This is the only photo I took of Oujda, and to be honest, I didn't see much more than that, except the Zawiya of course!
Upon our arrival, we quickly jumped in a taxi. Maryam said to the driver: "Al Hudud!", meaning the border! Indeed Oujda is only few kilometres west of the border with Algeria; and the new zawiya is on the road going to the country of Sidi Ahmed Alawi.
Very fortunately - a miracle some would call it- Sidi Nabil, the muqaddam, was actually in the zawiya, as if he was waiting for us. He welcomed us and made us sit on the floor. We talked a bit inside the new place built for remembrance of God: a big room with a few pillars, a nice carpet and a few cushions around the walls. Very simple and modest, with no photos and a few dozen quran on a shelf at the back of the room, painted in white and tiled half way up the wall if I remember...
We broke our fast in a random place, haha I mean I have no idea who the host was! We then came back to the zawiya and prayed Isha and night prayers.
The following day, 'The Fez group' completely split up! Sherif went back to Fez, Maryam stayed, and I decided at the last minute to go to Nador to visit some friends and Sidna Buzidi. I took a bus at around midday.
When I reached Nador, Si Ismail and two of his "wahhabi friends", as he sometimes called them, came to pick me up.
I was initially thinking of taking a bus back to Fez the following day, or the day after at the latest. It has now been close to a week! I should be on my way back tomorrow God willing.
Although the city of Nador itself lacks beautiful buildings and history, in comparison with Fez for example, the surrounding countryside is absolutely amazingly beautiful! The sea and the mountains, two amazing features of God's creation, make the location of Nador unique. Property developers and investors know it, and the place is becoming apparently really expensive! But it's ok, just take out a mortgage with one of the Moroccan banks!
Throughout my time here, I have been visiting Sidna Buzidi in his zawiya, where I had the oportunity to ask him few questions, like what is the barzagh, can a shaykh tarbiyah be fully shaved, can we shake hands with a marriageable sister, or what does one have to do to see the Prophet in one's dream, and if it was possible to see him in a wakeful state? I finally asked him permission to visit the shaykhs of the past from our spiritual lineage, Moulay Abdes Salam bin Mashish, and Moulay Darqawi. Sidi Buzidi is a very humble and simple man, and you will not get much out of him, except if you are looking for someone that talks about God and sufism!
I went to Melilla twice. The first time to break fast at Sidi Ahmed's, a relative of the Shaykh, with a beautiful voice mashallah! He is the second from the left in the photo beneath. The second from the right is Haaj Maymoon, a son of bilHaaj and the shaykh of the zawiya of Melilla.
The first thing that struck me in Melilla was the immense wire fence all around the city! Melilla is indeed a Spanish town on Moroccan lands. This fence strangely reminded me Palestine... I felt sad for a moment, as sidi Ahmed was driving me around the city, thinking about the sinister situation the Muslim community is in... Melilla is also very clean compared to Morocco. A sad fact, since we know that Muslims are more entitled to cleanliness...
The second time I went to Melilla, last Wednesday evening I believe, was because a Moroccan from Melilla was throwing a party. 50-odd brothers attended the gathering. I had a really nice time, listening to the qasidas and chanting the chorus with everybody.
Prior to the gathering, we all went to pray tarawih in the zawiya of sidi Muhammadi bilHaaj, one of the Shaykh of the initiatic chain of sidi Buzidi. The zawiya is absolutely beautiful, and as one of the mureeds of Nador told me, as we were walking towards it: "Zawiya is big, but fuqara are little". Indeed the tariqa Alawiya has moved from Melilla to Nador, and not much of it remains, apart from this majestic building, the entrance of which can be seen below.
It is now Saturday 26 Ramadan, and the night of decree, as some scholars have said, could be tonight! Some people will come to the zawiya of sidi Buzidi from afar, for tonight's gathering, that seems to be very promising. We hope Allah accepts everybody's deeds done solely for his countenance in this blessed month of Ramadan! Amin.