THE SNAIL-LOVER [Episode Three]

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As-salaamu’alykum warahmatullah wabarakaatuhu dear readers. Jazaakumullah khairan for being patient with me. I saw your calls and read all your messages, may Allah preserve everyone of us upon khair. In’sha’Allah from this moment on, I’ll need your help more than ever – I need more people visiting my website so in any post of mine you share, please do not forget to include my website address. Your support is all I want after Allah, it would mean a lot me!


What is love?

 

The glow on his face was also noticed by his mother during the WhatsApp video chat which she initiated after realizing how reluctant he was in replying her last message. His mother who was orally impaired gave him a teasing smile while placing her right palm gently on her left side of the chest, repeating her message, asking if he had finally found affection and he grinned from ear to ear. He shook his head and indicated with his palm, denying the fact that he had fallen in love because he was already assuming he had no chance. She put both her index finger on each of her lips and made a short downward motion, telling him how sad and disappointed she was. Yet, he smiled despite her mien showing how serious she was.

Him being the only child she had had always made her ardour stood out from other mothers, for a day wouldn’t pass without her envisaged in her mind the day she was going to welcome her daughter-in-law who would not only be a daughter to her but an everlasting companion – but this, Sulaiman had always only seen as a mere dread for the future. Like a Yorùbá adage that says a person with one glowing charcoal won’t dare play near a waterbody but to his mother, that wasn’t exactly the case. All she had wanted was to raise him righteously and by the will of Allah, also wanted her dream to be fulfilled.  She was also born as an only child between her father and mother and she had felt almost no love from any of her half-siblings because they all were far away from her. The only person she had a cordial rapport with was her father’s mother who took her custody and had been her best friend till date. Àníké, as she was always fondly called by her grandmother, would have loved to have many children as her grandmother’s and personal wishes but not every will is the will of Allah. She was her dear husband’s second wife and all she could have for him was a son. How happy would she be, if her only seed could sprout a lot of grains?

Once again, she was discontented with her son’s response and he could discern that. Quickly, he prevaricated by assuring her that he was really working towards it. Still communicating with the sign language, she reminded her to call his client who had initially been the reason for their emergent confabulation before calling the conversation quit. Immediately, he put the call through while returning to his friends. He promised to mail the client the Bill of Quantities while his friends, still watching him were overcome by awe and reverence. The next lecturer abruptly entered the class with an utmost apology of being late and their attention digressed from Sulaiman.

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Sulaiman might be a young and gentleman, he wasn’t naive but versed in the aspect of making money beyond any man of his age. Even though he was the only child, he was only pampered with love but moderated with care. One of his mother’s goals was to make him become independent as soon as possible because she couldn’t wait to start seeing her grandchildren. So, immediately he could recognize and sort money using addition and subtraction, she had made it a sole responsibility on herself to make him know everything about her foodstuffs trade and as soon as he reached puberty, he started accompanying her to the villages’ and towns’ market where farm produce are bought at the cheapest price, on off-school days. He then learned and started his own business but didn’t stop at that. Before gaining his first admission into the polytechnic for diploma, he enrolled himself into electrical and electronics installation and repair apprenticeship. It was a tough call to make because it took its toll on his business but that had been his aim in life – to become a professional engineer. So he believed being conversant with the practical experience with education would make him become a good engineer and surely, he was becoming one.

 

Several days had passed. Sulaiman had tried to put the feeling to oblivion, but the inexplicable love had kept pulling his heartstrings – a feeling he had never had in his life! On every faces in hijab, her face seemed to appear in his inadvertent glances, even though he hadn’t the grace of looking her in the face yet. During the organized tutorial classes, he had anticipated to at least, access her look and committed it to his memory but the girls, for reasons unknown to him, had failed to attend any of the classes and neither had they met coincidentally as they used to do before. Also, was he in love with Maymunah or Mutmainah? This fact still had not been clear! But at least, he was determined to find out.

The automatic bell rang again, it was the end of the day’s lesson and almost time for dhur solat. The mu’adhdhin hadn’t been selected so there was somewhat of competition regarding the first person to reach the masjid for the call of adhan due to its great reward and today, he scrambled down in a calm pace with Tahir. They performed ablution and entered the masjid while Sulaiman prayed two rakats of tahiyatu lmasjid before sitting.

Inquiringly, Tahir gazed at him, “but it isn’t time for dhur yet. Why the nawafil?”

“Abu Qatada bin Rabi Al-Ansari narrated that the Prophet, salallahu alaehi wasalaam, said, ‘If anyone of you enters a Mosque, he should not sit until he has offered a two-Rakat prayer.’ And that’s what I just did!” He replied as he reached out for a copy of Qur’an to read.

On hearing that, Tahir also stood up and observed the nawafil as well. Prophet Muhammed, salallahu alaehi wasalaam said: the example of a good companion (who sits with you) in comparison with a bad one, is like that of the musk seller and the blacksmith’s bellows; from the first you would either buy musk or enjoy its good smell while the bellows would either burn your clothes or your house, or you get a bad nasty smell thereof. A good companion encourages one to do good deeds and forbids one from doing evil – such are the benefits of having a good friend.

The dhur time finally arrived and Sulaiman called for solat using his very pleasant voice which was appreciated by every ear that heard it. This was his first time of calling adhan in the school and he felt elated.

During the solat, a ruckus occurred briefly at the back which distracted some feeble minds. Still many maintained their tranquillity and didn’t budge an inch.

“You heard the noise? What could have caused it?” Tahir asked Sulaiman as they stepped out of the masjid after solat.

“I don’t know.” He replied.

Then they heard Yusuf from behind, “it was caused by me. As-salaamu’alykum ikhwaan.” He extended his hand and shook the two brothers, “I don’t know, once some brothers start cutting their trousers above the ankle, they think they are at the peak knowledge and because of that, won’t give room for correction especially from muzbil like us. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not condemning nisfu saq (above-ankle trouser). In fact, I’m looking forward to cutting mine someday but I think Muslims should strive more in seeking knowledge and stop acting arrogantly on ignorance.”

“What exactly happened?” Tahir curiously asked.

“A brother and I entered the masjid together when the solat was already going on and there was still an unoccupied space within a row before us. You know every row should be filled before forming another so I gestured at him to join the row but he refused and formed another row saying his takbeer. Not minding him, I attempted to pass his front and join the unfilled row then the next thing I felt was his push. I tried again and he was ready to put up a fight. Fortunately, the brothers on the row move closely together and alas, there was space for two people! Then we both joined the row…” Sighting the accused brother coming out of the masjid, he pointed, “that’s the brother!”

Sulaiman quickly excused himself and went after the brother. They exchanged tasleem while he introduced himself, then politely, he asked the brother why he refused to let the brother pass to the unfilled row and as a result, distracted some psyches during the solat. The young man listened calmly and gave his response.

“All that occupied my mind was to be able to join the congregation for solat so I couldn’t even see the row in front of me wasn’t filled. He was trying pass in front of me and you know Abu Sa’id narrated that he heard the Prophet…” They both muttered ‘salallahu alaehi wasalaam’, “saying, ‘If anybody amongst you is praying behind something as a Sutra and somebody tries to pass in front of him, then he should repulse him and if he refuses, he should use force against him for he is a satan.’ And another narration said it’s better for someone to wait for forty than to pass in front of a praying person. That’s simply what I tried to avoid.”

“Oh, that’s now clear akhy! But you should know that all those are for a person praying alone. Once we are in a congregation, lead by an imam, then the sutra for the imam is the sutra for every one of us behind him. Therefore anyone can pass in front of us but not in front of the imam else beyond the sutra…”

He interrupted, “are you very sure of this you’re saying akhy?”

“Yes, I am. No one can reach the pinnacle of knowledge. You can also make your own findings. May Allah keep us firm on His Deen.”

His head down with his hands by his sides, feeling remorseful.

“I don’t like it when I act ignorantly. Thanks very much, akhy, jazaakallahu khairan.” He grasped his hand for a shake, “I’m Abdulwaris and you can call me Abu Summayah. In’sha’Allah I’ll go to my brother and apologize now.”

They both moved to where Tahir and Yusuf were standing. They exchanged the best of greetings and the differences of opinion between them were settled. Abdulwaris went his way and the trio continued down the path to the hall where the tutorial classes would hold in a few minutes time. It has been a while they talked and each of them searched for a word to start a conversation when Yusuf asked.

“How far about the girl akhy? Have you made any move yet?”

Sulaiman shook his head, “no!”

“Please stop disturbing my friend. He had clearly stated that he isn’t interested. If he is, I would have done the job for him. Do you know what? When it comes to girls, no matter who she is, I’m an expert!” Taahir bragged.

“But not every girl fall for the same trick. You can never be every girl’s expert!” Yusuf objected.

“Who told you I use the same trick for every girl, If you want to learn bro, come and obtain a form!”

Yusuf smiled, “don’t worry, we shall soon find out… Ehnehn, akhy, why are you no more interested? I was very positive that what you felt was not lust nor infatuation but real love.”

Curiously, he asked, “what are love, lust and infatuation? What are the differences?”

“Mr expert, can you enlighten us?”

Taahir cleared his throat, “to me, I think all are almost the same and can lead to one another. Since love is the best and the father of all, lust and infatuation can lead to love if the path is tread carefully and passionately!”

Yusuf giggled, “says the girls’ expert!”

“Oh boy! I’m a practical expert, not in theory.” Taahir responded, feeling teased, “whereas, the last time I was in love, I regretted it. No man would ever have this girl and would want to leave her. I was so possessive.”

“And why did you let go of her?” Asked Yusuf.

“No, she let go of me for someone she thought was better than me. Since then, I’ve taken no girl seriously and none took me seriously either. We only lust after each other, use each other and dump each other when we’re tired of each other! I’m only good at hooking girl, I’m bad at keeping them.”

“You called that love bro? No, it’s infatuation! Base on the little I’ve known about you, you must have got attracted to her physical appearance. She has the perfect shape and probably beautiful face, right?”

Taahir raised his thumb up for acknowledgement. Then Yusuf continued.

“What really attracted you to each other wasn’t a real feeling but lust. Yours developed into an infatuation while hers didn’t grow. Which was why it was easy for her to let go of you. Also if she hadn’t dumped you, your infatuation would eventually wear out especially when what attracted you start to fade. Beauty fades with age and nonchalance, it isn’t the best factor to start with! Lust is purely a strong feeling for sexual desire or wealth, it absolutely has no passion, it’s completely a dalliance. As for infatuation, it’s mostly caused by physical attraction. It’s an unreasonable and usually extravagant feeling of passion, admiration or love. It’s just like an intensely hungry person who without much thought puts all his firewood inside the fire and cook all his food at once! Infatuation is instant and temporary, it doesn’t last, it’s what we call blind love. When one is infatuated, you see no flaw, all you see is perfection, mostly it’s foolishness!…”

By this time, still on their way, they’ve found shade under a tree where they relax for a smooth conversation.

“Saying lust, infatuation and love are almost the same is very wrong but you got it right when you said lust and infatuation can lead to love albeit with time. However, it’s rare and the recipient is always the determinant of that! You know, a man can lust after a woman and the woman proofs she worths more, such can grow to love even without the man knowing. So is infatuation, the recipient allows him or her to see the actual reasons why he or she should be loved really and together they leave the enthralled zone. While love in its pristine form is a reasonable great affection which is developed over time, it’s also sometimes rooted from physical attraction but sees imperfection and accepts it. Such love encompasses trust, kindness and compassion. Why do you think the best of mankind encouraged a man to marry a woman because of her deen and vice versa? A deeny man or woman puts the love of Allah and His Messenger as the priority that even if the feeling of affection is lost in a relationship due to one reason or the other, there would still be kindness and compassion which would still hold the relationship firm!”

“Subhanallah!” Sulaiman exclaimed.

“O’ boy, you’ve really said it all. What most people feel these days and mistaken for love is mostly infatuation, obsessive love. And some deeny people lack the compassion and kindness you just mentioned. They only appear religious but the evil in their hearts is bred in the bone.”

“Which is why we shouldn’t only look at appearance, it deceives. Beard, nisfu saq or an ample hijab is just an obligation every Muslims has to fulfil, just like solat. Although the faith in the heart portrays what’s outside, what’s outside is as much as important as what’s established in the heart. Also, good character is half of faith and I don’t think the person with no compassion, honesty and kindness should be referred to as religious or pious…”

Sulaiman stopped talking when he noticed his companions’ attention had been divided as they stared at some girls passing by with all the eyes they had.

“Subhanallah!” He blurted while lowering his gaze.

Taahir folded his arms in surprise, his gaze still fixed on the girls, “mokú modáràn! (I’m finished!), where did these girls come from? Are they also from this our campus or came for a visit?”

“Don’t tell me you haven’t seen them before. They’ve been around for as much as we’ve been. HND Metallurgical engineering. Do you see that fair one in a white short gown? I’ve been after her for a week now but the girl never gives me a chance…”

Yusuf couldn’t land when Taahir trotted off and after the girls, he went.

Yusuf giggled, “this your friend must like girls like his life!”

“I had thought you are different akhy. I can blame ignorance for Taahir but you? You have the understanding and you still stared at those girls till your eyes bulged out of their sockets!”

He giggled again, “but it was just a gaze, I mean the first gaze.”

“Ali, radiyallahu ta’ala anhu, said do not follow a look with another look if it is the first look and you look away it’s ok, and the second look would be considered as intentional and this is wrong. The look referred to here means an unintended look and it’s very brief.”

“Don’t mind my knowledge, I’m still very much weak than you can ever imagine but you should know that is lust. Which is why you should always congratulate yourself!”

Tahir returned smiling, “yeah! I got one of the girls’ number. Do you know that one in the pink top and Jean trousers? Yeap! It wasn’t easy but I got it.”

“Wow! You’re really good but I won’t give you the credit till something really happens. Still, you tried, most friends that had talked about them on this campus could get no number out of them. How come?”

“I call the method friendly approach and it requires tactics. One thing is getting a girl’s number, it’s like a process of decoding code and the other thing is getting her to trust your attention… Whenever you’re ready I’m gonna teach you.” Tahir winked.

They both shook hands enthusiastically and sideswiped with their shoulders, patting each other at the back. Sulaiman watched them dazedly. They couldn’t be worse than the friends he ever had – he thought to himself.

“This reminds me, I want to invite both of you to the opening ceremony of a friend’s stadium which shall take place in the presidential hall this evening. He just bought a six by seven inches bed, mehn!” Said Yusuf, and together with Taahir, they went all agog as they exchanged another set of the handshake.

The opening ceremony is a tradition known only among the male students on the campus. It was always celebrated anytime a guy bought a new bed. Some dressed up as officials and paid a visit to officiate the bed by naming it after any football stadium that suits its size. The only one Sulaiman ever witnessed was his neighbour’s, during his second year in the polytechnic. He bought a soft big-sized bed and was named after the Netherlands national football stadium, Amsterdam ArenA. Initially, he couldn’t understand the wisdom behind such frivolity until the day he found himself amidst their conversations…

“You should excuse me brother, I don’t visit such occasion.” He checked his wristwatch, “this is 2 on dot. I think we should leave for the class now.”

“Alright bàbá mi (my guy)!” Said Yusuf.

They all shook each other and ready to depart to their various tutorial classes where they were to tutor when Sulaiman thought of asking Yusuf about the girls’ absence. He was hesitant but he knew no other person but him that could give him the valid information about them.

“It’s been a while I’ve seen them either. They’re rich children, they might have left for a private university. This polytechnic life can’t be easy for everybody… I’m off akhy, we should meet during asr.”

Yusuf left. The words stroke Sulaiman unexpectedly, bringing every thought to his mind – would they really have left the school forever? What if they really did! A bell rang in his head and he could feel a headache by the left lobe. Silently, he walked together with Tahir to the class and the first thing he did was to scrutinize the class for the trace of the girls. Still, they were nowhere to be found!

During the lesson, he had prayed silently to Allah to bring the girls to him. Several times, he had kept his gaze at the entrance, hoping they should arrive even in the last minute but the lesson was brief and over, no sign of their existence in the school.

With a severe headache, Sulaiman arrived home, accompanied by Tahir who had forcefully tagged himself along in order to know his friend’s residence.

“Wow! What a nice room!” Taahir applauded, bouncing on his bed, “you’ve got a nice bed too…”

A murmur arose from the next room and Sulaiman asked him to stop talking so as to discern what the noise was all about. He stood up and listened but it was just some larky discussions between two girls.

“I think I’ve got new neighbours.” Said Sulaiman as he receded to his seat.

“Female neighbours, that’s good. Let’s go and say hi to them.” Taahir inferred as he sprang up.

Sulaiman rose with him, “no, we are saying hi to no one. Let’s me practice the sunnah by escorting you to the gate. I’m sorry I won’t be able to go farther than that, you know my current health status and In’sha’Allah I’ll make it up to you later.”

“It’s okay if you say so!” Taahir shrugged.

As promised, he returned to his room after walking his friend to the gate. Then the thought erupted into his mind again – maybe they’ve really gained admission into the university and had to forgo the polytechnic’s. This is Nigeria, anyone with such an opportunity would do just that!

Trying to stand on his head as he was wont to do whenever he was agitated or frustrated, he was interrupted by a knock answering on his door. Who could it be this evening?

He opened the door and a familiar tasleem greeted him.

“Subhanallah!” She exclaimed, “I mean Maa’sha’Allah!” She reiterated, “when we were told a Muslim brother is living in this compound, I never imagined it would be you.”

He couldn’t help grinning and from nowhere, the courage crop out and this time, he was able to spout.

“Where have you been?… I mean how can I help you?… Oh! You’re our new neighbour, you’re welcome.”

The girl smiled and felt shy, “thank you. My friend and I just moved in today and we forgot to bring our broom. It’s already late to look for one to buy so we think…”

He interrupted, “you need a broom? I can borrow you mine.”

“Yes.” She replied awkwardly.

His heart racing faster, he quickly went inside and returned with a broom and plastic waste packer. “You can keep them till you buy yours, I have other ones.”

“Jazaakallahu khairan brother.”

“Wa antum fajazaakumullah khairan.” He smiled.

She was about to turn and leave when she turned back to him, “my name is Mutmainah and my friend is Maymunah. Thank you, brother.”

Stunned, he gestured with his head alone without uttering any response. Back into his room, he wiped his face to be assured he wasn’t in a dream. Being assured, he punches the air and jumped on his bed, dancing euphorically. Days ahead could be more pleasant!


FISABILILLAH: As Salaam Alaykum wa RahmatuLLAH. Please I’m in dilemma and distress. Perhaps for ALLAH’S sake, you can help me solicit financial help. My family is facing serious financial challenges. Debts are much, bills and feeding is tough. I’ll soon deliver (CS) and no single baby item bought, no antinatal check, no scan, no money for delivery and nothing at all. E saanu omoiya yi tori OLOHUN. My husband is really struggling and so disturbed. May ALLAH not abandon you and us too.

👆HERE IS A REQUEST FROM A SISTER who would prefer to remain anonymous but whoever is keen to know her personally can contact me for her information. “And whatever alms you give or (whatever) vow you vow, surely Allah knows it; and the unjust shall have no helpers.” (Qur’an2:270). Account to be paid into is mine bi iznillah: 0128795113, Jayeoba Kafayat Modupeoluwa GTBank.

May Allah ease all our affairs!

About Post Author

Ummu Abdillah

Jayeoba Kafayat Modupeoluwa, mostly known as Ummu Abdillah is a Technologist in Electronics and Telecommunication engineering but presently only active as an Islamic writer - so do not bother to ask her about diodes and electromagnetic waves 🤗. Happily married and recently gifted a princess. She is a lover of teenagers and marriage and does make it her occupation to study them. Also, she's a knowledge seeker who loves to learn new things every second and teaches them as well to whoever cares to learn.
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8 thoughts on “THE SNAIL-LOVER [Episode Three]

  1. Barakallahu fih.
    More ink to your pen.
    May Allah honey the pen more and more.
    Dear sis, kindly help to update Bottomless pit oooooo and Fears and Tears.
    May Allah AWJ bless all our hustles and ease all our affairs.

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