Today I want to write on something very delicate, something I know one day I will surely account for. But what can I do? I am just a helpless soul seeking for answers.
For those who may end up misunderstanding this after reading it, I want to make it clear that I am a full believer of God in all ramifications. Both the body and soul of mine is devoted to the service of God.
That aside, recently the way I see the world makes me think I am either losing or might lose soon. I don’t know what kind of game it is but I’m pretty sure it is a game.
You know if you are a devoted Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, or any faith, you must have been briefed on all rulings concerning your dealings in life. Rules like no drinking, no sex before marriage, no smoking and other form of social, moral and religious vices.
Without dawdling, let me go straight to the point; I am just a poor young man looking for answers, and I will be wrong to say God has betrayed me. In short it is blasphemy to say such a thing as a believer because He, God plans better than all of us and that’s what we believe.
A poor little thing as I am, who does not smoke, drink nor womanize, I mean I don’t partake in all those moral vices maybe because of the fear of eternal punishment from God and that fear has no doubt trapped me in the thoughts of whether I am deceiving myself or someone else is!
At times I would sit under the tree at the back of my house and the thoughts that would make me think of myself as either a saint or something of the likes would run riot through my head. Who would blame? You? or someone somewhere? I don’t think someone would.
I have no achievement, no money, no fames yet those rules I follows says it was the way to attaining the fame, wealth and achievements.
I know and I have few friends who drinks, smoke and who can not stay a day without sleeping with different girls. He does everything and doesn’t care about rules. In spite of all these, He is famous, rich, and enjoying a flamboyant life that I do not have. He does not care about these rules that I have imprisoned myself with and everything is moving smooth for him.
This makes me helpless and I begin to ask myself “what if we are wrong” I mean what if I am wrong? What if one dies tomorrow and finds out there isn’t God at all and that everything was man made? Does it mean such person like me has lost?
Ok let’s look at it the other way; what if one die tomorrow and there is that God? By then it will be too late for such person like my friend who doesn’t care about His existence.
“it is better to live and believe there is God and die and find out there isn’t than to live believing there isn’t a God only to find out there is after death’’.
This is so because we need to ask ourselves the question “what if I am wrong?” A good business man should take a risk that has little or no risk at all and believe you me; there isn’t a business worth transacting like the business of life.
It was on a Friday evening that everything changed for me. My dad had just returned from the mosque; that was when the alarm clock said eight, and as was his tradition he wouldn’t remove his long white jalabia before he shouted.
Why is the generator not started yet?
I knew within me he was going to complain about my not coming to the mosque that evening which would add up to the problem at hand. To cover up one of the problem I dressed in a long Jalabia and left the house through the back door. I had to pretend I also went to the Masjid.
I sluggishly walked towards the door and tapped on it as though the Chinese door was complaining of body pains.
Who is that?
It’s me, I said stammering
When the door was opened I walked in as though I was carrying the weight of Mount Everest on my legs.
Where you not the one talking in your room few minutes ago? Queried my mum
Oh no? I shouted inaudibly. Mum you have destroyed my plan. How is your headache, she added. By this I knew I had to face my dad’s interview soon. Am getting better I said looking away.
My Dad was sitting on the sofa pressing his tablet pc. It was obvious he was reading news or perhaps on Wikipedia because as far as I knew him he never liked social media. He looked up briefly and turned all of his attentions back to his tablet pc, but I could see the ire inside of him waiting to be released.
Good evening sir, I said as he pretended not to have heard at all. I turned and was about leaving the sitting room when he roared out.
Come back here, you are now taking decisions for me in this house right?
Not so sir, I said babbling
Then how, tell me am listening, he continued. Maybe he was right. Often when ever he was away the house does as I say not because they were afraid of me but because I was given that opportunity and it was getting out of hand since I was misusing the golden opportunity.
Am sorry sir, I said leaving again but this time he got provoked as he stood up almost immediately and gave me the dirtiest slap ever. I slumped and it was the last thing I remember immediately I woke up on the hospital bed the following morning.
I was an asthmatic patient couple with the fact that I was feverish that day that I sweat and felt dizzy after walking few steps even in the room.
Immediately I opened my eyes I saw my Dad sat almost in front of me staring straight into my weakened eyes and it was at this time clear he was very sorry. His eyes carry the colours of a virgin sunset and his facial look was that of a cow. As far as I knew him he would never say sorry even though he was.
How are you feeling now Prof? He said touching my neck maybe trying to feel my pulse. He was fond of calling me Prof right from when I was a kid. I don’t know why but I could tell from his character how my education and lifestyles seems to be more of importance to him compare to my three other siblings.
Am fine, I said even though I knew I wasn’t as he made his way out of the ward. Let me go and see the doctor, he said closing the door behind him.
Immediately he returned, he rigidly supported his back on the wall. He stared vacantly at the window that barely had better curtain and shook his head every seconds and his eyes clouded with tears which he couldn’t shed.
“I will be back,” he said again even though it was not up to two minute he had just returned. The tone rang hollow, his emotions encased in a vacuum. He spoke as if it were some well-rehearsed line he had already repeated a thousand times. The announcement, though cold, remained firm, and it indicated more than just a temporary absence. The finality of the statement slowly took substance, and it lingered in the cozy room.
The words fell upon my senses like a lead weight. I stared at him turning his back, impatiently waiting for further explanation; and I was offered nothing.
Your mum will be here soon, he said as he finally bangs the door behind him.
It was when my mum returned that I was told I needed a blood transfusion, which I was given some hours later. It was getting late and my dad was yet come to the clinic which was some miles away from home.
We waited patiently but he didn’t come but only made a call to my mum that he wouldn’t be able to come until the next morning. My three other siblings were in a boarding school which means he would be alone in the house.
Mum there is something wrong with dad, I said pathetically.
What do you mean?
The way he left this morning had something more to it than just “I will be back” that he said before leaving. I said throwing away my face.
You know your dad, he hardly show his emotions, she said feeling relieved.
It was the next morning. The day was getting closer to noon yet dad was yet to come to the clinic and by this time the panic was high as his number refused to go through. My mum became restless and she couldn’t sit nor stand. Maybe it was because of my statement the previous day.
Hours later, the doctor walked into my ward and his face had stories to tell.
Hajia please come, he said as both leave the ward in slow motion motive. I waited for my mum but she was yet to return. I lethargically came down from the bed and made my way out the ward. In the reception I met one of neighbors and two of my family members sobbing and crying oceans out of their eyes.
What is happening? I asked as none of them answered.
You are not yet strong, the doctor advised as he led me back into my ward.
Towards evening I was discharged and met my house like a stadium. Everyone nodded their head like matured agama lizards.
Somebody help me, somebody please! Can anybody hear me? My mum sorrowful screams pierced through the neighborhood in a heightened tone. Her neck was revealing all the veins that lie therein as she cries the sorrow out of her heart. She shook her head vigorously and stamped her feet heavily on the harden earth yet it wasn’t enough. She rolled herself to the ground as she cried uncontrollably; she was absolutely inconsolable. Her cries of anguish echoed and wildly permeated through neighboring homes and within minutes more people hooted in. the entire compound was crowded with streams of sympathizers. Oh! Dad is dead? It can’t be, I cried
No! It can’t be. He is the most religious in this neighborhood; he can’t kill himself. He knows vividly how punishable it is for one to commit suicide. One of the mosque congregations lectured.
I sluggishly walked into his bedroom where his lifeless body lay in the bed. I was kaput and I bent to touch his feet as his bed was covered with his own pool of blood and the next thing I heard was “Prof, wake up its time for prayer”.
Subhanallah! I shouted. I am dreaming! It was a dream! But how can dream be this long and so true? Thank God I said with tears dripping down my eyes. Even though I couldn’t tell anyone the dream no doubt changed me for better.
In the dark lonely night he came crying like a day old lamb deserted by its mother. WOIDI ALLAH he shouted with his cracking voices that sounded like one whose neck was under an attack. The more he bawled the more the tone sounded like one who was in a ship that is being drowned in an ocean. Even though it was in the dark, one need no light to see how bloated his lips were in that cold lonely night.
Such were the cries of young boys being maltreated by their own parents and their so called Ustaz in most part of the northern Nigeria. Even though this was not a new thing, that night seems to be different for me. As the boy whose age was no more than six years old cry; continuously shout “woidi Allah” the tears in my eyes knew no bound. Why the sudden feelings, I couldn’t tell myself.
Everyone is busy crying because of recession; we can’t even feed ourselves, even the ones who could hardly cook in excess these days. How can this child who feeds from what is left of our food eat himselves? He shouted “woidi Allah” from door to door, gates to gates but no response except “akuri (be patient)” which everyone kept chanting to him. Not a single soul to help this helpless soul.
Few minutes later, he walked sluggishly out of the arena. By this time it was clear how heavy the weight of his legs was. No slippers no thick clothing yet the cold wasn’t a concern of his but his stomach.
I followed him for I also had only a hundred naira on me but believe you me that amount is no far from being useless in this Buharism. Dan Mallam I called out to him and he rush like a hungry lion that was freed from a cage, ready to devour a prey; I handed over the last hundred naira on me to him. even though I was pretty sure without it, the next day would be trekking for me, I gave him anyway. The way he rushed away was pitiable. I stared at him till he was out of sight.
Why was he created? What kind of a father brings such misery to their children? No one can blame the innocent boy or the so called Usatz in this case. In a dark lonely night I shed the tears of a lonely Almajiri boy.