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Diary of A Broken Heart Episode 9
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Bappah died as he lived, working always for the greater good. On his very last our he was still immersed in his selfless worry about his neighbors if he leaves this world. Bappah was an accomplished historian, an embodiment of good virtues, an epitome of an ideal earthily mentor. He lived according to him 128 years. We pegged his age at 97 but he would always get angry and tell us his story all over. He will call one certain ruler who ruled at a certain period under a certain caliphate in old kanem borno and say he was 11 years old as at the time. He would call plenty Emirs of Maiduguri and give us their history and say he was 34 years when one of them ruled. We couldn't refute his claims and age because we barely knew those people. So we left his age to be 128.
He was also an accomplished mallamin Fiqhu and a wonderful Muhaddith. And his knowledge of Quran knows no bounds. He was skilled in the art of reconciliation especially family issues communal feuds and crisis. He had a lot of Allo and Alqalami for his students. Anytime we were around, he would make us write and recite the Quran on those Alluna. Despite his vast knowledge he was never proud or vain, he could find something to learn and value in anyone or anything however apparently insignican't or wretched. His knowledge of Zama da mutane has endowed him with a great sense of humanity and sympathy. That he is the most inspiring and best loved of all our grandparents can not be in question. He sadly had problems hearing until you shout. He had problems too identifying people until you introduce yourself all because of how very old he was. But surprisingly he walks almost straight with his walking stick. At some point he was saying he wants to go back to farming. We all kicked against it. Only his in law seem to think it was an empty threat.
He fasted every single day for the past 40 years. so our parents told us. I grew up to know Bappah does bude baki every single day. Every month was Ramadhan for him and he will break his fast with his favorite kunu and qose or doya interchangeably. We told him it's not good to fast every day. That the prophet PBUH said the best fasting is that of Prophet Dawud AS who will fast on alternate days. One today and rest tomorrow. He refused. We learned he also fasts on the days that are prohibited. Like on Sallah day. We confronted him and he said we won't understand. He has a medical condition. If he eats or even drinks water during the day. He spends the rest of his day vomiting his entire bodily fluids. And sometimes blood. Our mallamai said he had a strong reason to fast on forbidden days for his health condition. We left him alone.
After the Boko Haram got worse, we tried severally to relocate him to stay in Abuja but Sam. He vehemently refused. He kept on about who will take care of the children of mallam Bukar Maimalori or the widows of mallam Bulama or Alhaji Abbaganaram or Alhaji this and that and this and that....on and on he continued to mention the entire people in his neighborhood and the issues they are faced with and the reason why he must remain in Maiduguri. I can't remember anybody more selfless. After so much cries and pressures from mum and his other daughters Anty Khalthume, Anty Deejatou and Anty Famarel who had all left Maiduguri for Kaduna, Kano and Chad Republic respectively, he budged. They mentioned they couldn't guarantee his safety and so he must move and he agreed to leave for only a month. Two weeks in Abuja with us and 2 weeks in Kaduna. Hoping against all hopes that we will pin him down in Abuja.
Bappah started asking each and everyone of us for money. A lot of money. We wondered why he was asking everybody for money but he wouldn't say. We never refused him anything especially if we had it. Besides Bappah never asks for any favours at all. He gathered a lot together with his savings which we know about. He always keeps his savings (dunqulallen kudi) under his pillows inside the pillow case. We told our cousins who still remained in Maiduguri to add an extra security for Bappah because he's gathering money and we don't know why. He piled them up in cash. Later we heard he was buying food stuffs and stocking piling it. Next thing we heard he had announced to the community that he will be going for just two weeks as against the one month he agreed and that he will be back in sha Allah soonest. He began to share to plenty families plenty food stuffs and monies and kept telling them it is for the period he will be away. All those he could remember he gave them food stuffs and monies especially the widows and the orphans. He left a huge pile of food stuffs at home and charged our cousins with safe keeping them. He said anybody that comes to greet him after he has left, they should give them a few mudus of rice and either of beans and maize too. Even while he was with us in Abuja he would order me to call our cousins as he has remembered certain people and he needs my cousins to take few mudus of rice to them. He kept remembering people all through his stay with us.
When he arrived Abuja, he instantly asked to change my name. He couldn't stand it when they call me with my name "Sani" at home. It makes him think of his past in his parent's house and he always thinks it's him they are calling. So he ordered everybody to call me "Khalil". I loved the name instantly but it was really strange as it didn't feel right at all. It was even stranger to my family to just start calling me Khalil all of a sudden. So they mostly struggled. When they shouted out my name "Sani" they suddenly remember and call me Khalil. It was really difficult adjusting. I could tell my dad didn't like that my name was changed. So he avoided calling me altogether to run any errands.
Bappah would not sleep on his bed as he preffered the floor. He will not sit in the sitting room he would prefer to sit just outside the front doors after the door mats. Put a bucket full of water for his bath, he would use it and you would think he hasn't touched a bit of it. He said the prophet PBUH encouraged water preservation and Allah hates wastages. He would then use only a bowl to wash and clean himself up. He would never sew or change and put on new clothes besides the few pairs he had. One of them his favorite Alkebba for Fridays and special occasions. Everybody knows that if you give Bappah shadda or any new material to sew, you are as good as giving his neighbours or any of his jikoki. He would go to the central mosque in Area 1 close to our house then and sit in the company of the beggars and the needy. We would ask him to stop as it is very embarrassing. He will sternly rebuke us like we were shayateen and like we are preventing him from following the sunna and being nice to the needy. He will begin to preach and say even the Prophet PBUH prayed to Allah that "Allah should not take him away from the company of the poor." And that the "poor will enter aljannah plenty thousand years before the rich will be admitted even when they are on the same level of Imaan". Such was the level of thinking my amiable grandpa had. As interesting as he is, I didn't think much of him then. But now I know better. You never know the worth of what you have got until you lose it. For I see him quiet differently now. I see him as another wonderful example to follow. Of cos next to our most beloved Prophet PBUH and his companions RA.
To be continue insha Allah on Saturday 23th July
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Special thanks to Muhammad Sani