked me, “Is it like the dream?” I burst into a flood of tears. I had indeed experienced a dream with him that was very similar to our actual meeting. #murabitalhajj