By :Abdulrasheed Hammad
It is very germane to note that fasting during the month of Ramadan in Sokoto State is not an easy task and it is tougher than fasting in other parts of Nigeria.
However, the case becomes more complicated for students of Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto as they have to study despite the challenge of harsh weather condition which makes fasting more difficult and tasking for them
In Sokoto, it usually takes time before the raining season commences unlike other states like Kwara, Kebbi and Zamfara state. The rain has started fallen in all these states even in Zamfara state which is neighboring state to Sokoto.
Last year a drop of rain didn’t fall. In Sokoto till we finished Ramadan which lasted for a whole month in the seat of caliphate. The sun that used to rise during that period is so frustrating to the extent that your shadow will run away and leave you under the scorching sun of sokoto and enter tricycle even your shadow will run away and tell you to meet him at hostel. This shows what we are going true in ordinary day not to talk of during the month of Ramadan. often after 6:30 in the evening, the sun would still be high as if we are still in the afternoon and this will in fact delay the time of our iftar.
It is very difficult for most of the students to have full concentration to the lectures during the month of Ramadan because of the thirsty and weakness of the body. Especially those that used to have 4-6 lecture in the evening. Many students used to force themselves to read, which I also tried to read in the afternoon although is not easy but I used to try my best.
At times I used to feel dizzy because of the thirsty and hunger.
During Ramadan, fasting and reading according to Biologist used to consume glucose and this could make a student to collapse, but we don’t have any option than to read because of the closeness of exams and the tight schedule of our academic calendar.
Furthermore, there are Some days during the week that we used to finish our lectures 6:00 in the evening.
Many students would find it so rigorous to cook for the purpose of iftar. Majority of the students especially those who are living in the Jibril Aminu hostel and Adarawa village used to go to Aminu jibril mosque to eat (Tarasu) free break in which they would distribute pap and shinkafa (rice) in the mosques.In fact this has helped students a lot in managing their food stuff to the extent that some students will not bother to cook for iftar till the end of Ramadan.
After the day fasting it used to be very difficult for students to observe after-break-prayer(Tarawih) because of the weakness of body, and the students would find it difficult to go for night reading which is customary to UDUS students and which some term as the only way to be successful during the examination.
During the time of Ramadan, students used to face a lot of challenges in going for night reading because of the weakness of the body, and the class used to be very scanty, few students used to force themselves to go for night reading and some would not go at all but prefer to read in the afternoon.
Thus, even the lecturers also usually find it difficult to come to class during the Ramadan period and some lecturers would not even bother themselves to come for lecture throughout the month of Ramadan, this means that the harshness of sokoto weather doesn’t only affect the students but also affect the lecturers.
In my first year in school, prior to the fasting period, the returning students have made a lot of exaggeration about the Sokoto weather during the Ramadan, but I think they were exaggerating until I witnessed it by myself, some students would even pretend as if they were sick and they are not If not for the good faith and the implications of breaking fasting, most of the students may not fast at all because of this weather.
Some days ago, my friends in Ilorin and kano uploaded a post on their WhatsApp status that it’s raining, I was so surprised because the heat that is capable of dehydrating the water in one’s body is still wiping us here. On a normal day we used to spend up to 100# on just ordinary pure water in which you can only urinate one time but the others will come out through sweat.
This shows what we are facing during an ordinary day not to talk of fasting period.
Some students used to say it as a joke that the transport fare from sokoto to the hell fire is just 50#.
Something happened recently, as a result of overeating, a plastic calculator of one student burnt ordinarily as if it was set on fire. There is no way you will trek under the sokoto sun that you will not sweat and that is the reason why most of the students become dark in complexion when they come to Sokoto
I pray to almighty Allah to accept this Ramadan as an act of ibadah, May he forgive us all our shortcomings and crown our effort to overcome all the challenges before us, May God reward us and shower his Rahmah (blessing) on us.