Just as lightening is so fast and heart thrusting, the moment and how destiny turn tables on them that particular day was also fast. It was like a dream to him as he sat in the middle of the sitting room weeping like a punctured tank rushing out. Four family members came inside and lifted the lifeless body of Uncle Dowd for burial. Many thought came and flogged him deep down into his brain and he felt like erasing the memory away and wished it was just a dream.
The memory of his dad, uncle Dowd torments him. It was like bush fire blazing through the forest, flogged by the harmattan. The voice of his dad early in the morning calling out to him to get ready for the Morning Prayer played an endless loop. Those smiles whenever he returns from school in the evening replayed too. As he turned sideways, he noticed the Panasonic radio switched off and more tears gushes out of his eyes. He cherished the radio just as he cherished his dad. Uncle Dowd and his radio were friends, as he never ate without it.
He remembered the dead look he always wears each time he prayed the five mandatory prayer when the time had passed. Thinking about all the little and big things about his dad ate him dry.
Beside uncle Dowd’s favourite sofa, his wife sat restless on the tiled floor. In her eyes were tears she could never shed. If she sits, she stood abruptly and when helped to stand, she sits. The pain and sorrow she was trying to endure was much and enough to get her crazy. Her hair scattered, her eyes bulging like that of a toad and tears drew the map of many nations yet undiscovered on her cheeks.
Bello you will die, you will die before your children grow up. You will go blind even if you have a long life. Unless there is no God, unless I didn’t gave birth to my five children and married the Dowd before you became governor. You starved us and still killed my husband, my only hope for survival because he stood against you! You will die a miserable death.
Some women tried to calm her down. But she was already out control. Her pain and sorrow was such that has no cure. How am I going to take care of five children, young children without a father, without salary for the past 20 months? All this and the death alone were killing her too. She wished she never gave birth to them after all. She also wished they all died at a time, all seven of them. In that case no one would be left to suffer afterward. No! She roared, maybe afraid of her own thoughts as well. No they will replace their father; they will repay Bello and his officials.
Muhammad sat where he was, sobbing like a vulture beaten by a heavy rain. His was not how and who killed his father, but why it has to be at that crucial time in his life. He was still in senior secondary one and the eldest among five. The task and responsibility ahead alone was a mountain he must learn how to climb, when he could barely walk properly.
Dust I was, floating in air,
Given an identity by Creator’s Care.
Flying seed I was, craving for land,
Given a golden ground by His Guidance.
Fake glitters charmed me too,
Devilish desires harmed me too,
Unbridled freedom marred me too,
Weak intentions charred me too.
But the vanity clouds washed off in tears,
As if from a lion’s jaw, escaped a deer.
As if a person got free from worldly prison,
And the light of his soul passed through a prism.
Quest is best for the determined soul,
Is the first one to reach its goal.
Guidance dawns upon those who find,
And don’t let their eyes go blind.
What are we but creations at test,
Oft who ignore what’s best.
The invisible enemy attacks from all sides,
And in dark hearts it cozily resides.
Yet Allah’s doors of Mercy are open to all,
Ask for His Help and be saved from fall.
Nature’s at your service as an Emblem of His Love,
And His Throne rests high above.
An excerpt from muslimmemo.com
This poem was written by Anam Fatima and am sharing the poem as a gift to all my fellow Muslim faithful in this month of Ramadan.