Al Maghrib - A special edition in commemoration of the first anniversary after Said Hajji passed away - 6th year, No 1189 , March 11, 1943.
In response to the invitation by the staff of the Al Maghrib newspaper to evoke one aspect of his life in this celebratory ceremony of the first year since Said Hajji passed away, we will relive once again the memory of the deceased. This was a life totally marked by intense activity and punctuated by uncommon memories. His passing was a big loss for the youth and so commemorating him merits being constantly renewed.
The learned are destined to eternal life;
Its members hardly fear heaven's strife.
An ignorant, is a corpse on Earth, wandering;
He is but ash and dust amongst all the living.
The dearly departed Said demonstrated an uncommonly strong character in all his undertakings. As a youth he was very active during his scholastic years where he was able to perfect his education and acquire deep understanding in many fields of knowledge. One saw the same strength in his struggles with life's up and downs, in his (self-imposed) high standards of morality and sweet demeanor, and in the handling of disorientation during his journeys. Likewise it was evident in the friendships he made with people who responded in kind. It was also noted in his conduct when he was in the company of very divergent sets of social strata with regards to behavior, objectives, knowledge and religions.
One saw him amongst the young people, full of youthful vigor, talent and smiles. He never ceased researching and challenging his interlocutors often with contradictions and then profiting from their opinions. Likewise they would profit from his conceptions on existence and the struggle one must take on in life to earn a rightful place under the sun. He urged his colleagues to stiffen their resolve through (life's) ordeals to attain the goals they seek. He incited them to do all that is humanly possible with regards to intellectual or material pursuits without letting any obstacle or difficulty dissuade them no matter the resistance of either to their effort. It is sufficient to open the magazines and newspapers (he wrote in) to become aware of the number of studies, useful lessons and proposals that he developed.
Amongst the adults, one could see him brimming with maturity, strengthened by solid life experiences, in full control of his abilities and with great firmness of heart. He was the epitome of tenacity and patience as he engaged in areas of activity he deemed useful. He defended his principles orally and through his writings. He argued with facts to support his views. He was conciliatory only when others joined his rank to engage in a line of conduct along the lines he wished so as to favor the common good and to support a product life focused on the improving the intellectual, the morale and the material standing of the nation. This perspective is abundant in his journalistic work.
One saw him amongst the elderly, behaving like them: serious, calm, and unruffled. He inquired about past and present events with courtesy and politeness, expressing his views in a well thought out manner and seeking their help to clarify certain obscure points that he was not able to understand. He sought them for the understanding of old habits and customs or to clarify with specifics some historical facts that were unique and rare. He engaged in open debates substantiating his views with facts until he was able to convince his interlocutors of the soundness of his contentions. He demonstrated that these views were based on the most recent accurate and serious studies.
Many a time he criticized the owners of private libraries of being stingy with documents in their possession by preventing their use by researchers interested in their content. He made numerous appeals for them to adopt a more facilitating attitude by providing access to the treasures of manuscripts hidden in the shelves of these libraries. Often the owners had no awareness of the value these represent be it with respect to studies in history as well as other fields or even reputedly lost scientific or literary essays. This lack of access in his view constituted a major handicap in the gathering of our national patrimony which otherwise would lead to updated writing of our past history. Access would allow not only partial and approximate interpretation based only on currently available documents but also on the more productive systematic research ancient manuscripts lost in private archives. For sure, the notion he proposes is worthy in of itself, but it is far from being easy to enact because of the many inconveniences it presents to the owners of these libraries. Hear the words an ancient poet who wrote on this matter:
When one asks for a remnant of dust or soil
With open hand, others fall silent and recoil.
Said was very mature. In everything he saw a lesson to be drawn or a subject to think about. He never considered them just a means for relaxation or distraction. He extracted examples and energy from bygone eras. From the present he found lessons and experiences. He prepared for the future by taking care of his relations with people and by making plans for his projects. He was a man of his times who guided his acquaintances and friends along the footpaths of the past while entrusting them to manage the present with vision and foresight. He reserved for the future speeches and acts that shall perpetuate forever because, while he is no longer physically with us, his words and acts will answer for him until the end of time. This is but a sketch of the spirited life of our beloved, a ray of light from his bright mind. He took a huge interest in the Islamic world which was a constant preoccupation of his mind when he was at the office, lying on his bed or walking on the street. One would say he was like a politician who navigates the oceans of existence always on the lookout for news that he could draw from deeply. He was interested in news that was good or bad, useful or harmful, about life's difficulties or the good life, and about progress or regression. One often saw him grieving during crises and joyful at their conclusion.
You should have seen him on Mount Arafat the year he fulfilled his pilgrimage duty to Mecca opening up to Eastern pilgrims. He sat beside a venerable Javanese Muslim to learn more about him, as well as the status and lives of his fellow believers on the island of Java under Dutch occupation. He was particularly interested in finding out if they were able to practice freely their religion and whether they felt safe personally and secure with regards to their possessions. Then came the turn of our man from Java to inquire about the status of Moroccan Muslims. And so this was how a fraternal tie was established between nationals from the Muslim world on top of Mount Arafat. They shared with each other in a serene environment, with purity of heart, and with joy and well being. It was a setting like no other in life which can happen only on this sacred mount where one's origins are soon forgotten in order to fill the heart with divine majesty and magnificence.
You should have seen Said catch up with a Russian pilgrim and then with Muslims from other countries to inquire about their situation in like manner and then all would share with each other very interesting personal stories. And so he returned to Morocco, abundantly informed and his mind filled with all the stories and commentaries he could retain. Afterwards one could have seen how his personality blossomed spiritually and intellectually and how he became a model of noble character and generosity. He was thus able to add to the wide field of his knowledge and cultural upbringing the idealization of moral values and a tendency to refer to his general experiences acquired during his travels to lands near and far including journeys back and forth from the Middle East. He was able take control of the most difficult situations thanks to the lessons he drew from his experiences. To have a soul filled with pride, it suffices that he rest in his ancestor's mausoleum, that he drinks from the springs of mercy and that he bathes in the heavenly world of light while the activities he initiated continue to grow as when he was alive. He shared the thoughts of great Muslim sociologists who foresaw an Islamic scientific and literary renaissance and even one that retained its identity and perpetuated its message across the ages. In fact this man was a sign amongst explicit ones from Allah. He demonstrated great scholarship and could handle social issues thanks to an enlightened mind and extraordinary intelligence. He was endowed with these strengths during the little time given him to live before leaving this perishable world for eternal life in the beyond.
"Everything on Earth will perish"
(-- The Koran, Surate 55:26,The Most Merciful)
"And to your Lord is the final destiny"
(-- The Koran, Surat 53:42, The Star)
"So which of the favors of your Lord would you deny?"
(-- The Koran Surat 55:13, The Most Merciful)
Mohammed Doukkali, Historian