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In Memory of Zainab Auwalu Yadudu

In Memory of Zainab Auwalu Yadudu



We have all grown up to fondly call her Mama or, when in a frolic or indulgent mood, Uwanin Lawan. This day, (Rajab 27, 1444) February 18, 2023 marks the 40th day of Mama’s demise. She departed this world – on January 8, 2023 (Jumada Thani 17, 1444) with all of her offsprings and Baba by her side, peacefully and ceaselessly uttering the Kalimat Ashdhahada. Alhamdulillah, we were witnesses to that. May Allah, the compassionate and merciful, accept all her supplications and good deeds and overlook her shortcomings.

As your first daughter, you weaned me off so early but what am l to say other than Alhamdulillah. I now feel like a baby trying to take its wobbly first steps. I know I will walk and fall but eventually, with your prayers and legacy, I will walk tall. You have taught me to put our absolute trust in Allah in all our affairs, pray intensely in bad times and pray even harder in good times. I feel your soul looking over me while I embark on this new insurmountable journey, deprived of your watchful eyes and tender guidance, but especially your “tough love”. Your prayer for the Mover of hearts to make our bond strong “Allah ya amsa, ya hada zukatan ‘ya’yan ki” for we are each others biggest comforters. “Wallahil azeem”, (by God), I vividly recall that you mentioned in your last few days that you knew that I was trying to appear strong and acting all too normally but that my cry would be the hottest, loudest and longest. Mama, I must now confess, its all so true. I have cried endlessly like a child that has lost its favorite toy. I yearn to dream of you and see your face, for your reassurance that I started on the right foot, and pray to Allah to guide our path. You have meant the world to me and more. I see me in you, when I walk and talk. I wish to take a long, deep sleep, but I know I will still wake up to the feeling of you gone far eternity from me and my siblings. Somedays I wished I could join you soon but other days I wish to live longer so I can, in shaa Allah, have as fulfilled a life as you had. They say time heals, I am afraid it only numbs the wound. I have said this to you, “in shaa Allah mama ku ne yan cikin quryar palon Annabi” (you will be among the closest guests in Prophet Muhammad’s company in the hereafter) to which you smiled and replied “tare da ku.”(And you too). With your beautiful earthly life brought to an end, – as everybody’s would sooner or later – “da shaidar mutane, in shaa Allah, Allah zai tabbatar miki da haka” (public acknowledgement of your deeds foretells that outcome).

I have always been envious of Yaya lsmail (late brother Capt YADUDU) who lived a short, fulfilled and beautiful life. He was survived by parents who prayed for him earnestly until Mama’s last breath and, I can vouch, daily until Baba’s. I am more envious today, that their two beautiful souls have met, in close physical proximity, and in love and peace, until the day we meet them too. I cannot imagine what or how Baba feels now, over the loss of his friend, consort, counsel, enforcer and “abokiyar raha da fada” (sparring partner in jest and quarrels) Uwanin Lawan, a wife of 45 years. As kids, while growing up and as adults, we have known Baba and Mama to be best of friends. They had remained as such until she left. Like Umma, (Prof Fatima Batul Mukhtar) her sister and friend, said, “Zainab makes you feel so special, and has a special place in her heart” for everybody. I don’t know how she managed to do it, because she truly had a place for everyone she knew or even met fleetingly. I felt like “kowa ya zo gaisuwar taaziyya” (those who have come to offer condolences) wanted to say something to feel important or signify their acquaintance with Mama, but after hearing them, evidently and truly, they must have had, at one time or other, a sweet unforgettable encounter with Mama – one that left an indelible imprint. I want to say this, not out of praise or pride, that you were the sweetest soul and had the warmest and kindest heart. You’ve touched many lives positively and your legacy will live way longer than you in shaa Allah.

To say we all miss you is an understatement but I pray to Allah to fill every vacuum and void you left and replace it with love and endless prayers for you to meet your Lord in the way He is most pleased with. Perhaps it is pertinent to end this by invoking the last verses of Suratul FAJR, Holy Qur’an, and pray that it applies to Mama:

[To the righteous it will be said] “ O reassured soul; Return to your Lord, well-pleased and pleasing (to Him). And enter among My (righteous) servants. And enter My Paradise”

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