Our family of five recently took a vacation down to the south of Morocco, Agadir and the region called Souss. It was special to be together and discover parts of Morocco we hadn’t seen before. The kids are now at a great travelling age so there may be more and more travelling in Morocco posts on here, insha Allah.
There were a lot of gems on the trip, but as I was going through my photos this set jumped out at me. It’s the tomb of a woman called Lalla T’ezza Semlalia. We just came upon this in the middle of a pretty remote, deserted stretch of
highway 2-lane road, and I was immediately drawn to the fact that such good care had been taken of this tomb. In fact there is a very large, lushly ornate mosque there that serves as a traditional center of Islamic learning. I was heartened (in the very literal sense of the term) to see that this sort of center does indeed exist in Morocco. We were told that anyone who wants to study intensively is welcome and will be given food and a blanket.
The Souss region is largely arid, mountainous, empty and open. It’s gets more and more desert as you go south. The Islam there is very traditional and strong, and seeing this tomb/mosque/school complex I got a feel for why this region produces many fine scholars.
What a jewel in the rough, no?
I’ve never seen anything quite like this, certainly not in the countryside. A beautiful place to remember God and ask Him for a measure of virtue, mercy and nearness to Him, as He granted this woman.
The Arabic inscription on her tomb and also on the wall reads “every soul shall taste death”. Although some may not choose to dwell on death, I appreciate any reminder, as one of my main goals in this life is to work towards what is called “husn al-khatima”, a good ending.
And then there was the mosque, with a large prayer hall inside and a very nice school and dormitory.
The serene interior, quiet now between prayer times.
I don’t know anything about Lalla T’ezza Semlalia, and didn’t manage to find anyone to ask in our short visit. I’d be thrilled if someone who read this blog actually knows a story or two or about her. Please share!