Meeting a Scholar From The African Desert In Granada

Before we went to Granada, we heard about some prominent and popular scholars working there from the Mauritanian deserts. Not something we expected at all. But the thought of it made me quite happy. Not only do we get to go to Granada and witness history, but we also get to meet living Muslim scholars who reside in the place itself.

The two people we intended to visit were, Shaykh Abdar Rahman Ould Murabitul Hajj & Shaykh Hamid Omar. The former is the direct son of Shaykh Murabitul Hajj & the latter is from his family.

Shaykh Murabitul Hajj is a very popular and prominent scholar who ties himself to his humble environment in the desert from where he teaches people from around the world. One of his famous students is the Californian based scholar, Shaykh Hamza Yusuf Hanson.

Before visiting them, we enquired as to whether they would both be available. We were told that Shaykh Abdar Rahman would be travelling but Shaykh Hamid should definitely be available.

We made our way to the Masjid where they both work namely Masjid Taqwa in Granada. Here is the Google Maps direction of the Masjid. On the front of the Masjid there is a banner with a different name; Mezquita Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al-Nahyan. I believe it is funded and looked after financially by this Shaykh from the UAE.

As we entered the Masjid [from the men’s entrance & yes there is a women’s entrance on the other side at the front], on the right hand side we saw the women’s prayer hall with washing facilities & toilets.

We went upstairs and there we found the main prayer hall, toilets and washing facilities. We met the caretaker & Muazzin of the Masjid who was incredibly kind & friendly.

The Azan was given for the Zuhar prayer and sooner or later we performed our prayers. Prior to Salah, I had mentioned it to the caretaker that I would like to meet Shaykh Hamid. After Salah, I noticed Shaykh Hamid in front of me, or so I thought it was him. At this point I had only seen him in a handful of photos.

The caretaker approached Shaykh Hamid and informed him that he had some guests. He called us over so that we can sit down and converse with him.

An elderly man, dark complexion with a white beard, wearing a simple white thobe which was barely ironed, this was Shaykh Hamid Omar. Possessing great humility, this reminded of the humility of many of the scholars from the Mauritanian desert.

We greeted each other and he enquired from us as to why we are here and where we came from. He had a wide smile on his face when he met us and his sitting, speaking and conversation with us felt warming. Such a knowledgable man greeting us with such respect and warmth.

We asked him for some advice to which he mentioned the following:

  1. Follow the commandments of Allah
  2. Study the religion of Islam
  3. Start of by learning the basics and work your way up
  4. Study Fiqh [legal matters pertaining to daily life] with diligence and attention

We asked him, ‘how does one find tranquility and peace within their hearts’, to which he replied with the following verse of the Qur’an:

Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured [find peace].

Holy qur’an | 13:28

One can do this by worshipping Allah in accordance to his abilities and not being from those who are indolent.

Leaving us with these wonderful pieces of advice, we departed from the Masjid.

It was a great experience meeting someone like him in such an amazing city.

If you do come to Granada, I would highly recommend you come and pay the people of this community a visit.

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