Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
I am writing this Blog (never written a blog before) as a way to show gratefulness to Allah (aza wa jal) as he made my journey to and from Mauritania completely filled with ease as t should have been very complicated as i was unprepared.
I never keep a journal but my sister gave me one and said, "Here, just keep notes along the way." Or something like that, it was over 19 monthes from today that i left. I have been feeling bad that i never wrote this blog. Another main reason for it is because the one whom helped me into the country and brought me to his house and helped with so much to where I could not repay him told me that i should put a post on this blog to help others who struggled to get info on Mauritania, not even knowing what is their currency or anything.
The currency is Ougiya and the exchange rate was about 1 dollar to around 300 Ougiya
Loaf of french bread (only bread they really have there) is 100 Ougiya and you can have then slice it in half and add butter, jelly, chocolate spread for a mere 10 Ougiya per side.
Bring a comb, towel, blanket, soap, small mirror, backpack.
Glass coke 150 Ougiya
2 cuties oranges 50 Ougiya
2000 ougiya for sim card and 500 ougiya or more for credit, no monthy plans needed
SO many mosquitoes in city, almost impossible to sleep without mosquito net. In village Umul Qura (where Sheikh Dedo studied and late sheikh Ashanqueet taught), it fell into my lap, i had no idea where i would study, but it is a mahdarah (they call islamic school this) many people talk about. The only probem it has is that it is a bit away from city and others, amking living conditions harder. You run out of water, very limited things to buy, almost no internet/cellular network reaches it. But the students of knowledge there try to only speak Fusha and the shuyook teach in there own houses (super small village) while they serve their students tea and zreeg (water+milk powde+a ton of sugar) and other things. Very simple environment, the village is basically revolved around teaching. Kids that do quran review about 200 pages a day (idk how subhanAllah), they sheiks teach maliki fiqh. When they teach arabic hey bring examples from quran. Very difficult type of studying, basically goes like this, you get a book lts say Ajrumiya (an arabic book) and you memorize or atleast learn first line or two. you get into sheiks house and first come first serve, first student lets say asks about fiqh and sheik explains to him about 5 or so min, kid leaves and goes to memorize what he learnt all day. then finally after a long time if you do not get early to sheihs house, you could be waiting 2 hours or more and the sheikh explains your section in under a min and wont allow you to do more. Needs patience.
Its like he opposite of Egypt style, they cram so much info in so little time, Mauritania does so little info everyday but must memorize it. I believe there should be a middle grounf Wallahu a3lam. I did get pretty frustrated at times with little i was geting every day but alhamdulilah i not only benefitted from studies but also from sheikds and students of knowledge.
SbhanAllah i did not experience the hadith inmal a3malu bineeyat until i went there. Before i went i could barely speak arabic, didnt study as hard or as often as i could have (was traveling back and forth from city- about 3 hour commute- often). One person whom had studied in egypt came and wanted out immediately, he couldnt stand the wait for his turn, then his turn comes and he barely benefits.
The good with this mehod is that if you are studying maliki fiqh then you will get good reviews and many ask the same questions and maybe even more advanced maliki fiqh which you are not near you can earn from.
They are masters in arabic, and their memory is superb. Like i said you ask the sheikh first come first serve, so in one hour the students can ask the sheikh from 5 different books and he knows then VERBATIM word for word memorized in his head without any books near him (rarely he will pull out a book for his more advanced students).
Whiile studying at sheikhs house you will be in his life, so his kids run around, if he gets guests he leaves you and tends to them, etc.
Abu Tauba is one of reason i wanted to go, he even studied at mahdarah Umul Qura the one that i fell into, i didnt evn know anything abou it. But i pulled a picture and the sheikh recognized him.
Sorry my blog is all over the place, but i am skimming through journal just sharing with anyone whom wants to be a student of knowledge.
It all goes to intention,so if you wANT to do something for Allah, then he will make a way for you, wa mai yatiqillah yaj3al lahu makraja.
Mauritania is not for beginers trying to learn arabic, go to egypt 1 or 2 years, dont be stubborn like me and only want Mauritania as it is very traditional and islamic. Go to egypt 1 or 2 years then try Mauritania if you need to. this is my suggestion, you can take it or leave it.
They spek Hasani arabic which is prety hard to understan, it is arabic with french and other things, very far from fusha, even though they will tell you otherwise lol.
Homesickness might happen but remember you are doing it lilah. The shaitan will come and atack you relentlessly telling you how could you leave your mom and this and that, anything to get you away from knowledge.
I can speak arabic pretty good now and memorized about 1 juz while there, yet i barely remember studying but a bit in begining. SubhanAllah there must have been some barakah in it Allahu a3lam.
taxis are cheap in city about 100 ougiya to get to end of street or 200 if complicated. Taxis from village to city is about 700-1200 ougiya each way or so. taxis will cram you, a regular car with 5 seats typically holds 7 people including driver.
very little electricity in villae, only a few can even charge their phones. the masjid has one light bulb at night that all kids crowd around. masjid in village also very loud, hard to concentrate, i did not like it. Alhamdulilah.
city has alot of dogs village i never saw one. city more dirty than village. city has lights and electricity village no lights at night and very limited electricity. On days where moon is not bight you must use your flashlight to get to masjid for fajr. Pitch black outside.
In village they do not charge you for studies, nor for dorm. you pay for food, you can do share with roomaes, about 35000 ougiya a month(split with 4 roomates about 8000 each) for food to be cooked and brought to your door 2 times a day lunch and dinner, and they clean dish after. Very cheap and less headache about cooking and cleaning.
Village wash clothes by hand. or pay one of kids like 50 ougiya and they clean it, dry it, and fold it.
My Journal is almost filled and a barely skimmed through to what i could get down here. so i will in Sha Allah create an email people can ask me questions about Mauritania so i could help. In sha Allah i will upload pictures also, well actually just leave me a message here, no need for email.
Well its been almost 2 hours of working on this, i need to get to work. Allah a3lam if i will edit later or not.