In 1930, at the age of twenty, Shaykh Salih al-Ja’fari left the north of Sudan to Cairo to study at the noble Azhar, where he remained for the rest of his life. He obtained the ‘Alimiyya degree after twelve years, and then became a teacher and imam at the Azhar mosque.
Shaykh Salih’s loving mother stopped cooking his favorite foods while he was away, saying: ‘I do not like to eat food that my beloved son loves, in his absence.’
When the Shaykh graduated from the Azhar and began to work in it, his mother asked him to send her a part of his salary, not because she needed it, but in order to rejoice at the fact that her son has graduated and that he earned a salary from which he would spend on his family. The Shaykh would send her 50 pence every month out of his salary which was 3 pounds and 75 pence.
The Shaykh gave up all his time to teaching and guidance at the Azhar, and lived inside it, never leaving it except for Hajj and Umra, or visiting the Ahlul Bayt and the Awliya of Allah (most high).
In 1952 Shaykh Salih went to Hajj for the first time. There, he held on to the Kaaba and asked Allah (most generous is He) to bless him with Hajj every year, and Allah answered his dua. After that, Shaykh Salih would go to Hajj every year, a total of 27 times, until he died.
There is one year, however, in 1962, when the Shaykh was not able to go to Hajj. That year, circumstances prevented him from traveling from Cairo to the Hijaz, so he went to the Sudan to try and travel from there instead. However, things prevented him from traveling to the Hijaz from Sudan as well, so he went to his hometown of Dongola to spend the Eid al-Adha with his family.
His mother said to him: ‘How could you go Hajj this year and leave me, when I had bought a sheep last year for sacrifice and I have been asking Allah (most high) that my son, Shaykh Salih, eat from it?!’