May 29, 2024

Manal gave her mother one last hug before storming into an NSTA vehicle which was bound to transport its passengers to Kano State. “Bye, Mama” she waved at her mother as the vehicle began moving away. It was a long haul trip, so she held her earpieces to her ears and began listening to Sheik Mishari Al-Afasy’s Qur’anic Recitation. She for sure loved his voice, she even vowed to name her first male child after him. Sometimes, she used to wonder meeting the Sheik. He sure was handsome and his beard was amazing, she practically loved everything about him.

ﺛُﻢَّ ﻗَﺴَﺖْ ﻗُﻠُﻮﺑُﻜُﻢ ﻣِّﻦ ﺑَﻌْﺪِ ﺫَٰﻟِﻚَ ﻓَﻬِﻲَ ﻛَﺎﻟْﺤِﺠَﺎﺭَﺓِ ﺃَﻭْ ﺃَﺷَﺪُّ ﻗَﺴْﻮَﺓً ﻭَﺇِﻥَّ ﻣِﻦَ ﺍﻟْﺤِﺠَﺎﺭَﺓِ ﻟَﻤَﺎ ﻳَﺘَﻔَﺠَّﺮُ ﻣِﻨْﻪُ ﺍﻟْﺄَﻧْﻬَﺎﺭُ ﻭَﺇِﻥَّ ﻣِﻨْﻬَﺎ ﻟَﻤَﺎ ﻳَﺸَّﻘَّﻖُ ﻓَﻴَﺨْﺮُﺝُ ﻣِﻨْﻪُ ﺍﻟْﻤَﺎﺀُ ﻭَﺇِﻥَّ ﻣِﻨْﻬَﺎ ﻟَﻤَﺎ ﻳَﻬْﺒِﻂُ ﻣِﻦْ ﺧَﺸْﻴَﺔِ ﺍﻟﻠَّﻪِ ﻭَﻣَﺎ ﺍﻟﻠَّﻪُ ﺑِﻐَﺎﻓِﻞٍ ﻋَﻤَّﺎ ﺗَﻌْﻤَﻠُﻮﻥَ

Journeys were always awesome to her while listening to Qur’anic recitation. Music wasn’t really in her agenda, she kindof disliked it.

She stopped listening to music since before she left her teens. She had heard a lot about music by many Islamic scholars thus, she replaced it with what is far better than it. She hoped that one day, the rest of the Muslims would as well follow her lead. No, not her lead but the good way which they had been trying to ignore with music industries growing each and everyday, sullying the minds of youths. That was just her viewpoint so don’t get it all wrong, okey??

Idris, a pharmacist in Murtala Muhammad General Hospital while driving to work pulled over close to a mosque by the roadside and prayed his Asr prayer before storming back into his car and drove away. He was a devout Muslim and whenever he heard the Adhan (call to prayer) he would halt whatever he was doing. He loved praying in time and disliked missing congregation. He had been this way ever since his wife died just after childbirth.

Idris and his late wife, Safinah had only been together for a year and half when death took her away. The baby they had together was named after Safinah’s mother, Amani. That was 6 years ago, and now the baby was in nursery 3. She looked so much like her mother, the apple of Idris’ eyes. Could he even be able to replace Safinah at all? He had been asked to marry again for the sake of his daughter but he refused. Perhaps he was just waiting for someone but hey, not just someone but the right person. Yes, the one that would cherish and take care of his daughter against all odds!

“AsSalama Alaykum…” Idris said as soon as he walked into the hospital’s pharmacy. He had arrived in his destination and had parked his car in the parking lot before walking in.

“Wa’alaykumu Salam!” Pharmacist Ilyah and the rest chorused. They were so surprised to see Idris because that wasn’t actually the right time for him to come to work. He was on night shift, why then would he come around 4pm?

“Did you checked the time before coming?” Pharmacist Aisha said in a bewilderment.

“Yes, I did” Idris said as he sat on a table.

“Then why are you here?” Aisha asked.

“The house is empty and I’m lonely” Idris said.

“But how about your daughter and your sister, Rumaisah?” Aisha blurted out so concerned.

Rumaisah was Idris’ immediate sister. She was the one taking care of Amani. In fact, Amani outrightly thought Rumaisah was her mother.

“They both traveled to our family house” Idris heaved a sigh and continued. “Till next week”

“You see, that was why we advised you to marry again but you refused!” Aisha said.

“Just go straight to the point and tell him to marry you, Aisha” Ilyah chimed in teasingly.

“Arhh!” She squealed and hissed at Ilyah.

“It’s the truth nau!” Ilyah smirked at her.

“It… It is not!” Aisha stuttered.

“Why then did you stammered?” Ilyah said.

“Hey, what’s your problem?” Aisha uttered.

Idris only smiled as he watched them while they kept yelling at each other. That wasn’t actually the first time they would do that in front of him. It had always happened during shifts, presentations or during hospital related occasions. He had been hearing rumors that Aisha loved him but he was yet to confirm the verity. But even if it was true, Aisha was someone he wouldn’t like to marry. Of course she was beautiful but he wasn’t after that. All he needed was a woman that could take good care of his daughter and Aisha did not seemed to be the right match for the daring task at all.

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Written by Moha Inside Arewa

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Names have been changed to protect the identity of the narrator and other individuals in the story.

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