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I had gone to pay for a room already, but due to its exorbitant price I went for my money to be given to me back. I dare not kill myself. The thing is, I was brusquely broke — I was on a hand-to-mouth schedule for my upkeep. Formally, my ideal budget was hovering around 270 cedis monthly, or “kwatakwata kraa” 300 cedis. Dzartei walked in with his macho looking body — he is well built, unlike Guda (Ankrah) who is my pieRsquare. When he welcomed us to get inside, I had a conviction that Dzartei had made a good choice.

Guys, the room has futuristic designs — well planned and segmented. It was freshly built. Lo, the price I had paid earlier, in the former location which is within this same area wherein Dzartei is now residing was even expensive than what he had paid for. Comparatively, his place is a semblance of heaven.

The painting, the sofa arrangement, washroom, kitchen layouts, and the environment, I nearly coveted his property. But I shelved my shenanigans.

I sprawled myself in his sofa. With all jokes aside, I can testify with my ‘balls’ that his sofa had good quality texture and density which commensurate with the exotic sofas sold at Melcom. (Locally made products are also durable so let us patronize it). Ankrah went straight to the kitchen. He had seen cornflakes and “atakpa” milk in the fridge thus he wanted to dissipate Dzartei’s resources. (Don’t mind Ankrah, he is the best food therapist).

He brought whatever he had fetched into the hall to hanky-panky me. My thoughts weren’t on what he was busily eating — I was guesstimating how I could also get a place nicer like Dzartei’s. He played us some musical interludes to see how bashing his sound system behaves. I nodded my head in return, because I had let go off my dancing moves. (I’m being serious).

It was by then, my phone’s Azan (call to prayer) beeped incessantly — informing me that it’s time for prayers. The early afternoon prayer has passed. Now it’s time for the late afternoon prayer. In other words, the 2nd and 3rd prayer of the day, and I have not observed any of these prayers. Good to know, my friends are staunch Christians. They love Jesus (as) mannerly like I do.

And oh, we are proud Ga(s), too. Thus we eat “Kenkey” with passion. The common tongue is what we do speak. I started wondering now. They know I don’t fiddle with my prayer, not at all. There is a great reverence we dole to each other, irrespective of the divergent religious beliefs we uphold. Religion hasn’t divided us, even though we have a prevailing Christian population at La.

Thenceforth, I hastily got out of the room, and left them inside to go get a sachet of water to perform ablution. Regardless of my location, I still have to pray. When I was done with the purification, I stalemated on praying outside because I wanted them to have their peace. It should be noted that this was my first time visiting Dzartei’s at his new place so I didn’t want to interfere with his privacy.

The outside too, however, there wasn’t any place for me to pray, unless I settle on praying on the bare floor which would ordinarily soiled my dress, and all. At this juncture, I was handcuffed by an abeyance — looking at the next available option.

In the nick of time, I went back to the hall just to inform them that I would be praying outside, and that I would be with them in a jiffy. Briefly after opening the door, I coincidentally chanced on Dzartei, who was standing there holding a newly purchased prayer mat (which is even far beautiful and comfortable to be prayed on than what I use at home).

Dzartei, with alacrity, he said, “‘Imam’, I have a lot of Muslim brothers so I’ve bought this prayer mat to provide convenience for any of you who would be here and would like to pray in my room whenever the time is due. Luckily, nobody has used it so you’re the first to step on it.” I was inundated with smiles.

Flabbergasted. Keen within. My heart and soul got married to ecstasy. Not long ago I have asked him for an iPhone charger to fetch some life into my phone, but he said he is not having one. That notwithstanding, he has procured a prayer mat for his Muslim friends. Dzartei tacitly knows what we need most.

This brought to mind an indelible history about the peaceful cohabitation among Muslims, Christians, and Jews during the time of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ). In fact, I immediately transposed myself to the days when a Christian King, bearing the title Najashi of Abyssinian, saved the Muslims who fled from the hands of the fluff-headed pagan Arabs, and had taken refuge in the king’s land.

The writer in the middle

Furthermore, there are avalanches of ‘ahadith’ which have foretold and even shown people whom were blessed with paradise despite the ‘question marks’ society has put on them. One of such was the prostitute who offered water to a thirsty dog, using her shoe to fetched from the well in a farther distance, just because she saw the dog’s protruded tongue signalling that water is needed direly to quench its thirst.

Thid is a prostitute. Undoubtedly, supposing she is arraigned before you and I our court of appeal, which is full of stereotype and prejudice, would we not consign her to hell fire because we are the custodians of paradise? The Creator revealed to His Messenger (ﷺ), following her act of kindness that He has granted heaven to the town helper. Therefore, all her sins have been forgiven.

Prayer mat

With hindsight, you would agree with me that Dzartei depicted an infectious sense of religious tolerance. I can’t stop thinking about it. His deed was angelically sublime.

In brief, all I could say is that we should endeavour to emulate his style of understanding and selflessness.

Let us be consciencetized that religion wasn’t made to polarize us like ‘Politics’. Rather tailored to unite men towards one common goal. In essence, Ecclesiastes chapter 12:13, in the King James Version of the Bible said: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”

The End.

Read Also: A TASTE OF RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE 1

© Abdul Rahman Odoi(BIGODOI™️)

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