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Lubnah Abdulhalim

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Some years back, I sat in a matatu (public van) next to a lady and a young man who seemed to be her son. He looked fresh in school, most probably a mono. Monos are usually pretty easy to point out in the crowd you know 😀 . So anyway, this lady seemed really agitated about something her son had done. They had some crispy-looking tuskys bags; seemed like they were from shopping. It was the beginning of a new term so it wasn’t really a surprise. This lady kept on ranting, in a strained yet low tone. She was really struggling to control her rage so she doesn’t end up shouting at him. From the complaining, it seemed like the son had given out some school stuff to some friends or so. The young boy sat quietly as the mother continuously pushed him and slapped him on his head. It was quite a private confrontation, none would have noticed apart from us who were right next to them. I felt a bit sad for the boy; his head lowered and his eyes watery. When you think of this scenario, and if you judge only from this event, one could easily jump into conclusion that this was a harsh mother or a bad mother or a mother who simply doesn’t realize that a high school boy is already a grown man. And perhaps, if you met another mother hugging her form one boy before he leaves to boarding school, you’d say, ‘aww, that’s a loving mother’ but perhaps that is the only time she ever hugs him?

I remember looking at the rage on this woman’s face and thinking of many possibilities that made her angry at this moment. Perhaps she was a poor lady barely able to make the needs meet. Perhaps she’s a single mother who carries this burden of raising a young man alone. Perhaps her son has been doing this repeatedly. Perhaps she had to sacrifice getting medication just to provide for his school needs. On the other hand, what if the son was being bullied at school? Maybe he was trying to fit in so he decides saying ‘no’ is not an option? Perhaps he was helping a more needy mate? I mean, who knows what’s the real story apart from the two themselves? We could play and replay a hundred conclusions on this one scenario. Hell, we could even make a whole book or a movie out of this, but we can never know the truth. They all remain to be conclusions and sometimes, they are just irrational or improper.

However much of a genius you are, you can never know what struggle someone is going through unless they decide to let you know. You can never know why they do what they do. Or what sacrifices they had to make to be where they are or be the way they are. I mean, if you saw a teenager into drugs, why would you be so fast to blame the parents? What if the parents are the ones most affected by their child’s behaviour? That baby making tantrums in the airport or supermarket may not be because the parents raised them the wrong way. Sometimes, its just out of anyone’s control. Sometimes these are just tests for the people involved. Sometimes this is NOT the whole story. Just because you saw someone scolding their baby sister, doesn’t mean they love them any less. It doesn’t mean they are bullying them. It just means, you have NO IDEA on how their lives are entirely. Perhaps she scolds her but still plays with her afterwards? I mean really, who are we to judge? Who are we to declare people harsh, bad, evil, rude, just because we met them a couple of times? Or even the other way round; declaring someone to be kind, loving, caring based on one or two events. It’s ridiculous. It is like judging a movie based on the trailer. Well maybe the trailer does give you an impression of what the movies is about, but it doesn’t give you the whole story right? You don’t know what went on behind the scenes. What happened until it got to be where it is. It doesn’t give you the whole picture…the bigger picture…

When you interact with people, always remember that whatever judgment you came up with about this one person, it could have ten, twenty other explanations. You are not God to decide which explanation explains what the person said or did best. Only they know best. Only they and God. Everyone has a story. It may not be pretty and maybe your judgment is correct after all, you still can never understand how they struggle with the situation. Not unless you want to help or support or guide or be there for a person, it is always better to keep your judgments to yourself.

Remember, there is ALWAYS A BIGGER PICTURE.

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There you are. Staring at the mirror once again before turning right away. You hate it. You hate how your nose bulges and how your lips are too thin. You hate the black spots on the cheeks and how your eyes seem to sink into the sockets. You stare at your skin, too dark or too pale? You hate how your frail body always seems unbalanced like wind could easily sweep you away. You don’t like your kinky hair nor your inability to be the height you really wish you had. In short, you pretty much dislike everything about your body, your physical appearance and even your existence.

We are so filled with insecurities because of the society’s definition of beauty. And I said this before; the beauty industry is so ugly. It makes us apologize all our lives for not being ‘beautiful enough’. So here we are, so obsessed with ‘doing something’ about how we look and our outer image. Spending so much money on three, four make-up kits, buying designer clothes, shoes and perfumes just so we can hide all these things about ourselves we are not proud of. Don’t get me wrong, you are free to spend on whatever you like but when you do it, it should only be because it really does make you happy and not for the sake of fitting into the society’s league of beauties.

I come across several people, who when you tell, ‘You look pretty’ they’ll really be shocked and shrug it off not just for the sake of being polite but because they really think they are not. And it is sad because of how much this really affects our self-esteem. The truth is, we may all vary in our levels of attractiveness yet we all are beautiful in our own unique way and beautiful in the eyes of Allah. If Allah (S.W) considers you beautiful, why would you ever doubt that?


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Let me tell you a story of a sahabi who was considered the ‘ugliest’. His name was Julaybib (may Allah be pleased with him). Julaybib’s family background is unknown. We don’t even know what his second name is. We don’t know who were his parents, his lineage or which tribe he came from apart from that he came from Madinah. His name actually means ‘deformed’. He was known for his deformities and for his appearance. In fact the way he was described was, ‘qaseer, wa faqeer, wa dameem’ i.e. he was extremely short, extremely poor and extremely repulsive. In a world where family lineage, background, wealth and appearance are made to be so important, we can imagine what kind of a tough life Julaybib had. He didn’t have friends or family or companions. No one was interested in him. He went through a lot of verbal abuse and was bullied countless times.

So one day the prophet peace be upon him meets Julaybib and asks him about him. The prophet was actually concerned about him. Julaybib replies to the prophet by asking, ‘Ya Rasul Llah, do you think the only woman I get to marry is in jannah? The hur al ain (women in paradise)?’ and the prophet immediately understood his agony and belief that he would never be able to get married in this world. So the prophet decides to take the matter in his own hands and went to one of the sahabas who had a beautiful daughter. He said to the other sahabi, ‘I want to ask for your daughter’s hand in marriage.’ The Sahabi was so excited and saw no greater honour than that. In his mind, he is marrying off his daughter to the prophet peace be upon him. Then when the prophet clarified that he wants to ask her for Julaybib, the father paused in hesitation and said ‘let me ask her mother’. The reaction was the same with the mother; extreme excitement when she first thought it was the prophet who wanted their child and immediate rejection upon knowing it is Julaybib. But the girl overheard the conversation and told her parents, ‘How can we reject a proposal and an order from the prophet peace be upon him?’ This pure lady insisted on accepting Julaybib and eventually became his wife.

On the battle of Uhud, Julaybib passed away. The prophet (SAW) frantically tried to find Julaybib on the battle ground and saw him surrounded by 7 enemies. Julaybib killed 7 enemies before they killed him. The Prophet (SAW) gets emotional, picks Julaybib up with his two hands and repeatedly says, “This one is from me, and I am from him, he is from me and I am from him, he is from me and I am from him.” He takes Julaybib and digs a grave for him with his own hands, and buries Julaybib himself. And what better honour than this? What is physical attractiveness compared to the love of Allah and his prophet?


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There are several other stories about other sahabis who were deemed unattractive and the prophet peace be upon him always showed love to them for who they really are; their beauty deep inside and not how they looked. Another example is the story of a sahabi by the name of Zahir ibn Haram. His story is narated in a hadith by Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) said,

“There was a man from amongst the Bedouins whose name was Zahir bin Haram. Whenever he came to Medinah for a need, he brought something for the Prophet (saw) as a gift, like cottage cheese or butter. Likewise, when the Prophet (saw) would prepare something to give to him whenever e wanted to leave, such as dates and so on.

The Prophet (saw) used to love him and say, “Zahir is our Bedouin and we are his city dwellers.”

Zahir was not very good looking. One say, Zahir (may Allah be pleased with him) left the desert and came to Allah’s Messenger (saw) but did not find him. He has some merchandise to sell so he went on to the market place.

When the Prophet (saw) found out about his arrival, he went to the market place looking for him. When he arrived, he saw him selling his merchandise with sweat pouring down from his face. He wore Bedouin clothers which did not smell good either. The Prophet (saw) hugged him tightly from behing, while Zahir was unaware and could not see who it was.

Zahir became scared and said, “Let me go! Who is this?!” But the Prophet (saw) remained silent. Zahir tried to release himself from his grip and started to look right and left. When he saw the Prophet (saw) he relaxed and calmed down, placing his back against the Prophet’s chest. The Prophet (saw) began to joke with him, saying to the public: “Who will buy this slave?! Who will buy this slave?”

Thereupon, Zahir looked at himself and thought of his extreme poverty, for he had neither wealth or good looks.

He said, “You will find me unmarketable, O’ Messenger of Allah.”

The Prophet (saw) said, “But you are not unmarketable with Allah. You are very precious to Allah.” And in another narration the prophet tells him, “But you are priceless in the sight of Allah, you are beautiful in the eyes of Allah, do not worry about how you look”

In another instance, the prophet again tried to redifine the meaning of beauty to us in the story of Abdullah ibn Masood. Abdullah ibn Masood (RA) was so short he was a dwarf, and one day he climbed into a tree to grab a siwak from the Arak tree for the Prophet (SAW). But Abdullah was so small that the wind blew him into tree. The Sahaba burst into laughter, and the Prophet (SAW) asked them why they were laughing. The Sahaba respodned with, “Ya Rasululllah, his legs are so short like two little twigs.” The Prophet (SAW) said, “But you don’t understand these two legs on the Day of Judgement will be the size and weight of Mount Uhud (on the scale of his good deeds).”

And I get it. It is way tougher right now with all the cover magazines, social media personalities and superstars we idolize from all over the world. But in the end remember God never created anything ugly, again I say it, we may vary in the level of attractiveness but no one is entirely ugly. This is because Allah (S.W) mentioned it Himself in Surat Tin:

By the fig and the olive

And [by] Mount Sinai

And [by] this secure city [Makkah],

We have certainly created man in the best of stature;

See how Allah took an oath FOUR times before stating that He created us in the best form.

Whatever or however you look like, do know that it is but a test from Allah. We never really put much thought to it but beauty is a big test of its own. There is a high risk into falling into arrogance or zina or other detestable behaviours. The same way physical unattractiveness may make us fall into the whispers of shaytan of self-pity and self-loathing and sadness. So love yourself in whatever state you were created and be grateful for it. What really matters is the state of your heart and soul and imaan. And also, remember to not stigmatize, bully, laugh or point out the flaws in others. You never know how much it hurts them.

REMEMBER:
{“Verily, Allah does not look at your appearance or wealth, but rather he looks at your hearts and actions.”} -Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H)

P.S Don’t forget to subscribe please! (the button is at the end of the page)

Sources:
The prophet’s path- Youtube
The merciful servant- Youtube
The “Ugliest” Sahabis
https://www.ummah.com/forum/forum/islam/general-islamic-topics/267496-zahir-bin-haram-our-beloved-muhammed-saw

Photo Courtesy: Good Samaritan

Ask anyone who has lived in Mombasa before moving elsewhere, what they miss most from home (apart from the food of course), in that same list, Jumuah (Friday) would appear. Now Friday is usually a grand day for Muslims all over the world but when it comes to a place like Mombasa, where the area is highly populated with Muslims, it becomes more than the prayer part alone, it becomes a cultural affair.

I love Fridays for many reasons. It’s not just the end of the week. It’s the day homes get busier than usual. The men are choosing their best sparkling clean kanzus before they get ironed, surat kahf is reciting in the room and in the neighbour’s house and the neighbour to the neighbour’s house too. It’s the day everyone cleans up earlier than usual (apart from the earlier working class birds), the smell wafting from the homes is from the strong lovely scents of oud. The men are extra smart in their neat kanzus, trimmed nails and moustaches and well-combed beards. Women are not left behind as they clean themselves and wear their lesos/praying attires and join the friday prayers while some decide to do it at home in their own solitude and privacy. The typical Swahili neighbourhood is all about good perfumes and scents at this moment.

Now maybe that happens in some other places too, but have you seen the groups of men going to the masjid for the prayer? Have you seen the kanzus all over the streets? The restaurants taking extra orders for special biryani and from all corners, voices calling to prayer and preaching can be heard. You go to the shops at 11:55 a.m. and one door is already closed with the attendants hurriedly serving the remaining customers because ‘hallo? don’t you know it’s Friday?!’

Messages of duas and well wishes are not to be missed on this day as people remember one another in their prayers.People who don’t usually pray may appear on this day and sometimes, earlier than usual. The preacher is preaching in a rhythmic, poetic manner and the rewards of this prayer makes it a lot like the best day of the week. Once the prayer is done, see the multitudes of Muslims streaming out of the masjid, greeting one another; big smiles, big hugs, kinda like a weekly reunion.

At home, Friday means a special meal. It means eating biryani, if not, then the nearest to it, many a times, pilau. There is even extra effort to have fruits on the table and salad and kachumbari and fresh juice and hot chilli, I mean, just the sort of meal you’d look forward to every other week.

The children are home earlier than usual and this day becomes the best to invite family and even friends over for meals. There is a lot of togetherness, love and co-existence vivid than any other day of the week. It is in a great way similar to Eid days.

Those who go abroad especially Western countries, sometimes they barely even hear the adhan because masjids are miles apart. Most of the times, families are totally separated which makes it almost impossible to have a wonderful get-together after the Friday prayer. I mean, isn’t it a privilege being at home? In a place where Islam has become a way of life, we don’t have to struggle to get permission from work or school to attend the prayers. It’s a privilege you can put on the qur’an in the office and no one will grumpily shout to you, ‘get yourself some earphones!’ It’s a privilege we get to hear khutbahs in our own mother tongue, Kiswahili. I mean some Muslims out there are listening to khutbahs experiencing language barrier and not understanding one word. It’s a privilege that we are surrounded by mosques all over, we can even choose which one to go to. It’s a privilege we are so close together in our neighbourhoods and livelihoods, we don’t have to hide practicing our beliefs. We don’t have to struggle to have gatherings. I think it’s a privilege to be a Muslim living in Mombasa. Ever thought of it that way?

Photo Courtesy: www.pixabay.com

Now my happy person is not exactly ‘happy’. He is very naughty, very stubborn, twice a cry baby as me but also very charming. So my typical day is either filled with his excited screams as he plays, jumps, jogs, matches around or violently, hysterically crying; you could hear him cry two blocks away. But he still makes me happy. Like the genuine deep joy you could ever have.

As any loving aunt, the first thing when I get home is search for him. I start calling his name right at the door. ‘Haasssaaaaaannn’ and I would chorus it one step at a time until I reach upstairs. Now my two year old nephew knows i’m the only one who calls him by that name so the moody him would choose whether to rush to the door to meet me or totally ignore me. When he decides to come to the door, he choruses my name back, calling me ‘Abby’. Spoiler though, once he reaches to the door, he extends his hand expecting ‘Chipsi kuku’ (these snacks for kids nowadays smh 😀 ). So recently, I decided I will not buy his love and thus, not getting much of a response.

‘Hassan’ was actually born two days before my graduation day and thus, I always considered him my graduation gift. On his delivery night, I volunteered to be the one sleeping over at the hospital; just to receive him. Picture that. Yet our relationship is a love-hate one or should we call it a one-sided love tale? He is vehemently rejecting me 9.9 out of 10 times. He doesn’t want me carrying him, sitting near him OR his mother or my mother or my father or anyone else in the family. He doesn’t want me touching them, hugging them or having any contact with anyone else. So he doesn’t want me but also, no one should want to be near me either. He doesn’t want me to look at him or even calling his name aimlessly either. Sometimes he pulls me out of the room entirely because ‘Why are you breathing my air?’ I think he considers me the black sheep of the family of some sorts? 😀 So most of the times he is letting out a shrill scream on my face. And I scream back. And he screams back and it ends up being a scream battle and I’d force carrying him and hugging him and he’d fight to get down and run off. Too much noise. He breaks my heart every single day and his tiny little smile just tends to heal me somehow. The irony of it all is that he’s got several personality traits like my own to the extent I feel like his real mother, even my family comments on the similarities. It’s insane I know but it makes me happy how we just get on each other’s nerves for the entire day like what other alternative did he leave me with? 😀

I almost always know what he needs when he actually comes to me or accepts me to carry him. He wants me to do him a favour. He either wants some juice, or some biscuit, or to bathe because he loves playing with water, or that I open a door for him…it just rotates around the list of things he likes or wants time to time. Yet sometimes out of the blue, he comes and hugs me, or kisses me, or just chorus my name for no reason and smile, or lets me bathe him joyfully or sit on my lap for more than one minute. At home we call them historical moments because they rarely happen. It’s like we are in this bad relationship but then sometimes he gets sober and remembers to appreciate. The historical moments are quickly documented; perhaps could even end up in Guinness World book records.

The biggest joke we have at home is that when he starts school, I’ll be the one to take him there because there’s a high probability he won’t cry for me 😀 Evil yeah? I wanna cry right now. But just last weekend I was in Nairobi and I got a detailed report of how he kept moving from one room to another, calling out my name. When I video-called later that night, he had a big frown on his face. I kept calling his name but he turned his face away. Trust me, I had a lot of convincing and sweet-talking to do when I came back.

One day during my normal tag of war with him, my dad told me, ‘Just leave him alone. You can’t force love… but he’ll come to appreciate you someday.’ And I think that really sank in. Like so many times in our lives we force people to acknowledge our presence, to care for us, to love us back and it never happens. But when love is genuine, it doesn’t necessarily have to be mutual. Yet it will still be appreciated; sooner or later. Or maybe 16/18 years from now in shaa Allah, he’ll come read this and bring me converse and a Khaled Hosseini book (yes, I have my priorities right) with a sweet note who knows? 😀 So for now I’m okay with this hostile almost violent relationship we have. He is just two anyway. He hasn’t even started talking proper words apart from the gibberish noise and some Chinese sorta words he speaks. Otherwise, he’s this cute, very charming and kind baby. Totally adorable. So i’m planning to still keep him as my happy person because really, it is these little moments with him that really make my world. Alhamdulilah.

If you want to be amused, amazed, shocked, perplexed, inspired, totally disgusted on how human beings are and can be, please go to the campus, university or even to a college. By the end of your first semester, your mind lies to you that you’ve seen it all, yet, you haven’t. These characters are increasingly surprising; you just never know when to get your next bombshell. I am sure you will relate to some extent to the following characters. Perhaps the time for self reflection as well?

1. The Manipulator: You may or may not be friends with this person. You may never have talked despite being classmates. But since it is within a class of over a hundred students, it is all cool. Well it is cool, until this stranger-classmate suddenly recognizes you as a classmate and a dear friend and they casually decide to ask you for a ‘loan’. The kind you will easily (or maybe not) fall into their act of ‘something very urgent’ and you decide to help this fellow with what can be a weeks’ time pocket money. They will be very apologetic for asking, be very sweet and grateful for your help. They will promise to pay you back soon and even apologize for the delay until slowly and gradually they totally avoid you everywhere. In class, your phone calls, your text messages. You will remind him of your debt until you get frustrated and let it go. Then they prey on the next person. The manipulator may not necessarily be your classmate. Could be a hostel neighbour or a friend of a friend or a union colleague. They are everywhere.

2. The Manipulated: Is usually a peoples’ person; a charming fellow with a large network. Or the total opposite; just a timid introvert somewhere who is known to have a problem saying no. Everyone recognizes you for your friendship and willingness to help. They fish your pockets in the name of friendship. They will always include you in outing plans, lunches, parties, shopping sprees because they expect you to be the one paying the bill. Sadly, your friends are not your friends. They are your pocket’s friend. You go dry, they go missing.

3. Food Visitors: They know you like cooking or perhaps that your room always has something to bite. They may not even be your friends. Well, we all love visitors don’t we? But sometimes we all know we are just being used. They invite themselves to your room’ mostly during your cooking/eating hours. Always pretending to be apologetic for coming ‘at the wrong time’. It is not the wrong time, it was the intended time. Where there is free food, there is free-ndship.

4. The complainer: The one always complaining that they lack something. It could be food, money or even hair oil. They hope for your sympathy so as you can keep sharing your stuff with them. It is all good, fine, let us share. But unfortunately, they only want you to share and not the vice versa.

5. The selfish: This one is always a pest on his/her mates while he/she saves what she has. They could be rich, working or having enough yet they still opt to store what they have for other luxuries which most of the times are unnecessary. They could survive an entire semester depending on others.

6. The prying one: Always too inquisitive about other peoples’ lives. What you ate last night, where you slept last week, whom you went out with, where you buy your clothes. They enter your room, open your wardrobe without permission, log into your laptop etc…well, curiosity did kill the cat, don’t they know?

7. Keeping up with the rich: They could be coming from struggling families, but they yearn to have a high lifestyle. They go beyond to achieve this which most of the times involves manipulating friends and partners. They associate themselves with rich groups of friends and hang out in places beyond their budget.

8. The focused one: This one knows where they are coming from. Is content with the life they lead and has goals. They are serious about their campus life because they have a vision and avoid too much interactions.

9. The religious one: They uphold high values of their religion and despite the crazy campus life, they strive to become better individuals and avoid the temptations.

10. The bookworm: Mostly found in the library or in some quiet corner, reading. It could be anything really; a course book, a novel book or even a cooking book. They feel safer in that world than the wildness around.

11.One leading a balanced life: They know when to study and when to have fun with friends. They have limits and spend their time wisely.

12. Spendthrift & spending influencer: They spend a lot and sometimes, unnecessarily. But they make sure they are not alone. They always invite other friends along and they encourage their friends persistently and with so much determination to spend extra too…or sometimes, to spend on them. ‘If I am getting bankrupt, we should get bankrupt together’.

13. The hustlers: They multi-task, a lot! They study while working, sometimes more than one job. They are hard working and go out of their way to make ends meet and to achieve their goals. They are in several groups, clubs and unions and taking part in several extra-curriculum activities.

14. Study distractors: They don’t study and they don’t like studying so it always bothers them to see you studying. They will distract you in any way possible or mock how you are leading a boring life of books only. And sometimes, they could be ones that study yet they wouldn’t want you to study more than them. They just try to bring you down in one way or another.

If there is anything I learnt from my University life is that, people are so different. This barely covers it all. There are other more positive characters and the vice versa too. You need to know whom you are allowing into your life. You need to be careful, to be keen and alert, to be humble, to be empathetic. You never know where someone is coming from or what troubles they have or how much sacrifice was made until they reached that place. Be considerate. Be kind. Have limits, because too much of anything is poisonous. This is the place you either change yourself for the better, build healthy bonds and personal growth or it is the place that you entirely lose yourself. Reflect.

Photo Courtesy: www.pixabay.com

Remember the halamee conversation we had? Well okay, it was more of a virtual one between us but you remember it right? (Here: http://lubnah.me.ke/being-a-halamee/ if you haven’t seen this). The talk we had on the stereotypes of being an educated Muslimah, the challenges of being so different it bothers people, the yearning to belong somewhere, to fit in somewhere, the search of someone to look up to and the lack thereof. I have never been so sure that I am not alone than this moment. That there are so many Muslim ladies amongst us crumbling into confusion, young lively ladies lacking a sense of direction, women whose potential and desire to live has been crushed down with nowhere to air their deep concerns and attain guidance without being judged or admonished and sisters,passionate to attain the knowledge of the deen. We are many. We are many; trying to resist the fitnah, in dire need of friends to tell us, ‘You are not alone. We will get through this together’… But perhaps we finally have a chance. An opportunity to meet sisters in the same journey as ourselves, to finally meet individuals who can be our role models, to interact and learn from those more knowledgeable than us, to promote unity and camaraderie among the Muslim sisters, to share our concerns and come up with solutions and most importantly and to learn how to become a productive Muslimah in our world today.

So we are having the 1st sisters’ annual conference next week, 2nd December at Technical University of Mombasa. This is definitely going to be grand especially with the list of strong speakers involved (check the poster). As an alumni (ahem :p) I feel obliged to encourage all the sisters to attend this event. Because today’s world is not going to favour us in any way more than it did yesterday. It is upon us to find ways to cope up with it without losing our identities as Muslimahs. Below is the theme and the objectives of the event, kindly avail yourself and share as much as possible.

THEME
“A productive Muslimah”

There is a profound statement by Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah which says: ‘Women are one half of society which gives birth to the other half so it is as if they are the entire society.’
The theme discusses a productive Muslimah in terms of education, self-awareness, rights, becoming a role model, and the questions on employments and leadership as a Muslimah.

Objectives of the convention;

The sisters of today faces numerous challenges when it comes to speaking out and sharing issues and problems affecting them especially in normal conventions where there are participants of both genders present, hence this conventions is aimed to;
 Deliver programmes for sisters.
 Facilitate a closer interaction between speakers and attendees.
 Provide practical information on how sisters can implement and practice Islam according to their needs and
circumstances.
 Encourage sisters to actively seek knowledge of the deen.
 Present positive role models for sisters.
 Expand opportunities for sisters to aspire towards teaching and spreading Islamic dawah.

Further details on the event, contacts to buy tickets from are in the poster below:


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Photo Courtesy: www.pixabay.com

Sometimes people wrong us in such despicable ways. Sometimes we are the ones who wrong people. Sometimes we are oppressed, we are discriminated and mistreated. Sometimes we are the ones carrying the baggage of harming others. Sometimes we lose everything at once, sometimes it is so hard, it is difficult to move on. Sometimes is sometimes our always; each one of us desperately trying to understand why things go the way they do. How villains are still walking free while some really good souls are the ones to be diagnosed with cancer. How very evil, ungrateful, arrogant people could be the ones enjoying luxurious lives while a very hardworking person suddenly loses his hand which he desperately needs for his manual labour. It doesn’t make sense! It never does! How is it a very poor child loses their mother who was the only family they knew while an already rich boy wins a car he doesn’t even need…How is it that one prays for a child for ten years yet when they finally get one, the wife dies at delivery??…and sometimes we just want to ask God, ‘Why though?’


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Only God knows…
Sometimes we realize how lucky we are for not getting what we cried for and sometimes we never get the answers. And sometimes it is as it is. We can never know. Difficult things happen. We lose and sometimes we gain. Sometimes people hurt us, they betray us, they take our differences to another level it shouldn’t ever reach, they forget all the good and tough situations you went through together. Sometimes they realize they wronged us and apologize and sometimes they die believing what they did was right. That is the human being. He is insan. He forgets and he errs.

But we should always believe that there is a bigger picture. That as much as we don’t understand what is going on in our lives or why it is going the way it is, we should have undoubted faith that God knows what’s best for us. And this is actual test of faith; believing when it is hardest to do so.

We have proof in the qur’an that there’s always something more to our painful and even happy stories. There is always something extra that our eyes will not simply see and our minds won’t easily fathom.

In Surat Kahf, in the story of Nabii Musa aleyhi salaam when he was told to search for a servant of Allah who had more knowledge than him, we get to learn something very valuable. During their journey; Nabii Musa and his teacher, Al Khidhr, three occasions happen which agitated Nabii Musa aleyhi Salam:

71. So they both proceeded, till, when they embarked the ship, he (Khidr) scuttled it. Musa (Moses) said: “Have you scuttled it in order to drown its people? Verily, you have committed a thing “Imra” (a Munkar – evil, bad, dreadful thing).”

72. He (Khidr) said: “Did I not tell you, that you would not be able to have patience with me?”

73. [Musa (Moses)] said: “Call me not to account for what I forgot, and be not hard upon me for my affair (with you).”

74. Then they both proceeded, till they met a boy, he (Khidr) killed him. Musa (Moses) said: “Have you killed an innocent person who had killed none? Verily, you have committed a thing “Nukra” (a great Munkar – prohibited, evil, dreadful thing)!”

75. (Khidr) said: “Did I not tell you that you can have no patience with me?”

76. [Musa (Moses)] said: “If I ask you anything after this, keep me not in your company, you have received an excuse from me.”

77. Then they both proceeded, till, when they came to the people of a town, they asked them for food, but they refused to entertain them. Then they found therein a wall about to collapse and he (Khidr) set it up straight. [Musa (Moses)] said: If you had wished, surely, you could have taken wages for it!”

78. (Khidr) said: “This is the parting between me and you, I will tell you the interpretation of (those) things over which you were unable to hold patience.

79. “As for the ship, it belonged to Masakin (poor people) working in the sea. So I wished to make a defective damage in it, as there was a king after them who seized every ship by force.

80. “And as for the boy, his parents were believers, and we feared lest he should oppress them by rebellion and disbelief.

81. “So we intended that their Lord should change him for them for one better in righteousness and near to mercy.

82. “And as for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the town; and there was under it a treasure belonging to them; and their father was a righteous man, and your Lord intended that they should attain their age of full strength and take out their treasure as a mercy from your Lord. And I did it not of my own accord. That is the interpretation of those (things) over which you could not hold patience.”


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If we were to witness these same occasions ourselves, wouldn’t we just react according to what is visible to the eye, as Nabii Musa did? If your boat was the one destroyed or your boy killed, how long would it take any of us to actually think that perhaps there is something greater, something bigger beyond what the mind comprehends? Were we the ones to be denied food, would we even want to smile at those people let alone build a random wall somewhere? If you just lost all your property in a fire and someone told you, ‘Perhaps it is kheir’ you would perhaps glare at them like they are the ones who set your property on fire. When misfortunes befall us we cry ‘Why God?’ yet we don’t know how much good Allah is doing to us by that same terrible incident. We tend to only look at what is in front of us. But Allah is the Most Merciful and there are a lot of instances where we should thank Allah for despite how ugly the situation is. And indeed, this story is the perfect proof that we don’t know everything. That however powerful, mighty, rich or knowledgeable we are, there are just some things we would never be able to explain or understand. That as much as we make plans, Allah has already written in detail how our lives are going to be. That we should always ask God to direct us to only what is kheir for us.

We may not have the answers but we need to trust Allah’s wisdom and choices for us. May Allah grant us the patience and guide us always. Ameen.

We plan and Allah plans, and He is the Best of planners.

P.S Humble Reminder: Do read surat Kahf if you haven’t. It still is Friday 🙂


“Do the  people  think  that  they  will  be  left  to  say:  We  believe,   and they will not be tried?  But We have  certainly  tried those  before  them, and  Allah  will  surely  make  evident   those  who  are  truthful,   and  He will  surely  make  evident   the  liars.”  (Qur’an, Surah Al-Ankabut, 29: 2-3)

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The kind of lives we lead nowadays is quite sickening, disgusting and most of all, heartbreaking. Indeed this world is full of trials. All universal religions believe that we are here to be tested and on a mission to prove our faith. That aside, there are many many disappointing situations that could be avoided entirely if only we are mature enough. If only we are thoughtful, empathetic, patient and truthful to ourselves and others.

And honestly, I don’t get it. I don’t get it how our conscious is still so intact even when we know we have ruined someone’s life. How we intentionally and very soberly, mastermind the downfall of our very own friends and people who trust us. Doesn’t it bite you inside? Doesn’t it pinch you deep inside that someone somewhere cries for the difficulty you put them through? For the money you borrowed and intentionally refuse to return? For the trust they gave you before stepping on it like a used cigarette? For the times they awaited you to take responsibility for the role you play? Doesn’t it eat you up that someone wakes up in the deadliest of nights to cry to God about you. About what YOU did to them? About how you tore their hearts and how their souls ache for you or because of you? Doesn’t it bother you that you are the reason your mother no longer smiles? That someone slept hungry today? That someone gave up on life? That someone is contemplating suicide just because you have been so reckless with your words?


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I don’t get how a man carries himself, step by step, full of confidence and promises, full of charm and over-stretched smiles to a lady’s home. He marries this woman and takes her away from her loving family, from her comfortable life, from her king-sized bed, from her cute kitchen, from her tiny library that has been her source of bliss of years, just to turn her life into hell. I don’t get it, because even if this woman was having a miserable, tough life in her own home, you have no business giving her hope just to transfer her from one hell to another. I don’t get it. Were you forced to marry her? Did anyone hold a knife on your neck to take her to your home? And even if you were pushed to marry her, does she have to pay her entire life for a mistake your father, mother or grandparents did to you??

I don’t get it when parents are so irresponsible, so thoughtless, so immature, when they make their children pay for their failed marriages. I don’t get it, how you even allow yourself be the reason your child falls into depression, why your child has insomnia, why your child wants to end their life before it has even started. Why do we assign ourselves these duties if we are not ready for them? I don’t get it how we allow ourselves be the reason our children justify their depression with,’I come from a divorced family.’

I know you don’t care. Most of us don’t. We are busy faking our happiness we forget how much we damage other people. But you know what’s the scariest yet still the beauty of life? Whatever you give out is what comes back to you. Give out love and compassion and it comes back to you. Give out misery and tears and you’ll remain wondering ‘where did I go wrong?’ You want to know where you went wrong? It was that person you hurt and broke. It was that person you stole from. It was that person you oppressed. It is the prayers of that person you mistreated being answered. You are wondering why you are never succeeding in whatever you do? How misery engulfs you like charcoal on fire? Find out who you hurt; could be intentionally or even unintentionally. Their heart ache is perhaps the reason you won’t be able to smile for the next few years. Indeed, what goes around comes around. It’s all a matter of time.

Food for thought…


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“You have to give a speech.”

First of all, I have anxiety.

And you know people think anxiety is a joke. This thing is real. I mean how do you explain how I poured myself hot water instead of tea for breakfast, how I almost served my brother with hot chilli instead of stew, how I made my entire family search for my lost cash that was just in my wallet even though I had rechecked almost ten times for the same money. Miscalculations, don’t blame me. Anxiety makes me forget passwords. On this day, somehow my watch was even one hour ahead which had me up and in town one hour earlier. I call two friends, my best friend tells me, ‘Woman relax. It’s not yet time.’ and another says,’Are you the one putting up the tents?’ All that for just a speech. Thank God I wasn’t born in a war-torn zone. We all know how that would have gone down.

For me, giving a speech is like making me in-charge of setting out a drone. It is pushing me off the cliff. It is asking me to confront a terrorist which in this case would be my anxiety. My best friend says I have to get out of my comfort zone. So I did give the speech after all. It was hilarious; okay maybe not exactly but I ashamed myself by breaking down in front of the tired crowd who had just returned from the ‘world Polio Day’ walk. I could hear them clapping for me perhaps pitying this small human in front of them or perhaps some could understand what it means to have your book published. I didn’t invite anyone because I wasn’t sure how friendly my anxiety would be that day. So y’all please save me the blame 🙂


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Nine years ago, at the age of fourteen when I started writing my first small book, I never thought this day would come. It has been a very long journey of repeated failure on my writing career. It was filled with criticisms and ‘not good enough’ statements over and over again. So when Nafisa (God bless her soul for this) trusted my ability and allowed me to write her story, I was moved. Of course it wasn’t the first book I expected to publish and perhaps its not my best work yet, it is a milestone for me alhamdulilah. And I keep sharing bits of my story on failure and triumph so that no one could ever think that achieving goals was ever going to be easy. Sometimes you’ll be pushed out of your comfort zone and you somehow have to learn how to do it well enough.

I wouldn’t be here hadn’t it been for God’s grace, for my own persistence, for the tremendous support from my family especially, from my close friends, for mama two; my mentor (may Allah rest her soul in peace), those who helped me a lot editing the pieces and all the readers who give me a reason to write every other day. This is me admitting that I am not yet where I want to be and that I won’t stop here. That i’ll keep pushing myself to face my fears and tackle them. Better things to come in shaa Allah.

I’ll also like to thank Mayfair Bank for sponsoring the publishing of the book.

To reserve your copy kindly contact me at: 0704 731 560. The book goes at 700. For those who want to know what the book is about, kindly search here in the blog for Unbroken Wings; the first three chapters are available. I will also appreciate any opinions and positive criticisms on the book once you’ve had your copy.

God bless you.

I present to you: Unbroken Wings


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Photo Courtesy: https://pixabay.com/

I am running. Both literally and metaphorically. It’s two minutes to time and it is raining heavily. I don’t want to be late, I hate being late so I jog faster letting my sweat mix freely with the rain drops. It doesn’t bother me; the rain that is. I let it flow on me like it would wash away all the grief within, perhaps then many more people wouldn’t mind the rain. Or me. I have been running away from my life too; wanting so desperately to detach myself from it. So that’s why I am here, knocking restlessly at my therapist’s door…This right here is not a love story. It is a story of love.

My therapist opens the door for me before settling on her king-size chair. She checks her watch and smiles. ‘Never late,’ she says. I smile back. ‘I’m proud,’ I chuckle.
‘How have you been since our last session?’ she asks, gesturing me to sit down at another king-sized chair opposite her.
‘Umm,not sure yet.’
‘Understandably, this is just the second session. Don’t worry we will work it through together.’
I nod lamely.
‘So I want us to pick up from where we left last time. You told me you’ve been running. You told me you’ve been struggling. Is that correct?’
‘Correct.’
‘So tell me, how would you describe your life in three words?’

The question catches me off guard. My life? In three words? That would be like measuring the ocean by one droplet. I stare into nothingness for a while, scratching my head.
‘I’d say…overwhelming…confusing…’
‘Aha and?’
I remain silent. How would I describe this third feeling. The one that bites you irregardless of whether it is 2 a.m. or 2 p.m. This feeling that makes one feel like they are drowning.
‘Sad.’
‘Sad?’
‘Yes sad. I think Sad is probably my real first name.’

She looks into my eyes. Are therapists psychic too? Or why else would she stare at me like she’s reading something from the veins behind my eye sockets?


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‘Alright let’s go back to the running. What are you running from?’
‘People, situations, connections…people mostly’
‘Why would you run away from people?’
I feel a burn and some wetness falling on my cheeks.
‘Because people leave. All the time. They come into your life and give you hope and make you a big part of their lives. They make you happy…so you invest on them. But I invest too much on them. Too much such that whenever one of them leaves, a part of me is gone forever…’

I stop to cry. She sits there silently, watching me in scrutiny. She hands me a tissue.
‘I’m listening,’ she reassures.
‘I think I’ve loved people more than they ever deserved and now…and now, I have nothing left within me. It is empty in here. And every time I make a new friendship, a new connection, a new acquaintance, I am already preparing my safe exit plan before they plan theirs. I’m being too cautious I can’t breathe freely. I am building high walls I can’t see the sunshine. I am running…from everyone and everything…”

I take another tissue and blow my nose. She is still quiet. I hope she is not pitying me. Then she interrupts my thoughts.
‘Do you think that is the way to live?’
‘I know its not…’
‘Have you perhaps thought of how many beautiful people, moments, events you are probably missing on by caging yourself in this darkness?’

The darkness is familiar. Sometimes it is the safe place you can always return to; that cage, that high wall.


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I am running. Both literally and metaphorically. This time it is on my way back home. It has stopped raining. I see my home ahead but I decide to take a corner. I let the sweat wet my shirt as I listen to my own heavy breathing. This is not a love story. It is a story of love given and never returned. Shared but never to last.

‘How were you ever going to be happy if you gave all the love within you and left nothing for yourself?’ she had asked me. And I remained silent because self-love was unrelatable. ‘You need to find yourself first. Love yourself first before anything or anyone else. It should be YOU first. Always.’

I let the words sink in. It gives me a good feeling. Makes me anticipate the next session. I stop on my tracks, bend down to hold my knees as I breathe. Running, the literal one, is not bad after all.