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

People who know me very well know two truths about me. One is that food and I don’t get along. Truth number two, food and I can’t really stay apart. We tend to have this love-hate relationship that never ends. You know, like Tom and Jerry? So most of the times it would roll out like this.

Me: “Aarghh, I’m starviingg” or “Yeepyyy can’t wait to have my delicious food!”

Two minutes into eating: “Really food? Really? All that joy, excitement, tears, anticipation and blood sacrifice yet this is all you offer?!! You and I are soo done!”

Also me: (every two hours) “I need you food 🙁 ” (There should have been the kermit meme image over here lol)

So automatically, truth number three is that fasting is my hardest ibadah.

Just the other day (4th of Ramadhan) I was walking in town headed home from work with a tiny flower between my fingers. So I was swirling it playfully, my mind so far deep in thoughts it took me time to realize there was an elderly man looking at me right ahead. He was in his traditional Swahili clothing of kikoi, shirt and kofia and he was looking into my face with such scrunity. I thought perhaps he is mistaking me for someone else so I went ahead and said the salam.
“Saumu inkushika?” He said, still giving me a concerned look. I just laughed it off and went on walking but I could still hear his voice behind me, “Saumu inkushika eh?! Nakuona…nakuona vile inkushika” *Face palm* I know right? And I just happen to be this frequent victim of having awkward embarrassing moments with strangers. But that’s a story for another day. Back to fasting…

Due to how much fasting drains me, at work and even at home, I always get comments like, “Can you walk? Lest you fall on the way.”
“Can you do this? Can you carry this?”
So every Ramadhan I’m subconsciously fully prepared to such teasing. Yet Ramadhan is still the best time for me.

You know, you walk around and see Muslims and you can greet each other, smile with that look like, ‘We know each other’s ‘suffering’ (not per say, but you know what I mean :p ) or like we are one people, we are partners in crime, something of the sort. The Ramadhan ambiance is special and it does feel so. Food stalls all over the streets during the evenings, people sending the kids to take a plate of goodies to the other neighbour and the other neighbour takes to the other and when known to be an awful cook, your food just seems to go in circles; forever trying to get a ‘mstiri’. Taraweh, tahajjud…the list is endless.

It’s that time where our mango trees produce in abundance. My mum would fill the bucket with mangoes and ask my brother to take to our neighbours. I would hear my dad get excited, reminding my brother of which neighbours to NOT miss. I would be standing there half-thrilled half-sorry that I am not the one to do that. You know, introvert problems? Mum would ensure to spice it up; ‘Ukigonga kila mlango, give them the mangoes then say Ramadhan kareem’ 😀 My brother puts on his kofia and sets out to knock doors. Then with a sigh and a smile, “I wish all year was Ramadhan.”

Muslims walking around just before Maghrib, sharing dates and water to fellow Muslims on the way. Some stranger passing dates to you to the back seat of a public vehicle so you can break your fast. I mean, any other random day we would probably pass by one another and I would mumble salaam and I wouldn’t even get a response or perhaps you’d mumble back or vice versa. But then Ramadhan, we have something making all of us familiar to one another such that we can strike random conversations with strangers on the way.

I am super delighted of how humanity is at its peak. We remember the orphans, the old, the sick…we remember to pray, to be more gentle, to read qur’an a lot, to hold back our insults, to donate, to forgive and most importantly, work on ourselves.

For me, besides it being the time for more Ibadah, Ramadhan is a time for me to work on my inner self. Get the peace of mind. Submit totally to Allah. And this is something many take for granted; our inner health. How composed are we to life? How much at peace are we with our fate? How much do we actually and sincerely talk to Allah? This is the time. It is my time to unleash my heart to Allah. It is my time to be a better human being not just for this month but for the rest of the year.

And as much as fasting is hard for me, Ramadhan has meant progress for me. I remember a time I would really admire people who could fast Monday and Thursday, Ayamil bayth or sitta min shawwal simply because I couldn’t do it. But then with every coming of Ramadhan, I tried more sunnah fasts and I keep trying over and over again. My biggest push has always been the thought that ‘If this is hard for me, then the rewards will definitely be more’ and that remains my motto as I keep trying.

Ramadhan means a lot of things to me; it means kindness, love and compassion. It means submission, forgiveness and willpower. It means struggle, endurance and success. Ramadhan means a lot to me. What about you? What does it mean to you??


 

On another note, my partner and I are embarking on another business journey, the branding of strokes of my pen. So alhamdulilah we have the first bunch of shirts out. We kindly ask for your support. Besides that, 10% of each shirt goes to Ahmad, a young boy who is undergoing kidney dialysis treatment yet he has a large outstanding balance at Pandya hospital to pay. If not the shirt then you can always mpesa their family directly (no. shown in image).Remember your reward is multiplied in this month so don’t hesitate to support in any little way in shaa Allah.

 

For the shirts, they come in colours of black, white, blue, grey and yellow. For more info: contact us via this no: 0734 201 665 or view our page: https://www.facebook.com/simplex.styles/. More is to come biidhnillah!

P.S. Please remember me in your duas! Whatever you pray for me, may you get just that a thousand more times. Ameen! Ramadhan Mubarak!

Because kindness is our only sword to save humanity, here are 13 tiny tales on random acts of kindness…

1. “One evening I was home and was going through my contacts. I saw the name of a woman who used to come at our place for help I just asked myself “You can help this woman by sending a small amount maybe she needs it now.” I did send her some money and I called her to say hi and tell her that I sent something for her. Imagine I couldn’t believe that amount could mean so much to her. She told me her baby was sick and they had nothing to eat at home. That night I cried so much coz of happiness.And I was crying that day coz i got the chance to make someone happy😥😥😥😥😥😥❤ it means the world to see someone happy and crying because of you…”

2. “This one day it was ramadhan… 3 kids came asking for food but there wasn’t anything…so mama wanted to give them food but only a small amount had remained and wouldn’t be enough for all three. Plus he had kept the food aside for my young nephew. My nephew was there so he told mum “I’ll eat with them but right now I am not even hungry. When they come again just give them the food I will fast.”

3. “Back in my madrasa days, there was this ustadh of ours who used to walk from likoni to kibokoni to teach us. He wasn’t well off compared to other teachers but he was the most sweet and helpful of them all. He used to care for us, motivate us,teach us about good morals. So I used to put my break time money in his pocket without him knowing.I did it for weeks I guess unfortunately he caught me one day and asked me, “why you doing this?” I just said “you need it more than I do ustadh.” He just told me you don’t have to do that. You need to eat so that you can grow. He is one of my heroes…

4. “When I was young I had a homeless kid as my best friend. I used to share food with him, play with him, i used to take him home and shower. We didn’t have much back then but I used to share my plate with him. Whenever I go to school I used to take anjera to him under the masjid stairs where he used to live. I used to cry every evening when my mum calls me back home because I loved him and I felt helpless at that time. He was my friend and I couldn’t do anything for him. One day he just got lost.It broke my heart.I mean I don’t know where he went. He wasn’t there under the masjid stairs… We used to dream together. When I came from Madrasa he used to wait for me downstairs then we’d go to the beach just to swim and chill and talk. He wanted to be a pilot and i wanted to own the plane.”

5. “There is that time a classmate was stressing over school fees. He missed out on bursary that term and if he didn’t come up with 10k he couldn’t do the exams. I had 1k in my pocket. You know what I did? That evening when everyone was going home I stood in front them at the gate and pleaded for their help. I was so nervous but everyone was helpful. We managed to come up with 10k. It was amazing.”

6. “I had a close friend; a bit younger than me, but I liked her and considered her like my baby sister… we’d talk quite often. Then came a time we just drifted apart and I couldn’t get to her. She had changed her number I guess. So many moths later, I came to understand of the reason why she’d cut me off (which was actually something beyond both of us). I really cried that day because it was not worth it. I was hurt but then I decided I won’t let my ego take charge. I was going to do something for her which in turn would give me peace in both my heart and soul. I tracked down her new number and sent her an anonymous gift via another friend and we made sure it could never link back to me. Alongside the gift, I wrote a few tiny notes, just motivational ones on life and all for her. Another friend of mine told me of how she had met her on that same day she received the gift and how much she had really cried and said, “she needed to hear those words”. A few days after I sent the gift, she contacted me. I was worried she had found out that I was the one who had sent the gift but that was not the case. She said she had dreamt of me and that I’ve been in her mind lately. So we talked a bit. She contacted me a few days later and we had a longer conversation. She wanted us to be friends like before…and that’s when I mentioned that the gift was from me…I swear her reaction was priceless” (Below is the second party’s version)

7. “It is normal to feel down, lost, unwanted and rejected…well that’s what I was feeling for couple of days until this day when I got a call from some place that I had a parcel.I couldn’t make it that moment so it was a later thing .I went to pick it up.It was a gift from someone I didn’t know who that time, a pair of shoes and pieces of notes that meant world to me. I couldn’t help it, curiosity was at maximum, I read the notes and opened the gift inside the matatu. I cried all the way, I was touched.I was so much thankful, in one way or the other I didn’t expect it from the actual sender,because of some broken issues but there, Alhamdulilah I was really consoled.”

8. “So I was going to Eastleigh with some friends of mine. When we got into the mat, we noticed, every time young school children would come into the mat, they would walk straight to a post to stand and hold on tight. And we started asking each other why they were just standing around the matatu..so I called one of them over and asked why he was standing, and he said he has no fare. And I was shocked. The Eastleigh conductors let kids get on the matatus to get home free of charge, provided they stand though. Although this was nice of them, they didn’t really sit well considering how rough these “manyangas” get driven. Standing in one as an adult is a struggle in itself. So I told all the kids to sit and I would pay for them.When they were getting off, one of them said thank you to me and I honestly felt so nice…”

9. “So two years ago, I lost my scholarship. You can imagine, it was a stressful and depressing moment of my life. It was not just about losing my scholarship but also failing in my studies. It brought a lot of doubts in my head. I could not tell people at home and I seriously had no idea what to do. During those trying moments, four of the many friends I have were really there for me. They put up with my awful moods, my attitude… they encouraged me and help stand up again. I was financially disable and because I did not had the courage to tell people at home what was happening, they took it upon themselves to make sure I have my basic needs, got pocket money and I was having fun. At the same time, one of them held a harambee for my fees for that semester, $750 anonymously. And when I last got the courage to talk to my family about it, they were there and made sure I was okay. If it were not for them, I would have killed myself or worse, stop pursuing my dreams. But they believed in me, and found ways to make me believe in me. I can’t repay them for that and what they continue to do for me to date; but Allah is the Just…am sure He will pay them Justly, thus I pray for that.”

10. “My mother has always been my biggest inspiration to kindness (and maybe this is why parents should really take note on what their children pick from them)…She has done a lot (may Allah reward her with jannah) but one story still touches my heart deeply. A long time ago, we had a male house help. My mother helped him revert to Islam and taught him about Islam. So after some years working with us, his sister dies, leaving two orphans; young boys. So everyday, the house help would come home with them because they didn’t have someone to take care of them except their old grandma. My mum enrolled them into madrasa and after classes he would sit and teach them or let them play around. A time came, the house help left without notice or goodbye. Maybe for greener pastures. But so, the two boys were used to coming home so they’d still come. My mum never told them not to come again since their uncle had done a mistake. She went on to teach them and taking them to madrasa and in the evening they’d go to their grandma. Years later, the house help came back and apologized. He said, “Everywhere I go, I realize there is no human like you. I kept talking about how good you are to all my bosses until they wanted to know who you are. I can never forget how you took care of my nephews despite me leaving without any communication. And if there is any person I can predict paradise for them then it’s you…” To date, the house help still comes back home. He goes to work in other places but he always found his way back home. Oh yeah, and he still has the mashaf (qur’an) mum gave him when he first converted. And he repeats this too many times, “Mum, I can never forget your kindness…”

11. “One day, just after sunset, a boy went out to buy some groceries for his mum. That day’s order though could only be found at the grocery stores near the boarding stage, a fairly distant place. It was on a weekend so most of the grocery shops were closed and the ones that weren’t, we’re out of stock.
“Great. Just great” he thought to himself

After a fruitless search, he was left with a final try that he’d give up after. It was a sizable grocer that stood on the edge of the road a few minutes in from the stage. It was next to a charcoal supply shop characterized by the mixture of finely and pebble sized charcoal spread over that whole section of the road. The grocery’s light illuminated it’s front side just enough to see the set of rigid bricks meant to be the stairs.

As he got closer to the shop, he saw a white figure amidst the sea of ground charcoal. It was curled up into a small shape. People were barely missing their footing on it. A Boda Boda then rode passed it almost running it over. It was a kitten. He walked for the shop and threw his eyes at it once more. It was scared, eyes wide open with fear, frozen, as he watched it exist motionless among the numerous feet and exclamations of passersby and the horns of speedy motorbikes
He walked to the shop. A relief for they had the last batch of his order. He bought in smiles. He also bought a batch of Omena. He took his change and walked back to the kitten. He opened a bag and poured almost all of it just at the edge of the road, called the kitten in that common tongue noise and watched as the life flow back into it, as the fear in its eyes being replaced with wonder, slowly it moved towards the pile of raw fish and pounced at it with gratifying hunger.
He smiled thinking what the kitten must have been thinking at that moment. He fed every cat he saw on his way back that night and left just enough of the batch for those cats that always find their way to their compound. They ate gracefully as well..”

12. “There was this one time I was going to Nairobi just for a day to get some of my things at a friend’s house. But it turned out that he was in Mombasa so I couldn’t stay at his place (he was living at his aunt’s in Nairobi). So he told his other friend (who is also my friend) to receive me. So he calls me and says he’d be my host. I arrive in Nairobi at some minutes past 5 in the morning. It’s cold. And he comes with a taxi. We greet each other and ask how we’ve been (it was a while since I last saw him). Anyway, he’s like “you know, I won’t take you to my room. Let’s go to a hotel.” I was like “okay!😄” and the taxi drops us off at Eastleigh where we start walking around looking for a hotel. It was still dark and we are alone so I was slightly apprehensive.

All of the hotels were fully booked, I was kinda bummed out coz I was becoming tired and dragging that luggage was becoming a pain. But we finally found a room, it was just from being checked out and we had to wait for 20 minutes for it to be cleaned out for us. But it was kinda expensive (for a student). My friend had to pay 5k for one night. So I was kinda worried and said “dude are you sure? If it’s gonna inconvenience you it’s okay we can just stay at your messy room” And he said, “I’m doing this for the sake of Allah. I believe that if I spend it on others in a good way, He’ll give me more in return” Naturally I was touched by this, so I agreed and made a silent prayer for him that he succeeds in this life and the next. We spent the day roaming around town while he treated me to lunch. It was a really good day, and I promised myself that I would never forget his kindness and that I would repay him somehow in the future. The hotel is called regent hotel or something. It was really really nice. The room had dstv and all that. Plus it was big; Double bed room. Weh I felt like a prince. I keep remembering him. Still haven’t come round to making it up to him. But I pray for him well.”

13. “There was a time at my workplace, an old man came by to have his phone checked for repair. So I usually work upstairs and it was only by chance I came down and saw him standing; confused. He was really old, frail and weak. So I asked him what he needed and he said he wanted his phone repaired soonest, that he needed it immediately if possible because he was sick and some relatives kept sending him some money to help him around. I took the phone and handed it to the one in charge, who agreed to check it out immediately. After the phone was repaired, I took it to the old man who was really relieved. I then gave him 1k and told him, “I hope this helps you…” The man was really really grateful. He said lots of prayers for me then left and I thought that was the end of the story.

The next day, he came to the office again, but since I was upstairs and didn’t know my name, he couldn’t find me. He tried asking about me but my workmates didn’t understand whom he was talking about. The following day he came once again and my workmate decided to ask me if I knew the old man. Going downstairs, it was him. He said he came to thank me once again. That from the money I gave him he got to book a ticket to Kisumu, back to his family. He asked for my number and promised to send me omena and unga from there. He then said, “Because of what you’ve done i’ll become a Muslim.”I just thought it was a by the way but when he got there he did call me to say he arrived safely. After a few days he called again just to greet me. Then on another day, his son was the one who called to say that his father was in hospital and had requested to talk to me. We talked and his voice seemed so frail and weak.

A few days later, fajr time I received a call from his son; the old man had passed away. But he had left a message for me. That he wants to be buried in a plain white cloth without the coffin (sanda). I asked his son, “Had he converted to Islam?” He said, “There was a time he requested that we bring a sheikh to him, so there is that probability.” I decided to ask the son to go to the nearest mosque and let me talk to the imam, of which I did and we had arrangements that he is buried in Islam. Even after his death, his family members called, thanked me and still wanted to send me the omena and unga as promised by the old man but I didn’t see the need so I rejected politely. Nonetheless, I really hope that the man did indeed die a Muslim…”

Dear You…If you can’t find any good in this world, then be the one to do it. It doesn’t have to be ‘Mahatma Gandhi’ or ‘Maria Theresa’ big, it just has to be sincere. Do good to people. Try everyday. Make it a habit. A routine. Be kind. Be kind again and again. Making a difference in just one life is invaluable so never underestimate the effect of your actions and words.

Great appreciation to those who sent in their tales. God bless you…

You are welcome to comment any other stories of kindness below here 😉

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://cbsnews2.cbsistatic.com/

WARNING: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS VERY DISTURBING CONTENT

For those who know me well enough, they’d tell you you’d rarely see me in the middle of a crowd. It makes my head spin. In any event or occasion i’d either be within the two/three rows and most probably at the side-end of the line. It is always easier to get away you know. The nearer to the door, the better. So yesterday I was at the Iqra Youth foundation seminar and they had us to follow the lines. I ended up right at the middle of the third line. So before the event started, we had almost two hours. There were some nasheeds being played. One of the songs was one of the songs my late Mama two loved. Immediately upon hearing it, I could feel her face right in front of me. The memories, the laughter, her jokes…I started crying. I thought it would just a be a tear or two but then it almost became like an outburst of a spring. I was nervously and anxiously searching for my handkerchief in my bag with my head bowed so down almost getting buried in the bag. Obviously I didn’t want anyone see me cry. It was too early in the morning for anyone to be seen crying. I could’t find my hanky so I just used my hijab to wipe the over-streaming tears. My younger sister was seated next to me, I could see how deep in thoughts she was. I guessed that she probably was thinking about her too but no, I wasn’t about to let her see me in tears and make her cry too. I am the older sister remember? In that roller coaster of thoughts, my mind replayed all those depressing videos I had seen the previous night of Aleppo. I started crying even more. Here I am crying for losing one important person what about them?! Losing everything all at once; homes, schools, hospitals, families…Seeing your sisters being gang raped right in front of their eyes…God! It made me feel miserable. The helplessness, the burning feeling…God knows how many times I kept my head bowed down in my bag, pretending to still be searching for the hanky. Looking behind after every two minutes to check whether my best friend had arrived to my rescue. My head was spinning, I could hear the laughter around, people busy chattering away, heads bowed down to their phones with no easy exit to the washroom so I stayed put, had a monologue trying to stay calm while taking deep breaths. God knows how many times I’ve wanted to disappear in such situations; be invisible, dissipate totally if possible. That is what helplessness does to us. Makes one angry, stressed, sad, frustrated all at the same time. It makes one question humanity, question God, question so many things…

This is perhaps one of the worst times to live in, one of the worst centuries to exist in. You see the humanity burn away into ashes. You see misery. You see rivers of blood flowing in a river-less town. You see children being tortured. You see women being raped. You witness a lot while you can do NOTHING about it. NOTHING.

But then this isn’t about Aleppo or Syria only. This is not about religion, race or politics. It is about the lives of innocent people. This is about Yemen, Palestine, Burma and many MANY other places around the world. It is about humanity. It is about the universe.

They cry, they scream, they die. They are calling unto us? Where are we?! Where are we in helping them? As much as we keep tweeting, updating, blogging, instagraming about them, we have to REALLY ACTUALLY LITERALLY pray for them. Let us not just say, ‘let us pray for them.’ We need to take action NOW! We need to organize protests. We need to organize tahajjud for prayers for the whole world. We need to go back to Allah because He? He is the only one who can help them.

I am not trying to torture you too with these videos. I hope you can see the importance of your prayers and protests at this moment, to see the blessings in your life that you barely thank God for…to see how much privileged you are. Alhamdulilah ala kul hal.

Take heart people. God is seeing this all. He is watching and He is preparing great reward for all these people. Take heart that God has a greater plan. That He is still in control; always has been, always will be. Let’s all turn towards Him. Let’s complain to Him. Let us beg Him. Let us PRAY PRAY PRAY! Let us pray for the sake of all those who are gone and those still clutching onto the feeble straws 🙁

Ameen thumma ameen! ;(

Photo Courtesy: pinterest.com

I remember a day just a few weeks ago, I was walking around Makadara Old town with my close friend Amina, when all of a sudden the man right in front of us fell down. He started having fits and convulsions before he became unconscious. We both freaked out of course and we had a second of shock before we thought of doing anything. His fits seemed like he was an epileptic but he didn’t produce any saliva like I have seen it ooze out of my sister’s mouth.

See my sister is epileptic but in that moment I just froze and my mind went blank. I totally had no idea what to do yet I have the experience doing first aid for an epileptic. When the shock sank in, I ran to a chemist nearby to get help while Amina picked up the man’s belongings that were scattered.

I couldn’t get any help from the Pharmacists. So I rushed back. People had started gathering. Everyone with their own theory of what to do so he can recover.

“Mnusishe ufunguo.” (Let him smell keys)

“Mnusishe upande wa chini wa kiatu.” (Let him smell the bottom side of the shoe.

There was a biology teacher nearby. He asked the people to space out before saying that epileptics can’t be helped in that situation. They are left to regain their consciousness.

Every kind of people stood and had a peep at him. Some questioned what was happening while others just looked and disappeared. We still stood there; me and Amina. And it was while we were waiting for the man to gain consciousness I remembered my sister. I imagined how it would be if she ever fell down on the way. Will she get someone like Amina to hold her things until she wakes up? Will she get someone to raise her head and turn her back and cover her well? My heart was in a pinch now and I was holding myself so hard not to break down. But then my brother in law appeared (the husband to my epileptic sister), and you know, usually when you see a familiar face in such a situation it’s like “at last someone to understand what I am feeling”. So I just let it out and started crying. Mind you, I was crying in front of a crowd of people. So the attention shifted for a moment.

“Why is she crying?” They started asking. My brother in law pulled me aside and I quickly rubbed off my tears and put on a smile. He left and I went back to where the man was lying.

Slowly, we watched as he regained consciousness. I went on my knees and questioned him his name and whether he remembers what has jut happened. From experience, there were times she couldn’t even recognize my mother until moments later.

The man told us his name and gave us his relative’s phone number to call. A lady gave me her phone to make the call.

“Are you so and so?”

“Yes. Do you know so and so?”

“Why?”

“He mentioned you to be his uncle. Do you know him?”

“No this is wrong number.”

“Wait…aren’t you so and so?”

“I am but as I told you I don’t know the person.” The line went dead.

“He says he doesn’t know you,” I told the man.

“We are not in very good terms that’s why.”

“Any other relative we can call?”

“My cousin but he doesn’t have a phone at the moment.”

We all sighed. This is going to be tricky to deal with.

The same lady who gave me the phone to make the call went and bought the man some water and glucose. Another male student seemingly going to college stopped by and offered to help too. The biology teacher was still standing there and Amina was still holding the man’s belongings, tears in her eyes.

“So how can we help him? He can’t leave like this.”

I knelt down again.

“Do you have epilepsy?”

“No I went to the hospital the other day and I was told Malaria has gotten to the brain…and thus the convulsions.” He slowly removed a hospital subscription and then showed me ARV’s.

“I am coming from my uncle’s.place to ask for help to buy the medicines required and I was heading to another place to ask for help too.”

A Barawa man or perhaps he was a Somali quickly asked me, “He needs money for hospital?”

I nodded.

“Please come with me to my shop I will give you the money.”

The hospital prescription was written that he was referred to Coast general and he needed malaria tablets worth 2000. I stared at the amount with puzzlement. 2000/= for malaria tabs? Or is it because he has Aids? Doesn’t make sense. I still went with the Barawa guy to his shop and gave me the two thousand shillings. I thanked him and rushed to Kisima Chemist.

I quickly told the story to the Pharmacist and showed him the prescription. His next words shattered me…

“That man…he is lying. There is no prescription that can be written for malaria tabs worth 2000. Plus if he has been referred to Coast general he should be there instead of taking malaria tabs worth 2K”

“I thought so too…but…but he can’t be lying. He fell down right in front of me. I saw him get the fits. How he gained consciousness.”

“Ma’am…we have seen a lot here. People go to far extents to make money from people. He must have used a substance that triggered the fall and the fits. They usually point out targets and then do the act.”

I was speechless. Shocked. Pertubed.

Does this mean this man had actually targeted me and Amina as potential naive souls to believe his drama?

“Now what should I do? Someone just gave me 2000 to buy the guy medicines. I don’t even know his name. How can I return it?”

“Listen… if you want to buy malaria tablets worth 2000 then I will give you…but if you really want to help this guy take him to hospital. You will know the truth from there”

The pharmacist turned to the next customer as I stood still. I replayed the whole scene.

It was just Amina and I behind that man. No one close by. I remember how fast he showed me his ARV’s and the prescription and how he told his story of needing funds…Oh my…

Amina interrupted my thoughts.

“Oh I finally found you. The man was saying he knows a place he can buy the medicines at a cheaper price.”

I told her what the pharmacist had just said.

“Anyway let’s just assume he is being honest…in any case we haven’t lost anything.”

“Well yeah but if he is lying then we have lost our tears and my head is drumming and I am late for work. Both of us are late to work…” I said.

As we approached the man again, the crowd had dispersed. Remaining was just the fallen guy, the biology teacher and Amina’s mum who had come after Amina called her.

We took Amina’s mum aside and explained what we were told. The shock never seized appearing on our faces.

“We can’t exactly know though. Maybe he is sick after all. Let’s just give him benefit of doubt…”

Amina’s mum approached the man and asked him,

“Should we take you to Coast general? Won’t it be better if we took you there?”

“Mmh yeah…” he hesitated, “but let me relax first.”

Amina’s mum told us they will try questioning him before giving him the 2K. So Amina and I left while Amina’s mum and the biology teacher went with him to a small cafe to buy him lunch and question him too…

 

It’s been quite a while since that incident but I have never been able to digest it. Every time I pass by that spot I remember how that man fell down. And whenever I do, I feel disappointed and sometimes; stupid.

Amina later on told me that her mum told the man that if he is genuine then may God help him and if he lying then God is there too to grant him what he deserves, before giving him the money.

When I told my family what happened that day, my dad and brother told me I should stop being naive.

But then this isn’t about me alone. There was the lady who bought water and glucose for the guy, who gave out her phone to make calls, there was Amina who went to a further extent of calling her mom, who also had to leave her job place to come help this guy, there was the biology teacher, the college boy, the Barawa guy who gave out his money…Sometimes I wonder if they ever heard the Pharmacists words what would they say? Or feel? Or perhaps how would it change their perspective to humanity and humans? True, sometimes humans don’t deserve humanity…

We complain of how humanity has died but there are so many good people out there. But it is still us humans who kill the remaining perks of faith that we have in humanity. Again and again, we have broken the trust and the chains connecting us. I remember another friend once told me of how someone orchestrated their own death and went to an extra mile of letting out photos to prove the death. Only for the family to find out it was a huge lie in the name of revenge for a fight that happened. Tell me, who does that? Put your own family through such kind of pain cause of a fight?

This is how when someone calls wolf…we are barely ever going to believe it anymore. Because we have reduced humanity into nothing by just putting up an award winning drama. This is how to kill humanity in a moment….

P.S My intention in writing this story is to not show what I did or what my friend did or what others did. Far from it, this can serve a lesson for those who believe what they see easily. You need to be alert out there. We have cons and real psychos out there. You need to be careful…And that there are so many kind people ready to help but we are the ones who break them by killing the little left humanity in them…

Nonetheless, may God bless every single kind soul that helped out that day and every other day. They are the only hope we have in humanity.

I always wanted to be a doctor, a pediatrician to be precise. That was my childhood dream and I grew up admiring the white coat and the stethoscope on the neck. I wanted to save lives. I wanted to make a difference in children’s lives. But isn’t that what many, if not all of us, grew up dreaming of?

We grew up being fed with the information that being a doctor is being a hero. Being a star more than superman or spiderman. It meant changing the world. We grew up watching series like ER, Grey’s anatomy, Scrubs, The mob doctors, House…and the list is endless… and we knew for sure this is it. This is what I want to become. Well, for me, that was before reality hit me hard and I hard to divorce the science and math world. Even so, I never really stop feeling nostalgic of my childhood dream. I would have had fun playing around with crying babies in the hospital oh without forgetting singing and dancing nursery rhymes lol is that even real? Whom am I kidding? 😁

Going back to history when we didn’t have all these pills, machines and vaccines, even then, the herbalists were highly regarded. They were close to the king’s status. They were honoured and considered noble. Therefore it is no big surprise that more than 50% of the parents in the world want their children to be doctors. Doesn’t matter if it is a surgeon, a cardiologist, neurologist, psychiatrist, pharmacist, dermatologist, radiologist, dentist…you name it. So long as we have the ‘st’ at the end of the word then we good to go right?

We will all agree that the job done by doctors is a sacrifice that very few can actually take up to. Working over 24 hours, lacking sleep, operating for almost an entire day, dozing on the benches, missing out A LOT on family events and hanging out with friends…The course itself is too tiresome and going over a long period of time. It takes a lot of hard work, passion, dedication, energy, oh and college money to actually work it through. Perhaps this is exactly why they really deserve to be our heroes. But then the course of things in the medicine world started changing when doctors shifted their focus from the heart to the pocket. Doctors; is it by soul or by the money? This is where we got it all wrong. When our heroes valued the money more than humanity.

I usually wonder sometimes when I see very poor people getting really sick, I wonder, how do they get through to get their medication? Of course God doesn’t neglect anyone. He always brings ways for us during our hard times but apart from that, how do they survive? I mean, seeing a specialist of any kind let’s say neurologist or cardiologist costs one almost four thousand, five thousand, for just an appointment with the doctor. Just to look at his face and hear his golden words. No, don’t get me wrong. Yes, these doctors very well deserve it. It is their hard work. It is their hard earned money but this disqualifies them from being our heroes any longer. And this is how poor people die miserably in their homes because have you ever thought what this four/five…ten thousand is for them? That could be their entire salary. That could be the food plus school fees plus rent plus water for the whole month. That could be a fortune for them. And then that is not all. After that you tell this same person in a something that looks like a clothe because it can’t even be regarded as a clothe. It is similar but it is not. It is rags, they are in torn shoes and have rough sore hands. You tell this same person to make almost four tests which would cost them maybe another two thousand without forgetting the medication that would also cost them another fortune. What are you tying to tell them? Go away? Because of course you are chasing them away with your prices. You are indirectly telling them ‘you deserve to die miserably because you can’t afford to see me’. It is telling them ‘this is not your place to be’.

This is how we see poor souls crowding in Coast general and many other public hospitals desperately trying to get help. Anxiously waiting for the time when doctors would leave their private hospitals to come have a peep at them in the public hospitals. This is how nurses treat them like ‘you ain’t gonna tell me nothing. You are just here by our mercy’and treat them worse than the street dogs. They still come though. What should they do? This is the only place they can find a little bit of humanity left. So they wake up while the world is still dark and quiet, rush to the hospital to be the first in line and then wait and wait and wait for hours before the honourable doctor walks in to serve them. You see the fatigue, the helplessness, the anxiousness, the sickness on their faces all at once. What happened to our heroes?

But I will tell you this, although many doctors became what they became so as to acquire their current bank balance, there are some who continue being legends of our times. There are some who have put humanity at the front before money.

There is a doctor in our neighbourhood who is so kind; so humane that you would just be amazed by his nature. He works with his wife in their private clinic and over the years I saw this doctor not charging a shilling to patients whom he wasn’t able to establish their illnesses. He doesn’t charge the patients before but after. If he couldn’t assist you or if he just asked you to do a few tests he doesn’t charge you for talking to him.
I have seen him treating poor people several times free of charge. He sometimes even gives the medicines free of charge. He treats others on credit when they request so. I have seen him showing utmost kindness to his patients and I swear I am a witness to how much he and his wife prospered over the years. They opened their own maternity clinic which also keeps expanding with time. I have seen how God blessed him and his family. And it makes me think, if we just had a few more private doctors who served their communities whole-heartedly and with humbleness, how then would we have over crowded public hospitals with desperate patients crying their souls out for the pain? I am not saying the government is not to blame for not establishing more and proper medical institutions for the less advantaged communities but let’s accept it; we can always do better when we stand for humanity; when we support and help each other.

If you are a doctor and reading this, this is a challenge for you. Are you really the hero you claimed to be? Are you satisfied and proud by how you have held that title of a ‘doctor’? Are you a doctor by the soul or by the pocket??

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If you see a person depressed, a person hungry, a person crying in pain, a person who is homeless, a person suffering what happens to you? What is it that happens to your heart? When you see a Muslim drinking alcohol, a lady walking half naked or in tight clothing with full make up, a child cursing and using swear words, when you commit a sin what happens to you?? Do you feel the pinch in your heart or do you just throw your arms and say ‘I don’t care. It’s none of my business?’ Do you feel the urge to help or would you rather say, ‘ I have my own problems?’ Sweetheart, if you don’t feel it; if you don’t feel the ‘ouch’ and the pinch or the burn in your stomach then do know, there is something really wrong with you.

The word imaan can be used in different concepts. One could be used to describe faith but the one I mean here is the one on mercy or rather, having pity; being humane. When all you care about is you and yourself, If all that’s happening in the world; all this bloodshed, refugees, hunger, suffering does not move anything in your heart, if it has become okay and very normal to see fellow Muslims go astray, if your own sins no longer bother you then maybe you should really reflect on what your life and living is really like.

The prophet p.b.u.h said: whoever amongst you sees some evil/wrongdoing then he should change it with his hand, if he can’t then he should stop the evil by his tongue and if he can’t then he should do it within his heart (by hating it) and that is the lowest level of imaan. So where is your imaan? Where is your hatred for evil? Where is your mercy on other mankind? What if that homeless was your child? What if that girl gone bad is your sister? What if that person crying for help was your own mother? What if the boy not praying was your brother? Would it change? Would you now feel the pinch in your heart?

Truth is that we will always care about the people dearest to us but as we continue living while ignoring all that happens to everyone else then eventually we even lose the little imaan that we have.

Small things like how you treat your house help so badly, how you compliment the girl in her wrong clothing, how you sin without repenting, how you insult your neighbour, how you are totally okay even after knowing that your sister is hanging around with some guy out there, how your heart has grown so cold you don’t even realize it, all make a very big difference in your heart. So where is your imaan? Where is your mercy upon fellow mankind? Keep thinking…

Photo Courtesy: Salem_Beliegraphy

 

It has been weeks since Lamu has been under attack and yet till now, insecurity still prevails in the area. Many have died, many have been injured, the rest are all living in fear of when will we be attacked again? Different villages in the area have had threats and have been attacked by unknown terrorists groups while some decided to evacuate the place to run for their lives. But this is not the only place in Kenya facing insecurity. Trailing back in history, Kenya has been in utmost tense atmosphere since the Westgate siege where many died and others injured. Many insecurity cases have followed after that and yet our leaders have had an epic fail in making our country as peaceful as before. While many of our leaders are not taking proper action on getting hold of the people involved, it is the innocent people who face the court for no good reason. Injustice is what is taking over our country and fear too, and it has reached to an extent whereby when we see a van with policemen, our hearts skip a bit; what is happening?Humanity…talking of humanity that barely exists in the present world and I keep wondering where are we heading to? All that is filling our news feed and news rooms are the heart breaking news from all over the world starting with Lamu where every single day news on fresh attacks and threats are reported, of the random unexpected deaths of different people in our country, shootouts, attacks, deaths, the escalating numbers of death tolls and injuries in Gaza in Palestine, the Syria, Nigeria, Lebanon, Iraq, Burma, Afghanistan, CAR and many other countries facing war.

 

The genocide taking place in Gaza at the moment has also brought a lot of angry emotions amongst the citizens of the world as they protest in different areas in the world to stop the Israel government on more attacks on Gaza. There’s a quote by Hitler that caught my attention whereby he said, ‘tomorrow’s history about me will be incorrect. They will call me a dictator and responsible for the genocide of millions of Jews. A day will come, the world will realize what I did was correct. I destroyed 90% of the Jews, and leaving 10% of them for the world to understand why I killed them.’ Seeing this just makes me say, ‘Yes Mr. Hitler, unfortunately, you were right! Because what the Jews are now doing is exactly what you did to them.’ At the moment, Israel government has asked the Palestinians to evacuate their homes and water supply has just been cut off. The photos going viral in all social networks have brought quite a sort of solidarity in many people around the world which is rather impressive. It just shows how humanity can bring rise to unity. Gaza is now under siege with Israel army surrounding them from all corners, they don’t even have weapons. This can’t be termed as war, it is genocide. The neighbouring Arab countries have ignoring the issue and many other leaders around the world too apart from the very few who condemned the mission and call for peace. Nelson Mandela was very right when he said, ‘We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.’

 

It is rather sad and heart breaking, how our leaders only take action and speak up when their selfish needs are involved but then it is upon the citizens of the world, to unite and bring humanity back to life. Don’t just sit and whine about the scratch on your car, the burnt food, the too low shoes, the boring job you have…remember, right at this moment people in places like Lamu, Gaza and many other places in the world have been left homeless, no food, no water, no shoes, no family. We have no right to complain at all!

 

Lets all take a moment from our busy lives to pray for all the oppressed people in the world. Let’s not be posting it in our social media to show the world we are with them yet in the next moment we have already forgotten about them. Its true life has to move on but then let’s not be pretentious to show the world we care yet we don’t. Let’s do this more often; let’s protest, hold hands, cry out to the world, let’s write about it, let’s condemn the attacks but most importantly let’s pray for them. We can’t be there to fight with them or give a hand of help, but we can pray! Let’s take a moment in each of our daily lives to remember them…even when the media doesn’t cover the real suffering. Let’s pray for those we are aware of and even those that we are not aware of. Let’s keep praying again and again. It’s not a matter of religion or blood ties, it is a matter of humanity!