Guest Posts


By: Rashid Hussein Shariff

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It’s been quite a while since I spoke to my former classmate.Tonight she’s calling from Germany. Immediately,Imaginations of Berlin wall conjure up,and as expected,my mouth is executing as fast as my thoughts are formed are formed.Call it “Thinking aloud”.The next thing i know,I’m spewing historical facts of Berlin wall and how it was destroyed in 1989.At this juncture,a sigh -pregnant with boredom- is heaved on the other end.Alas! I am talking to a ‘practical’ human being living in 2nd April 2016.This and many other instances,remind me about two kinds of people:The ‘intuitive’ and the ‘practical’.Some of us are at the extreme end of either personalities while others oscillate in between.

So who’s this ‘intuitive’ person? She’s the kind who looks beyond the facts.In fact,she gives meaning to everything she sees.While you see a finger nail,she sees Keratin, and if you’re keen enough she doesn’t mind bombarding you with information on the chemical structure of the amino acids that make up Keratin.I proudly identify myself in this category,though with time i have learn’t to bite my tongue when talking to a ‘practical’ character,as is the case tonight.At this point, our conversation hovers around the German car industry,we talk about the pristine design of the Mercedez Maybach .Meanwhile, my mind randomly picks a principle of design ‘form follows function’ from an archive of industrial design literature that i have,thus so far,read.But with grace i swallow it back as quickly as it came.Of course,for the sake of a lively conversation with my ‘practical’ friend,on the other side of the phone.In a nutshell,these ‘intuitive’ types like to see the big picture,they trust impressions,symbols and metaphors more than what they actually experience.They’re fond of leaping between ideas and possibilities when solving a problem.They are dreamers who see possibilities that sometime exceed their ability to turn them into reality.These are ‘intuitives’.

On the opposite end,are people like my friend.Unlike their intuitive counterparts who would imagine the pixels making up the screen.To the, the screen is just that:A screen! They’re concerned with what is actual,present, current and real.A very efficient way of losing their attention in a conversation;is by ranting theories-explaining why things are the way they are.They trust experience more than they trust words and symbols.They start with facts then form a bigger picture.They pay so much attention to facts that they miss new possibilities.Be actual,be real. That’s how you appeal to these kinds when communicating with them.

Either way,I don’t intend to say which is better.As a matter of fact these personalities can work seamlessly while occasionally complementing the other.At any given time the intuitive will see the bigger picture within a project and thus provide direction through plans and strategies while the ‘practical’ asses and operationalize those plans..

Poem By: Aydaah (13 years)

Photo Courtesy:

Failure is indeed the worst,
The disappointment inside your heart,
It haunts you from the present to the past.

Misery and pain rule the universe,
Failure a burning curse,
The failure has defeated each and every one of us.

To think that you have done enough,
To think that you have done you’re very best,
It always breaks even the little stuff,
Well what you thought was not the case.

Failure is in our blood and veins,
It’s washed your happiness with massive rains.

Failure will always, always shatter you,
From a beautiful painting,
Into a disastrous view.

Photo Courtesy:

By: Husna Mohammed Lali

Dear Husband

Please notice that I refrained from using the term future because let’s face it, you were my husband ever since our fate was sealed by The Sealer of all Fates. Cool? Okay.

So lately there has been a brawl about future husbands and wives and space and marriage life; I tell you the cycle is vicious. I thought about it and decided, let me give him a heads up on the load of weird and a spicy amount of old-fashion he is about to spend his entire life with.

First things first, or last. Who cares? Spontaneous and flexibility is paramount…as one of my friends keeps it. I am not sure if this is true but my mother always has us like “the way to a man’s heart is his stomach.” Either Biology went wrong here or mother nature is a freak. Again, who cares? I am not as good a cook as your mother or mine is simply because my mother’s recipes do not have exact measurements of the ingredients. She puts everything together and it comes out a nice aromatic pile of edible stuff. Don’t get me wrong. I have done a fair amount of cooking (my ungrateful brothers once said my cabbage stew tasted like weeds). I usually like to think that they were being realest…you know criticising me on my face and praising me behind my back. Either way what I cook has never caused them any food poisoning. So yeeeey!! You know the statement “Cooking isn’t obligatory for the wife. It’s a favor”. I just want to let you know that I am so honored to do you that favor and I promise that in between our careers and job schedules we’ll have at least 2 home-made-by-me meals. I might need help sometimes, please make it easier for me and be considerate when need be.

Guys’ Time?? You have it. I have learnt from my brothers that watching football by yourself doesn’t give you the thrill. Yeah, go watch it with your buddies but I will totally need a payback (before or after…just to make me feel ‘not less important. Heads up…that large container of ice-cream or a weekend get away or even a little help with something in the house would soften me up 😉 ). Since we’re on this subject, please do not feel bad or abandoned when I say I am going to spend time with luby or the girls or even mum. I think that is a fair tat for the tit. In short do not make me feel guilty or have to choose between them and what you love to do with your buddies.

Emotions Sheet?? They say marriage is not a bed of roses. We’re probably going to have rough days and nights. Argue about stuff that may seem silly to either one of us. One or two things I would like from you.
1) we will not do it in front of the kids.
2) we will not take for granted the other’s side/perspective and or thoughts.
3) we will be clear and precise on what is needed to be discussed
4) we will not go to bed angry at the other. (Just in case it’s a huge mess up..dude, I am so taking the bed)
I am going to be honest with you here. I usually have my temper and emotions in check. Learnt it from my old man and brothers. I will be the water when you’re the fire but please do not make me so angry that I end up comparing you to them or wishing I still lived with them.

I am very choosy when it comes to talking about my feelings; especially when I am having a meltdown. I have been known to be bricky. I go silent or rather low-key for a while, it is not your fault, that is usually how I recharge my system. My best friend usually has a hard time getting me to talk about such stuff. My mother, my big brother and her, are among or rather the fewest who know what my mind thinks of or wanders to. Just in case I will lose any of them in the process, please be there to fill in their shoes, or most importantly, take over their place when I am living with you. I have, on several occasions been told that I am good listener and a mood lightner. So if you’re having a stressful day with your workmates, I promise I will be there to talk about it. Or if it’s stuff from work that had to be finished at home, I will help you with that, even if it just means sitting quietly across the table or floor as you work. All in all I wanna be that person whom you can’t wait to tell what happened when we were not together.

Family?? This is one thing I am most afraid of. You know how girls feel threatened by mothers and sisters in law? I have a history of really not caring what people say about me. My mother for example has tried to change me to wearing and acting like a girly girl because I am not like the others or that is not what is expected of me. I like to do things my way. My comfortable way. I am not going to disregard whatever they are going to advise me. But please let it be just that. Advice. Which I am entirely free to choose to follow or not. I am going to defend your honor in front of my family, please do so in yours. I know it might seem like I am asking you to pick my side, but it is not. I am simply asking you to put yourself in my shoes when it comes to such situations and act wisely. I will accept faults when due. I will not accept you siding with your mother or sisters just because “they know you better”. While I am not known to be violent, I am known to be cold and calculating when it comes to proving a point. P.S Your mother and sisters can come over anytime they want. They just shouldn’t interfere with how am raising you and the kids.

Social life?? I do not like people. That is one thing you should know. But when forced to interact, I charm people at it. I am not a fan of huge crowds, so on most occasions where I have the liberty to choose between going to events and staying at home. Home is the definite answer. I like staying at home and having an alone time, but I promise if it’s a work event, or your friend’s or work mate’s wedding, I will definitely be your plus one. I like to think myself as adventurous. Please have a hint of that. I am talking road trips (even if it means going to your mother’s place.), long lazy walks, sight seeing, trying out new risky stuff like bungee jumping (I will never do this…but I suppose I should trust you enough with my life to do this with you because am not even kidding you when I tell you I would NOT do it with my brothers. This is because I learnt my lesson when I let one of them put me in his bicycle’s ‘basket’ and we ended up rolling down some hilly/unleveled grounds.) Though me and Lubnah have stuff in our bucket list, if it’s not accomplished then or she gets a very strict husband who wouldn’t let her or do it with her, please make this bucket full by supporting me/us (you get the point here.)

And now to the most delicate most unappreciated and most sensitive subject. Co-wifing??
This is settled, though my sisters and married friends say it’s hard and that they cannot handle it. I would like to say otherwise. I don’t see it big of a deal that I have a lady whom I share a husband with. Let’s be realistic here and try not to use hearts to think. See, the ratio of men to women is a little unbalanced and kind of favors us more.Fortunately or unfortunately. So I think I would rather you married her so she gets a better life than either letting her suffer or you commit zinaa. I know it’s going to sound ridiculous to the girls, but yeah..that’s just it. Buuuuuut….just because I said this doesn’t mean you do it out of sheer spite or the fun of it. Do it if you feel you must and when you know you can be just with both of us. I mean I will obviously be jealous of her or you and her but I promise I will not be malicious. If I am going to be a co-wife I wanna be the kind where she is comfortable enough to leave her kids with me and know that they’re in good hands. Before we wrap it up, just in case it wasn’t clear, I wanna be the first wife, not for superiority reasons, but just in case she’s not as cool with it as I am. I do not want to be hated for ‘stealing someone’s spot in their husband’s life’.

I think we’re great for now. Just in case you need clarification or I was vague about it. I am not going to be a housewife. I did not just spend at least 22 years of my life getting up and going to school and trying my best just so you let me waste away. That is not fair. To me, my parents and siblings, who’ve always had my back when they weren’t holding my hand. I don’t wanna be that brick in your wall of life. I wanna be the cement that’s holding it together as you build our empire. Do not make me choose you over this. Because trust me, I will not hesitate choosing the latter and I will have nothing to lose in thee process.

On a completely different yet relatable subject. I love reading can we please have a space where I can consider it my personal library?? Also if J.K. Rowling or John Green releases new books. Please get me a copy? Yeah thank you. And I love you for this

Thank you in advance. Feel free to be awed, intrigued, threatened or all at once. See you in a while.

With love,
Your wife who has her priorities and visions set straight.

By: Maliha Karama

Photo Courtesy:

بسم الّله الرّحمان الرّحيم.

Ooh Our Ummah, Our Boat is sinking!!!
We all need to Motivate Women to learn, The Society lacks Female Muslims Teachers Its So Sad & Such A Shame😰😔
Its very disappointing today hearing about such issues, Like out of 1000 Teachers only 10 are Muslims and less than 3 are Female, Out of 700 Students only 1 is A Female muslim, Sub’haanALLAH Its So Heartbreaking💔

The Ummah The Ummah Where are we heading to??!
I.R.E being taught by Non-Muslims😱 Shocked ryt??! Well that’s the Bitter truth!!!

We sit and start complaining about our muslims children values Their Negative thoughts, Negative behaviour & So on…
Bt lets Face The truth The Reality, What do we expect when even Islamic Subjects are being taught by Non-Muslims Teachers?!!

Ooh Our Ummah Lets Save ourselvs!!!
In Islaam The First 5 verses which were revealed to our Beloved Prophet Muhammad 3alayhi Sswalaatu wa Ssalaam was about Learning ;
قال الّله تعالى: {اِقْرَأْ بِاسْمِ رَبِّكَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ* خَلَقَ اْلإِنْسَانَ مِنْ عَلَقٍ* اِ قْرَأْ وَرَبُّكَ اْلأَكْرَمُ* الَّذِى عَلَّمَ بِالْقَلَمِ* عَلَّمَ اْلإِنْسَانَ مَا لَمْ يَعْلَمْ}

This proves importance of Learning & if it wasn’t so then ALLAH Sub’haanahu wa Ta3aala could have started this deen with something else.
Through Learning we know our GOD, We know how To Worship ALLAH, We know about The whole Islaam & how to be Humans.

Ooh Our Ummah is in A Dangerous Position!!!🚫
Please Spread The Message, We must learn nd also Teach our Ummah in Madrasa nd Schools. We need Female Muslims Teachers Especially in Girls Schools!
Lets not point fingers at each other but Be United💪🏻 and think about our Ummah!!!
Spread The message all out there…

Lets Learn Teaching skills and have our own rules as Muslim Society nd have our own Islamic Programs.
Well AlhamduliLLAH We Already have our own Academic Programs of Teaching skills at Madrasatul Munawwarah (DIPLOMA & DEGREE IN TEACHER TRAINING) Don’t be late again Spread The Message and lets all benefit from each other.

Ooh Our Ummah!!! We need to Wake up now ITS NEVER TOO LATE!
Its A duty to seek knowledge upon Every Muslim Male or Female.
قال صلّى الّله عليه وسلّم: (طَلَبُ الْعِلْمِ فَرِيضَةٌ عَلَى كُلِّ مُسْلِمٍ) قال الشّيخ الألباني رحمه الّله: [حديث صحيح].
Be it Ur Daughter, Sister or Wife, Plzzz let her join The AL-MUNAWWARAH COLLEGE Of Teaching Training.
The Teaching Profession is A Noble one, Infact Its The job of All Prophets including Our Beloved Prophet Muhammad 3alayhi Sswalaatu wa Ssalaam who was The Best Teacher Ever!!!
A Teacher Is A Role model whom we all look upto, A Teacher is A Person who is always Respected by The Society, Even Students Pray for you, How Sweet ❤

Women Should know their roles nd take their part in The Society
وصدق من قال: “اَلْمَرْأَةُ قَلْبُ الْمُجْتَمَع إِذَا صَلَحَتْ صَلَحَ الْمُجْتَمَعُ كُلَّهُ وَإِذَا فَسَدَتْ فَسَدَ الْمُجْتَمَعُ كُلَّهُ”
A Woman plays an Important role in Ummah, She can make or break The Society So she needs to learn in order to Make, Improve & Build up The Better Ummah Bi IdhniLLAH
يقول الشّاعر الكبير حافظ إبراهيم رحمه الّله:
اَلأُمُّ مَدْرَسَةٌ إِذَا أَعْدَدتَهَا* أَعْدَدْتَ شَعْبًا طَيِّبَ الأَعْرَاقِ.

Ooh Our Ummah is losing control, Side by side lets all come together, Help one another nd Never ever discourage each other!!!
Its not always about money (High Salary) NO WAY❌ But its about Salary of Aakhera (The Reward) Its about Getting Positive Results
Its all about saving Our Ummah!!!
Just think if u teach something to someone about deen & he or she practise it does something good nd teaches someone else, nd this continues then ur Rewards will be endless cz u get rewards for all those whom will practise what u taught. The Rewards will be there even after ur dead, Its like Swadaqatul Jaariyah Sub’haanALLAH How Great is this… Jst think about it🤔
قال صلّى الّله عليه وسلّم: (إِذَا مَاتَ الْعَبْدُ اِنْقَطَعَ عَنْهُ عَمَلُهُ إِلاّ مِنْ ثَلاَثٍ، صَدَقَةٍ جَارِيَةٍ، أَوْ عِلْمٍ يُنْتَفَعُ بِهِ، أَوْ وَلَدٍ صَالِحٍ يَدْعُوا لَهُ) قال الشّيخ الألباني: [حديث صحيح]. َ

Ooh Our Ummah, Our Ummah is losing Focus!!! Lets jst not sit keep watching all this doing nothing, infact Lets Save, Protect our Ummah & Guide each other through all our Lives!
Lets be Serious nd not take this issue A Lightly matter
Remember We are all RESPONSIBLE cz for Surely We will all be asked by ALLAH 1 DAY nd We will Have to Answer!!!
What Answers will we give❓
Which reasons will we bring❓❗
How will we Defend Ourselvs❓❗❗

Our Ummah Our Ummah..!!!
Nway As they say “Better Late than Never”
Lets take Action & Save Our Ummah‼‼‼
Through Learning and Practising We’ll Create A Difference!!!

May ALLAH Forgive us, Guide us all and Protect Our Ummah (Ameeen Yaa Rabb)
وصلّى الّله وسلّم على سيّدنا محمّد وعلى آله وأصحابه أجمعين ومن تبعهم بإحسان إلى يوم الدّين.

Wassalamu 3alaykum WarahmatuLLAHI Wabarakaatuh.


By: Swaleh Arif Sayyid Ali

Photo Courtesy: Salem_Beliegraphy

In the name of Allah, the most Gracious, the most Merciful.
Praise and blessings be upon His Beloved messenger, Muhammad (pbuh).

Recently an article was posted, entitled ‘Dear Future Wife’. It tried to describe what men want from women during marriage. Consequently, the article received some backlash, understandably so. However, the criticism, to me, was too scathing and the approach made was not the best one. Admittedly, I did place myself in the position of current and future wives, thereby understanding their anger towards the aforementioned article. As a result, I have decided to write my own version of ‘Dear Future Wife’. Feedback is welcome, positive or otherwise. Bear in mind though, ninety per cent of what you’ll read didn’t come from me, I’m simply re-telling what’s been forgotten…

Dear future wife,

Before I begin, I’d like to give you salaam and may Allah’s Grace and Mercy be upon you always and forever.
As a man living in the 21st century, I have seen how marriage has been degraded to something that is almost worthless (thanks to our own forgetfulness and the emergence of western idealism). However, I’m not writing to you about the failings of society, I’m writing to you about what to expect from me as your future husband.
Marriage is holy and sacred. To seek guidance on something of this nature, one needs to look no further than the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah of the prophet Muhammad (pbuh). One of my greatest wishes is to be the best husband a wife could ever ask for. The only way I can be that person, my beloved, is by treating you the same way the prophet (pbuh) treated his wives. I know I’ll never reach his level, but rest assured that I’ll do everything within my power to be the kind of husband that Allah and His Messenger (pbuh) will approve of.

I don’t expect you to cook for me. That’s my privilege and not your responsibility. Cook because you want to, not because you have to. I want to know that my dish was prepared with love and your only aim is to please The Almighty (by pleasing me). No matter how bad your food will be, I won’t frown, or abuse you, or even beat you (Allah protect me from such). Rather, expect me to smile and say it was the best dish I’d ever tasted. I’ll eat from the same plate as you, drink from the same cup as you and feed you from my hand. That is an act of charity before the eyes of our Creator.

You’re my other half. I won’t shut you out from my daily affairs, because I will want to seek advice and guidance from you about important issues. You may know something I don’t, there’s no shame in that. I’m willing to quit watching football just so I can spend more time with you. It sounds far-fetched, I know. But you’re my wife and you’ll always come first.

When you’re sad, I’ll be the first person to rush towards you and hug you. I’ll wipe the tears from your face and call you by all those sweet names that you’ll adore so much. I’ll exercise tolerance with love and patience,observe silence when you snap at me during your mood swings, and overlook your flaws while focusing on your desireable traits.

My beloved, there’s so much I want to say, but I’ll stop here. What I have left out, I’ll make sure to add on it through actions once we’re married inshaAllah. Words are worthless if they’re not backed by actions. I know what I’ve promised sounds unfeasible, but if Muhammad (pbuh) could do it, then there’s no reason why I can’t as well bi idhinillah. All I ask, is for you to do good and abstain from evil, in order for our marriage to prosper. For now, know that I have carved out a niche in my heart, waiting for you to fill it.

And Allah knows best.

Photo Courtesy: Salem_Beliegraphy

By: Swaleh Arif Sayyid Ali

We spend a lot of time plotting
We spend a lot of time planning
But you should ask yourself
In the end
Will it be worth it?

I’ll begin with a little story. I was in a matatu that was taking me to kisauni one day, and there was this man riding shotgun (that’s the seat next to the driver by the way). He was chatting with another person and he said, “Poa bro, tutaonana kesho. Lakini kesho ni ya Mungu kwa hivyo huwezi jua”. The weight of those words struck me so hard that I immediately started feeling ashamed of myself. Here’s a man, who to most people is probably a nobody, saying something so profound and so true that it made me wonder who really is wise and who really is ignorant in these troubling times. The shame that I felt was because I kept forgetting that death is closer to us than we think.

We, as human beings, are ambitious in nature. We were designed to want to achieve something. It can be anything really, be it money, fame, general popularity, that Adonis physique that most men and women crave for and so forth. There’s nothing wrong with ambition, nothing wrong at all. What’s wrong is what you’re ambitious for. The worst kind of ambition is the ambition that is self-serving and derogatory in nature, whereas the best kind is the one that is selfless and benign in nature. A prime example of a person with selfless and benign ambitions was our Beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). I don’t need to elaborate on what he achieved and what he’s still achieving.
No one knows when they’ll die, that’s obvious. So why plan for something that is selfish and pointless, if there’s every chance you’ll drop dead the next second? Wouldn’t it be futile in the end? I think this year is the year where a lot of us have witnessed young people with bright futures have their mortal coils severed. So if you’re going to be ambitious, be ambitious for something greater than yourself. Be ambitious for something that will benefit your family, community and the entire world, if possible. Then again, nothing is impossible before the eyes of The Almighty. Aspire to build schools, free hospitals, sports and other recreational centers that will distract the young generation from the temptation of drugs and other destructive vices. And what’s so amazing and beautiful about this, is that in case your life is cut short and you never managed to serve your ambitions, you’ll still be rewarded by Allah because of the good intentions you had with everyone.

But remember, no man is an island. Find like-minded individuals who are working towards the same goal and achieve all that you could not accomplish on your own.

As I conclude my piece, my advice to you, dear reader, is this: make sure the seeds that you sow in this life, will grow into something healthy and beautiful, ready for reaping in the next.

Aspire to inspire.

And Allah knows best.

Photo Courtesy:

I stared blankly at the moon that seemed all dull that night just like my feelings. I remembered all the sacrifices I had made. I remembered all the ups and all the downs. Oh my, ours was a bond that no one could break apart. I felt so not myself. Did I fall into deceit or were you just wearing a mask all along? You meant forever, you were my die hard in each sunrise and each sunset. Why did you just have to be a vapor that would evaporate just so suddenly? You had hurt me intensely and I would say no medieval dagger could have penetrated that much like the way those words; those painful words hurt my heart. I felt as if the whole world was on my own shoulders. I felt as if I had no more strength to fight back because it was just like the sweet that suddenly turned sour. But the adage did indicate that, diamonds are made under the weight of mountains. Yes, maybe I could offer you the benefit of the doubt but….

Oh moon, where is all your beauty today? I have lived drowning in hallucinations. Probably keeping a blind eye to all that you did to me. What can be more saddening than this? These pair, our pair. Allah had paired my soft-floating heart to your hard tired heart. Do these two hearts really beat as one? I am yet to know that. I am yet to get all the answers to my ocean of questions. I am yet to discover salt from sugar and sweet from bitter.

For today, in this dullness of the moon, the stars too are crying in insane crystal blue, sympathizing with this softy that was so naive to differentiate disguise from realism. I am drowning in a sea of my tears for what seemed to be the whole of my existence. Where did I go wrong? Where did I laze around? What did I not shower you with? Then you declared that you would be my warrior even when the whole world turns against me. Where is all that?

This monster is ocean deep….

You have plucked the flower while still not in maturity. You have changed the vows and you have changed the lines. You have turned the mice from the bridesmaid and the Cinderella into a rag that was already clouded with your tenderness.

This butterfly that had golden wings that could never allow herself to be walked on and way too flexible fell unconscious in your love. She forgot that words could be venomous.

Today, I want to leave you in this note.

When the dirty chandeliers will still shine through and the demons will still hold on to me, will the heartache that you caused, ever heal too?

*********Salma Abdulatif Yusuf********

I can’t deny that there isn’t a day that I do not still feel your existence in my life. Even though I know that I have let you down over and over again, I left you in puddles of tears, showers of regrets and snowfalls of pain. But my heart still reaches out for you in hope that you will forgive me. Since I couldn’t bear to see you in the state that I was, and please don’t get me wrong, the memories hurt me too. Every trace of you brings back a flood of feelings, feelings that I have been trying to fight away.

Frankly, I’d like to return to your arms, to the days where I’d stare into your eyes and see my destiny. Letting everything go back to the way it was, peaceful. You and I as the best of everything. And I won’t try but I will do my very best to love you enough to heal the scars that you have picked up during this time I got you in. I will love you enough that you will forget the nights you stayed awake crying. I will love you enough that pain will seem like fantasy, something which cannot touch your beautiful soul. But I still know my words may mean nothing to you. I could be holding onto the broken pieces of our hearts, the shutters of hope and the dust of our love in the palms of my hands, screaming, screaming for your forgiveness. But how will you know I really mean it? So I tell Allah. I speak to Him about you and tell Him what I feel, ask him to grant you peace and happiness; my happiness. I ask Him to put my name next to yours in our destiny, to one day have us happily married. I tell him how I love you, because my words of romance to you, don’t mean much, but my words to Allah mean the world, because He is the only one that can help. For He is the only one with all the answers to both our woes.

*******Abdulmutalib (Taib) Saggaf********

Dear Future Wife,

By: Anonymous.

Photo Courtesy: Salem_Beliegraphy


Assalam Aleykum.

Hey you, what are you up to?

Um…hmm, sorry am kinda nervous right now. The truth is, thinking about the future scares the heck out of me. I hate not knowing what will happen to me ten years from now or one year from now or even in the next five seconds. Yet for some reason, picturing you in it always brings a smile to my face. It brings calm to a stormy sea, and for good reason.

I may not know you yet, but I already think you’re just too pretty to be true. The world may be round, yet again it might be flat, but that you are the most beautiful girl I’ll ever meet is a fact beyond deliberation.

I have no expectations whatsoever to be honest about the kind of person you’ll turn out to be.  If anything, I’ll be willing to take the reminder of my life to understand you and if else all fails, then to simply accept you for who you are.

I don’t know what mistakes you have committed in the past or present but I can overlook your flaws. Because despite what people always say, I think everyone deserves a second chance. The more lost a soul is anyway, the more susceptible it is to guidance and rebirth. If I am to be the reason you end up turning a corner and being the most pious lady to ever walk on earth, then darling am all yours.

I am not the perfect human specimen either, I am guilty of being naïve where naivety is of considerable detriment. I have flaws in personality that need to be ironed out, but I believe I’ll be ready cometh the hour.

One thing you should know though, in all my twenty something years I’ve lived on earth, the ladies at home have simply spoiled me to a wreck with their delectable cooking. They can cook a rock and make it taste like chicken. I know, I know it’s unfair to put that much pressure on you, I understand but…*cough* culinary classes *cough*…am willing to pay… *cough*…whatever the fees…*cough*. In any case, I’ll definitely help around the kitchen if you need me, and I’ll do my best not to chop off my fingers instead of the onions while am at it.

Oh another thing, I love exercising. I wonder if you do too. It won’t matter of course, if you don’t. Personally, I believe fitness is a matter of choice really but be warned, we’ll hold occasional races between you and me. Whoever loses will do the dishes all by themselves that day (and there shall be no dish washing machine in the house!)

You’ll be more than welcome to milk my wallet dry. But my wallet only and no other man’s. It will be my privilege to make you feel as comfortable as possible, it is a mission I’ll see through to my death. But I know you, you’re not driven by material things. You’re not overwhelmingly concerned about worldly life. Your focus, like mine, is towards that everlasting place Allah has promised for every pious man and pious woman.

Kids? Of course, yes. I haven’t put my finger on a number yet, but obviously the more the merrier, right? Heck, let’s start our own village. We’ll teach them Quran and Sunnah and then scatter them all over God’s earth so they can spread the spirit and love of Islam. Together with them we’ll flush out all evil from the darkest corners of this world, or so I hope.

Speaking of corners of the world, do you like to travel? I most certainly do. I would love to travel all over the world if God blesses us with the means. I’ll take you to the weirdest of places, feed you the weirdest of native cuisines, meet people with names that mean something offensive back home. I feel the earth is calling for me to explore it every single day, but I can push my schedule back and prepare an itinerary for two instead. See, am making sacrifices for you already.

I can be awkward and feel misplaced in matters where love is concerned. Frankly, sometimes I feel my own family don’t understand just how much I love them, simply because I don’t know how to express it in words. But for some reason, I just know…I just simply know, you will make me sing, you will make me chant, you will make me shout at the top of my voice, to express the love I will feel for you.

I hope wherever you are now, that you are safe and happy. I want you to be all you can be and hope to be. I want you to more than just survive this time barrier separating us, but to thrive. I want you to worry less and live more. And when we finally meet inshaAllah, I want to make you feel like you’ve never lived before.

See you soon, Habibtyl Kheir.

You Know Who..

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Dear Future Son,

 By: anonymous

When you were born i was overwhelmed with joy,consumed with happiness. Yet scared that this infirm and fragile creature was not ready for this monster of a world that i have become accustomed to.But when i took a slight peak and your tiny eyes struggled to view my huge form.I felt the whole world face the sun and shine brighter just for you.I knew then and now that the world would be a better place because of you.And my heart was invaded by feelings of pride,care,protection,hope and above all love.I may not have said it as much,but i have always and will always love you my son.And as i held you in my arms,my heart whispered promises to you.I will love you when the world would dare hate you,i will believe in you when everything and everyone would prove otherwise.Because you are amazing.I would tell you stories of my boyhood and echo you my mistakes and regrets that you may learn from them.You wouldn’t have to impress me or compromise with me,be yourself,love yourself,because my love for you is guaranteed.I would have you live like you mean it,be candor,be happy always,because every time you smile the world gets a little better for me.I would have you live a pure life,pure in your love,pure in your hate,pure in your pain and pure in your heart.Face life with passion and fortitude,get excited and embrace the beauty of your dreams.Live my son.Live your full potential,be better than me,dare to stand
alone,because i would have it no other way.Uphold your religion,pray,because man is nothing without proud of your heritage,your culture,because you are it’s successor.Never forget who you are,you are my son and there is great pride in that.I leave this world as an empty shell,with no plausible accounts.Be my legacy my son.

your mentor,your friend,your father

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By Imran Abdallah Said

“What’s in a name?

That which we call a rose

By any other name would

Smell as sweet.”

-William Shakespeare

 In my quest to find the meaning of the name given to my hometown, I stumbled upon a rather funny story. It must have been my granny who told it to me. She said long ago, when the ‘wazungus’ arrived in our country, they sought the name of their new settlement from the locals. For some odd reason, they didn’t just go ahead and decide to name it after one of their kings or queens like they always do.

 Anyway, for obvious reasons, inter-cultural communication during the Middle Ages presented a major challenge to all citizens of the world as there was considerably less contact between people from different continents back then. So, as the story goes, the locals resorted to asking this honest question, and I quote: “Mwambaze?” Which translates to “What are you saying?” in one of the Mijikenda dialects.

So the visitors clung to the first word they heard, maybe they really believed that the locals had understood their question or they simply found the name catchy, who knows? What matters is that the name stuck and as it was passed on from one accent-heavy tongue to the next, it evolved over the centuries into the name we’ve all come to adore: “Mombasa”.

 Soon this got me thinking, what is the story behind the names of other places, or even people? In spirit of the Greek aphorism “Know Thyself”, I set off to find the essence of my own name first, hoping there might be a glamorous story behind its origins too. It means “one with long life and abundant wisdom” by the way, thanks very much for asking. Note that ‘abundant wisdom’ is the key phrase here.

 The history of names in general is quite obscure so its origin is not really easy to pinpoint. For the religious among us, it is likely very easy to describe the origin of all names. As with all things it must be tied to the story of the creation of the entire universe, when all things were named by God and then taught to Adam, Adam being the first name ever given to a human, end of the story.

For the not-so-religious, the origin is yet to be discovered conclusively. Historians however place the earliest instance of using names between 6600 to 6200BC when the Chinese used an intricate system of symbols on their pottery to mark ownership. The symbols, called Jiahu Symbols, were not really part of any particular language, just personalized symbols to distinguish your property from your neighbour’s, like a family crest, you see? It turns out the earliest name ever recorded was Gal-Sal (3200-3100 BC), which belonged to a slaver (not such happy origins after all).

 Earlier names seemed to have a descriptive meaning behind them, like Neithhotep (“Neith is satisfied”) the first ever recorded name for a woman according to historians. Such names still exist among many communities the world over, most notably the Native Indians of America who can boast such names as Mikasi(“White Moon”) and Miwok(“Bear walking into Shade”) or less honourable names like Eskaminzim (“Big Mouth”) or Arapoosh (“Stomach Ache”).

 You might be curious about your name too, maybe you should ask your parents and if they can’t tell you maybe you should kick their butt proper. What if your name means something horrible and they just blindly tagged it to you? But please don’t; there is a better alternative. The internet is filled with seemingly infinite resources on origins and meaning of names. Look yours up. Who knows your name might be synonymous to “headache” which might give insight to how you were such a bully at the hospital nursery when you were born. Or you might have one of those “Awww, mum and dad, you guys are awesome” moment when you realize your name means “Child who will conquer the world with his golden heart.” Or something of that sort.

 Right then, thank you for taking your time to read this. I hope you enjoyed it, I certainly enjoyed doing the research.  Bye bye.