In the warm embrace of cherished recollections, my grandpa’s (Bello Maitama Yusuf) legacy shines brightly. My parents often shared stories of his kindness and generosity with me, but I was also fortunate to witness his love and care firsthand. To say he was “too good for this world” would be an understatement.
Allah’s love for him was evident in the love he showered upon everyone around him.
I can’t help but remember the story times we used to have, all the grandchildren gathered around, hanging on to his every word. Those moments, woven with his wisdom, still resonate in our hearts.
One of his most endearing qualities was his unwavering commitment to giving back to the community. He was like a golden finger, ever ready to extend a helping hand, not just to people but to animals as well. His charity knew no bounds, and his prayers were ceaseless. He was a man of prayer.
Saving or investing for the future? That was never his concern. If he had money, rest assured it would be spent right there and then—on himself, his loved ones, and for charitable causes. His generosity knew no bounds.
He gifted my uncles, my mum, my aunts, the grandchildren and all the people around him not just with love, but with the gift of knowledge, especially about the teachings of Islam. The gatherings in his living room were not just about learning; they were about sharing, about family, and about spirituality. After every gathering, his heartfelt duas would resonate, like a soothing melody, in our hearts.
Oh, the fun memories! I believe all the grandchildren can attest to the joy he brought into our lives. And while we may playfully mention the ‘amount of money he gave us, his generosity was indeed remarkable. It’s essential to clarify that our love for him extended far beyond those material gestures. We cherished him for the wealth of love, wisdom, and happiness he shared with us.
But beyond all else, he was my mum’s everything. He was her confidant, her dad, and her best friend. Their bond was a testament to the profound love that can exist within a family.
In a poignant twist of fate, my grandpa also became my dad’s third father. My dad had lost his own father at a tender age and, later in life, his brother, who had served as a father figure. With my grandpa’s love and guidance, my dad found solace and a deep bond that transcended the generational gap. The loss of his ‘third dad’ I know has left a profound void.
Tarauni—our cherished place, will never be the same without him. And as my mum often says, “fi amanAllah” to my siblings and I when we’re leaving for a long period of time. Baffa, I leave you in the care of Allah too, knowing that your love and light will forever shine in our hearts.
As we reflect on his life, we’re reminded that we’re never promised tomorrow. His clothes, neatly laid out for Friday prayers, remain untouched in his room. Dying on a Friday is a special blessing in Islam, and even in his departure, he was granted this honour. We find solace in the knowledge that his legacy, his love, and his prayers will forever guide us. Until we meet in Jannah, Baffa.
In the words of the Quran, “To Allah we belong, and to Him we return.”
Aisha writes from Abuja