Originally written June 15, 2012
The circumstance that made me left home in 1996 for the city of Kano still reverbrates in me. But I won't tell it because that's not the intent here. (I am preparing a book on that though I don't know when it will come out perhaps when I die. O Allaah take my life on Islam.)
I only spent two weeks in Kano with some uncles of mine before I came to Kaduna. Then I was not a serious Muslim. I hardly said my prayers. And there was an evil company I kept back in our town.
My first weeks in Kaduna was as usual - frolicking and gyrating. I never knew Kaduna was such a semi-Islamic city. All that I used to see were people as I was.
Then came the metamorphosis. My uncle's place was around Kagoro Close of the Kaduna metropolis. It was a rented apartment a sort of BQ shared with other tenants. Our compound used to be a rowdy place because of the people it contained - Muslims and Xtians of the southern extractions.
Just opposite our house was another apartment very similar to ours. There was a man there by name Sani, nicknamed 'Abacha'. It was this Sani my cousin took me to, to say hello, one night, that Allaah used to facilitate what I am today.
My cousin and I entered upon Sani and we exchanged pleasantries. It was in the course of the familiarization that I made the blunder that has become the caption of this small piece. Mallam asked me: 'How was the last festival in your place?' He was apparently referring to the Eidul'Ad'ha of that year. 'You mean, Eidul-Kabar?' I tried to reply. And that was it, Sani fired me. 'Why did you pronounce the words as if you are not a Muslim?' Thanks to those shots. Though they were hard on me but they made me. All other discussions that night I absentmindedly took part in them. My sleep was hellish, it was as if I was already in the hell. Sani's words 'as if you are not a Muslim' rang on and on in my hearing. Since the morning of the day that followed the event, I had been struggling to be a Muslim. Here I am today, still struggling. And the struggle continues. O Allaah, make me remain on the struggle.