I was born into a family where paganism reigned supreme among kindred, even those who laid claim to Islam were pagans by association. They were usually seen partake in fetish family and communal festivities or seek refuge with idols during trying times.

Mum was a Christian, but not anymore – alhamdu liLlaah! But dad has refused to toll same path as done his ex-wife (my mum) given his deepness in the polytheistic faith and his celebrated status as a high-chief. If there is any miracle I want manifest in my life in no distant time, it is to see him embrace Islam. My joy will apparently know no bound. May the hearty dream come through, bi idhniLlaah.

When dad saw me treading the path of Sunnah, he exerted all within his powers to have me dissuaded. He engaged me in talks to see reasons why it’s damaging to toll that line. He didn’t disapprove of me giving to Islam though, but he rather wanted it practised as shallowly done by people. Tales of persons who had regretted treading the path of Sunnah were narrated to me at different times. He disallowed me enrolling in a madrasah until I completed my secondary education. That I did not to his knowledge.

Dad hated hijab sisters and bearded brothers, especially ones with ankle-levelled trousers. Each time he saw them pass by, he would express his passionate hate for them and would warn me never to be like those men or think of spending the rest of my life with a lady like those hijabis. I could remember him repeatedly say: “I can’t imagine myself being a father-in-law to a masquerade. If any son tries such nonsense with me, that will be the end of our father-child bond”. Can you see the extent of the despisal?

I loved dad so much. And I knew he would never wish me bad given the moral and academic values he had instilled in me. My writing dexterity, for instance, was actuated by him. That was when I was the manager of his business centre opposite a high court. That got me exposed to legal writings and I developed interest in Law. I didn’t become a lawyer in the end because Allah had willed otherwise for me. Dad hardly beat – a style I imbibed and now use on my kids. But if he was provoked beyond borders, he would punch your body to weakness – a fallout of his boxing profession.

How would the wish of such a fabulous father be turned down? I was at crossroads, but was rather convinced of the path I had chosen for myself, courtesy of the MSSN activities. Less than three months, I could recite the Qur’an with Tajweed. In no distant time, I had had ajzaa of the Qur’an in my head. My ustadh did a wonderful job on me. He would teach me day and night as though he had no other obligation to discharge. MSSN discovered me and I became a Qur’an reciter at its programmes.

Dad wasn’t comfortable with my spiritual progress. I could grow because I was living alone. There was a time dad gathered a crowd of friends and relations on me. All were like-minds. I felt like going six feet down that fateful day. I was cacophonously mocked, jested and abused for being what I loved to be. I heard stories of how I would likely end up in regret. In fact, dad once took me to an affluent friend of his. The man – of blessed memory – talked to me for almost 60 minutes. The topic was: “Don’t be an alhlus-sunnah”. And the summary was: “Your future will get ruined”.

I secured a university admission and found like-minds on campus. So my Sunnah life continued, even though I dare not try such at home. I was original at school but fake at home. May Allah forgive me. I wish I knew better.

One other value I learnt from dad was his dress style. Dad was fashionable. He knew colour combinations. He had little money but a rich wardrobe. I took after him, and would expend my last penny on books and clothes. So whenever I was going home, I would kit to kill his tongue from grumbling about my religiousness. He would look at me and smile joyfully. “Thank God I got you away from those ruiners. If not, you wouldn’t have taken after me in dressing. I’m sure you’ve realized all I was telling you back then,” he said.

When I became ripe to have a wife, another episode of brouhaha ensued. Hmm!

Watch out!


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