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Photos Courtesy: www.msa.co.ke / (#KiparaPhotography)

Martin Luther King Jr once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” » Perhaps we really underestimate the power of coming together, of empathy and humanity, of love and kindness but let’s take a minute to be the ones on the other end receiving all the love and pure energy from all kinds of people. Try to imagine the bliss and the peace.

You being the one in a rocky hospital bed fighting for your life. You being the one who slept hungry for the past two days. You being the one who was robbed off your rights. You who couldn’t sleep because of a huge debt to be paid. And then someone and someone else and someone else, from different parts of the world come together and just decide, ‘let us relieve from him this burden’. Imagine the weight being lifted off your shoulders, the worries in your heart and the endless thoughts in your mind. This is what Mombasa Toa Donge lako is doing for so many people from years back.Indeed, when it comes to humanity, no deed is considered small.

Yesterday was my first time to attend the annual Iftar event usually held by the community group for orphans of different areas and my second time to attend any of their events. So basically, i’m not an active member but I’ve been spectator for long enough to know that this community group is doing a HUGE MEGA difference in people’s lives. Maybe they didn’t do it to you or your next door neighbour but they’ve held grand projects that have turned around the lives of some people. Let’s give credit where it is due; this community group is doing a much better job at the welfare of the society more than our leaders combined.

So I was just seated at the front rows silently as the program started and we heard the anasheeds from different kids, then a short quiz and then came the most moving part of the live testimonies from people who’ve been aided by the Donge group. You know, I just was watching Erray’s parents talk of their gone son and the great support offered to them both financially and emotionally and I just had mixed emotions. I see his mother cry when she talks of his son and his orphaned daughter and then I imagine how much more tears would she have shed if they never had a chance to even try out medication, or pay for his medication, or how they would start adjusting their lives to give a good life to Erray’s daughter without help. None of us can ever imagine. Several other people gave their testimonies and I was a bit overwhelmed seeing how successful the projects were. Trust me, it’s different when you see it online and when you actually see these people live like you really know them. When I saw baby Rahima and her mother I was immediately like, “Ah! I remember this cute face!” And it is just so nice to see these people with smiles on their faces, healthy and back on their feet. That, that right there is something we should never undervalue; the ability to put a smile back on someone’s face is a tremendous job.

The orphans that attended were 200 from 3 different institutions; both boys and girls and they were all too curious about the whole event. One of the caretakers of one institution was telling me, “This is the first time we have been taken to such a trip so they were really excited. We had to come half of us because we couldn’t all fit in the car.” When it was time for iftar, I saw some of the kids barely touching the snack container, another one was trying to peel off the egg layer from the katlesi. A friend of mine seated next to me asks them why they aren’t eating, the caretaker says, ‘hatujazoea hivi vyakula vya waarabu’ (We are not used to this Arab kind of foods. So the container basically had Potatoes, bhajia, kebabs, katlesi, tea/coffee, dates and mitai and I could see them scrutinize the food, dissecting them like it’s a biology experiment.
“What do they usually eat?” I ask.
“Ugali mostly with vegetables. Sometimes rice. Sometimes Chapati. Sometimes we have people bringing pilau for us. But you know Arabic food like this, when we leave here that’s the end of it…Look at their hands,” she holds one arm to show me, “see all these dark spots, it’s because of mosquitoes. We sleep at a school on the floor with too worn-out mattresses. Sometimes we get people who remember us. Sometimes we don’t. But life moves on.”
“Were the kids excited about coming here?”
“Of course they were…they won’t comment here but I know when we get back home they will all be having too much to say.” (In case someone is interested in visiting their institution; ‘Vision of Hope’ the lady is Zeitun Mwaka, her number is 0711 415 626 or her colleague Najma Mwanasiti: 0707 343 444) Yet I am sure there are many more orphans out there who are totally oblivious to what good delicacies look like or a good bed feels like. They are out there and they need us to go to them.

It was just a great feeling seating with them, eating next to them, praying beside them, seeing them rejoice eating biriani and other platters of food. Hearing them sing alongside brother Nassir as he sings his nasheeds; just too heartfelt.

I remember the excited looks of the children as they were given ice cream after the meal and it was in that merry moment, I noticed a young girl who went and gave a group of orphans some packets of chauro and I looked at how everyone was scrambling to get a packet and I say, ‘if only we appreciated these tiny blessings that we tend to overlook.’

Oh! and before I forget, I did get feedback from one of the orphans. As I was leaving some teenage age was happily telling her friends, “Nnashiba alhamdulilah! Mungu awabariki Donge” (I am full alhamdulilah. God bless Donge) by the way, the girls didn’t know I was listening so this was definitely genuine feedback. Imagine the rewards of making 200 orphans (and several other people) happy plus, in Ramadhan!!

I know the Donge staff, admins, volunteers, members and active members hear this a lot,but we just want to say it again. Thank you for being role models of kindness and humanity in the community. Thank you for being a symbol of hope to others. Thank you for your dedication and sacrifice. For your endless effort and patience to ensure projects are successful. For changing people’s lives and for restoring our faith in humanity. May Allah bless all those who attended, all those who made it possible, all those who participated directly or indirectly, all those whose hearts were in the event despite their absence. May the spirit of togetherness shine on for generations to come, may our intentions remain pure in helping people and may we be the hope in such a dark world. Ameen.

I just want to end it with this hadith, “Ibn `Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Messenger of Allah (sa) said: “A Muslim is a brother of (another) Muslim, he neither wrongs him nor does hand him over to one who does him wrong. If anyone fulfills his brother’s needs, Allah will fulfill his needs; if one relieves a Muslim of his troubles, Allah will relieve his troubles on the Day of Resurrection…” [Bukhari and Muslim]. Keep doing good, keep being good, every small and large deed counts in Allah’s eyes.

At the moment the whole world is talking about Aleppo, arranging vigil events, donating, doing sincere prayers and all this just makes me fall in love ❤

So this is our week, Mombasa folks. On this thursday (tomorrow) 3 p.m. there will be prayers at Light house mosque. There will be a donation box at the event where people can donate for Aleppo folks. If you are wondering how the money will get to the white helmets then this is how:
One of the organizers of the ‘vigil for aleppo’ event is a member of the foreigner’s students of Turkey. The group is collecting funds to buy medical equipment, blankets, medicines, food, clothes and other necessities. This is the first time we are doing such a wonderful initiative in Mombasa, so please be available when history is being made. Come and connect to the world. Come and be inspired. Come and have your faith in humanity be restored 😊

For those who can’t attend but wish to donate you can mpesa me at 0704 731 560: Lubnah. Please I can only accept donations until tomorrow around 2:30 before the event starts in shaa Allah. I already have 15k donated…please bring in more. Let us make a difference and in shaa Allah our rewards will be from God 😊

Talking of making a difference, we have someone else who desperately needs our help. A brother of ours was diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus in early December.

He requires Kshs.203,768 to undergo chemotherapy and radiotherapy at the Nairobi Hospital for five weeks.

We are appealing for your help as this matter needs to be attended to urgently. We will greatly appreciate on behalf of the family, In Shaa Allah.

You can make your contribution through MPESA- 0790488333 Amina Khamis.

We all know how deadly cancer is and I can’t insist enough how much the family needs us right now. Compared to the Aleppo appeal, his funding is still far behind and we all know how doctors won’t treat him unless he is paying meanwhile. Charity starts at home people. Let’s help him with the little much we can offer.


These are his medical records 👆

Please note that I am only taking donations for Aleppo while Amina khamis mentioned above is receiving for the patient. We can all make it possible. A little here a little there and in shaa Allah we will have helped save some people’s lives. Ameen.

I know some would be confused on which to donate for. My idea is you can divide the money and get rewards for both. If your have little money then you can attend the prayers for Aleppo and donate the money to the patient. But that is just my idea to make you participate in both, you can always do what you wish most 😊

Do remember however small your charity is, it makes a difference. Your small and my small makes it big. So let’s start M-pesaring 😛

God bless you abundantly and grant you well. Ameen. Thanks in advance!!

Photo Courtesy: http://www.4charity.com/

Charity never required you to be rich or super holy or an angel in disguise or even an extremely empathetic person. It never required you to have any special talents or skills to give a hand to anyone. You don’t have to have more than you need to give but actually the best kind of charity is that which you give when you have little yourself.

Charity does good to us more than we assume or presume. It is never only about doing good to the next person but also about what it has done to us. It is not only about how happy you made that person by handing them cash that they badly needed, or how your smile made them feel better on that bad day or how you helping that old man cross the road saved him a lot of energy. Let’s talk about you now. Let’s talk about why you need to do more charity to please your God and own soul more than anyone else.

1.Charity is just one of those things that lights up your heart once you do it. It doesn’t matter how evil you think you are, you want to feel better about yourself? Feeling low and awful about yourself? Give charity, help whenever you can. It is never limited to money. Do good generally and see how it makes you feel like an angel that just dropped from the sky 😀 For real though, it has an amazing effect.

2.Think of it this way; God has chosen you to be the reason someone is eating a great lunch today or someone is happy or someone is finally able to buy those medicines they weren’t able to buy in forever. You are not doing that person any favour by the way, you are there because you were meant to be there. It is part of God’s great plan that you be the one to save the day. Doesn’t that make you feel like a ‘mini-messiah’? lol It should be a big deal to you actually; that God has chosen you from many of His creatures, to be the one to do the good to someone on such and such a day. So never hesitate to give that 10 or 20 shillings. Trust me, it does make a difference to the person begging out there (the genuine beggars that is, not these people who are just greedy and never have enough of what they have). So give, give, give!

3.It’s time to reach out to your soul. Your inner self has been yearning for some attention from you. It needs you to look into the dust and mess that is within…and that is what charity helps you do; mirror yourself!! When you keep helping people around; the sick, the orphans, the needy, it makes you think more deeply about the state of your soul, how good am I? how much more do I need to do to get my soul into the peace of mind that it needs. Charity can act as food for your soul. It makes you genuinely happy about who you are and what you do? It makes your soul bloom like a Spring flower, so what are you waiting for?! 😉

4.It makes you aware of how many blessings you have. I know you have heard of this several times before but seriously, it isn’t a lie is it? Whenever you reach out to people, even by just giving them valuable advice, you realize that many, MANY other people out there are having it rough than you. You help an old man cross the road, you realize how difficult it is for him to move around with how busy our roads are and how rough our drivers are. You feed someone hungry you realize that you have no right to whine over the breakfast that you missed…etc etc. Every single person we meet has a story and the more you scrutinize the world and explore the ways of humanity, the more you realize how you have no right to complain about the problems that you have.

5.The rewards? Of course from God you never miss your goodie pack. Blessings will shower on you like the fourteen falls 😉 Especially on such blessed days like of Dhul hijjah, what are you waiting for?!

Need I say more then? Just remember that whenever you do charity or good, you are doing it for yourself more than to the person. Keep doing good, be good and let good keep rolling your way!

By: Abdulqadir Mahmoud

 

Alhamdulillah, here we are in another year, another month, where in less than ten days we will get to offer a sunnah of Nabi Ibrahim (as) and enjoy all that comes after it in shaa Allah. Yes people, it is the month of Hajj and slate forgiveness; it is the 1st of Dhul Hijjah, 1437. But before the meat, clothes and joy, we have the first ten days of this month that come before it. But they are not just any first ten days,

Allah swt says in the Noble Qur’an;

“I swear by the daybreak, And the ten nights, And the even and the odd, And the night when it departs. Truly in that there is an oath for those who possess understanding.”  (Q 89: 1-5)

Allah swt specifies His words to those who understand because they are the ones who truly know their value, as Ibn Abbas RA reported that the Prophet s.a.w said:

“There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allaah than these ten days.” The people asked, “Not even jihaad for the sake of Allah?” He said, “Not even jihaad for the sake of Allaah, except in the case of a man who went out to fight giving himself and his wealth up for the cause, and came back with nothing.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 2/457).

Now, most of us have not realized this great opportunity because, even though some may blame it on the rainy weather, we haven’t internalized how great of a breather it is.

In this era of today, wrong has become so opened and celebrated that it has engraved in our mental capacitors that it’s of norm. Whether it is from those strokes of keys on the keyboard or that glance you throw when no one’s looking, or frankly everyone, all the things we do in secrecy or in public, alone or with others, they are still wrong, and we know it. You know the mere aspect of us being Muslim is such a big ne3ma and blessing, subhanallah. Having a Lord that you know looks at you, sees you and completely understands you and still loves you anyway. He swt knows how much temptation and tests, how much trouble we are in just trying to maintain our identities as Muslims, how thin of a thread we are hanging on to them and for that, even after giving us a whole month free from shaytaan with gates of Jannah wide open, Rahma oozing out from His Mercy (Month of Ramadhan), He decided to put aside another 10 days…10 days that He will make more dearer to Him than any other day of every other day that will be existent on this Earth. Subhanallah, how much of a ne3ma is this…no other religion bears any favors of such immensity, proportions, Alhamdulillah 3alaa ne3matil Islaam.

Now you understand what Allah swt was referring to as ‘those who understand’? Good. If not, re-read that paragraph until you do.

During these days, shaytaan will be on steroids trying to woo everyone because he knows their worth so stay sharp. The Prophet (saw) advices us to increase Takbeer (Allaahu akbar), Tahmeed (Al-hamdu Lillah), Tahleel (La ilaha ill-Allaah) and Tasbeeh (Subhaan Allaah). The easiest way to do all these is to recite the dhikr done on the day of eid. Besides, gets the spirit of Eid going. You know that feeling you get in the early morning when the mosques are doing the takbeers and mum’s busy in the kitchen and then you smile to yourself as you realize that it’s the day of eid, Alhamdulillah. So I want you to be saying these dhikr when you walk, stand, sit, lean…Man I want you to be snoring these dhikr. It is also sunnah to recite them out loud, helps to keep your tongues busy and free from shaytaan’s control.

Fasting. This is the most efficient way of both earning the pleasure of Allah and since shaytaan’s out and free, it’s another level keeping a clean slate. Fasting helps in this limitation. But just to put this ibaadah simply, can you imagine the Creator of the most humongous and continuously expanding universe to the smallest, tiny and most minute proton, neutron and electron of smallest atom, smile at the sound of your name, joy at the sight of you humbling yourself to Him through your fasting as He tells every creation to praise you and ask forgiveness for you, because you did that one ibaadah that only He can reward you, in the days that are most beloved to Him. What more better of a gift to your Lord than offering it on His favorite days?

Lastly, cannot emphasis any greater on Salah. This is the single most important ibaadah out there because its validity defines whether everything else you do in service of Allah matters, or not.

These days, they are a gold mine people. Try to utilize them aki. Fight that urge to get up from sujood, force yourself to recite word by word in that ruku’u, say dhikr everywhere you are and every time you remember to. These are special times, especially to Allah and pleasing Him… Every second counts ya akhy, yaa Ukhty, every second counts, every deed counts. Don’t ignore even the smile you give to your fellow muslim when you meet or to shake hands for your sins fall off as long as you have not retracted your hands. Take that dusty translation quran and read a chapter from juzuu 3ama, give charity, don’t argue with mum, help out dad, fight that urge that makes you want to open that music app or look at those hot and catchy pps, forgive that one who looks at you in that weird manner, it’s usually the small things, and they are shaytaan’s traps, don’t fall in, if you do, get straight back out and take this chance that only comes once in every allowed year.

Oh yeah, and do one good right here but sharing this to fellow Muslim friends and relatives. In shaa Allah you too will get a reward for that. Ameen.

Photo Courtesy: http://www.leonlogothetis.com/

Kindness is one of the most invaluable qualities anyone could have. It is a rare quality and that’s why the Swahili say ‘kutoa ni moyo’ to mean giving (charity) needs a big heart. Clearly, not everyone has this quality for there are very rich individuals but are very mean while there are people with humble backgrounds but still give the little much they have. So today, we are going to celebrate all the people who give; however small or big, whatever or however you do it…you are one of the living legends

Have you ever passed by those many small street kids in town with their torn and untidy clothes and they timidly follow you to ask for some cash or some food? They are so many especially behind posta area and one would get even confused whom to give and whom not to but if you gave out even if it was your ten shilling coin, then do know you have done a great thing. You may assume that ten shillings is very little but never underestimate the value of what you give in charity. Just imagine the smile on that child or person at the street there and the immediate thanks that follows you by them; isn’t that a great blessing indeed?

Right now, our country is undergoing an economic crisis and the citizens are always the ones to suffer. We are all tied up in problems of our own but there are those few individuals who would go one step further and stretch their hand to the less fortunate. They would go visit the sick with maybe a packet of milk and bread, or maybe they would collect some old un needed but still good clothes and give them out in charity to some orphans somewhere, they would share some food with the hungry neighbour…and the list goes on. Sometimes, it is these small things that we do that actually create the deeper happiness in our lives.

School fees have always been a deep agony to many parents and guardians and they have to run up and down from place to place in search of that one big heart that would help without hesitation or embarrassing the one seeking their help. How many times have we seen people seeking help from prominent people who would make them wait for hours and hours before dismissing them empty handed, but yet still, in every ten, we don’t miss that one humane being that can create all the difference in your life.

Charity has never required anyone to be extra ordinarily rich and sometimes you don’t need money at all. As Lao Tzu said, ‘kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.’ Sometimes, all you have to do is give a smile to your fellow brother, make someone laugh, remove a harmful object from people’s way, visit the sick and orphans, be humble in your words and all these actions could be termed as kindness for kind of effect they have on people. With all that you do in kindness, never expect anything in return but who knows what the future holds? You might need help one time in your life and someone else would offer you kindness just as you did to others because charity and kindness never goes a waste!

A word of inspiration to us all is that ‘beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to die by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.” (Og Mandino)

So let’s all take a minute today to thank and pray and show gratitude to all the groups that are tirelessly working to offer charity and kindness to the less fortunate and all the new groups that are doing a very well done job to the society, the few prominent people with humanity, to those who are supporting children with their school fees, those who are doing a wonderful job of maintaining our graveyards, going to hospital and giving fruits to all the patients in a huge hospital like coast general, amongst many other charity activities that they do. And to you who spreads love with any way of kindness to the less fortunate even if it is by that smile or your twenty shillings and individuals who are so many I can’t personally write them down; for the list goes on and on…you are our heroes! I salute you all!

The village elder of Mtopanga area by the name of Mwanajuma Suleiman has a story yet to be told. She runs an orphanage with a total number of 38 children;18 boys and 20 girls whereby the oldest child is Hussein who is 21 years and the youngest is Mwanajuma who is just 3 and a half years. The children live in a house that is just temporarily given to them but the owner may come claim his house any time. The children don’t have the priviledge to go to school and only obtain education from the teaching trainees who come and volunteer to teach them. Mwanajuma explains that the children are from different parts as far as Tana river. The classrooms are turned into bedrooms at night where the 18 boys stay. The girls are taken by Mwanajuma to her house where they sleep with her family. The state of the house is sympathetic and Mwanajuma can’t do anything about it since she only depends on good Samaritans to support her in feeding and clothing the children. Mwanajuma is doing a noble job as a leader and deserves to be imitated by the more well off leaders. To contact Bi Mwanajuma or send your contribution or help,you may get her through this number: 0729020972