An obviously heartbroken husband Abdullahi Mahunta, has taken to Facebook to pen a heart warming tribute to his late wife, Maryam in 2017.
Maryam died exactly a year ago, September 6, 2017, while observing Hajj in Saudi Arabia.And the husband could not but remember the legacy she left behind and how he has missed her.
Late Maryam Umar Maina(Maman Samha): The Living DeadLike many other wives, Maryam was also a good and loyal wife, but one quality stood her out. Maryam never joined issues in disagreement . Each issue is treated independent of any other. She never took any disagreement personal. Idan ka bata ma ta rai kan zuwa unguwa, ba za ka gani a fuskar ta ba. Ba kuma za ka gani a kwanon tuwon ka ba. Through out our stay with Maryam, we have never quarrelled nor fought. Yes we had disagreement and she was, also, never disrespectful in disagreement and never transgressed. Even where she disagreed with you, she would clearly espress her opinion; diplomatically maintain her stand and respectfully recognise your views.Nothing revealed these exceptional characters of maryam’s more, like the dying days of our marriage. On the very day I took Maryam back to her family, around 4:30pm after the close of work, I received her call. “Abu Khalifa, yau ga shi ba ni gida, ka kawo, don Allah ka da ka manta ka ci abinci fa”. “In shaa Allah Maryam, na gode”. I would answer. On another day, “Abu Khalifa, yau Mama ta yi wata taliya mai dadin tsiya, na ce bari in aje ma ka. Na san ka da son taliya. Idan ka taso office sai ka zo ka amsa”. And i would go to Maryam’s house eat the taliya har ma mu yi hira and leave.On another day again: ” Abu Khalifa, wallahi yau ba na jin dadin baki na, duk na kasa cin abinci. Don Allah ka zo mu je Downtown ma na”. I would go and take Maryam to downtown. Sometimes she would even ask me to take her to one or two places before I dropped her back to their house. All these, from a wife wadda ta ke zaman yaji a gidan su. And in all those engagements, she would never mention the ‘borne of contention ‘ between us that took her back home in the first place. And that was one lesson, harder as I tried, I still cannot learn.Our marriage wasn’t destined to last for long. And with hindsight, I accept all the responsibilities. Maryam was young, pregnant and also sick. Those were the factors I did not consider. I was impatient and inconsiderate, though I was relatively young too. Notwithstanding, it was destined to happy. And when it was finally over, “inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raji’un. Allah ya sa haka shine ma fi alkhairi” was her only words. Accepting her new destiny and totally submitting to the will of Allah. And she moved on. Allah ya jikan ki Maryam.Because of Maryam’s warm and friendly disposition, many years after the dissolution of our marriage, our families remain friends. She would call my mother, my sisters and even her ex uwargida. On some occasions, she would visit my house whenever she found herself in Kaduna.One day in 2017, I received a call from Maryam. After the normal greetings and discussing about our daughter, Samha, Maryam said: “Ni kuwa Abu Khalifa lokacin da mu na tare ka taba yi mani alkawarin Hajji ko Umara. Ban tuna ma ba ne kawai duk tsawon lokacin nan domin na san Idan ka samu hali za ka yi”. “Anya Maryam? Ni dai gaskiya ban iya tunawa. Shekara wajen takwas ke nan fa.”. I replied. “To shikenan, a bar maganar sai ranar da ka tuna.” Maryam concluded.Days later, I raised the issue with anty Bebi, expressing my doubt. Before I finished, aunty Bebi interjected: “Gaskiyar Maryam! Wallahi ina shaida”. “Kin ji Maryam, aunty Bebi ma ta ce wai wallahi ita ce shaida”. “Allah sarki aunty Bebi! Ai na san dama Allah zai bayyana gaskiya ta” Maryam replied. “Amma fa ni na fi son zuwa Ummara. Ka ga yanzu an fara zuwa umarar azumi. Ita na ke son zuwa”.I called a very good friend, Yusuf Shehu Daura (Righteous), who is a travelling agent and linked him up with Maryam. He bought a ticket, got the visa and booked a flight for Maryam. But On the day they were supposed to leave for the Umra, my friend called: “Abdullahi don Allah ka yi hakuri ka kuma ba Maryam hakuri. Wallahi mutumin da aka yi ma su visa tare ya samu matsala ba zai iya tafiya ba. Saboda haka ita ma ba yadda za a yi ta tafi. Amman Idan Allah ya kai mu lokacin aikin Hajji, ni zan cika akan kudin umarar da ku ka biya in kai ta Hajji in shaa Allah “. That was how Allah took Maryam to Hajj at the cost of N500,000 when every other alhaji paid the sum of N1.5m for the same Hajj in 2017. Little did we know that Allah (SWT) had other plans for Maryam. Allah ka jikan Maryam!When she eventually arrived Saudi for the 2017 Hajj, on the 29th of August, while in Madina, seven days before her death, Maryam sent me the following text message:“Na yi ta maka addu’a da na shiga Rawdah. Ban san yanda zan kwatanta farinciki na da na zo Medina ba. Har kuka se da na yi. Allah ya saka maka da alkhairi. Kai babbban akhairine a rayuwaata Abdullahi.”About four days to Maryam’s death, me and aunty Bebi visited Maryam at their camp in Minna. A day later I went back “Maryam, your agent ya ce ma ni har yanzu ba ki yi hadaya ba?”. “To ba miji ke yi ma matar shi ba”. She replied. “To ke ki na da mijin ne?”. “Shsss” She quickly gestured to me to keep quite while coming closer and continued: “ka san fa duk abokan tafiya ta na fada ma su cewa ina da aure. Jiya ma da ku ka zo na gaya ma su cewa kai ne miji na kuma aunty Bebi kishiya ta ce. Saboda haka kai za ka yi ta, tunda kai ka kawo ni nan”. That was Maryam….A day to her death, when we are back to Makkah waiting for a return trip back to home, Maryam sent me a message: “Abu Khalifa, yau na yi rashin lafiya har an kai ni asibiti an sa ma ni drips, amman da sauki har ma an sallame ni na dawo gida”. “Subhanallah! Wallahi Yusuf bai ma gaya ma ni ba. In shaa Allah, gobe zan zo in duba ki. Allah ya sauwake.” I replied.The following morning, on the 6th of September, around 6:30pm, my friend called: “Abdullahi ka na ina? Don Allah ka yi ma za ka zo nan gidan mu yanzu. Maryam ba ta da lafiya.” “Eh mun yi magana da ita jiya. Ina nan Haram Yanzu da an gama sallar Magariba zan zo”. Aunty Bebi who was together with me suggested that I should not wait till after Magrib because he sounded so serious.Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raji’un! By the time I arrived their residence, Maryam was already on her way to the great beyond. Breathing heavily, her eyes fixed and staring so deep into the deeper space, obviously aware of the decent of the ‘Malakul maut’. Within the next few minutes, before the ambulance arrived, Allah ya karbi rayuwar Maryam. I came late. As your only relation in far away Makkah, I wish i had the chance to get your last wish. Your wasiyya Maryam, as an only child, to your mother and to our daughter Samha, as an only child to you too. Allah ka gafarta kurakuran Maryam.It was then I realised that Maryam actually meant what she told me at their camp in Minna. That she told everyone in Saudi that I was her husband. Because everyone at the scene was like “Sannu ka ji, wannan ai shine mijin ta.Allah ya gafarta ma ta. Allah ya ba ka hakurin wannan rashi”.The circumstances of Maryam’s death(death at home) also squarely placed that responsibility on my shoulders. She became a police case subject to investigations to ensure that her death was natural. So as a supposed husband, I became the reference point. Her next of kin.On the 21st of September, I was invited to the police headquarters in Makkah where I was given the autopsy report and made to sign a document accepting that the death of my ‘wife’ was natural. They also handed over the corpse to me and aunty Bebi who, assuming also that she Maryam’s kishiya, was invited to participate lokacin yi ma ta wanka da sutura. Later on that day, aka yi ma ta sallah a masallacin Haram aka yi jana’izar ta.Maryam was a lone child to her mother. Her mother had her after many years of marriage without a child. And never had another child after Maryam. That situation made it difficult for me to break the news of her death to her mother, so I had to go through some indirect channels. But when I eventually spoke to her, her response was: “Allah sarki Inna! Allah ya biya ma ta burin ta. Lokacin da ta ke mani bankwana ta ke cewa ‘Mama, ni dai buri na Idan na gama aikin Hajji na lafiya Allah ya amshi rayuwa ta a chan”.A wish, Allah indeed granted Maryam.You might have died Maryam, but your your memories live on in the mind of whoever came in contact with you while you are alive. And whoever reads about you. Allah ya jikan ki Maryam! Allah ya gafarta kurakuran ki. Allah ya albarkaci zuri’ar da ki ka bari…