Allah, our creator has planned that every creature including good and bad people will die. He already wrote the dates and times every living thing would die. So death is inevitable. But it is a very sad event that breaks the heart especially when it takes the souls of your loved ones or good people.
I was indeed heartbroken on Sunday when my best friend and confidant Ibrahim Suleiman called me and informed me about the demise of Fatima Suleiman also called ‘Maman Hani’. She is his elder sister. He just called, talked straight to the point and ended the call as he burst out crying.
I was destabilized, thrown into pains although I was at work. I was with the chief of army staff General Tukur Buratai who paid an official visit to Bauchi but couldn’t write the report of his assignment on Sunday for publication on Monday despite his prominence and importance that can make the story news worthy to my newspaper editor. I could not do so because of thoughts and my sad mood since I heard the news of her death. I reserved it till when I would be in a good mood.
Maman Hani was a kind, generous, jolly and virtuous woman who will be missed by all that knew her. My last meeting with her was in Kaduna where we attended the wedding ceremony of Ibrahim’s elder brother Abdulrashid who happens to be her elder brother too. She discharged the role of both sister and mother to the groom as their mother died last year. Although Abdulrashid is older than her, but being the eldest woman in the house, she did all the duties and shouldered all the responsibilities mothers carry out on the wedding of their children. She spent a lot of money, time, energy and what have you to ensure that the wedding was conducted successfully.
Ibrahim during the wedding was seen crying. We were all shocked and confused why he was shedding tears. Was it out of joy that his brother is getting married? No! He thought about their late mother. He was imagining how busy and active she would have been if she was alive.
One couldn’t explain how elated she was when she saw me in Kaduna on the wedding day because she knew that I am a very busy journalist. She couldn’t hide it as she pledged that on my wedding, she would be the ‘kirjin biki’ (the key actress during my wedding) perhaps to reciprocate what I did to them. Alas! She is no more. Who will be the ‘kirjin biki’ of my wedding?
I described her as a kind, generous and virtuous woman not because she was my best friend’s sister. No, she possessed all the attributes. She was jovial as whenever we went to her house, she would be playing with us as though she was not our elder ‘sister’. She brought us pounded chicken every time we visited her because she was into poultry business. At times, when my friend said we should go to her house, I dodged so that we wouldn’t be burden to her as she would provide chicken to us free of charge. But if we met, she would lament that I didn’t want to come to her house. What a generous woman!
She was jolly, I never saw her frown or get angry with anyone. Was she ever annoyed? I couldn’t know. Maman Hani was a virtuous woman as she never fought with any neighbor throughout her stay at her matrimonial home located at wuntin Dada area of the Bauchi state capital. A friend to her husband Mr Tosin one Aliyu Sambo was also devastated by the news of her passing away. He said she was a nice woman.
Whoever knew her spoke good about her. These good testimonies consoled us as prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) stated that the good testimonies of people about a dead person bring Allah’s mercy on dead people.
Moreso, Maman Hani died as a result of surgery during delivery of a child. Both mother and the child died. It’s believed that women who died during labour are among matyred souls. It’s also believed that the matyred souls rest in paradise without being questioned by angels. We pray that Maman Hani’s soul is currently resting in paradise.
Her death was so painful as it was premature, sudden and abrupt. May Allah bless the children you left behind and give your husband and family the fortitude to bear this irreparable, collosal and monumental loss.
My dear friend Ibrahim Suleiman, please take heart and accept my condolences.
Najib, a journalist and author, wiites from Bauchi, Bauchi state