FAILING IS NOT FAILING
A true life feature stories of Muslimahs in face veil
Our feature guest for today is Hajia Kifaayah Adebukola Abdurraheem. She was Born into the family of Dr O.S Abdurraheem and Alhaja F.M Adeyemo-Abdurraheem in Ile-Alalubosa, Alore, Ilorin.
She Attended many primary schools but graduated from FGC staff school Ilorin. She attended Federal Government College Ilorin and then graduated from University of Ilorin, B. Sc Computer Science,2007.
As a child,she was very talkative and inquisitive. A kind of child that you want to run away from due to numerous questions. She wanted to know about many things and adults surely get tired.
Her interest in Islam started from her dad who was well versed in Islamic knowledge. He instilled God consciousness and love in his children early in life,so much so that they always want to please Allah.
She was an active member of the M.S.S in secondary school and from there,she started building a personality inline with Islamic injunctions. She knew to always cover her head and wear loose clothes is the best.
When she gained admission into the university, she started attending halāqah and then became more understanding of the verses suratun-nūr,she picked up the hijab. Ironically, both her parents were very supportive of the idea. They would even give her money to sew the hijabs.
After graduation, she decided to take up a teaching job just to engage herself before NYSC. Just in those few months,she became the teacher that all the children liked so much, in fact many of them started mentioning “aunty Kifaayah” this “aunty Kifaayah” that at home. Parents started sending gifts to her,others would visit the school just to meet,thank and pray for her. Since then,she started thinking she would make a great teacher.
She did her nikaah after graduation and NYSC became a challenge (without the face veil) the coordinator insisted she kits up like every other person. They tried to appease the coordinator but he refused,some notable people were also visited to help intervene but they all thought she could have just kitted up for few minutes in a month. Then she gave up and didn’t complete her registration. This was the first time she didn’t get her dad’s support, and this was her major sadness, she cared about her dad much more than the NYSC cert. Eventually, the NYSC coordinator was transferred and Allah made it easy for her to complete her registration and other processes with her Jilbaab.
Few months after passing out,she picked up the niqaab. And this brought another big question “how would you get a job with this?” She tried hard to get a job but the niqab was always a point of complaint. She visited her dad’s friend who was a board member in a private university which had three munaaqabaat working there already, he still insisted she removes her face veil before he could help.
At this time she already had her first child and pregnant with the second. She then gave up and met her dad for a loan to buy a cold room, this she started, selling iced block. At this same time, she started attending evening madrasah and maa shaa Allah, she learnt basic Arabic there.
After sometime, she relocated to Abuja to join her husband. In a bid to find an Islamic school whose standards are high in Islamic and conventional knowledge for her son, she found I-scholars international Academy, gwarimpa, Abuja. Little children could speak Arabic and English, they could recite a large part of the holy Qur’an. Seeing such a school,she thought not just to enrol her son but to be a part of such a lofty institution. She applied to the school and she was employed as a teacher. After several months, a female was needed in the Arabic section of the school, she could only speak basic Arabic,her boss however believed in her and got her transferred to the section.
This darul-huda section is one that no other language is allowed, you either speak Arabic or remain mute. Like a disciplined person that she is,she would disturb the other ustaadh in the class for every word she didn’t know, she made sure she stuck to the rule. This improved her speaking and much more her confidence to speak the language. She put in her best and this didn’t go unnoticed. Like her boss would say “the reward for hard work is more hard work” after two years of teaching,she was made to head the teachers in her section maa shaa Allah.
As a section head,she was still teaching hurooful-hijaahiyah and Arabic literacy by extension. She saw the need for a book that will be full of interesting activities and break down Arabic reading into steps for children. After a serious search,she wasn’t satisfied with any of the books. With the encouragement and help of the Head of the Arabic section,she put together her classroom experience teaching the subject into a series of three books Al-mut’atu fee qiraatil-arabiyah 1-3(Arabic reading is fun) The aim was to make reading Arabic and Qur’an reading interesting to the children she was teaching and also Muslim children in general. Maa shaa Allah, the book was adopted by many Islamic schools in Abuja, Ilorin, Lagos, Osogbo,Minna…
The level of acceptance and commendations made her believe more in herself. She wrote another book to help children learning to read with the phonics sounds, phonics story book for little readers. This was widely accepted by Islamic and conventional schools alike maa shaa Allah.
She resigned from her beloved school to start up a small Islamic school (The pundits Academy) in her community with a group of other Muslim parents. The school has since been a place where Muslim children get high standards of Islamic education. By Islamic here, she mean morals and conventional included since all good knowledge are Islamic knowledge.
By the glory of Allah, her mum picked up the hijab from them (children) and now she wears the jilbaab and socks. Her dad has also inclined to the sunnah more and more quoting his children wherever and whenever.
Allah guided her to the sunnah and from her all her siblings are practising the sunnah too. All her siblings and parents have now accepted the sunnah as their way of life? That’s her highest achievement in life, the one that can be higher, she said, is for all her family to make jannah. She agreed that her younger one’s are more striving in sunnah that she is.
She has memorized almost 10hizbs and many ahaadith(not in an organised fashion) She can speak Arabic fluently to an extent.
She’s happily married and blessed with five lovely champs.
Thanks for sharing your beautiful story with us. Personally you’ve always inspired me and I call you ‘my go to uztaza’ whenever I’m stuck.
Your IQ is second to none and I admire you a lot. Your zeal for knowledge and your passion for passing knowledge is worth emulating.
You are a perfect example of AL-NAHL verse 125 “Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best. Indeed, your Lord is most knowing of who has strayed from His way, and He is most knowing of who is [rightly] guided” This is what you’ve always done. Your methodology of dawah can never go wrong biiithnilah.
May Allah reward you for sharing your inspiring story with us. May your effort towards Deen, work and homefront never go unnoticed by Allah. May you reach the loftiest place which is Jannah. Keep winning! keep soaring higher!! and keep basking in the euphoria of Allah’s rahmah. Jazakillahu khairan.
Photo credit: Raihanah bint Abdul-kareem
Books credit: Umm abdirrahmom kifaayah bukky.