Agege was the base of my in-laws, and given the envisaged calibre of clerics therein as told by madam, my mind wasn’t at rest as to the officiating of the nikaah. I didn’t want the affairs of the day rest on the shoulders of fetish, famished alfas who might only be after their pockets without recourse to the spirituality to be achieved. I didn’t want my happiness end in sadness. I wouldn’t want a bad impression of myself created in the minds of my in-laws, as I might be resistant to the ignominious shenanigans of those fellows.

How to thwart the baffling, excruciating excesses of those alfas left my mind bleeding – their waste of precious time that would run into Salah periods; their financial extortion of attendees whereas I was as koboless as a newborn; their various anti-Islamic acts (such as causing spouses to kneel, bow, prostrate or dance) – were better prevented than managed. As usual, I invoked Allah for guidance.

I bore my mind to madam and was amazed how fast she had fathomed all that before journeying far in my explanations. We therefore resolved that it required some strategic planning. So I encouraged her to present one of my campus elderly friends (a married man and preacher) to her father as her ustadh whom she would love to be saddled with the anchoring of the programme. Since it was ‘aqdu-n-nikaah – to be done indoors – there was no need extending invites to clerics, not even those near let alone the ones far. To Allah be the glory, dad accepted and with my friend, we made a strategic plan on how the day would satisfactorily pan out.

From Ijebu-ode, he made it to Agege as early as 8am. Madam acted as scribed and presented him as scripted. He was patiently seated till our arrival around 11am. I didn’t greet him like a friend so our strategy wouldn’t become strangled.

As if I had known, madam and some of her relations had, before our arrival and without the knowledge of my friend who wasn’t close by, roughly argued about my prostrating to them. She was said to have stood her ground that her would-be hubby would bend to no one. The argument was said to be a very heat one and was dragged for a while until her dad came to the rescue favouring her daughter with a soft but lasting order. “Àwọn àlùfáà kì í d’ọ̀bálẹ̀,” he said.

Imagine that we had not been strategic regarding the officiating of the programme, the issue of prostrating would have resurfaced and madam’s relations would have had a soothing backup for their will. Alhamdu lillaah for His guidance. Nothing is as veritable as prayers.

My friend did fantastically, impressively well. The sermon was phantasmagorically delivered. Touched by the presentation, the audience voluntarily rose on their feet to fill up the front table with monetary gifts. I wish I was on that divide that day, I would have had a filled pocket like he did. It was enviable, indeed. In less than 60 minutes or approximately one hour, the show had been concluded: introduction of the two families done and the marriage knot tied.

Kudos to my in-laws for the indelible hospitality. I was specifically, honourably, kingly served with the head of a catfish. Big. Fatty. But shyness could not make me devour the bones for calcium. I was rather artificial in my eating style, and to date, when I remember the experience, I don’t forgive myself.

That was how I became a husband without a job and a shelter. I could not even but owe her mahr despite the smallness of what she demanded. So she returned to campus while I returned home.

Something you want to know happened…


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