The motorcycle roared as they sped off, their numbers indistinguishable in the darkness, but one thing was clear—they left behind a trail of dust as they began their journey. There was nothing new about this; it was just how things were done. Quietly, they set off, knowing they wouldn’t be returning soon. Even the children, upon seeing the motorcycles, bowed their heads in reverence, whispering to each other about the Men of Fama and the Men of Power as the bikes roared past their house, heading towards the big house at the end of the street. 


“Abba, Abba, Abba, please, don’t do this. I know we’re in difficult times, but taking such a drastic step…” Her voice trailed off as she pleaded, her eyes welling up with tears.

In response to Umma’s distress call, she cried out, “Umma, come quickly, Abba has collapsed!”

Umma’s heart sank as she exclaimed, “Innalillahi wa’inna ilahirin raji’un, my dear Binta, let’s rush to his room.” They hurriedly made their way to Noor’s room, finding him lying on the floor, barely conscious. With a sense of urgency, she sprinkled water on his face and began to pray fervently, her heart heavy with worry. “Innalillahi wa’inna ilahirin raji’un, may Allah grant him healing from this affliction…”

As he regained consciousness, Noor said weakly, “Abba, I saw you in the hospital; are you okay? Is this some kind of test?”

He nodded gently, reassuring her, “Yes, my dear, it’s just a minor setback, in sha Allah. I’ll be back on my feet soon.”

“Allah be praised,” she said as they embraced, tears of relief streaming down their faces. They held each other tightly, comforted by the presence of their loved ones.


Three weeks passed, and “Abba” showed no signs of improvement.

Ten minutes later, he emerged, dripping wet from the cold water, the children watching in awe as he stepped out, greeted by applause and murmurs of appreciation. One by one, they hugged him, offering words of encouragement, until finally, Usman approached him, ready to take his place at the entrance of the house.


“Umma, do you think she knows about her father’s condition?”

“No, not today. I won’t tell her. Let her enjoy her day,” she replied softly.

They shared a meal of rice and stew in silence.

She continued…

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