I wondered what day 6 would center upon – blank! And so I decided I to pluck a leafy stem from the tree I sought comfort under. After the stem was inserted into an opening in the bark of the tree, I took shots of it. I stared at it for some while but no idea came. I wondered what I would write about or what lessons a stem plastered to the bark of a tree would give me. And just then, a little boy walked past me. Banter!

I stopped him impulsively and he waited. He hesitated though. He looked at me and stopped a few feet away. I then engaged him in a conversation.
“What’s your name?” I asked, “Kola” came the reply. “Oh’ I said, ‘are you a Muslim?” He looked at me and then looked down. “No” he shook his head, “I am not a Muslim.”
“So you are not fasting, or are you?” I inquired. He replied, to my surprise, that he was fasting.

Initially, I had the intention of letting him go his way as soon as possible but at that point in time, I wondered why such a little boy would fast if he wasn’t a Muslim. When I asked him, he told me his grandma was a Muslim and as such, he sometimes fasted with the rest of the family.”

As a little girl I didn’t like to fast. The only reason I fasted for 4-6 hours sometimes used to be because my dad would buy any child who fasted in the house some ice-cream. The amount of ice-cream you’d get depends on the number of hours you fasted; it was my parents way of motivating us to fast. However, I doubted this boy has any reward from his grandma each time he fasts. This piqued my interest and so I asked further questions.

“Why do you fast kola? Do you think God would give you something in return for fasting?” He smiled, with his eyes fixed on the ground. He obviously didn’t really understand what I was driving at. I reframed my question and asked him “you are not a Muslim, so you may not need to fast. Would you want to be a Muslim?” He replied in the affirmative ” yes I want to be a Muslim”. ” So what’s stopping you?” I asked. “My mummy will not allow me” came his reply.

“How come your grandma is a Muslim then, is she not your mummy’s mom”. Kola said she wasn’t. She was kola’s father’s mother and so, it was inlynhis father that was a Muslim, not his mother. Kola however, can’t practice Islam as his mother isn’t one, and wouldn’t allow him to practice Islam. It was at this juncture that I understood this boy. As I was not done with my questioning yet and he wasn’t bored with me, I asked him again “When would you be a Muslim then? Since you like Islam, won’t be q Muslim soon?” Kola then replied “when I have my own house or maybe a family of my own, I would become a Muslim. By then, I would be able to make my own decisions and no one would stop me.”

This reply was sublime and I really hoped that one day, this boy’s wish would come true. It was like the words of an adult erupting from the mouth of a little boy. “What Muslim name would you like kola?” I asked afterwards. “Jubril!” He said, “I already have a Muslim name and I would make it my name when I become a Muslim.” I was satisfied with our conversation by then so I let jubril go. His kid brother of about 3 years came around and they wanted to play football. We exchanged goodbyes and Alhamdulillah, I got my “bit!”

I needed a day 6 story but I got a story for day 6&7 from my conversation with this boy of about 12/13 years of age. I hope to share what I learnt from this in sha Allah in my “day 7” or better still, let the lessons be derived according to each reader’s understanding. Let’s see what “day 7” would feature. ‘Lessons from my conversation with kola’ or another story entirely!

#nanabee #RamadanDiaries #day6

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