I came across a really cool website about Muslim spiritual travel called Sacred Footsteps today while browsing the internet for videos of Shaykh Murabit Al Hajj. There are just no lecture clips featuring this seemingly mysterious man who has been the mentor of the likes of Shaykh Hamza Yusuf and Shaykh Habib Ali Al-Jifri except for some grainy footage of the Mauritanian ascetic being escorted by his disciples on a windy day.

How come nobody ever video recorded the sermons of this man who is deemed to be the master of all the Islamic sciences? All I could find were just a few pictures taken by admiring students. But I wanted to hear his voice, observe his visage and gestures. I read somewhere that he is more than a 110 years old. I can’t imagine living that long. I feel weary already, in what one could supposedly call ‘the prime of my youth’.

Photo Credit: Instagram/ @ sacredfootsteps

Something stirred inside me as I was reading an account of a woman travelling along with her family to visit Shaykh Murabit Al Hajj in a remote desert village in Mauritania. I can’t properly explain what that was. It was a yearning, a desire to pack my bags and simply run away! Away from office schedules, train rush hours and daily routines. For a few brief moments, I wanted nothing but to simply escape!

Photo Credit: Instagram/ @ sacredfootsteps

But I don’t want to go just anywhere. My heart wishes for a place which could be new yet remind me of a deep connection. Where could it be? And most importantly, when would I get to go there?