THE GUARDIAN OF THE BOOKS AND HIS HEART

Article Tags: Meeting with MountainsPeter Sanders

THE GUARDIAN OF THE BOOKS AND HIS HEART

Imam Abdul Wahhab, Meknes

Sidi Abdal Wahhab was the Imam of the zawiya of Sidi Muhammad ibn al-Habib. He led the five daily prayers at the zawiya, gave discourses on the religious sciences and advised the fuqara on points of sacred saints law and on the spiritual path.

He was fastidious about his attire. A subdued man who lived a regulated and austere life, he was rich in knowledge and bereft of the enticements of the world.

Between times of prayer and remembrance, Imam Abdul Wahhab would retire alone to his humble room in the zawiya, furnished with a simple mattress on the floor and shelves overflowing with books of knowledge.

A confidant told me that he once sat beside Imam Abdul Wahhab as they had a meal together. The Imam, while smiling and clearly enjoying his food, kept repeating under his breath, "I ask forgiveness of God. I ask forgiveness of God. I ask forgiveness God."

For most of us, when food appears, God disappears, and my friend realised that this saint remained continually in God's presence regardless of the circumstances.


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