#30Days30Stories Day 3: He Forgot!
“Oh sh*t”! Astagfirullah! The sudden repentance after letting out a cuss word amused the former Arabic minor student sitting adjacent Hussein in the restaurant. Back in Legon, he had pieced a couple of words from his vapid lecturer. Salamun alaikum was the most ubiquitously used word in the class. You did not even need an Arabic 101 to know what this meant. But Astagfirullah was not one of such words. You either learnt it in the mosque or from a lecture hall. O Allah forgive me! Kwaku remembered coming across the word during an Arabic comprehension lesson.
So why was this random guy asking for God’s forgiveness after taking a bite off the largest burger on the menu? Was the food that good? Kwaku wondered whether he had made the wrong choice in the food he had ordered. And then Kofi remembered! It was still afternoon and the Islamic month of Ramadan was in session. With the distinct “Zongoness” with which this fellow had said Astagfirullah, Kwaku was sure he was a Muslim.
Hussein had just remembered he was fasting. When he left home earlier that morning, he was fully aware of the state in which he was supposed to be in for the rest of the day. The early morning breakfast Sahoor, was light today. He had woken up late and had to gulp down a mug hall full with mashed kenkey before the call to prayer was made. So even though he knew his mouth had to taste no water or food, chances of that happening was very high.
The likelihood was even high considering the situation he had found himself in. KFC was the latest food joint in town and the buzz around it was not ebbing anytime soon. He had seen the white polythene bags with the face of an old white man being carried around by the boys who were seen as the coolest in the neighborhood. These bags had some special prestige attached to them even though a couple of websites on the internet talked about how unhealthy its content were. But healthy eating was not the concern of this chap.
After working nonstop for the best part of the day, his supervisor had decided to treat the entire team to a meal at KFC. How was he going to remember he had been fasting when the Good Lord seemed to have blessed him with something he had heard of for a long time but could not afford given the peanuts he earned?
Astagfirullah!!!Astagfirullah!!! Astagfirullah!!! He ceaselessly continued to ask for forgiveness. KFC was cool and all but heaven was what he wanted, not the crispy and greasy chicken served with something which looked like yam but tasted different. Hussein was worried he had broken a sacrosanct covenant with his Lord. How could he do this to himself and Allah? But what he did not remember was Allah does not hold you accountable when you genuinely forget. After all, the Arabic root word for “human” was forgetfulness.
The bite Hussein had taken had already found its way down his throat and ensconced in his small intestines. All the guilt in the world could not get him to regurgitate the piece of chicken meshed between bits of the bun now in front of him. All he could do was pack up what was left in front of him and finish it up when the sun eventually sets.