Guida Blog : A Muslim at the Catholic boarding house

After receiving my primary school certificate (CEP), I had to leave my parents once again to continue my studies 21 kilometers from my village. My dad suggested that I go stay with one of his friends, which I refused because I feared becoming a mistreated servant. He then suggested renting me a room of my own, which I accepted. However, one month later, I grew frustrated because all my friends had gone to a Catholic boarding house. I only saw friends during the day at school. I had become a prisoner and everything irritated me, while my friends were happily chatting about their lives at the boarding house, which sounded so appealing.

To find a solution to this problem, one weekend I took all my belongings and returned to the village. Sunday evening, when I should’ve returned to town, I told my father “no,” and he asked me what was wrong. I told him I wanted to stay at the boarding house. Astonished, he categorically refused because we were a Muslim family, and this situation was unimaginable. Furthermore, he would lose his respect in the Fulani community, as well as the Muslim one. Even worse, for him, a respected Hadj (one who has performed the pilgrimage to Mecca), letting his son become Christian would be the worst curse in the world. His name in Fulani history would forever be soiled, and he would become an embarrassment to his descendents, worse than Satan. “I will never accept that,” he told me. I held my position, and so did he. To convince him, I told him to choose between letting me continue my studies while living at the boarding house, and letting me move into the bush with my uncle to become a herder. Well aware of the irreversibility of my decisions, he found himself in a dilemma.

Finally, I won the argument despite my father. Maybe it was because I was his eldest son, or maybe because he was afraid of losing what he’d invested in me, or maybe simply because he loved me so much. Only he knows the reason.

After a month of delay, would I be accepted at the boarding house? There was room for 20 students, and I would be the 21st. I insisted that my dad attempt the impossible. Arriving at the boarding house, dressed like a good Muslim, he went to meet the priest in charge of the boarding house to explain the situation. Would they respect the house rules, would they send away one of the few Muslims, and the only Fulani to come to the Catholic boarding house? Or would they violate the rules to accept me as a new member of the Catholic community? The priest faced a dilemma. He couldn’t come to a decision alone, so he left my father in the office as he went to consult with the other priests. Finally, I they created an extra spot in the boarding house for me, and I began a new life.

To be continued…

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9 Responses to “Guida Blog : A Muslim at the Catholic boarding house”

  1. John Kern says:

    Guida,
    Yours is a very important story. I await its continuation with great interest.
    John Kern

  2. Garba Kawu Daudu says:

    That was how we started in Nigeria. Very few and very few indeed followed the current. We are now very devoted Muslims since every Muslim is a Christian. But not every Muslim can unwisely convert to Christianity. I wait to her more about your life in the hostel and your temptations.

    That is how some of us started here in Nigeria. A very negligible number were swept by the current because of the fun in it, but later realized the folly and fall back to siratal mustakim. The fact is that every Muslim is a Christian and not the reverse except for the lost one. I await for more from you.

  3. mammy says:

    Histoire très intèrressante,je voudrais connaitre la suite.

  4. bada says:

    jaime bien

  5. Galo Demmba Soh says:

    Du courage frère Gida Belko ! Nous somme de tout coeur avec toi .

  6. Idris Ibn Idris says:

    Guida,

    No matter the temptations you should hold on to your Islamic beliefs…it is the sure way to the best and the everlasting in the hereafter. Allah vallu, hokke sa’a ha jangirde mada.

  7. Musa says:

    What an interesting story.? uncle underwent a similar story when he was about to go to secondary school in cameroon and also a Fulani as well. What convinced his father is that one great modibbo told him that; going to the domatry owned by catholique does not mean automatically becoming a christian ie schooling is one thing and religion is something apart.
    .. he completed his secondary education and when to the university; today he is an El hadji and a civil servant.

  8. bah fatima says:

    Très intéressant. je suis impatiente de connaître la suite de ton histoire. allah hoku muyyal

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