By Rogers Edor Ochela
The quality and not the longevity of one’s life is what is important –Martin Luther King Jnr.
Wednesday, May 7, 2014 will remain indelible in the memories of members of the FCT Minister Sen. Bala Mohammed’s family. On that fateful day, the matriarch of the family, Hajiya Aisha Jammare Mohammed, succumbed to the cold hands of death after a brief illness at a hospital in Bauchi. She was aged 80.
When the news of her death filtered in, family members and close associates were left completely dumbfounded.One may not be far off the mark to say that the deceased’s sojourn on earth was not only eventful, but also impactful on the lives of those who were opportune to have come in close contact with her.
From all intents and purposes, the impact of her death is profoundly devastating. It could not be true! Hajiya Aisha Mohammed, the loving matriarch of Bala Mohammed’s family dead? It is really painful why this sterling stuff of a woman should pass away now when she is most needed.
It is an established fact of life that death is an eternal price every living soul must pay, a sort of universal debt hanging ominously like a sword of Damocles on humanity. And boy! When it strikes, it leaves a permanent scar on the psyche; it makes the heart to ponder. Even in this harmattan of grief, time appears to come to a halt. Such indeed, is the current predicament of the Mohammed family.
According to the Holy writ, every person will die at an appointed time, butthe time and manner of death awaiting us, we do not know.That is why the good book admonishes us to live each day as if it were the last and to do whatever good we can.
That is the way of all mortals. But putting her dead body in the grave does not mean closing her chapter completely. It is only as abridgement as Hajiya Aisha Mohammed will still live in the minds of several people whose life she had touched.
Fulton J. Sheen once wrote that “life is like a cash register, in that every account, every thought, and every deed, like every sale is registered and recorded.” The records are there that the deceased cared and spread love across board.She will be remembered by many as a caring and loving person. She cared and showed love to all.
According to Mylses Monroe, ‘’the greatest tragedy in life is not death but life, life that fails to fulfill its purpose and potentials.’’ Happily enough, Hajiya Aisha lived a fulfilled life, a life that fulfilled its purposes and potentials in all ramifications. And the reasons for this conclusion are not far-fetched.
As a devout Moslem, she worked tirelessly toensure that all her children are brought up strictly in accordance with the tenets of Islamic religion. And this is in conformity with the teachings of the Holy writ that says one should train up a child in the way he should go, and when he grows up, he will not depart from it. Little wonder, humility, fidelity toreligious service and generosity has combined to define the entire essence of the lives of her children.
The deceased, while alive was an embodiment of all that a good mother should be to her children: affectionate; caring; rule-setter; good listener; relatable; not-overbearing and a role model. With these wonderful qualities as handmaiden, Hajiya Aisha stood her ground and refused to yield to societal pressures inmoulding the character of her children in such a way that anywhere they find themselves, the blend and assimilate easily, a development that has paved the way for them to rise fromrelative obscurity to stardom in a manner of speaking.
Above all, as a loyal and devoted housewife, she stood ramrod like a totem pole behind her husband in running a close-knit family, the then prevailing abject poverty usually associated with living in rural areas notwithstanding. She was unquestionably submissive to her husband in every facet of life. In spite of the vicissitudes of life that confronted the family, she aligned admirably well with her husband to provide the basic necessities of life for the children. And this contributed significantly to catapulting them to the enviable positions they occupy today.
Judging from the foregoing, it will be not out of place to say that Hajiya Aisha, prior to her death, lived a good life worthy of emulation. Like what is written in the Holy book, Hajiya Aisha had fought a good fight, finished her course and also kept faith with her maker. Her life epitomized devotion to good causes, just as she made the care for children; advocacy for peace and call for prayers as the lodestar of her existence.
She was a true and loyal friend to all that came across her. She made friends with effortless ease. She never discriminated in her choice of friends. She is one individual who treasured the value of friendship and never turned her back on those in distress. Her entire life could be perfectly scripted into a movie with the title: A friend need is a friend indeed.
In conclusion, after the ideals that Hajiyalived and died for have been interred with her bones, when tears, genuine or hypocritical dry up, when the pious pilgrimage of the grieving peters out and the only presence at her gate is the security man, it is necessary that we revisit those wonderful ideals of this woman who devoted her entire life to serving humanity. Adieu, Hajiya Aisha Jummare Mohammed! Rest perfectly well in the bosom of your creator!
Rogers Ochela can be reached via [email protected]