By Temitope Adetunji

A 31-year-old civil servant from Niger State, Idris Daja, who lost his 25-year-old wife, Maryam Liman, 11 days after their wedding, speaks to TEMITOPE ADETUNJI about his grief

Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Idris Daja. I was born in Daja, Zugurma District, Mashegu Local Government Area of Niger State. I’m 31 years old. I’m a civil servant.

Is it true that you lost your wife 11 days after your wedding?

Exactly; I lost my wife on January 17, 2023, which was 11 days after our wedding. Actually, it was  just ordinary headache (that she complained of). We had our wedding on January 6, 2023, and immediately after the wedding on Friday, she began to complain of constant headache. I felt it was because of the stress that she went through during the wedding. She took paracetamol. About two days later, which was Sunday, she told me that paracetamol was no longer working for her.  So, we visited hospital. The doctor examined her and said the headache was due to stress; then we left and returned home.

We got back to Minna on Tuesday after our wedding; she died one week after, which was another Tuesday. She didn’t cook for me for once, and didn’t do anything for me.

Were you with her in her last moments?

No, I was not. I travelled to Mokwa for a two-day assignment from my office. But I had to rush back to Minna on receiving a call from my uncle, Suleiman Abubakar Daja, that my wife’s health was in a critical state and, therefore, my return should be immediate.

No one told me that she had died. I didn’t know until some of my friends began to call me. The bad news was already trending on social media. When I saw, I didn’t believe it at first.

How did you feel when you confirmed she was dead?

When I got home and confirmed she was dead, I can’t even explain how I felt, but it was the most terrible experience I have ever had in my life.

One of my friends, Aminu Mazakuka, opened up to me that my wife was gone. I got so confused about what to do next. All I was saying was  Innalillahi Wa’inna’ilaihi Raju’un (from God we came and to Him, we shall return) repeatedly until my arrival in Minna at 12.15am on Wednesday.

The reaction of my social media friends alone will give you an insight into how terrible the situation was, not to talk of the family members. For two days on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media spaces, people were discussing the death of my wife, Maryam Liman, of blessed memory. May Allah be pleased with her. Everybody is sad; we are just praying for things to go back to normal soon.

How old was she?

She was 25 years old.

How did you meet her?

I actually attended a wedding after my youth service and met a relative, who is more like my aunt. She asked  me about my previous relationship, but the relationship had crashed and I opened up to her. She gave me Maryam Muhammad Liman’s contact. It was my aunt that introduced me to her; she was in Abuja at the time.

I met with her and found out that we had lots of things in common and after the constant plea, she agreed to be in a relationship with me. That was how it started.

What qualities did you see in her?

She was a practising Muslimah, she was modest and had chastity, self-satisfaction, and contentment. She is the most religious and kind-hearted lady I have ever met. She was calm; she was very rare. She had a caring and loving nature, she was the shy type and I loved her for that.

For how long did you court her before your wedding?

Our courtship was just for a year. I was really shattered by the break-up I had before I met her. So,  I  had promised myself never to get involved in a long courtship anymore because it wasn’t working in my favour. And that was how I took a step to introduce myself to her parents.

I am a graduate of Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto class of 2018. I served in Bauchi State in 2019 and I got employed afterwards. All I was after was to identify the person with whom I would spend the rest of my life. So, when I discovered the kind of person she was, I wasted no time taking the big step.

How have you been coping with the tragic loss?

If I tell you it has been easy for me, I lie, but God Almighty has made it clear that He must test his servants differently. Whosoever passes the test shall be rewarded with what he/she must have lost. So, I use this assertion as a defence mechanism to console myself. May Allah have mercy upon her.

Actually, our wedding was initially planned for January 27. If the initial plan had worked out, that meant I would have lost her before our wedding; but because Allah wanted her to return with the crown of marriage, her parents insisted the wedding should take place on January 6, 2023; Allah Akbar! Isn’t that beautiful? May Allah forgive her shortcomings and Insha Allah, I’ll continue to pray for her until we unite in paradise.

I have friends and family that come to visit me often. Sometimes, when I  enter  our room, I have a feeling that I will see her in the room but it is a dream that can’t happen.

What are some of the memorable moments you had together?

She smiled anytime we were having conversations and she had great love to worship Allah. She was always setting her alarm to remind or alert her to the five prayer  times every day.

My memory of her is that she was loving, caring and supportive. She supported me during our wedding preparations and provided some things needed.

What did she do for a living?

She apprenticed as a tailor and the plan was for her to have her freedom ceremony after our wedding.  She graduated from Fati Lami Institute of Legal and Administrative Studies;  she got admission into Ibrahim Babangida University, Lapai on  January 9, that was three days after the wedding. Our hope was that she would resume school at the school.

Has she been buried?

The funeral prayer took place at Hajiya Fatima Madugu’s residence along Okada Road and then she was laid to rest according to the Islamic rites at Gbakungu burial ground in Minna, Niger State on Wednesday, January 18, 2023 by 9am.

May Allah forgive my lovely wife.  We spent only a few moments together but the memory is very large, I urge everyone who comes across this to please say a word of prayer for her.

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