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Updated: Jul 4


An Epic Journey of Faith. Ep. 2


“This series and the characters in it are fictitious. Certain long-standing institutions, agencies, and public offices are mentioned, and the religious rites are authentic, but the characters involved are wholly imaginary. “

No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and specific other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law."

Copyright © 2023 by Hadiza Bagudu.


To Dubai!

Munir helped the old man on his left take off his seat belt.

“Thank you, my son.” The man said, and Munir smiled at him. It had been thirty minutes into the flight, and he was still wearing it.

“If you want to go to the toilet, let me know, ok?” He told the old man.

“Ok, my son.”

The old man reminded him of his adoptive father. He had similar kind eyes that were very comforting. He had spent the last thirty minutes helping him with everything, from putting on and removing his seat belt to telling him which food was best. He had never been on a plane, but at least he could read the instructions and understand what to do. The man, by his right, was educated at least and had been to hajj before, but he still also required some help. They both somewhat depended on him, and he was happy to help, especially since they were both very polite and much older than him. He was raised to be helpful and respectful to his elders.


He looked out of the window, and the ground seemed so far away. The building looked like little matchboxes and the roads like lines that zigzagged and twirled in between the boxes, and soon, they were in the clouds, and it felt surreal.

He sank back into his seat and still couldn’t believe he was on that plane going to Saudi Arabia for Hajj. He never had in his wildest dreams imagined it. For one thing, he couldn’t afford it. It was Allah’s calling; otherwise, he wouldn’t be here. He was expecting something else altogether. but got this instead. He tried to pawn the ticket but couldn’t get a buyer.

He was still mourning the death of his adoptive father, who died a year and a half ago and left him in charge of his Islamiyah, which needed repair and upkeep. He had no money and had spent the past several months soliciting funds from various people to no avail until Alhaji Babangida Bello Kura extended a hand and sent him a free ticket for Hajj, all expenses paid in full. It was the furthest thing from his mind. Of course, he had hoped to go to Hajj someday. As a Muslim, it is one of the five pillars of Islam and compulsory for anyone who can afford it. But he was just an Al-majiri and very broke. His adoptive father was the famous sheik Abdullahi Ali of Kano, a Devout Muslim Scholar who took him under his wing when his family deserted him because he accepted Islam and became a Muslim when he was fifteen. He had taken him in and raised him as his son. In just three years, Munir Had memorized the Quran and became a Hafiz. The Sheik was impressed by him and brought him close to himself, even closer than his sons. The sheik owned the Islamiyah called Al-Noor (The light), which catered to orphans, widows, and other poor people. The fee was minimal and easy to pay. The money they made was never enough; they could keep the school mainly running through charity and the goodwill of strangers. The sheik was well-loved, and many people were, impressed by what he did, and donated to help him. But after he died, the money stopped coming in, and even worse, his sons were planning to sell the school and share the money as part of their inheritance. They never did value the school; only Munir did with all his heart, which was one reason why the Sheik loved him above all his other children. He was kind and accepting of the poor and willing to devote his life to caring for them. That had also been a source of jealousy from his brothers for the last decade. If they wanted to sell the school, he knew that he wouldn’t be able to stop them because it was legally theirs and if not because the children of the sheik’s four wives could not cooperate among themselves, they would have sold it months ago. He couldn’t let that happen. That Islamiyah is a beacon of hope for many. It provided affordable education and even employment for the very poor in society, and it is also his home, literary. He lived inside the Islamiyah. When his adoptive brother, whom they shared a room with, got married last year immediately after their father’s death, he had to vacate their room to give him some privacy with his new wife. He then moved into one of the classrooms of the Islamiyah. It wasn’t a bad idea as he used the opportunity to guard the school at night.

The Islamiyah!

He had seen Alhaji Kura on the Bus and now on the plane. In his wildest dreams, he never thought that he would ever come this close to him. He wanted to go over and talk to and thank him in person, but he was both afraid and shy. His family and posse surrounded the Alhaji. He didn’t want to embarrass himself. He wasn’t even sure if the man would want to talk to him. He also noticed that Alhaji was with his youngest daughter. She seemed like a hand full, and he wasn’t surprised. He recognized her from TV. She had been in the news on TV, in newspapers, and magazines, and not for good reasons. She was a spoiled socialite who did drugs, followed boys, and did everything she could to bring shame to her family. It was extremely unfortunate because Alhaji Kura was an outstanding and hardworking philanthropist who spent much of his time and money helping the less fortunate. He was also one of the few rich men in Nigeria who earned his money purely from hard work and not from looting government money. It was almost a cruel twist of fate that he was given this girl as his daughter.

His thoughts reverted to his predicament. It broke Munir’s heart to let go of more than half of the school's staff, but he couldn’t keep them all. He had tried soliciting funds but got very little in the process. He held competitions, printed and distributed fliers, and so on. But nothing seems to work. Then, just as he was about to give up, he received a gift from Kura textiles, an all-expense paid ticket to Saudi Arabia for Hajj with his name on it. He didn’t know whether to be happy or sad. As crucial as Hajj was, it wasn’t what he needed then. So, he tried to pawn off the ticket. The money he hoped to get from selling the ticket he would use to repair the generator and mend leaky roofs and buy some new desks for the class, and maybe even pay some salaries. But no one wanted to buy it, and he didn’t blame them. So, in the end, he had to embark on the journey to pray for a miracle when he got there. His second reason for going was to pray for a pious and loving wife.

Almost there!

Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed today's episode.

Do you think Munir is ever going to save the Islamiyah? Will he ever find happiness? Stay tuned to the next episode to find out. In the meantime, please tell me what you think in the comment section and like, share, and subscribe to my blog!




I'm Hadiza Bagudu, a mom, blogger, poet, author, and podcaster. Join me each week as we embark on 'An Epic Journey of Faith!' A series about a group of pilgrims whose lives were transformed by the Hajj experience. Let's explore the power of faith, the beauty of human connection, and more captivating stories on love, family, and society. Come along, and let's dive into the world of literature together!


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