Shaykh Murabit al Hajj's birth name is Sidi Muhammad bin Salek bin Fahfu. He is from the Massumi clan who trace their lineage back to the Himyar clan of Yemen. He is a descendant of a long line of scholars and is renowned throughout Mauritania for his knowledge and piety.
After studying at the school of his father, he decided to perform the Hajj pilgrimage and at the age of nineteen, set out to Mecca from Mauritania for a trip that would total three years. He traveled by foot crossing Mali, Niger, Chad, and the Sudan and then by boat to Yemen where he then made his way to Mecca, spending time along the way teaching in many areas. He was offered a position of teaching in Mecca and although he had a great love to live in the city of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), he did not think he could assume the right of being a neighbor to the Best of Creation (peace and blessings be upon him). Consequently, he made his return journey home. It was after his journey to Hajj that his mother gave him the title "al Hajj."after the great scholar and warrior, “Umar Tal of Senegal”.
Upon his return, he spent most of his time in solitude; worshiping through prayers, fasting, and reading the Book of Allah. Staying near the encampment, he rarely interacted with people and had his food and drink brought to him. It was only after students came to sit with him upon hearing about his knowledge that he left his solitary worship. Subsequently, he spent most of his time teaching with little time for family, sleep, and other basic needs. He would teach late into the night by the fire light and then get up in the last part of the night to pray. However, if a student came for a lesson, the Shaykh would quicken or give up this time for prayer, as well as all other types of extra devotional practices. He has continued this way of life up until the present day where he still teaches, and the only thing that has slowed him down, although not considerably, is old age as he is about 100 years old. May Allah give him a long life to continue benefiting the Community of the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him).
Through his perseverance and sacrifice, Murabit al Hajj has produced many scholars, some of whom are his own children and relatives. At his present school, his cousin Shaykh Muhammad al Ameen, his son, Muhammad Tahir,
and his grandson, Shaykh Abdullah bin Ahmadna
lecture alongside him to provide a comprehensive system teaching the necessary sciences.