Farewell to a Woman, a Mother, a School

Abdelhak Bzioui

March 27, 2015

Mrs Khadija El Malki, widow of the Imam Abdessalam Yassine –God have mercy upon them, is one of those few ladies who not only bear the same name as the mother of all believers, Khadija, wife of our prophet Mohammed -God bless him and grant him peace, but also embody many of her qualities. She was loving, caring, supporting, and patient, to mention only a few attributes.

She stood still unyielding in the midst of a bleak atmosphere of political detention, imprisonment and blackmailing, a historical period that was described by victims and perpetrators alike as “the years of lead”. Khadija, who was laid down in her grave, chose to walk the journey of her life alongside the most ferocious opposition leader against corruption and tyranny in Morocco, mainly represented by the King Hassan II and his successor King Mohammed V. She was a real prop and comfort for her husband when he set out on publically advising the Moroccan kings to change their policies during the period of the seventies and eighties of the last century which was marked by extreme oppression and political dictatorship.

Mrs Khadija El Malki, God have mercy on her soul, was not only patiently enduring the hardships and pain of her husband’s (Imam Yassine) struggle against an autocratic regime, but she was also a corner stone in his revivalist and constructivist project of renewing the din and Islamic activism. Lalla Khadija, as every member of the Justice and Spirituality Movement (JSM) would prefer to call her, was conspicuously proactive in the sense of harboring her husband’s call for change at her own house and heart. She tended to the project of the JSM since its early stages with everything precious she owned.

Lalla or mother Khadija did not make many public appearances, with the exception of two interviews, one of them videotaped. In the latter, she revealed part of the daily life of the late Imam Yassine, May God bless his soul. Mother Khadija ran after neither fame nor worldly positions. Rather, she gave the example of a self-denying educator who fully devotes her lifetime to her Lord and to the purpose of calling people to his path. She was a subservient and poised lady who maintained her smile on the face even after the poignant passing of her husband which left an open wound deep inside her heart. She truly loved Imam Yassine and was always yearning for her Lord’s mercy and blessings. She opted for humility at a time when no few people are craving for titles and camera lights at the threshold of power.

Those who dealt with Mother Khadija at close quarters report that she was an avid faster as well as standing up for prayer seeking God’s Face. She would profusely praise God and recite His holy Book. Therefore, she safeguarded the gist of Imam Yassine’s message; disseminating justice while pulling oneself closer to God and getting ready for the hereafter.

During a visit paid to her by some senior members of the JSM on March 15th 2015 and in response to their request for a piece of counsel from her, she solemnly said: “[stick to] prayer! Prayer in the mosque and in the first row. Remember and praise God all your time and get prepared for the Hereafter. Sidi Abdessalam used to repeatedly pinpoint the Hereafter and urge us to work for it. He maintained that even after you enjoy everything enjoyable in this life, the question of ‘what is next?’ arises. The answer is death. So, what is the value of a life followed by death?”) Such a preoccupation with her own and the believers’ destiny after death while scores of other women are obsessed with ephemeral worldly matters and desires- raises Mother Khadija to the level of a role model, a school where moral lessons and principles can be learned. Humanity, I believe, is desperately in need of such icons who remind it of God Whom it seems to be increasingly parting far away from.

Indeed we belong to God, and indeed to Him we will return. (Al-Baqarah, 156). Eyes shed tears and hearts are saddened by your passing, mother, but we say only what would please our Lord. We invoke our Lord to make your soul rest in peace. May God the All-Capable, the Most Merciful enable our passing mother to see His countenance, to meet His prophet Mohammed (God bless him and grant him peace) in paradise and to meet her husband Imam Yassine who lies down next to her in the same cemetery, Amen.