The Mu’adzin of Sefrou III

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following is adapted from Signs on the Horizons by Shaykh Michael Sugich.

“As we climbed up the steep hill from the Old Town to the Nouvelle Ville, I found myself thinking about Hajj Muhammad (q.s.).  I thought to myself, ‘I hope we meet him and I hope he invites me to lunch.’  The moment this thought came to mind – I am not exaggerating – we turned a corner, and standing before us was Hajj Muhammad.

He beamed, kissed our hands and said, ‘Salamskum!  Would you like to come to lunch with me?’  I was overjoyed.  Hajj Muhammad (q.s.) asked us to come the next day and showed us where his house was in the New Town.

I asked Musthafa to join me for lunch the next day.  I needed him to translate for me.  He was not enthusiastic.  He said he was not sure if he could.  I pleaded with him.  In my excitement and to convince him to come with me I said, ‘He is a great saint.’

At this, Musthafa stopped suddenly and scolded me, ‘You mustn’t say that!  If he’s a wali, I’m a wali, you’re a wali!  A wali‘ullah is someone very rare and special.  He’s a sweet old man, but you mustn’t call him a wali’ullah.  This is something very serious.’

I replied defensively, ‘I didn’t make this up.  I’ve been told by people of authority that he’s one of the awliya’.’

Musthafa wasn’t convinced.  ‘I don’t think so,’ he said.

I said, ‘Okay but please come with me tomorrow.’

He said, ‘I’ll see.  I’m not sure.’

The next day, I managed to drag Musthafa out of the zawiyah up the hill to the Nouvelle Ville for our luncheon engagement.  We came to the flat at the appointed time.  Hajj Muhammad’s (q.s.) wife answered the door and said that he had gone out and would be back soon.  She asked us to come back in half an hour.

We retired to a nearby park overlooking Tangier Harbor to wait.  I could see Musthafa was becoming impatient and began to worry that he’d abandon me.  In the park he ran into a friend of his.  I waited for half an hour, looking out over Tangier and the harbour.  Musthafa was engaged in conversation with his friend and showed no interest in returning to Hajj Muhammad’s (q.s.).  I waited as long as I could and then said to Musthafa that I was going on ahead back to Hajj Muhammad’s (q.s.) house.  ‘Please join me when you’re done here,’ I pleaded.  Musthafa said that he might but I was not optimistic.

I made my way back to the block of flats and ascended the stairs to Hajj Muhammad’s (q.s.) flat.  He opened the door when I knocked, beaming, greeting me with ‘Salamskum!’  I greeted him back.  He led me to a sitting room off the entrance and sat me on a couch beside him.  We smiled at each other but could not communicate.  I was incredibly frustrated, but could do nothing.  We looked at each other helplessly.  I could tell he wanted to say things to me, but it was no use.  I prayed that Musthafa would turn up.

Finally, after about 20 minutes, the doorbell rang.  Musthafa had arrived after all.  Hajj Muhammad greeted him with his buoyant ‘Salamskum!’ kissed his hand and led him to the couch, sitting between the two of us.  He then turned to Musthafa with a twinkling eye and said something to him in Arabic, which made Musthafa’s jaw drop.  Musthafa looked over at me, stunned.  I asked eagerly, ‘What did he just say?’

Musthafa said in shock, ‘He said, ‘I just wanted to let you know that I really am a wali‘ullah.’’  I almost burst out laughing.”


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