The Eater Of Coins



Hitch-free day came along with the blossomed breeze that came from the north east direction of Darul Mosque. It was on a lovely Wednesday evening after Magrib prayer at the mosque. It was our usual norm to learn Arabic morphology after the Magrib prayer till 9pm in the night, before finding our way home.

Our safety was assured, because of the location of the mosque, and of course we’re talking of Ilorin, the centre of harmony and peace where we live.

In front of us was a desk placed before our Ustaz, on which we used to lay our Arabic text notes—an attempt to ease the learning process.

Our Ustaz was a very amiable man of admirable personality. Every sound of his words always echoed in our brains, as he revealed some Arabic dictions to us. He was as eloquent as that anyways…

Some minutes down the line of the lecture hour, here came Abdulsalaam Al-imam, as we used to call him. Abdulsalaam was a young man of an average height with curly beards and broad chest. He was a lover of whites. Extra lucky for him, he was an in-law of our Ustaz and lived with him too. He was not always serious: he was such a joker.

Earlier in the morning, a woman came to the mosque to give Ustaz a donation of #5000 for the purchase of ceiling fan for use in the mosque, but unfortunately she didn’t meet Ustaz. She hopefully gave the money to Abdulsalaam who was at the mosque at that time of the day.

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The woman on her part called the Ustaz on phone, informing him of the person whom she gave the money to, and that scene was closed after they exchanged pleasantries. That was exactly the last time Abdulsalaam was seen at the mosque, not until around nine o’clock in the night when he reappeared again.

“Abdulsalaam! Where have you been since morning? I’ve attempted many times to reach you on phone, but your phone was switched off…” Ustaz exclaimed worryingly, knowing fully well of what his in-law was capable of doing with the money in his absence.

Abdulsalaam went silent for some seconds, before innocently saying “Ah! I thought that it was some cash I had kept in my trouser’s pocket for long.”

I felt the joke playing around my ears was waiting to see what would happen next.

“What!” Ustaz shouted, having figured out the message his in-law was trying to pass.

Abdulsalaam further explained that he had used the money to purchase a pair of sandals and a body cream at the market square during the day.

“I’m only left with a balance of #250,” he said and hurriedly brought it out of his purse to show Ustaz.

What a comic scene he just acted! Still wondering how the mix-up came in. Turning a Mosque donation to a personal gain—for cream and sandals! This is laughable and at the same time horrible—an act a pious person should never indulge in.