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Thursday, May 2, 2013

A FRIEND LIKE YOU

Today 2nd May 2013, is the birthday of a very dear sadeeq of mine. We attended Bayero University, Kano together although we were in different departments, we were in the same year and got to meet through a common course we chose in our first year. I have to say he is among the very countable set of people I have not and will never ever regret knowing in my lifetime. I know that he has positively affected the lives of other people that he has been blessed to meet but I still think I got the most from knowing him. He is known by all as Aluta Imam or Mallam. He is Usman Idris Usman.
Thirty years on earth is a big blessing and 10 years from it, I think that was a good deal for me *wink* I will try as much as I can to tell you, my dear readers about Mallam from my own perspective, how we met and other times we were opportune to meet. Although I know he will have a more detailed memory of it all.
The first time we interacted was during our very first lecture of Geography Map Reading GEO 1305. I arrived the class late because I couldn't find where it was located easily and by the time I got there there was no space left for me to sit but I wasn't very well going to stand for 3 hours so I looked around and found a space I could contain myself, somewhere close to the front row. The only 'problem'; it was mostly male students sitting and with the way I was dressed it would seem very inappropriate for me to be found in their midst.  But we were all there to learn so we were just going to have to manage each other till we finished. I went straight up to him and his friends and politely asked them to create a little space for me. That was ten years ago! As days went by, he got to know me better......I was so engrossed in my own little 'water-world' I hardly bothered to ask him questions the way he 'interrogated' me. It did me much good too.
I had not only the type of brother Islam has asked us to be to each other, I had a guardian, an adviser and a friend in deed! He worried about my academics, about my religious life, the friends I had around and everything else. What I admire the most is the way  he had studied my moods and character. He learnt I am very independent in my decisions and once I make up my mind over something, there is no going back. He would still take his time to convince me otherwise. He could tell my mood from the way I spoke/replied him.  There was a time I had to actually look for him and when we finally met, he said "from the way you replied me the last time we spoke I knew you were in a very bad state of mind so I decided to give you your space till you felt you needed to see me!" Amazing! It is very rare to find a person that has taken the time to know you not by what people say about you but by observing you and not judging. A rare gem!
I was opportune to meet with him during my last visit to Nigeria. He is now married to a very cheerful, lovely lady, Fatima Umar! May Allah bless their union with togetherness and rightly-guided children, ameen.
May Allah make his years ahead more rightly guided and blessed than his past years, ameen. Have a very peaceful birthday.

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