WAITING CAN BE TIRING
The grey sky grumbled restlessly . The thick blackened clouds were dragged down by the heavy rain. It wasn’t just rain, it was a heavy downpour as heavy as I had ever seen.
The rain poured down over the city of Lagos with a roar. The rain kept pouring and I kept reciting the dua for rainfall, Allahuma Sayyiban Nafihan, followed by my personal dua. I understood that one of the best time of istijabah is the moment rain is falling and I never missed the opportunity for once.
What else could I pray for except my most desired need ‘ a child’.
It was a rainy Saturday and I was the only one at home, since the previous day hubby had travelled on a business trip. I forgot to mention that I had a seven year old girl living with me, she was my niece.
Her mother was thoughtful and kind enough to lend her to me for company keeping and other stuffs.
I used the word ‘lend’ because it can never be the same, more so when she had to return to her parents at every holiday.
Presently it’s holiday time, with me also on break as a teacher, and the girl, Iman had gone to her parents as usual to spend the break with her siblings. “Let her come over, her siblings have missed her, besides she’ll be lonely over there”. Her mother would always say.
The absence of my husband too made me put one and one together and decided to go while the time away in ile ife. I’ve already been having a nostalgic feeling about it. The early morning rain started while I was packing my stuffs into my small travel bag.
This rain would not stopped me from travelling o. I murmured to myself as I continued packing.
For a couple of days now, my heart had been longing to see my mum, she’d been my pillar of strength over the years. A truthful confidant and an epitome of a sweet mother. Though distance separates us but we’re team. She’s always ready to give me her shoulder to lean on. I couldn’t help but yearn to see this woman.
There are various issues I’ve been piling up to discuss with her, it’s not a matter of telephone conversation, it’s far more beyond that. The one that really triggered my determination of paying her a visit was the issue my mum in law brought up a couple of days ago. I wanted to seek her opinion before discussing it with my husband so that I wouldn’t be the architect of my own misfortune.
Waiting for this rain to stop would be tantamount to waiting till sunset, it doesn’t seemed like stopping anytime soon, hian I picked my car keys and dashed into the rain. The thick drops of rain obscured my vision as I drove, but I maintained a low speed to avoid getting into an accident. The rain fell so thickly that there was an instant covering of water on the streets of Lagos which caused an unprecedented traffic jam. At some point I wished I had left my car at home and joined a public bus.
Would this be a continuous three days rain? I asked myself as the rain poured non stopped, I just thank God I didn’t call my mum that I was coming, if not she would have killed my battery with incessant callings. With what seemed an unending journey, I got home tired and exhausted from a 3 hour’s journey that turned almost 8 hours due to traffic congestion as a result of heavy downpour.
My mum sighted me and her mouth was curved into the most delicious smile ever, she ran to embrace me and wrapped her arms around my waist tenderly. She almost carried me inside and I told her jokingly that I was no longer a baby. As her last child, I’ve always enjoyed so much pampering and love from her, her affection for me was indescribable, my siblings later got used to it after harmless complaints.
I was treated to a sumptuous meal which I devoured within minutes.
After food I knew there was no sleep tonight as my mum’s eyes spelt ” I’ve been longing to see you”. When you see your confidant, you’ll open up on a number of issues bothering your mind. I told my mum everything and ended it with the herculean task my mum in-law gave to me.
Suddenly like an unruly guest, my aunt, my mother’s younger sister badged in on us from no where and interrupted our conversation. This is a woman I always avoided like a plague, she’s too fetish for my liking. In fact if I knew she was around I wouldn’t have visited at this time. She had practically brought all sort of concoction herbs to my house in Lagos. She had invited me severally to follow her to traditional doctors which I had vehemently refused. She always tell me to back my holier than thou attitude as a baby. She’s one woman I developed goose bump whenever I see.
“What did I hear you say?” She interrupted ” your mum in-law wants you to tell your hubby to marry another wife! What nonsense is that!! It’s not her fault, had it been you had listened and followed me to Baba kiibati all this years, you would have been nursing your 5th child by now but no you want to be holier that Muhammad but let me remind you that Muhammad is not barren o, Olomo loloko don’t you forget that. I pray they don’t send you out and I also pray it’s not too late before you realised you’re harming yourself “.
“Aunty please it’s enough” I snapped at her.
” You’re telling me to shut my gutter abi? I just pray you don’t shed hot tears”. ( she faces my mum) Aunty mi you’re too relaxed on this girl matter, do you want her to be sent out before you take an action? Let’s visit Baba kiibati and her story will change from grief to gratitude. Wait a minute o, something just struck my mind,you and your husband might not be destined to co-parent a child o( e lema je ara yin lomo). Why haven’t I think in this direction? aunty mi it’s true o, it happens like that o. You too should step up your game and get yourself another man, who knows it might just be your breakthrough and…..
” Otito” mum interrupted her. ” Why are you crying more than the bereaved? See the way you’re reasoning, you that was brought up in a Muslim home, may Allah have mercy on you. Please excuse my daughter and I” my mum requested firmly.
“My mouth is smelling abi? Okay o, I will not stop saying my own, the straying dog will never listen to the whistle of the hunter” She grumbled as she walked out.
” pls don’t mind her stupidity ” mother said and hissed.
” I never paid attention to her rantings, we’re not on the same level, darkness can never be a mentor for light ” I replied with a wave of hand.
“Very good, now back to our discussion, there’s nothing bad in what your mum in-law has suggested you to do, only that her presentation was wrong and immature”
“Mummy!!!” I interrupted her impatiently
Please listen to me, the sky is very big for every bird to fly, live and let others live as well, advise your hubby to take another wife and make sure you pray fervently over it, all you need do is to tell Allah that the person coming should be your friend and not your enemy and that you should not lose your Hubby’s love for you. I’ll never stop praying for you as well. ”
“Hmmmmmmmmm” I heaved a long sigh.
” patience my daughter, patience with Allah is what we called faith. Allah says in Qur 29 v2:3 that ” do men think that they’ll be left alone on saying ‘we belief and they’ll not be tested? We do test those before them, and Allah will certainly know those who are true from falsehood ”
When you have faith in Allah even in pains you’ll smile, in confusion you’ll understand Allah’s judgement and in every situation you’ll do nothing but trust him. Heebatullah my child, as I give birth to you, you shall also give birth to your own children, you’ll never be barren and by Allah’s grace I shall hold your child before I die” she supplicated heartily.
“Aamin, I know I’ll always find succour in your words. What do I do without you. InshaAllah I’ll pray over it and discuss with him as soon as he’s back. I pray he listen to me. He doesn’t seem bothered about our childlessness or is there something I don’t know?” I asked worriedly.
” Don’t be ungrateful Heebah. Prophet Muhammad (saw) never bothered A’isha (ra) for not giving him a child? In fact we heard from history that the prophet always console A’isha with soothing words whenever her childlessness takes a toll on her ”
” But you know the prophet had children with his other wives, maybe that was why he wasn’t worried, but Hassan’s case is different, I’m his only wife “. I complaint.
” Do not think there are no good men Heebah! Allah gave you your own deserving man, you’re still complaining, come on stop the whining and be grateful ” She urged with a smile.
“Alhamdulillah” I said reciprocating her smile.
That’s my mother for you, she’s a breath of fresh air. She sure has a way of soothing your wounds.
She had a little education of primary level. But the standard of primary education in her days is equivalent to that of today’s tertiary institution.
Her father was an Islamic cleric and he obligated Islamic knowledge on all his children. Mother was well vast in the knowledge of Qur’an, Hadith and even Seerah.
I picked my Islamic orientation on a platter of gold from her. I always wonder why her sister turned out to be a black sheep and the odd one out among grandfather’s children, she was sure a deviant.
Having garnered all the encouragement and boldness I needed to face my husband, I returned home gallantly to advise him and accept the idea of another wife. Live and let other’s live.