“Stop, please! Stop!” The woman was pushing her, her two children wielding whips, and the elderly woman desperately tried to shield her son, but the woman had a firm grip on her.

The woman held her by the neck, filled with anguish, and said, “Today, I helped you in this area. You’re even poorer than anyone else, and you have to steal food for my children.”

In terror, the elderly woman’s daughter pleaded for her mother’s forgiveness, emphasizing that only God knows their hardships, and they would never resort to theft again. Maryam lay on her stomach due to hunger, tears streaming down her face.

The woman clapped her hands and wept, “This isn’t enough. I won’t let you go when you’re acting like a lion. We’re growing old, and you’re behaving like a rat, stealing from people’s homes.”

As if washing clothes, the woman summoned the elderly woman to come outside, shouting, “Barauniya, barauniya!” Before the elderly woman could respond, children arrived and began to beat her, while others pelted her with stones. The children’s cruelty was evident, especially those who tied Sahura’s ankles. The elderly lady cried profusely, clutching a small piece of boiled rice in one hand.

A young boy, around six years old, hurled his food at her. Her face was already bleeding from the agony, and she increased the volume of her cries, her head tilted upward. Through the window, it was apparent that the children intended to harm her this time.

Dagudu arrived at the scene, shouting, “Adda Maryam! Adda Maryam!” He rushed to the center of the commotion. Ranta sobbed uncontrollably, and Maryam seethed with anger, especially now that it was unsafe for her.

Ibro shook his head and wiped away his tears.

When Maryam’s brother appeared, the children quickly scattered, releasing Harta Sahura. Maryam’s son was not ashamed to cry in front of his mother. Tearfully, he helped his mother, Gabaki, to sit up.

“Adda Maryam, let’s go home,” Ibro said, supporting her and holding her mother. Together, they helped her back home.

They laid a blanket on a mat, and Maryam instructed Ibro, “Go to Idi, the shoe repairer’s house, and call Abi.” Ibro handed the blanket to his father, and Maryam sat on the floor. Ahankali began tending to her injuries and washed away the blood. Maryam grit her teeth in pain, while Ibro went to fetch Abi.

“Subhanallah! Subhanallah! Hannatu, how did this happen to Maryam?” They kept discussing the incident until Maryam’s younger brother couldn’t find an answer. Still, Maryam remained silent, despite their inquiries. She repeated her mother’s teachings, keeping the issue within the family.

Abi looked at his wife, who was biting her lip in pain, with a swollen forehead. Frustration overwhelmed him, and he began to shake his head. “I had no idea the fertilizer business would become so difficult. God knows how poor we are, yet I’m plagued by this poverty.”

The elders in the community show us that this is not the way to meet the Prophet S.A.W. When his livelihood was taken away, he spent countless nights at home without uttering a complaint. Is that how it is with me, Kabiru?

“Hannatu, what sort of wickedness has possessed you since we were children? Now that you’ve grown older, you should be the epitome of love for your children.”

“Kisauya, I implore you to reconsider. This situation lacks the fear of God. I swear by God, I’ve spoken to you numerous times and warned you. Displaying your children like this and then leaving them is not God-fearing conduct. It’s a disgrace.”

Shessheka was crying and stopped Abi from offering advice, while Maryam comforted her younger brothers, who cried profusely over their fate, saying, “Uwa barauniya.”

Tears welled up in Abi’s eyes as he said, “May God forgive us. Astaghfirullah, astaghfirullah. Allah, we repent to You. Astaghfirullah.” Maryam’s father cleared the tears that gathered in his eyes.

“God blessed Hannatu, indeed, more than anyone else, but she never repented to us.”

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