A Tribute to my Aisha (Ummi)

Today, Tuesday, April 2, 2024, marks exactly one full week since my dear Ummi died. It’s been a painful and devastating experience for me, for her mother, her siblings, her grandparents, members of her family, immediate and extended relatives and for a host of others. During the course of this week, an unbelievable number of people trooped in their thousands, or called or sent messages, to condole and commensurate with us over this irreparable, irreplaceable and irreversible loss. But as faithful Muslims we totally submit to the Will of Allah (SWA). Therefore, on behalf of myself and members of my family, I thank each and everyone who thus supported us in this our hour of grief. 

It’s an eternal truth that every soul shall test death. Hence, what is most important is man’s conduct in his relationship with God Almighty and fellow human beings in the course of living. It is not how long one lives, but how well! To this end, our greatest consolation is the testimonies bore of her by an incredibly large number of people with whom she interacted in the course of her short and impactful life, ranging from us her parents, family members; her school mates and teachers, from primary, secondary to university, at home and abroad; her places of work, from Industrial Attachment, NYSC and primary employers before her death;  her matrimonial home, her husband and husband’s senior wife and their relatives and friends; and members of the general public with whom she interacted. 

All these categories of people have poured out their hearts, stating how unimaginably kindhearted, honest and trustworthy my dear little Ummi had been. It’s clear that Ummi, small as she was, touched the lives of so many and left behind a legacy of kindness and love. Listening to these several individuals and groups, one after another, it is obvious that these were not the usual posthumous encomiums that we usually hear; these were renditions of true stories of the life of my beloved daughter, Ummi! Not only have these testimonies served as our greatest consolation, but as parents they are also cause of happiness and pride to us that our daughter lived a helpful, pious and saintly life. The fact that even in death he had a smiling face is a testament to her purity. 

In rendering tribute to her now, I feel the presence of a soul so pure, so radiant, and revealing my A’isha as a beacon of light in our lives. From the tender memories shared by us in the family, to the heartfelt words of her schoolmates, teachers and colleagues, A’isha’s essence lingers on, a testament to the joy she brought to her associates.

Her laughter, like a melody that dances through our hearts, her kindness, a balm that soothes our sorrows. From the halls of academia to the corridors of work, A’isha’s grace and compassion knew no bounds, leaving a trail of inspiration in her wake.

In her matrimonial home, A’isha’s love shone brightly, illuminating the lives of her husband, his relatives, and friends. Even in the embrace of her husband’s other wife and her relatives, A’isha’s spirit of unity and understanding prevailed, bridging hearts and fostering harmony.

And to the countless souls she encountered in the tapestry of her life, A’isha’s presence was a gift – a touch of empathy, a word of encouragement, a beacon of hope. Her legacy lives on in the hearts of all who were fortunate enough to know her, a testament to the power of love and compassion.

Though she may have left this earthly realm, A’isha’s spirit remains ever-present, a guiding light in our darkest moments, a reminder of the beauty that exists within us all. May her memory be a blessing, a source of comfort and strength, as we carry her light forward in our hearts.

In this tribute of a father, I beseech Allah (SWA) to bestow upon A’isha all mercies, blessings and forgiveness He may bestow upon those He favours. And may her legacy of love and kindness forever shine bright. Ameen.

Ard, PhD writes from Abuja