Written by: Ibrahim – CorpsAfrica/Maroc Volunteer
Date: June 17, 2015
After one week of living in the mosque, people started to call me the Fqih. What a wonderful nickname to start my journey with! Wherever I went and whomever I came across called me the fqih: “Hello Mr fqih, how is your day?” and even more so, sometimes they asked me questions related to the Islamic doctrine. To which I usually tried to give a more or less colorless answer.
Another week went by, I got invited to a wedding in the neighboring village. The guy who told me that didn’t particularly say “you are invited to a wedding tonight”, it was more like “you are coming to the wedding along with the fqih right??”
After dinner prayer, the groom’s brother came to pick us up with his vehicle; I honestly wasn’t expecting a pick-up, inviting us to their wedding was kind enough. After a 20 minutes ride, we got to the wedding, a big Marquee next to their house. Technically, it was a pre-wedding ceremony where only the families of the newlyweds that were present and of course the fqihs.
“Why would they invite me? Me who is a complete stranger to the family” I thought to myself.
“Maybe it was because it is inappropriate to let me stay in mosque alone, especially that the fqih’s wife is next door”
Anyway, although it was a pre-wedding ceremony, they were a lot of people (men only). I didn’t know what to do or how to behave, so I stuck with the fqih and just followed him. We sat at a table next to some people, only to realize that all the people around my table were fqihs from neighboring villages. OK, now things started to get a little strange.
After we finished the feast, everyone brought their chairs and gathered around my table. “What’s going on?” I wondered.
The fqihs started reciting some verses of the Quran, which I happen to know, and with a haughty smile that I couldn’t hide, I kept up with them. Afterward it was time for douaa (prayers). Everyone raised their hands and then the oldest fqih started making douaa for the newlyweds and his family. By the time we finished, everyone thanked the fqihs and me for coming over.
After we got back to our village and the mosque, I laid down on my bed and funny thoughts started coming to mind. “Could it be that they seriously think I am a fqih? After piecing together all the events I have just mentioned, maybe they do”.
If you think about it, it kind of makes sense; I was wearing a djellaba (traditional Moroccan robe) the whole time, I stay in a mosque which made the people to presume I was the fqih’s classmate and I shouldn’t have assumed that people here were only kidding when they were calling me “the Fqih”. Anyway I didn’t have to think about it for very long, because in the morning, some people invited me for a cup of tea to ask me if it is possible for me to live in a mosque still under construction.
“OK. I think there is a quite big misunderstanding here. I am not a fqih and I never was. In fact, I am not even sure I am a good Muslim.” I said to them. To my startling answer, some were surprised, some disappointed and some found it very funny. At the end we all laughed about it and agreed that it is going to be quite a funny story to tell.
Apparently, people here would associate you with whomever they see you with. They see you with a fqih, they automatically assume you are a fqih. They see you with a thief or a murderer, and the same logic applies. OK, maybe I am exaggerating, but from now on, I should be careful with whom I spend time. But first thing first: I took off my djellaba and have never worn it ever since.