May 22, 2019
The reputation for hospitality in Moroccan culture can be an overwhelming pressure for families. At difficult times, such as when a family member dies, it can be especially heavy.
When I lived in Morocco, my neighbor’s mother died. I knocked on her door and handed her a box of sugar cubes. Sugar is an appropriate gift to express condolences to those who are mourning in Moroccan culture.
My neighbor took the sugar into the kitchen and emerged with a pot of mint tea, the traditional drink in Morocco for any occasion. She took the same sugar I had just given her and gave it back to me mixed in tea. Even while grieving she did not cease to show hospitality to me: a stranger from a different culture who could not speak her language well. She showed me warmth and hospitality even in her most difficult days.
Sugar is a traditional gift, but death is far from sweet for Muslim families. There is no real certainty of salvation or a guarantee that they will be in paradise in the afterlife. The bitter sting of death can cause Muslims to ponder their own eternity and some are driven by that to seek the certainty of eternity found in Jesus. May they taste and see that He is good!
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