Deliberately, I had my eyes blurred to rumour-mongers and my ears deaf to flibbertigibbets. I heard they said worse things – statements that could be indelibly troubling to the mind. The sincere few who sought to know what happened were moved to emotionality when they heard my touching story. Some of them confessed they couldn’t do any better if they had the same test of faith to wrestle.

I wish I was more stronger to look at dad in the eye and stood my ground. I wish I had a like-minded relation who would corroborate my stance. I wish dad had a friend who could make him see things from my own angle. I really wish dad were a Muslim who could be talked to by a cleric. I wish I had the guts to do that which I wanted and dared the aftereffect however catastrophic. But no, I was all alone in faith, and could not but accept my fatal fate.

Some jested me saying my faith had drained off. I could remember a sister reporting the discussion in their cycle. You know how “aprokoic” ladies can be whenever their thoughts are in unison – so parrotic, verbous and loquacious.

I was rather focused. I had a goal, and I was passionate about it. I took a little time to study my lady and I got insights into how to win her soul for the truth. She had a fabulous foundation which I opportunistically leveraged on. She was spiritual. Tahajjud. Voluntary fast. Sadaqah. All these she had penchant for. Then my stay on campus was no more stable as a would-be corpse member. From home, I would call to put her through topical issues in Islam. She would ask questions, and I would answer. I hardly mentioned hijab. I was only working on her ‘Aqeedah. My school friends too never let her be. Like a 6-unit compulsory course, they would visit her in their numbers, talked to her about the Deen and make her feel loved and recognised. Amid that, she would cook for them and they would all feed to their fill. Sometimes I wondered if those gluttonous cronies were going there to do my bidding as planned or fill up their stomachs against hunger. Just kidding. We were all the same. Don’t insult me, OK.

I returned to campus after a while to join fellow graduands for convocation and process my NYSC mobilization. I was euphoric (happy beyond bounds) to see madam in a small hijab won on a long skirt. That’s unlike her. She would rather tie a scarf on a pair of trousers. So while trying to shower encomiums on her, she protested. “Don’t patronize me. The hijab on me is to please my Creator, not His creature(s). So don’t even bother talking about it,” she said, so frankly.

I was happier that after all, my heartfelt requests were being gradually granted by Allah. The cape hijab became constantly used and her trousers no more seen on her. She had shopped new clothes for herself having her wardrobe stored with lawn sleeves and long skirts. I was elated, ecstatic, exultant, jubilant, delighted and delirious.

Dad and mum were divorced, but they would unite like a couple on matters involving their son. They both graced our convocation ceremony. We wined and dined, and in the long run had madam introduced to them as their would-be daughter-in-law. Seeing a lady in a skimpy hijab, they were so happy that, at last, they won the battle. “This is better!” they chorused. “In fact, she is pretty,” mum added. Dad wanted to embrace her as done mum but she tactically refused. I was impressed with such a disposition: that in less than a few weeks, she had improved to commendation. Wasn’t that incredible?

It was my turn to visit her mother. She insinuated that her mum would not like my ankle-levelled trousers. But Michael Jackson’s would even jump up than this? I told her never to worry. So we moved. Hmm!


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