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Ramadhan Diaries

Accept my Hug.

 

Ramadhan has been amazing so far. For me, it’s been yet another struggle reminding me that nothing comes easy; an effort is always required.

On day 15, I already made up my mind to keep the flow of the diary on till it’s time for i’tikhaf. But as Allah is the best planner, things didn’t go as I planned. To leave trash for lawma as my brother would sometimes say, I found myself compiling each day in my head, never beyond.

On the 18th of Ramadhan, I made a post but I couldn’t finish up. And then on the 19th, same repeated itself. There have been lessons that I really wanted to transmit i.e. day 17 from which I learnt the pertinence of a hug to your fellow Muslim, friend or family; especially when they are going through difficult times.

Here is a bit of the gist:
The su elections had just ended and a colleague emerged as the vice president. We were not particularly friends as we were in different departments but we always exchange tesleem and certain pleasantries. As I left the masjid that afternoon to go back to class, I saw her discussing with some people and so i decided to congratulate her. I offered her my hand but she hugged me instead. Subhanallah! It was that kind of hug that tells you to not withdraw from the other part until the person let’s loose. She hugged me so tight, rocking a bit and I hugged her back. She said a few words and expressed her gratitude as I eased off her embrace and left. I couldn’t help but conclude that she hadn’t been able to ease the surge that washed through her since the announcement that she emerged winner.

Later that evening, we had an event at the school stadium and for some reasons, I watched the comedy artistes closely as they dismounted the stage. As each of them left, he tried to hug another fellow or embrace the MC. At first I thought it was just a person, but then I saw another do same, then another. They were amateurs, still growing in their career and the crowd still had overwhelming effects on them. As I watched on, I couldn’t help but link it up to the morning’s occurrence. And then I thought of me.

I used to get so tired of school work before my third year. Stress is one thing I don’t know how to handle and then sometimes I just need someone to console me real bad. As a freshman I used to turn to my parents. My dad would always call me about 3 times in a day repeating that I don’t push anything far. And when I did push far, he would always offer his condolence along with my mom. They used to help me ease the stress.

In my second year however, I met a lady and we soon became bossom friends. As such, i had a comforter nearby; though we take turns to comfort each other. For her, she just needs you to listen to her when she is stressed. Listen to her and say a few words to reassure her and she is fine. But I, a hug from her was what relieved me the most; a hug goes a long way wallah. And if she wasn’t there, I just cry a while to make the pressure bounce.

As I reviewed the activities of that day I couldn’t help but resort to the conclusion that it is very important to be there for someone else; especially when the person particularly wants you to be there for him/her. It’s one of the rights we owe ourselves as Muslims.
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I also learnt on day 15 that humility is the key to greatness. No matter your level of wealth, class or knowledge in life, always regard yourself as just another servant of Allah so as not to drawn in the pool of pride.
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On a last note, our concentration during salat is one issue I planned to write on but couldn’t. We need to be more conscious of our postures and body language while we pray so as not to perform a mere exercise. The common mistakes made are “looking around while standing, and bending so low during ruku – rather than have your back flat so much so that a rounded item could be placed comfortably on it. The last ten days are for us to move closer to Allah and perhaps, away from our gadgets and all forms of things that could divert our attention. It is for us to perfect our deen and also allow the Qur’an be our guide.

May Allah accept our acts during this blessed month as acts of ibadah.

#Nanabee #RamadhanDiaries #Day20 #Pinday #IhtikhafShortly #Duaa #Islam #Salaam

Watermelon for mom

IMG_20160618_181325

At tafsir yesterday, a little girl alongside her brother walked past, crying. She was mumbling “mummy” with each whimper she made and heads turned to look in her & her brother’s direction. Having known this girl, I called on her, hoping to help trace her mother in the crowd. She turned back the moment I called her, to my surprise. I assumed her mood would result in some restraints but it appeared she needed a fast exit out of her tear-shedding and loitering, trying to spot her mother to no avail.

She came to my side and as I looked down at her to tell her not to cry anymore, she touched the watermelon sitting on my bag. She then groped it with amusement in her eyes. I reached for her hand to stop her but she was already smiling by then. She wanted some of it.

The sisters around me were smiling at her reaction as it was rather spontaneous; she was the same person crying a few seconds back. It wasn’t iftar yet so I had to cut out some for her, and for her brother, leaving the remaining portion in the nylon. And Subhanallah! You’d think she wasn’t the same person who wanted her mom a few minutes ago. Before I gave it to her, I paused to ask her if she was fasting. She is about 3/4 years old and rather too small to fast for a complete day but I just wanted to ask still. Lol. She nodded immediately with her hands still stretched towards the watermelon and she said ‘yes! I am fasting.’ But I couldn’t laugh with the sisters observing around us, she was impatient for any form of interrogation.

When she was almost done munching what was with her, she reached out for the other half with a juicy hand. My dress was already getting its share of the fruity bath too, but what could I do? Children are a blessing from Allah and besides, we all were once children; eating noisily and carelessly as well. I just needed to play mummy for a few minutes so I condoned their craving.

She wanted the other part. I tried talking her out of it but she wouldn’t even let me. She held on to the watermelon tightly and she said “kenkele. I want only kenkele I will not take everything. Gimme more now.” But did I even have a choice? Her brother was also behind, gulping down the last of the fruit with him and so I divided the rest of the fruit and gave them the smaller part. She took hers joyfully and ate it up and her brother also took his, taking his time to devour it patiently, like he did the first time.

As she dropped the back of the watermelon, she took off without looking back. She went over to the ‘high table’ and was shaking hands with each sheikh one after the other even as the tafsir was still on. ☺ Kids! They have no worries at all. Her brother stayed put until he finished his and then he showed me his hands; as a way of telling he was through and ready to leave. He went over to join his sister, forgetting he was looking for mummy too, like his sister.
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Hadith
Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with
him), said:
I never saw anyone who was more
compassionate towards children than Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him). His son Ibrahim was in the care of a wet nurse in the hills around
Madinah. He would go there, and we would go with him, and he would enter the house, pick up his son and kiss him, then come back. (Muslim)
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Show love and compassion towards children. Laugh, play and have little chats with them. It is odd to say it’s a “female thing” to be fond of children as the prophet, our exemplary character, was ever compassionate towards children. May Allah grant us all offspring that would bring coolness to our eyes and ease our path to Jannah. Ameen

#Day13 #NanaBee #RamadhanDiaries

Bottle of Deed: Saving a snail

I was walking back and forth the porch yesternight when I noticed the exquisite ball above. The moon was bright and it made me delighted. As I was moving close to the threshold getting a handful glimpse of it, I needed some artificial source of light to see the rims by the threshold so I wouldn’t miss my steps. The lamp I had with me shone as I clicked it on and it caught the shell of a snail sliding across the porch. It was odd to see a snail at that place and I beckoned on Faiza, my friend, to check it out.

She wasn’t intrigued by it but was rather conscious of the fact that the snail was moving towards the center of the lane which could make it get crushed if a passerby had no lamp or torchlight on while crossing it. She told me to move it aside and then I did, after taking shots of it though. I actually wondered if snails don’t see at night coz it didn’t hide into its shell as I snapped on. It just kept moving.

I took the snail off the road and deposited it in the shrub close by. And Alas! An act of deed was done!

πŸ‘‚πŸ‘‚πŸ‘‚Did I hear you say that’s insignificant?? Of course not! Remember, a promiscuous woman was promised Jannah because she fed a thirsty dog with some water and a pious woman got the tidings of hell as she left a cat unattended to until it died. This is in no way undermining worship or piety but emphasizing the importance of kindness to all creatures that walk the earth.

Do keep me in your duaa plsπŸ™ I got exams banginggg πŸ˜₯πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
Good night guys πŸ˜‡

#Day12 #Extra #Nanabee

Better late than Never

IMG_20160616_092208I ran a diary during ramadhan two years ago. I spent the month at my uncle’s and as such, I could spare time to write during sahur or in the evening. I however did it for the first 20 days alone. Last year unfortunately, I couldn’t keep that trend up. I planned something bigger for this year but as Allah would have it, it couldn’t happen yet, which is the reason I decided to improvise by making the page “Nana Bee Scribe.” πŸ™ŠπŸ‘‚ SecretΓ©! Lol

Sometimes our plans just don’t follow suite. We draw outlines of how we wanna spend the rest of our moments, days, weeks, months, years and even our entire lives; for those who are smart at planning. But Allah already said in Surah Al-Anfal verse 30 that “… They plan, Allah also plans; and Allah is the best of planners.” As Muslims, we shouldn’t make plans and have hundred percent assurance of how it would turn out. We are the people of “Alhamdulillah” in every of our situations. If it turns out well, thank Allah. And if it doesn’t, it’s still all thanks to the Almighty.

Back to track now. I saw a pre-ramadhan manual on how and why one should make a “jar” of good deeds. The jar is simple to make but I couldn’t particularly lay my hands on any jar. You just have to pick up an old clean jar and tape a label around it. And that’s all. You would write out an act of deed each on 30 pieces of papers afterwards, and put them in the bottle. Each day of Ramadhan, you would pick out each one and ensure you act that deed written in it. i.e. “Feed a fasting Muslim”, “recite 3 juuz” etc. I liked the idea but I couldn’t do it as I had no jar.

I wanted to this, but as I counted the days all the way to day 4 of Ramadhan diaries, there was no jar in view. On the 4th day, myself and a group of sisters ‘online’ decided that we make a jar each, and deposit a paper with a good we did during the course of the day in the jar, when we retire at night. It’s simple. Each day before or after iftar, you would just ponder over your activities of the day and write down an act of deed or two on a thin piece of paper and deposit it into the bottle. Taada!

This idea was awesome but then, I still hadn’t found a jar. The only jars I have are in use and I soon forgot about the jar-thing.

As I was clearing my table on day “09” I caught sight of my empty groundnut bottle on the table. It never occurred to me to use the bottle as I still had groundnuts in it, but as at that moment, I had finished up the remaining nuts. A bottle isn’t a jar, but a bottle can do what a jar can. So, i picked up the idea.

But then, i had a problem. Ramadhan wasn’t even at its beginning, it was nearing the middle and I was supposed to have started on day 1. I thought of dismissing the idea as every other person must have started theirs on the first day, rendering me far behind schedule. As I kept deliberating what to do, I remembered the conversation I had with a pen friend a few days ago.

This friend ran a Ramadhan diary last year and told me she would this year as well. But as Ramadhan was nearing the 7th day I realized she wasn’t. She said she couldn’t anymore because she didn’t start on time. I told her it was ‘better late than never’ and she could just make her diary into 3 parts – after the first ten days, the second and the third, rather than give up completely on it. It would be like a summary of the 3/parts of her Ramadhan activities. I didn’t think she would adopt the idea but she did. She marvelled at the idea and decided she would do that in sha Allah.

As I remembered that conversation, I decided I was going to start my jar of deed-thing too on the 11th day of Ramadhan. It is ‘better late than never’ after all. And you know what? Yesterday night before I turned in, I thought of something good I did during the day but bruhhh, it was hard to lay my hands on something. I kept racking my brain and then I remembered that I hugged a colleague yesterday afternoon. I found out she did something commendable and then I went up to her and gave her a hug. 😼 It’s an act of deed too coz it made her smile 😺. And so, I filled it in on my first piece of paper…. πŸ‘πŸ’ž
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Before you give up on an act of deed, remember, you might never get the chance to do another again. “It is always better late, than never.”
How is fasting? Mine is Ahhh πŸ˜ͺ😷😎 Patiently waiting for iftar πŸ™†πŸ˜­πŸ˜­πŸ˜‚
#RamadhanDiaries #Day11 #NanaBee

Birdie Food

Creation is more like a systematic process, with a symbiotic relationship between the stages as they descend. Plants feed on water, animals feed on plants, humans feed on animals and so on. Though, the luxury of life make some forget that they are as good as paupers if there were to be no people: to work under them, or for them to rely upon for their work to be swiftly done. In whatsoever stage you find yourself in life, it is imperative that you know that you are not insignificant. Know that certain person(s) would feel your absence if you were to pass on this minute. You are special; we all are in our own different ways.
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Yesterday evening as I returned from work πŸ’πŸ’” I noticed a flock of birds in the air. It was an unusual and dramatic sight. I stopped to watch the activities of the birds wondering why they stayed out that late, with activism flowing through their wings as they flew. After watching for about 2 minutes I figured out they were catching nuptial flies “esunsun” in the air with their beaks, and perching on the the tree nearby or the zinc opposite the tree to savour their preys. It amused me and as I watched on, a lady who was walking by asked what they were doing as she too, was amused. “Why are they flying in multitudes like that?” She inquired as she looked on. I replied that they were feeding on the flies and she said “Oh” with a chuckle and went her way.

As I was about stepping on the porch that led to my compound, it struck me that I could take pictures of them, and then I thought of making an entry out of the scene. It’s just the tenth day of ramadhan and I my diary is still yearning for posts. And now, here I am, talking about these birds. 😹😼😼
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It’s funny how humans feed on these same flies that the birds were feeding on. Though, I doubt if I can ever eat those flies, I know people who have eaten them and confirmed their sweetness. Allah has designed this dunya so much so that distinctions in all things vary. Imagine spending the night on a tree between branches. It would be rather unthinkable not talk of being welcomed by our imaginations! But then, for those who grew up in the country-sides of some parts of southern Nigeria, and perhaps some other parts of the world, eating those flies – which the creatures that reside in between the branches of trees (birds) eat – is already a norm to them. We clamour status and want nothing but class when actually we are classless in the sight of our Creator; except by virtue of course! (Of which none knows how virtuous he truly is.) We marvel at new models of phones and cars, looking down at the people below us, forgetting that we wouldn’t get a bigger apartment than those we look down upon would in our graves. We forget that each and every one of us were created from a drop of semen and would fade into dust after death claims our souls.

The birds are not worthy of recognition like we are to our fellow humans but Allah granted them wings to fly; which we are deprived of. They dive the sky as they like, singing songs they never learnt nor rehearsed as they wish. We often forget to stop to ponder over how much we haven’t thanked Allah for, while we persistently ask for more.

The signs of Allah are numerous and it is about time you let down your shawl of pride. Aim for class but do not neglect adorning yourself with garments of humility before your creator. Overlook the ill manners of people and count your blessings rather than the wealth Allah has put in your care. Remember, this life is for a moment compared to the life of the hereafter. Sow good seeds now so you may reap a bounty of crops later.

May Allah accept our fasts as acts of worship. Do enjoy your iftar.😺🍨🍹

#RamadhanDiaries #Day10 #NanabeeIMG_20160615_190750

Baby Mummy

I was napping beside a colleague of mine. I had one more class to go before my activities for the day would bottle up. I had a pestering headache; of which there was no cause I could lay my hands on. The lady i was with, was copying some notes and so I took my nap beside her.

I woke up few minutes later with less headache. We still had a few minutes to go and so we picked up a conversation. I asked if she had seen the baby a colleague had just been delivered off. She wondered which baby I was referring to and then I went on to describe the student who gave birth to the baby. She nodded and laughed. She asked if I like babies or it was just that particular baby. To be honest, I love that particular baby more than I loved other babies. She was exceptional and she had a sweet syrup smell the first time I carried her which endeared her to my heart the more. She was tiny with gracious features. I was obviously delighted describing this baby and my colleague started to laugh. She paused and asked if I actually wanted to have babies and it seemed like a queer question. I answered her anyways. Contrary to my reply, she said she might not have any children or rather, would have just “one.” I was perplexed.

I didn’t reveal my perplexion but I needed to be sure of what she meant. As I nudged further, she told me that if she wanted to have a child at all, she wouldn’t be married. It was too big for me to swallow but I had to, so as to be able to reel off the words at the back of my lungs. As I was about framing my next question she told me to be careful even if I wanted to have kids. According to her, marriages don’t last in this day and age and as such, I should be prepared for anything. As she said it, she looked very serious and my face was stark with no emotion. She blinked to see my reaction but when she got non, she asked if I understood what she was saying. As I nodded, my mind was humming “God Forbid… Audhubillahi minna shaytani rajeem” To me, it was practically unfathomable. She carried on with her note and I prepared for the next class. I wondered why she had such notion but I dare not bring up a conversation I didn’t know how to end.

This lady is a non Muslim for one and besides, I have no idea about what she has gone through to make her arrive at such juncture. There was so much conviction and strong will in her as she spoke.

Islam shuns first, pre/extra-marital affairs and as well discourages divorce. Her views are obviously shielded by the realities of today but I never saw that as enough reason to not want to be married. As a matter of fact, a woman should be married in her early twenties (all things being equal).

The prophet of Allah warned against lots that would happen towards the end of time but also reinstated things that occur at every point in time throughout the reign of humanity. On his journey to the heavens, he discovered that majority of the dwellers of hell are women; of whom the lot constituted married women if you ask me. He, upon return, advised that women show appreciation toward their husbands and watch over their property. Though studies have shown that a lot of men fall short in their responsibilities lately, the bulk of divorce lies in the hands of women as its cause.

It would be utterly wrong for a Muslim woman to think she doesn’t want to be married for whatsoever reason; be it wealth or class, non supersedes the virtue of marital life.
Khadijah (R.A) was wealthy and well known, and had two husbands in the past, but still married the Rasul (pbuh). To think of it, she already had children in her previous marriages but still bore more in the course of her marriage to the prophet.

It is about time one realized that, rather than worry about the man one would get married to – not alone entertain the thoughts of divorce – one should worry about the betterment of oneself. Do you see yourself as a woman who would bring ease and comfort to the eyes, rather than rage to the heart? Do you think your ego is one which would never find a place of dwelling or one whose pangs are ever zealous? Do not learn from the lifestyle of the celebrities of our time as you would find nothing but broken homes with bottomless scandals in them. Learn from the lives of the heroes of our past whose heroism are forever plastered to the walls of our hearts. Emulate the heroins of yesteryears whose humility fetched them invitation cards to Jannah.

My conversation with this colleague may seem insignificant to the atmosphere of Ramadhan as nothing was about fasting nor praying, but it does have a lot to do with reviving the teachings of the prophet – and isn’t that what Ramadhan should be about? This is a reminder that even when the entire world is trailing a particular path, it doesn’t mean it’s the right path. Revive a Sunnah to get better. Watch less of Movies, as majority of these films have been designed to imperialise us. Read seerah and attend gatherings of knowledge.

May Allah assist us in upholding the flag of this Ummah. #Day9 #RamadhanDiaries #Celibacy ❌❌❌

A day with the sheikh

It was a Sunday morning and my dad was visiting. My spirit was high that morning as I enjoyed every bit of the company I got from my folks. I proceeded to my friend’s place, after bidding them goodbye, to return a note I borrowed. Unfortunately, she wasn’t home. I was told she had gone for ta’leem. After deliberating for some while, I decided to attend the ta’leem too. I had never attended it coz I got the notion that it used to be boring. She told me it was usually like a class for ‘women’ with a sheikh teaching them a new hadith or treating some aspects of aqeedah. The only thing that I liked from what I was told about the gathering was that, the women were usually granted the opportunity of asking questions after the session each Sunday. I love sessions where questions about the deen would be answered.

On getting to the place, I was overwhelmed; It was a combination of women of different status – students, lecturers, married, single, business women etc. It was a classroom in a primary school, and as such, it had this “classroom atmosphere” that restored scepticism. As I joined in, I realized the sheikh was answering questions asked by different sisters majorly about taraweh; using a Quran to observe taraweh while standing behind the imam, sitting during taraweh because of pains in the legs, timing for observing taraweh (night – midnight)etc. Though the questions were relevant as we are in the month of Ramadan, it wasn’t the questions that really struck me but the lecturer’s mode of answering. He answered each question distinctively and with so much understanding.

During the course of his talk, he diverted a bit to talk about an hadith of the rasul that says: “speak to people on the level of their understanding.” Explaining further, he stated that it’s Allah who makes ease in the religion for whomever He so pleases. The sheikh also made mention of the fact that our approach to people in passing on the message of Islam is crucial. some times, we go far off point, leaving the wrong notions in the mind of people . Some would go to the extent of tagging their fellow brothers as “kaafirs” simply because they shaved their beards or are not wearing a particular type of clothing, when whereas, good character towards that particular person could be enough to convince and change him for the better.

He emphasized that the character of a Muslim is his/her tool for dawah. “People want to learn from your actions more than they want to learn from your words. They want to look up to you as an object of admiration rather than that of repulse.” He reinstated.

Furthermore, he stated that though the rasul said that one of the signs of the last hour is that great scholars would run into extinction, what is missing amongst Muslims of this day (pre-last hour) is “good character.”

The youth of this age have little knowledge but so much pride in them. They learn a thing about the deen today and consider everyone who is yet to know that particular thing as not being good enough; forgetting that they too didn’t know that particular thing yesterday.
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The environment I reside in at the moment is one with people from different backgrounds in all ramifications. Some would not greet you in the morning and then wouldn’t reply you when you greet them because you wear the hijab. Sometimes, I get angry that I don’t even want to greet anyone anymore as u hate to be ignored. But isn’t the mannerism of the rasul far from that?
On day 8, I took it upon myself to apply the words of this sheikh by greeting the people who do not like to reply in an exceptional way. Extra smile, and more hospitality. For those who ignore still, I create a little drama to make them smile and loosen up a bit. What’s in a ‘good morning” might be a layman’s thought but never should it be that of a Muslim. Islam isn’t a den of a lion but a garden full of Lilies and roses. It is a terrain of fresh musk that should attract people from far and near.

If a woman during the time of the prophet could accept islam because the prophet came to check on her while she was Ill despite the rate at which she dumped refuse at his doorstep every morning, no act of good should be considered too minute to lure people to islam.

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Before you correct a person, be sure you are not a victim yourself. Give your brothers 70 excuses, as the prophet adviced, before you even entertain one thought about judging them. Whether she wears a flowing abaya or a jumpy one, it just might be her first try at it. “Do not judge or look down upon anyone.”
May Allah forgive our shortcomings and make us better Muslims. Ameen
#nanabee #day8 #RamadanDiariesIMG_20160615_000742

Lessons from my conversation with kola.

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Kola is a product of an interreligious marriage. I do not want my tone to seem like he is an object of experiment, but he is vividly an element of confusion.

As a child, he is torn between two worlds; he has to observe and allow his young mind absorb the things he has learnt from Islam and the other religion. He may think he is prepared now but who knows? The processes one goes through in life are never predictable. His current state is probably as a result of the fact that his parents married each other because:
1. Lust
2. Impatience or
3. Ignorance was in the picture.

The religion of Islam is one that allows for assimilation; culturally, socially etc., as long as it does not go against its injunctions. In fact, a Muslim man is allowed to marry a non-muslim woman (with certain conditions). Though, never should a muslim woman in the religion marry a non-muslim.

However, we need ask ourselves lots of questions before we walk into the abode of ‘love’ or perhaps, ‘eternal bliss’ as the case maybe. The feelings that come at the scratch would only remain if both parties are on the same page. Never put feelings before “God” regardless the situation, for it is He, who allows affection to reign between spouses as He so pleases. “…and He has put between you affection and mercy…” Surah Ar-rum verse 21.

Often times, you’d hear young couple say religion means nothing or that the other person would change after the marriage has been conducted. We fool ourselves a lot, thinking we cannot carry on without a person regardless the constraints that prove themselves as threats to an everlasting abode. We forget that death could help turn the table all around within the twinkle of an eye, snatching away that person you so love and think you could not do without.

Take a look at the life of the prophet with Nana Khadijah (R.A). He loved her so wholeheartedly but the story of his life with Aisha would seem like it was the only love life he ever had. The situation of the prophet can be in no way compared with ours but isn’t he meant to be the exemplary character we all should emulate?

Do not open your eyes and let your offsprings sail away from the terrain of the deen because of your love of this world. After all, our families, in spite of their pertinence, remind us solely of this dunya. It is only our brethren that truly remind us of the world to come. Children born and bred by devoted parents still require lots of prayers to help keep them on the lane not alone those born by parents with diverse religions.

In whatever you do; especially falling in love, let it be first for the sake of Allah and the others would fall in place. Kola can’t practice Islam now and sadly, may never be able to. While his father would keep on with his daily salawat and other activities, forgetting that he would be questioned about how he flocked his sheep on the day of resurrection.

Do not be – for whatsoever reason – a parent like Kola’s. No matter whom he or she is or would be, if they ain’t upon the deen, you haven’t found that right person to spend the rest of your life with.

#day7 #glooms #Sorry #youth #youthy #pre #Love #RamadanDiaries

“Yes! I want to be a Muslim!”

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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