By Khadija Gambo Hawaja
I knew Dr. Zuwaira back in the 90s first as a student of Sheikh Khalid Aliyyu where I sometimes visit and give a talk on religious matters. So it was a relationship of teacher/student but more of friends because we saw each other as belonging to the same peer group even though I was much older.
When she was in the University of Jos as a student we often meet when I visited Prof MBT Umar. She was always lively and full of smiles. I never saw her get angry.
She was an embodiment of Love, kindness Compassion and generosity. She was ever humble and disposed to render help and assistance. She rose to grace so rapidly but she remained herself, humble and faithful.
My relationship with her grew stronger with our frequent travels to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for Hajj. I watched her treat all patients with care and respect irrespective of their class.
She never ran away from duty nor rejected offering services even when not on duty. She gave life to wherever she sets her foot in.
My last Hajj with her was in the year 2016 on the same flight and we occupied the same apartment in Makkah though, I didn’t stay but my luggage remained under her care.
It was in that same Hajj that we had an intimate conversation regarding our lives. We went so deep that we had to take a walk. I told her how much I respected her and how valuable she was to the Ummah.
I encouraged her in what was personal to her and gave her the assurance of my unflinching support towards any decision she takes in her life. She wept and in the end we both laughed filled with joy. The discussion will remain with me until the when we meet again.
Dr. Zuwaira always showed up in all events of my life. She was around the day I got married to the best man in my life in 2004. She stood by me inspite of all odds.
She visited me on the two most painful moments of my life, the death of my brother and my mom. She sat with me and gave me hope that it was going to be fine at a time I saw myself Loosing hold of the courage to move on.
I watched Zuwaira rising to fame and success and my mind was so set that she was one day going to be somewhere at the UN with cameras flashing her while the world marvel at how great she has become.
Death yesterday, was the last thing on my mind for such a great and pious soul. Again, another round of grief engulfed my essence when I heard that Zuwaira is no more.
I wept and stared at an empty world with an overwhelming confusion on what to do. Life is like a mirage this I keep learning all the time.
Zuwaira, you lived a life equalled to a life lived by thousands. Yes, you did your bid and you paid your dues.
Your life is legendary and your name will forever remain in the records of success and greatness. Humanity owe you an everlasting ‘love and respect’.
We will never seize to pray to Allah to grant you Jannah of the highest rank!
Zuwaira, dwell in peace and grace of Allah, as we now bid you good night!
Dr Shugaba, to you I turn and all I can say is Zuwaira loved you with her life. Her accomplishment in life got sealed the day you became one. This I can tell you I knew from her when she was alive.
It is tough for us but tougher for you but Allah will surely grant you patience to bear this unimaginable pain and grief. Allah will console you and in Him you will find solace, I am sure.
For her sons, O God, grant them strength and faith to move on even while a strong pillar in their lives is gone. I pray Allah to reward them for all the good things their mother did while alive. May you All grow to be better than what she aspired for you. We stand by you for as long as we live!
Khadija is a Permanent Commissioner, Kaduna State Peace Commission.