Ifoti olooyi (coma inducing slap), Ikoo gbekunmi (knocks that make you swallow mucus), ilu bara (Beating like a thief), Abaraa gbona (hot bang), Eekana e.t.c are all peculiarities of Yoruba mothers. You might be so unlucky to have your mum a specialist in none (as you would have marks in different places), but fortunately, mine was a specialist in all (my marks are in inconspicuous locations); the reason why I have this tale to tell. In fact there was a time she slapped me and I couldn’t see anything for a moment. All I could see was black and white! (The who off light type of slap)
We were told that no love can be compared to one found between mother and child. As a child, I do not totally believe that saying. Sometimes I do wonder; “how can someone that loves me treat me this way?” She gives me food, clothes me and even sings for me, yet she doles on me the severest of punishments. I was confused. The discipline was so much that at a moment I can’t really say who I fear most; Allah or my Mother! (Never mind me for I was still a kid then). It is true the prophet chose the mother three times over the father but to me I would have chosen my pa ten times over.
Here is one of my numerous stories:
She called me one day, “Ashraf!” I said “Yes ma”. “You know I would be travelling to Iseyin today”, a question to which I nodded in affirmation. She continued “So, you must not go and play outside”, “Why”, my mind queried but I dare not show it in my face, for she understands every gesture I make (I don’t know how she got to know that). “Don’t go out”, she reiterated! “I would know if you do”, she completed her instruction.
Such command was easy for me to obey on a normal day, but this very day, I was in an imbroglio. I have to choose between the devil and the red sea. As a football addict, and a good one for that matter, we were to have an interclass match competition of which I was a star key player for my team. Here I am, being handed explicit instructions. What am I to do? Ibadan to Iseyin is nothing less than a four hour drive which makes it easy for me to sneak out and be back without my mother knowing. As sweet as the thought was, sneaking out and my mum coming back home for whatever reason it might be and not meeting me at home scared my lungs out, for it had happened on several occasions but I was saved then because I was obedient. I waited for few hours to be sure she might have boarded her bus and would have been far off the outskirts of Ibadan. Yet I couldn’t go beyond our house’s verandah. I was startled. In the long run, I choose obedience. My reason was simple! If my team lost, we would all share the pains of loosing, but if I sneak out and my mum eventually does her investigation by whatever means she has (that is if she didn’t come back home for any reason) and finds out I erred, I would be the only one to suffer the wrought. Eventually, my team lost to a far lesser team.
Here is my point:
Right now I see myself a man that outrightly disobey Allah without remorse. Although, I now know the wheat from the chaff and the day from the night, but yet with impunity I engage in sin. I felt no restraint like I felt in JSS1 from disobeying my mother. What if my mother sees me was my thought, but now I forget that there is no doubt in Allah being the all seeing. My mother would punish me I reckoned in my heart, yet I remain oblivious of the fact that Allah’s punishment can’t be endured. The same applies to you too as we trample on Allah’s will and command at will while our hearts deceive us by saying Allah would forgive us! Yes he will! But what made you so sure you would live to see the next seconds. My brother! I knew I might not be the only lucky one to have a mother like mine, so as you remember the slaps, knocks and bangs on your backs your mum must have used in pressing your reset button because you make mistakes, so also should the punishment of the grave and hell ring a bell in you whenever you want to err. I hope you hear!