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In many motivational speeches or writings, one thing the speaker or author encourages his/her audience to do is answer this question: “What is my purpose in life?”
It is as simple and complex as it is. The question automatically brings about more question to mind. Like; why am I doing what I’m doing? Is it what I was meant to do? Do i benefit from it? Are my loved ones benefiting from it? Does it make the world a better place? Etcetera etcetera.

But when we come back to the book of Allah, He states clearly;
“And I created not the Jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me (alone)”
When you look at it this way doesn’t it seem easier? Well it does when you look at “worship” only in terms of the five daily prayers, fasting, zakat and hajj. But in addition to the latter there are numerous way of worshipping Allah. Isn’t it in the same Qur’an that Allah reminds us that He has given us minds and challenges us to actually think? That we should go out and explore the world? That we shoud seek knowledge? Thus personally, I define worship as that which pleases Allah. In this way , I easily find my purpose in life and be able to broaden it from the five pillars of islam to much more.

Still, the question is not what is your purpose in life? The real question is why aren’t you after it? If the main reason I am in this world is to please Allah then why am I not doing that?

Fear… it holds us back in achieving our purpose of living. I am not going to be the one to initiate peace between my arguing friends because I fear I might get caught up in the middle of it. I am not going to write the book because I fear they might not like it. I won’t be a public speaker because I fear I might lose my words. I am not going to start that business because I fear the risks and loss that I might encounter…and it goes on and on.

Most of us already know what we ought to be doing in order to please our Creator, to leave behind a great legacy, to create a better world but we let fear prevent us from acting. May be if we start thinking about our purpose in life being directly linked to pleasing our Creator, it will help us fight our fears. At the end of it all, Allah does not look at how great you did what you did, He is more interested in the struggle and intention of your actions. So, stop worrying about being good, being enough or being good enough and just be. Be among those who pleases their Creator.

By: Naima Baghozi

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#7
After visiting their daughter, the parents took Dasi and went back home. They entered their house with real excitement, anticipating the return of their daughter the next day.

Along the way they bought some fruits and whatever they required for the great welcome of their daughter. They could hardly sleep that night with excitement. Very early the following morning they all set out to collect Sahira from the hospital. Upon arrival, she too was so ready waiting for them. All her medicines were packed in a plastic bag while her little belongings were already in her red duffel bag.

After the farewell to the doctor and nurses, they were off on their way home. Sahira couldn’t wait to get home for she had really missed it; however she wondered how she would climb that little flight of stairs. She had quite a surprise when their car stopped at a little rump next to the stairs. Her eyes moistened a bit and knew that her family had really been at work and that the changes she was undergoing, they were too.

Her father helped her out of the car and helped to wheel her over the rump and straight into the house they entered. She immediately noticed all the changes that had been made for her and realized how much love they shared as a family. Her bedroom was the best and of course, this was solely her mother’s work. She was so grateful to both her parents and to her brother for the comforts they have provided her.
The changes were tough for the whole family and it took them a little time to get used to their new lifestyle. But getting used they did and they tried their best to be as comfortable and happy as could be.

Sahira took her medicines without any fail and was taken for her physiotherapy twice a week as per the doctor’s instructions. She did without any fail as she was really determined to get well and be able to walk by herself again.
Days turned to weeks then into months until after six months or so the doctor called her parents again to have a discussion with them. So, the parents came into the hospital and went straight to the doctor’s office where they found him with the physiotherapist awaiting them.

After greetings and after being seated, the doctor looked at them, smiling and said:
“The reason for my calling you in today is to give you good news, that Sahira is now ready for the operation.”
“Oh really doctor?”
“Yes maam, she is very ready. The therapy which we were doing was very successful and to be honest, your daughter’s determination was what really made it possible for the operation to be done now,” the physiotherapy replied.
“So when do you plan to do the operation?” the father asked.
“In two days time God willing. So I will need you to bring her in tomorrow evening. She needs to sleep here so that early the following morning we can prep her as we intend to operate on her very early indeed.”

The parents agreed on that and stood to go home to explain to their daughter of their arrangements. The next evening, they left their home with excitement but equally nervous. At the hospital, Sahira was taken to her room and her family stayed with her a little while and then about nine o’clock they had to leave but her mother decided to remain with her. Her father and brother would come back early the following morning.

The D-day was finally here and it dawned on the whole family with great expectations. The moment finally came for Sahira to be wheeled to the theatre and the family had a small prayer before she was taken away. The family followed behind, offering Sahira all their support and giving her courage.

All in all, the operation took a little over five hours but to Sahira’s family it was like ages. They had such anxious looks on their faces and her father was pacing up and down in front of the theatre with such a worried look on his face.
Finally, the doors of the theater were flung open and out came the doctor looking very tired. They all rushed to him with question upon question.
“Doctor, how did it go?”
“How is my daughter?”
“Was the operation a success doctor?”
“Please doctor, take us out of this suspense…”
“Okay, okay. Please give me a chance to speak. The operation was quite a success but she is still unconscious. Soon, they will take her to the recovery room but please see her for just a few minutes and please, be very quiet okay?” the doctor said.
“Okay and thank you so much doctor,” they all replied in unison.


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As the doctor walked away, the theater doors were flung open again and out came the nurses rolling the trolley with Sahira on it but still unconscious. They all followed behind to the recovery room where they were politely asked to wait outside first as the nurses props her up on the bed.

After a few minutes the nurses came out and told them to go in but to be very quiet. So they did just that, only too happy just to be near her. Two hours passed before Sahira showed some signs of coming to consciousness. Her mum quickly sent Dasi to call the doctor.

Everything turned out well and after a couple of days she was allowed to go home. Of course the walking by herself would take a little more time. She had to first heal from the operation and then do some special exercises before she could contemplate walking again. It would be slowly at first, like a small child starting to learn how to walk for the first time.

All this she did with such excitement and happiness and in about a month she was as good as new, like her old self again. Her parents and brother were the happiest to see Sahira being her joyous self again and thanked God for letting them see her this way once again.

As for Sahira herself, she couldn’t be more thankful to God for the blessing of being able to walk again and of course to her parents too for being supportive and always being there for her.

Finally she said to them:
“This experience has really been a life changer for me and from now onward, I will certainly look at life in a totally different way. Thank you all so much.”
She hugged them all and they hugged her back in return, with their faces full of joy and laughter.

#THE END


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By: Naima Baghozi

Photo Courtesy:https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com

#1

Sahira stood transfixed on the spot like her feet were glued on the road; unable to move a step. The look on her face was a horrified one for her eyes were opened wide and wider with fright. Her mouth formed an O shape and her heartbeats must have sounded even so loud to herself like a drum beat far into the night.
From afar, she seemed to hear her little brother’s voice calling out her name with such fright in his voice.

“Sahira, Sahira get away from the road…” but she just stood transfixed like a frozen statue. The road was a two way path so cars were driving up and down but she was focused on the oncoming car that was driving at such speed that she was unable to move away from the road.

Her poor little brother Dasi was yelling at the top of his voice for her to get out of the way of the fast coming car but she just couldn’t move even an inch. Then without any other single second passing; the car being at a very high speed, neither was the driver able to slow down nor to step on the brakes before ‘Bang!’ She was its target.

The next thing, Sahira came to her senses with so many bright lights around and with such worried faces of her parents and Dasi looking down at her where she was lying down. She looked at them with wonder as to why they were looking at her in that way or where exactly was she? The only thing she was feeling was pain all over her body like she was on needles. Her head…yes, her head…it felt so heavy that she couldn’t lift it. So she decided to ask her mum where she was and why was she feeling so much pain.

Her mum was literally in tears,
“My dear Sahira, don’t you remember anything? Just remain calm. You had an accident yesterday morning and you have been unconscious since then. You even had an emergency operation. Oh! We have been so worried about you dear!”
“But how did the accident happen?” She asked, puzzled.
“Sahira, it would be better if you ask your brother since he was there and saw it.”
So she turned her face towards Dasi and right away asked him,
“Dasi please tell me, what happened as I can’t remember anything.” And strangely enough, she couldn’t remember anything at all. As much as she tried to remember her head kept hurting her even more. She continued,
“Please tell me Dasi,” with tears in her eyes and slowly streaming down her face as she felt helpless and she felt she couldn’t move at all!

#2
Dasi looked at her with such hurtful eyes that it tugged at her heart and then slowly, he started narrating to her what really had happened.
“My dear sister…”he started as he held her hand tightly, “Yesterday, you and I were going to the shops…upon reaching the main road, you decided to just cross without checking the movements of cars. When you were in the middle of the road, you suddenly saw a fast coming car coming towards you and I don’t know what happened to you for you stood still and didn’t move at all. I kept calling at you so that you may move aside but you seemed not to hear me at all…don’t you remember any of this?”

Sahira looked strangely at her brother and just shook her head from side to side. She felt useless even to herself and she tried to sit up when…
“My legs, I can’t feel my legs…” she cried out breathlessly, “Mum, dad, I can’t feel my legs. Where are my legs?” she kept crying on and on and she was feeling agitated. Her parents tried to calm her down and Dasi ran out to call the nurses and doctors. In a little while, in came the doctor followed by a couple of nurses and seeing how the situation was, the doctor immediately took charge. He gave instructions to the nurses to immediately give her a sedative so that she may calm down and sleep for a while.

The nurses did just that and it wasn’t long before she gave herself up to the strength of the sedative and she was in deep sleep. In the mean time, Dasi and their parents were so concerned and worried about their situation and started firing questions at the doctor almost simultaneously on why she couldn’t feel her legs nor move them. The doctor answered them,
“Please, calm down and let me do some further tests and take x-rays to see what is causing this.”

Dasi felt so sad for his sister as they were very close since they were only two siblings and he always looked up to her and loved her very much. He just hoped and prayed to God that she will be alright and up and about very soon.
First thing early next morning, the doctor instructed the nurses to do the necessary tests plus the x-rays. All this was done with quite an emergency so that the results can come out with immediate effect and the doctor could determine as to the cause of Sahira not being able to move her legs.


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#3
Apart from the immobility of her legs, Sahira also got cuts and bruises literally all over her body-thus she also had stitches here and there including a couple of broken ribs and that is why she had all these pains all over her body. She was groaning from every movement she tried to make. Looking at her one could just see bandages all over her…

She continued so much to try recalling exactly what really happened to her or how but to no avail. It was so frustrating to her and it kept on hurting her head even more than ever. She was so determined to know it all, that she decided to ask her brother once again in private.

Since her case was an emergency, all the tests and x-rays were speed-fasted so that by mid morning the results were ready for the doctor’s viewing. The doctor came into Sahira’s room and requested her parents to follow him into his office. The parents stood up in silence and followed the doctor.

At this point, Dasi decided that he too, would follow his parents so he could know exactly what’s happening to his sister. However, Sahira stopped him on his tracks as she had her own ideas and that was to ask her brother of all the details of the accident.

“Dasi, please wait, don’t go and leave me alone. Please stay with me,” she said. Dasi then returned to his seat next to his sister’s bed. He looked again at his sister with such sympathy in his eyes and started to explain as she had requested.
“Basically, it is as I had told you before. There is nothing more to add other than that the driver of the car tried very hard to swerve away from you but it was too late.”
“So then, what happened to the driver?” she asked him.
“Well…”and he stopped.
“Why are you not saying anything Dasi? What happened? Please do tell me. I really need to know,” she pleaded with her brother. Dasi decided it’s best to tell her the truth or she would keep on asking until it would irritate him. After all, he knew his sister. She normally doesn’t stop until she gets what she wants. So he cleared his throat and continued with the explanation.

“You see, as I told you the driver tried very hard to swerve so he wouldn’t hit you and even hooted a lot but you were just like a stone; completely out of it. You were like a deaf person not hearing anything at that time. However, when he couldn’t stop, he just knocked you and you went up like a flying saucer and came down with a real bang. You started rolling down the road, as you know, if you can remember the road was not flat leveled. The poor driver with his swerve went and hit a side tree and then his car kept on rolling and when it came to a stop…it just burst into flames and nothing of it was left including the poor driver. That was the end of him and nothing could be done at that point to save him…”

It is only imaginable that at this point, Sahira was sobbing hysterically and she felt more miserable for she felt she was responsible for this poor man’s death. Dasi tried to calm her down.
“But how can I calm down Dasi, when you know very well I am the cause of this man’s death?” she said.
“That’s not true; you know that it is not true…” Dasi replied.
“It is true, it is my fault and you know it,” she kept insisting.
“Stop blaming yourself for this, if he was not driving at that speed none of this could have happened. This is his own fault,” Dasi kept on convincing her. He then continued,
“Okay, I do sympathize with what happened to him but you can’t blame yourself for what happened to him. Now look at your condition, whom are you going to blame for it? Were it not for his careless fast driving, you would not be in the hospital right now.”
“Dasi stop blaming the poor man, he is dead you know-may his soul rest in peace. The fault is mine that I am in hospital right now, so stop justifying the situation and claiming I am not at fault here,” she intervened. Dasi kept quiet at this point deep in thoughts of his own and she, deep in her own…


How does Sahira accept her new situation? Will she get her memory back?And will she be able to move once again? That, in the next piece coming soon in shaa Allah 🙂


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By: Husna Lali

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

 

Is there a difference between Change and Consistency? Most of the times I like to remain indifferent about Change and Consistency….I mean some of you might as well say yeah there is…but I feel at times that the pros of consistency are the cons of change…and vice versa. Think of it this way a caterpillar turning into a butterfly…that’s change yeah? Is it good? Totally. Then there’s consistency…lionesses hunt….and it’s been that way since forever…is it bad? No it’s not. Supposing lionesses thought like humans and there’s feminism in Pride Land…Okay? No. I am sure you now know why I am not a fan of being in a debate about Change and Consistency.

 

So like in life, take metarmophosis for example. Is that developing or changing? I mean…you’re the same YOU…but in a different way….wait…isnt that what change it is? Confusing right?

 

The other day, I was catching up with friends and we had a conversation that was brought up with you know…ahh 5 years ni miaka mingi…unkua…you no longer have that kiddish face…unkaa mtu mzima (P.S she was probably referring to the fact that I had my mtandio intact 😄…high school was ish ish…or maybe I am no longer the reckless girl who came in class with zero fucks given on how short my jilbab was or missing the scarf. Thank you Anisa for always having an extra one for me for Mondays and Thursdays 😂) Anyways, we got into talking about life. How it was different from what we expected and what we did not and so automatically we ended up talking about marriage.

When do you know you’re ready to get married? How is marriage life different from not-commited life? From the stories and experiences we had…I can strongly conclude Marriage Life is another hell for people who grew up with strict and at the same time conservative parents and family.

 

I don’t know…it’s probably norms and cultures…like if you get married you’re expected to cook, give birth, raise kids, take care of your husband and suddenly it’s a routine. (Wenyewe wasema ni ulezi). Do not get me wrong. I am not saying any of that is bad….actually it’s very good. Almost as good as it being part and parcel of the marriage package deal. The question however remains to be; does it have to be the only stuff you do in your marriage? Like wake up in the morning get the kids and the Mr. ready for school and work or whatever. Go to work(or not). Come back home and cook for them, help them with homework or work related stuff (again or not). Eat. Sleep. Wake up the following morning and it’s literally your cycle of life. The best you get when you have a free time is watch you-tube videos on make-up tutorials or cook shows. Hah! My friend,she put it like whenever you’re free…you find fascination on curtains or furniture or this blouse I bought or usitumie mchele A for mkate wa sinia ukitumia B yawa laini zaidi). You should’ve heard say that btw. 😂😂😂

 

In my perspective. I think alot of marriages do not work because wallahy I feel that that cycle is a wastage of the wife’s entire life. It’s probably 98% of the reasons why husbands go outside to look for other women…like say  these free and hyper and crazed up girls because they’re full of life and energy and are not boring. (Consistency not good here yeah? I thought so too.)

I am absolutely 95% sure the make up or the blouses and deras and thobes we ladies get are not even for the Mr. If they’re not for weddings and functions( which 100% certain your husband isn’t attending) then it’s for show off to your girls and it’s for the typical swahili culture (ahh mashallah mume wake amtizama uzuri.) Wake up woman! You’re way more than just that. I mean dress up. No one is denying you that right…but why do you have to do it for people. It’s okay if you’re creative and into interior fashion and architectural designing…but those need not be your purpose in life. Contour and higlight your face and at the same time be a mechanical engineer. Cook like one would say it tastes like maiden and at the same time be that on call doctor who gets a midnight call to go do an emergency surgery. Seriously lady…you went to school. Before marriage you had visions and dreams. Just like they say you should not put marriage on hold because of education don’t you dare put an end to your education, dreams and visions just because of marriage life. Just like you’re the mother to the kids…he is the father. Just like you can cook so can he (or learn..ddduuhhh there’s  Chef Ali Mandhry…he cooks and a half). Just like you can take the kids to school and help them with homework so can he. Am not saying go all feminist on him. Take atleast 65% of the works needed in refining your marriage life…but dude…while looking after the kids and the Mr.; use the remaining 35% to fucking look after yourself too. Update yourself because marriage was not meant to introduce you to a new version and set you to a default. You do not want to stay behind, because this world is dynamic and change is a must…or is it consistency (like before marriage you were someone with goals therefore keep goaling)?

 

P.S I am not promoting feminism. I am promoting consistency or change or whatever.

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You know if I told you right now I have realized that the world is square, you would tell me I am crazy. If I added that the square world is not meant for all human beings, that people should be living in mars where we all weigh much less, you would say I am totally nuts AND weird. But what if, just what if, a square world seems like a box to me; my own world and all I have to do is keep thinking outside it? Think beyond my own life? That maybe Mars is what I consider everyone’s world? And that is where I should keep focusing on?

All this doesn’t make sense right? This sounds worse than Greek. This just made you seem like a dyslexic person and you did not get anything.  Or maybe, it makes a little bit of sense. Or a lot more. Or it totally makes sense. It always depend on who is reading this. Well, this post is dedicated to all those who could find meaning in my first paragraph. The message itself is pointless in this context but all this is about the ability in finding meaning. It is meant for everyone who could read between those lines. It is meant for every writer, every poet, every deep person, every humanitarian, every artist who sees the world with a third eye. This might as well be read by everyone. But this is specifically for you. For a special person like you.

One of the most scary things about writing, about being a poet or simply having the ability to connect with people; you become vulnerable to all kinds of judgments. You remain misunderstood for a whole lifetime. Your words are twisted. Your personality is scrutinized with a microscope. Your intentions are full of myths and misconceptions. You become more than just a name. More than just what you do or what you write about. You are no longer so and so the writer or the poet. You become so and so the complainer, the drama queen, the sadness addict, the black swan, the ranting squirrel, the word-attacker, disturbia, the over-reacting brat, you become the darkness itself. You become all people’s judgments together. You become just what they decide to think of you. And sometimes or most of the times, you can’t correct their disillusioned vision or their twisted thoughts of you. You can’t start justifying yourself to everyone. You can’t start telling them who you really are. Because if they really opened your heart for them to see what is inside you, they wouldn’t do any better than judge you for all that is within you. And funny thing is, when you post something on your personal account, they judge you and mock you for all the deepness yet if those same words are seen on a different page or even your site they will praise your master pieces. They will just take it like any other art work. But due to their shallow thinking and double standards, they mock you when it appears under your name because they somehow know you. Haha and trust me, these are the same people who would be praising and sharing Yasmin Mogahed’s deepest posts, R.H.Sin, Drake, Her blank canvas or her silent perception. Oh well but because this is YOU and they think they know you, they make you seem like a dry flower in a desert that’s desperately seeking attention like it’s water. Lol they would even be reading this and their twisted minds make them think that I am filing a complaint here too 😂 So yes, it is pointless after all.

Many a times I wished that I could do something else other than write. I wished that perhaps I could just be that crazy kind of a person who can literally ignore all that happens with them or in their lives. I’ve wished I could do anything else to survive other than write. You know like how sometimes you write something and someone quickly comments how weak you are or how you post something deep and they think you are always letting the world know what you are going through. Or how you speak out your mind and they mock you for it. I for one have struggled to keep writing because I just wanted to avoid judgments and speculation on what is going on in my life. But you all know the truth don’t you? You know why we write, You know why we have all those deep posts on our timelines, you know why we express ourselves and be brutally and vulnerably honest. You know it is because we see the world so differently, you connect with people too deeply, you empathize with people, because you have come face to face with darkness, because you know what it means to be broken and whole at the same time. So what if you post what you do? Does it actually define any of our lives? Not really. Does it make you any less human from the rest? Of course not. Does it make you any special? Yes and a big yes, because from what you write and say and sing and do, you are connecting to so many other people. You are the voice of the voiceless. You are someone else’s shadow and light. You are expressing what they would never have the guts to do themselves. So what if you are so different? You forget that you are beautifully different.

Whenever you feel you can’t write something deep and real and honest, remember that someone out there is actually counting on your words to feel better, to feel valued, to feel loved, to stand back up after the terrible fall. Remember all those ‘thank you, this is exactly what I needed to hear right now’, all those phone calls thanking you for making them smile. Remember all those comments and many more comments of people talking of their own experiences and how they relate to your words. Remember that you are someone special in someone’s life. That someone finds light again through you and because you pointed to them the light at the end of the tunnel. You are loved. And I for one, love you for the sake of all the broken people who need you. I love you for being there, even if not exactly physically, for those who are down and sinking.

Please keep writing. Keep doing what you have to. Don’t hesitate to speak out your mind. The world desperately needs more of you 😊

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Since our childhood we’ve been told, taught and re-told about qadar (fate & destiny). We chorused it as one of the six pillars of Imaan (faith). We always say it proudly that we believe in what God has written for us. But how true is that? How much do you believe in the light at the end of the tunnel?

The true test of Faith is not when you win, not when things go as you wish, not when you are happy with your results. The true test is when you have worked extra hard yet still fail, when you have lost your beloved one, when your duas remain unanswered, when you don’t get a husband or when you get a divorce. It is these moments that you should question yourself; how much do I believe in what Allah had written for me?

When going through a hard time, it is so difficult to think straight. There is so much despair, pain and frustration. But do you take time to question yourself that perhaps this is really the best for me? That perhaps something good is to come from this? That perhaps Allah is protecting me from something more harmful?

I once asked a friend who was competing in an international project whether he believes there could be any good in him losing. The competition was that the winner would win 10 million dollars to do a huge youth project (that they had proposed) in their home land. He was short-listed and that was when I asked ‘do you believe there could be any good?’ But of course anyone would think, what could be good in losing 10 million dollars?! I mean, all that money could do wonders. But have you ever thought of it this way?

You get 10 million dollars. The first thing anyone does is throw a party. It’s time to celebrate. It’s time to hang out with friends. It’s time to party. It could also be the time for extravagance. The time for arrogance. The time to totally ignore your parents. The time to break all your principles. The time to do fasad. You think you can control money demons? Well, truth is, money always had a way of controlling man. This is why Allah S.W clearly stated it in the qur’an; that wealth is fitnah. Haven’t we seen very humble people become so arrogant because of wealth? Haven’t we seen how people change?

My friend never won. His project was so inspiring and amazing I was almost sure he would win yet he didn’t. Then I said, “perhaps this wasn’t kheir for you. Perhaps you would have changed and we wouldn’t be able to recognize you again…”

You will be disappointed of course. Everyone does. But how quickly do you recover from it?

One of things I really push myself to do is see things beyond. Take a different view point. When someone you love is very ill; the kind of ‘very ill’ that there is barely any hope in them you cry to Allah to give them shifaa right? You give out sadaqa, you do all you can to make them feel well but then Allah still takes them away. You cry again; you cry your heart out. ‘Why didn’t Allah answer my prayers?’ But have you ever thought of how much more this person would have suffered had they lived more? When my late aunt; mama two (for those who have read her story here) passed away her leg had been cut three times. She was diabetic. Sometimes I really feel nostalgic. I look at my nephew and wish she could be here to be an amazing grandma. But then I also imagine how life would have been for her in crutches. How spending her 50’s in all that struggle and pain would be for her. Then I say alhamdulilah. Allah knew she deserved to rest. Allah knew this life would no longer serve her much good. So yes, even in death, perhaps there is so much mercy that we never look at.

Many times people pray istikhara to ask Allah for what is best. But the problem is, you ask Allah yet you already have an opinion. You already want to travel. You have made a choice already, then how will you see Allah’s answer when you are already blinded by what you want? You pray to ask Allah if the job is kheir for you, when your prayer turns out negative, you still put your opinion that ‘perhaps I haven’t prayed well. Maybe I should just try.’ And many of us have become victims of claiming ‘I believe in qadar’ yet we think we are so smart to take onto life by ourselves.

You pray istikhara to ask about a spouse, it turns out negative but because the person seems good, family members start giving you a list of reasons of why you should agree. Hallo? Where is your imaan in qadar? Where is your belief that what is meant to be will be even if all humans are against it? Where is your faith that what isn’t meant to be will not happen even if the entire mankind gang up to support it? Trust me, when the right person comes, everything will work out miraculously. There will be no doubt. There will be no obstacles. There will only be Allah’s mercy and everything will flow as it should be…same thing with jobs, children and everything else we want in life.

So here you are, you get a wonderful job offer, you send your CV, you are so excited to start your new job then suddenly…they decline. They just change their mind. And you are left there, shocked and perhaps angry. You get another job which pays much less than what you would have received before. You wonder why. You start questioning why. God why?! Then this same job that pays you less brings out the best of your abilities and you prosper such that you keep climbing up the ladder. At that time, you don’t even remember to thank Allah that He brought you here and not there. You think it is your hard work. Yet it is Allah’s great plan to bring you to greatness.

Perhaps the best thing for you to do is ask Allah for what is kheir for you. Ask for success that is kheir. A job that is kheir. A spouse that is kheir. To grant you children that are kheir. To grant you wealth that is kheir…don’t rush to ask for things. Ask Allah from His own knowledge to grant you only what is best for you.

And when your duas are not answered you have to believe that this was simply not kheir for you. When you keep having miscarriages, when you are getting old with no husband, when you never get a well paying job…just think of all the bad possibilities that could have happened if you indeed got what you asked for. Think like a public relations manager. These people’s jobs is to think of the worst of scenarios before thinking of how they will deal with the situation. So you too, think about it.

If I had children…perhaps they would grow up to be very cruel children that would cause me nothing but pain.

If I had a good job…perhaps I would be too busy to be with my family anymore.

If I had a spouse…perhaps I wouldn’t be strong enough to deal with the challenges of marriage

And when people start questioning your calmness in dealing with your problems; when they ask you why you are not yet getting married, why you haven’t conceived yet, why you haven’t bought the house you wanted to…tell them; I am just going by the flow that which Allah has written for me. And what He has written for me is the best for me. So I will keep believing in His plan until the day He knows is the right time for my plan to come true.

Remember, all these obstacles you meet on your way to your destination are but reasons to drive you away to something better; something that Allah had written for you.

So whenever you are having a bad day, whenever things seem to be going haywire, whenever you feel in despair, ask yourself: how much do I believe in qadar?

 

How much do you believe in Allah’s best and great plan for you??

 

Hold on right there 😊

 

Photo Courtesy: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/

Five young deaths just between December to February. Five young souls that had so many dreams of the future. Five young souls lost in a split of a second. Five young souls that were gone without goodbye… and that is just for the people I know. Probably thousands or even millions other very young souls have left the world since then. The more i hear these news, the more I dread checking the social media because I fear hearing of one more; gone. Been quite a shock on the death of Sajid Al beity; a brilliant young man and Aziz Bashir yesterday. I’m not even over the death of Ahmed Darwesh yet. Sometimes I turn on the TV and still wait to hear his happy voice and charming smile delivering the news. It almost sounds unreal, like a nightmare and soon everything will be back to normal with all these young people happily rejoicing life amongst their loved ones. Yet who are we to question God’s plans and wisdom? This is just but a journey and all of us will finally go to the same destination; our graves.

 

I’ve always been obsessive, possesive, all these crazy words; you name it. I have struggled to keep my ties with everyone intact. I have always been like the hopeless romantic who can never fathom or accept the idea of anyone; family, friends, workmates, colleagues, any person who in any way impacted my life…anyone, leaving their life. My friends keep telling me not to get too attached because you will always end up hurt but my ideology has always been different. I know the consequences of holding onto people. The end of it is usually terrible especially when there is no goodbye. But one thing I am glad of despite everything is that I am acting the way a human being should be. I am glad I have a soul that has emotions when so many people around act heartless. I keep saying all the time, LIFE IS TOO SHORT and my friends think i’m just being hysterical with the saying ‘stop talking like you are about to die’ but yes, I am about to die. All of us are at the verge of dying we just dont know when. Probably it’s this thought stuck in my mind that makes me seek people in my life who keep disappearing. And sometimes it’s almost like hide and seek. We talk then suddenly they disappear and i’d go down the earth like a crazy maniac to find out where they are. And it keeps going like that over and over again. But if anything, I am glad I am the way I am because I have no regrets whatsoever with how i dealt with anyone. I know I tried my very best to keep all my relationships with people in my life to be straight and I tried my best to never cut off anyone yet those who decided to leave despite my continuous trials, I rest my case. Apart from that, any mistakes are out of my human self of which I hope i’d be forgiven for by God’s will.

 

All this makes me think a lot; is it that I am abnormal or is it that people don’t have a subconscious mind? How is someone able to go days, months, years not talking to someone just because of something that can be resolved? How are people so okay with crossing roads and passing by someone you were once so close to like you are total strangers? How does your ego let you sleep so comfortably when you know you are the reason someone is suffering out there? How do you afford to be happy with yourself when you are sooo not ready to face God?? Why do we wait until someone is gone is when we value them and scrutinize what they said to us more than before? Why do we wait to say, ‘I wish he/she knew how much I valued them??

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There comes a time when saying goodbye is not an option and this scares me like nothing else. There comes a time when saying I am sorry, or I love you or this is how much I care for you to your mum or dad or spouse, your friends or maybe your siblings; is impossible. The thought that people don’t think of unsaid goodbyes bugs me so so much; I wish I understood how people are so comfortable with their lives forgetting that there is something called; sudden death? It makes me want to scream on people’s faces so that they can wake up. So that they can look at the world from this point of view that I see it; so that they can finally realize that when their time finally comes they will never have one more minute. But I know screaming at anyone never made any difference yet I still hope everyone dies while they are happy that they lived well, that they have nothing to regret about.

 

We were all sad when Ahmed Darwesh passed on and the even younger Sajid…and all the other young souls that died so unexpectedly but do we really learn the lesson? Do we learn from what God is trying to make us understand here? That our lives are too short and at anytime we could go too?? Do we just think about it for the few days after they die then go back to our reckless lives after that?? Whoa! I wish I could share my fear with some other people maybe somehow that will make them value life more. Maybe it will make them realize how we are just going back to sand at the end of it all. I have no words anymore; maybe just hope that God grants us death only when we are ready to face Him and for the ones who left already, May God grant them His jannah. Ameen.

I actually had to borrow this title from my new friend made, Maryam, whose blog is by this same name ‘in the now though not forever’ http://nownotforever.blogspot.co.ke/ Please do find time to check her amazing art 🙂 Meanwhile, let us talk about what made me borrow this title particularly.

Just the other day, I dreamt of her. She was in a wheelchair and my mum was pushing it out of what seemed to be the hospital doors. I went to her and she gave me a very long hug. I looked at her and said, ‘I haven’t seen you in a very long while. It almost seemed that you were dead’ and she said, ‘No I’ve been okay.’ I don’t clearly remember the end of that dream all I know is that it was too vivid and seemed too real and I spent the entire next day thinking about her; mama two. I probably never really got over her death, maybe that is why I keep having this strange dream again and again where she is alive and I keep questioning her, ‘I thought you were dead’. The conversations in all the dreams have always been the same, the only difference is the venue of each dream. Sometimes I dream of her at home and sometimes at the hospital. I have never really understood dreams or whether mine do have a certain meaning or it is just the nostalgia of being with her once again…all I know is that, a part of me may never be recovered.

Just one day after this dream, is when Ahmed Darwesh, the popular yet humble journalist passed on. I haven’t understood till this moment why his death came as a big blow like a knew him personally. Probably it could be because he died still very young. But there is always wisdom behind God’s actions and maybe we were meant to learn from his example and be more alert on our actions because when death comes, it doesn’t choose on the basis of age. Just after his death, the following day, a close cousin to a friend passed on too. I also didn’t know this young man personally, but i had heard a lot of good things about him and it made me empathetic since he was still very young; probably with so many dreams of the future ahead. May Allah forgive their sins and place them in the highest level of jannah together with the prophets Biidhnillah.

I remember during one of our classes during a writing workshop by Kwani? one of our mentors told us of her story and how she feared death to a great extent. And that at one time during a trip in South Africa, they were asked to write their own eulogies; as a psychological way to deal with such fear. So she wrote about herself and how she has been through her lifetime; talking about herself like another party. And she said of how she cried writing those details and it felt so real; she was mourning her own ‘death’. But it was only after that exercise that she realized that she wanted to be remembered as a writer; for the books she has written. She wasn’t even a writer by then but that exercise made her realize what she really wanted and she ventured into writing more deeply and she is now a very successful writer mashaLlah. Respect to my mentor; Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor; the author of ‘dust’ amongst other of her works.

After hearing this story from her, I always said that I was going to do that exercise as well but I kept postponing it; probably because of fear of what I am going to discover from my own words. But I know I need to do it because I have always anticipated my own death to a paranoid state.

I always saw death in everything and nothing. When I board a matatu, I imagine the most terrible accident happening to the extent that I see myself in blood until to the declaration of my death and how each person is going to react about it. It is almost as if i am watching ‘the final destination’ movies with me being involved. At that moment, it is almost as if i am in a trance and the imagination is so vivid that I start crying at my own death. I’ve imagined my death in a road accident, sometimes when cars pass by too close especially lorries i see them falling on me, sometimes when i used to walk under the bridge i would imagine it falling on me. By God’s name, no single day passed by without imagining my own death. I remember how my best friend and I had the laugh of our lives when I told her of the first time I passed through the bridge under tunnel and imagined it falling over me. It seemed silly but it is real for me. When I see policemen I see chaos starting and bullets running right through my body. And many a times people told me that I watch too many movies, while some tell me I am an over thinker. The irony is that horror movies are my best; probably because they act as a challenge to my deep fear. It is true I have always been paranoid and an over thinker; and as much this has damaged me too many times, it is sometimes a blessing. And sometimes before I sleep, I imagine this is my very last night and it makes me wake up, take my phone and text the people who mean the most to me with the notion in mind, ‘this could be my very last night.’ I never stop telling the people who i care for, how much they mean to me and sometimes they feel I am just being too sentimental but most don’t know what it feels like to lose someone all of a sudden and they are GONE. This paranoia that everyone keeps talking to me about is what makes me strive to be a better person everyday.

I am not going to write my own eulogy as Yvuonne did; I probably have to gather up my guts for that first but I very well know what the closest people to me are going to do upon the announcement of my death.

I know of how my lovely mum will shed only a few tears at a time, trying to be strong even when everyone around her is wailing. I know she will be patient and try to accept her test from God. But I also know she will sometimes sit in her bedroom and have her tears. She will say she misses her ‘partner’ and her ‘baby’ as she always referred to me. Being the tiniest in my family, I always got the advantage of being treated the same way like our last born. I know of how she will talk to my sisters about me for days. I know she will talk about my dreams and try to do for me the rest that i wished to do. I know she, along with my siblings will mention me at every mention of adventures that were in my bucket list. I know she will mention me for so many things and I know she will start blaming herself for so many things. I know she will start blaming herself for not letting me go for these adventures, for not letting me travel to the many places i wanted to go. I know she will blame herself for the tiniest things she didn’t let me do and she will feel guilty about it. I know that because she is just an over thinker like me and i can put myself in her shoes. I hope at that moment, someone will tell her that I really loved her and that I really appreciate how she raised us all. I hope someone will tell her that she did all she could to make me happy and that that was very sufficient for me. I hope someone will tell her that I never felt angry or deprived of anything for the little things she wouldn’t let me do. I hope someone will tell her that it is not true that I loved my phone or my job more than I loved her. I hope someone will tell her that I was always so busy and only worked so hard for her sake and not because I loved my family less than my job. I hope someone will tell her that all the people I talk to in the phone can never be close to how much she meant to me. I hope someone would tell her that I was never going to make her make an appointment so as to see me just because I would have become a very important person with a good job. I hope someone will tell her that I would never be arrogant once i became successful, just as she so much feared. I hope that person would take as much time as they can to make it clear to her that I loved her to bits and that all I wanted is to die with her being pleased with me. Because I very well know how hard it will be to convince her; I know that because I would probably do the same if in her shoes.

I know of dad too. I know he will only shed a few tears during the burial but that will be it. I know he will hide his feelings like he always does and no one will ever know how he is feeling. I know he will miss calling to come watch an inspiring story on TV, or any other story like he always does with the saying, ‘hey writer, come see this movie it’s a nice one.’ I know he will miss narrating to me anything that I had missed watching and he would tell me with the hope that his writer daughter will expand her mind and be a famous writer as well at some time in life. I know he will be strong for my mum’s sake and he will keep consoling her again and again. I hope then, someone is going to tell him that I loved him a lot and I always admired him to the extent of wanting a husband with his qualities. I hope someone will do that for I didn’t tell or show him that often enough.

I know of my older brother. I know he will stay at home for days; staying low profile. I know he will be deeply affected. I know he will recall all the times he would hug me and tell my mum how much he loves me and he would always add, ‘I don’t know why she doesn’t love me’ and I would pretend to be serious like I don’t really love him. I know he will probably question himself what were my real opinions of him. I hope then,, someone will tell him that I really really really loved him and as much as I was hard on him on what he should do and what he shouldn’t, I would want someone to tell him that all I ever wanted was the best for him.

I know of my elder sister. I know of how strong she would be; just like dad. She would be the one to console mum as well. I know she will also cry secretly at times but I also know of how patient she will be. I know of how she would tell her son about his aunty who would only call him ‘baby habiby’. I hope someone would tell her then that at her every epileptic attack, I lost myself in fear of losing her. I hope someone will tell her that she was my strongest example to follow; a role model in patience and faith.

I know of my younger sister; the one who follows me. I know she will cry a lot but still, in silence. She will still tell people not to wail and that it is haraam. I know she will miss her ‘commander in chief’ as she would usually call me. She would miss the supervisor of the house as mum would call me and say that when I am not at home things just go haywire. I know she would miss me because she considered me her best sister and closest at that. I hope someone would tell her at that point that I would have missed her very much as well, if she were to be gone before me. I would have missed coming back home and her hurrying to me with a smile to say she missed me and to ask how my day was. I would miss her forcing me to smile when I couldn’t.

I know of my second last sister. She is the one closest to my nature; the aspiring writer, the poet, the adventurer yet she is more bold and filled with charm more than I ever was. I know she will cry a lot too. I know she will miss giving me an unexpected pinch or slap and how much it annoys me. I know she will miss telling me ‘give me a smile…no, i don’t want that one. I want the million dollar smile. Give me the million dollar smile!’ and that would make me smile without effort. I hope someone will tell her that even though I didn’t have time to listen to her endless stories, I still loved her like she never knew.

I know of my baby sister. Oh, my favourite. I know she will probably look at my sisters and mum as they sob. She will look at them silently as if she doesn’t understand what death is. But I know she knows. I know she understands because she is much smarter than anyone of her age. I know she understands and she is so observant over everything that happens around her just like she was the only one who ever noticed my secret tears. Like how i would go to the room after something has happened and i would see a small shadow following me to every place i went. She doesn’t make it seem obvious but I’ve always known she was following me and when i lie on the bed, she too would lie down in pretense that she is sleeping yet I know she is checking out on me. I hope someone will tell her she is the sweetest and most intelligent little thing I ever came across. I hope someone will tell her that she is lovely, loving and that she meant the world to me.

I know of my half siblings in Yemen. I know they will really be sad and cry too. I know they will say of how we haven’t met in more than fifteen years. I know irregardless of their own suffering in their war country, they will mourn for their gone sister. I hope someone will tell them then that as much as i didn’t communicate with them much it was because I was dying every time they talked of the bomb lasts and the chaos there. I hope someone will tell them I really cared even when I didn’t say it. I hope someone will tell them that I anticipated and day dreamed about meeting them and my lovely nieces and nephews always. I hope someone will tell them that it is not true to say, ‘out of sight out of mind’.

I know of my half brother who i have never met in my life. A very successful radiologist in Suudiya. I hope someone will tell him how proud of him i have always been. I hope someone will tell him that i always wished to meet him and his family someday. I hope someone will tell him even when i didnt keep contact much, I still cared and loved him.

I also know of my extended family. I know they will remember me as the workaholic i have always been. I know they will talk of how i was always busy and up to something. I know they will talk about my smile because it is the only thing they quickly notice when i am not putting it on. I hope someone will let them know that the lack of my smile never meant i was being moody..it is just that at times, i was too tired to stretch any muscles including my lips. I hope they will also know they meant a lot to me.

I don’t really know about my best friend; she is the only one i can’t guess her reaction. She always had her unique way of dealing with difficult times. I don’t know how much she will cry or even if she will, and that is because I don’t really remember seeing her cry; ever, except for once and it was just over the phone. However, I know she will probably go low profile for some time and she will probably be writing my biography just like she always said she would. I know she will write about me a lot in every avenue she will get to talk and write about me. I can imagine of the things she will write; the silly things we did together in the 8 going to 9 years. I know many other people will try talk about me too but she will be the only one apart from my family who will have the most authentic information about me. I know she will miss me a lot or who else was going to cling to her neck? I know I have always told her how much she meant to me and that she is the most precious gift from Allah so I am sure she wouldn’t really need a person to reassure her of what she meant to me. Instead, she will be the one reassuring my family and my other close friends. She is the strongest girl I ever met and probably one of the craziest. Nonetheless, she has always been the one who pushed me to take mature decisions in life. No one was ever going to replace her in my life. I am not worried about what she would do without me, Instead, I would be the one who would be totally lost if she was ever gone before me. After Allah, she is my biggest strength. No one has to tell her anything. She knows it already, she always did.

I also know of my very few close friends; those who were really sincere to me and had no ulterior motives. Those who have always been there at my worst and at my best. Those who never left me just because i was different or paranoid at that. I know them very well and i know how to differentiate between them and my other ‘friends’ who were only in my life for their own benefits. I know how well they will write about me (coincidentally most of them are writers!), how an intense and deep person I was and how they appreciated me. I know they will miss everything about me; including my paranoia. I hope someone will remind them then that I really appreciated that they understood me even when it was so hard to do so. I hope someone will remind them that when I used to tell them how much they meant to me, then I really really meant it.

I know of the very close friends that i was so attached to, who left afterwards. I know of how they will remember the good times i had with them and our deep conversations. I know they will remember how much they meant to me. I know they probably miss me then. I hope someone will tell them then that it always ate me up why they left without any goodbyes or where i ever went wrong. I hope someone will tell them that i cried several times for that. I hope someone will tell them that i scratched my head for answers to the extent my mind became inflamed. I hope someone will tell them that i missed them…and that whatever in me that made me leave, was never intentional..and that i loved them sincerely.

I know of my old friends and teachers that i never talked to frequently but who would still check up on me once in a while. I know how they will remember me for the personal encounters with them especially my high school classmates. I know they will laugh at the many funny moments we had together. I know life kept us busy but i hope someone would tell them then that i still treasured them, loved them very much and wished them the very best wherever they are.

I know of the ones who used to call me names and of those who thought and said i was being hypocritical pretending to be holy when i wouldn’t shake men’s hands and so on. I know of those who smiled at me yet they talked at my back. I know of those who mocked me right in front of my eyes and bullied me emotionally. I know that at that time, they will scrutinize everything that i ever told them. They will try to find deeper meaning in every conversation i had with them. I can very well point out and bet who will then feel guilty and those who just wouldn’t care even then. I hope someone will tell them then that I actually never hated any of them and that I only felt hurt whenever i met them once again. I hope someone will tell them that whenever i met them, i debated with myself whether I should just forgive them or leave it upon God and we let Him be our judge on the day of judgement. My heart would always flip from forgiving them to letting God deal with them…i hope someone will tell them, as much as they damaged me, i still hope when my moment of death comes, my heart will be at the ‘forgive them’ side.

I also know of those who just knew me because of my writing and those who considered me their mentor. I know they will probably miss my posts and they will be motivated to follow my footsteps in writing. I also know of the ones I used to persuade to read my work so that they could give me their opinions and they never did; i know at that instance is when they will rush to see all that i wanted them to see but it will probably be too late to give me their opinions and criticisms. I hope someone will tell my writing fans that they inspired me as much as they considered me an inspiration to them. I hope they will keep writing and that someone will tell them that i loved them , even when i never knew them personally. I also know those who just knew me because of the extra ordinary samosas that mum made and no one could ever have enough of them lol. I know some wouldn’t even remember my name but once they mention the samosas to their friends, they will remember the samosa girl lol. I can even imagine how they will write their encounters with me while buying the samosas…the thought of it makes me laugh. Who ever thought i will be remembered because of food?! hehe

I know of those who misunderstood my intentions, my words and my actions. Those who thought I was being selfish as I whined and complained over my messed up emotions. I hope someone will tell them that I lived with fear, that my thoughts ate me up like the way fire finishes off wood. I hope someone will tell them that I only sounded selfish coz of my over reactions and my repeated statement of what is going to happen to me. I hope someone will tell them that I always cared for them more than I made it seem. That by Allah’s name it was never meant to be selfishness; just deep fear in disguise…

Life has taught me to never take risks when it comes to the people you come in contact with. The smallest of things you do can change their lives forever and it is humanity that eventually gets restored. This may never really help deal with my anticipation for death but i wanted to have a permanent posted reminder to all those that crossed my life at some point; that when i said ‘i care for you’ then i really meant it and for those who misjudged me and took me wrongly by my words or actions then i beg for your forgiveness. Truly life is too short and we never know who will go first. Please forgive me for anything wrong i did to you and if i happen to die before you then please pray for me. And if you get to jannah and don’t find me there, please ask for me. Who knows, maybe your duas is what will make me get a place in jannah in shaa Allah may we all meet there. It is true, I am in the now, but i very well know, it is not forever…may we all have husnul khatima in shaa Allah.

Photo Courtesy: Salem_Beliegraphy

I am by no chance a scholar in deen as much as I wish I could be one and maybe one day by Allah’s will I will be able to be but nonetheless, I was listening to what Luqman (A.S) was telling his son as mentioned in the qur’an and it got me thinking; perhaps we would be living better lives if we followed what wise men of olden times and even of the present said to us. And maybe, things would be at their best, if parents would sit down with their children and give them serious lessons on life and morals.

In the qur’an, surat Luqman as from the ayah 13-19, we get to learn from the wise Luqman the most basic advice for mankind in his life. Below I will state the lessons as derived from the ayas and perhaps in shaa Allah we can learn from it.

1. Do not worship anything apart from Allah nor join others in worship with Allah.

2. Man should be dutiful and good to his parents for they have raised him in hardship upon hardship.

3. Always give thanks to Allah and to your parents as well.

4. If your parents drive you against Allah or that you join others in worship with Him then don’t follow them BUT still treat them with kindness.

5. Allah is able to bring forth anything however hard it may seem to you…(so have faith in Him).

6. Do perform prayer

7. Enjoin on people all that is good.

8. Forbid people from all that is evil and bad.

9. Do not turn your face from men with pride.

10. Do not walk with insolence or arrogance.

11. Be moderate in your walking.

12. Lower your voice when speaking.

Imagine how life would be if we followed these simple lessons; how we would avoid so many problems if we could keep our voices low even when we are angry or when someone is confronting us, if we treated our parents with utmost respect, if we had total faith in Allah, if we could all correct each other when we go wrong and support others in good deeds, if we could be humble instead of being arrogant or insolent. Just picture the world like that, wouldn’t the world be such an amazing place to live in?? Change starts with me and you, be modest, humble and polite and see how you will be able to spread love and peace even without you knowing 😉

Photo Courtesy: https://3.bp.blogspot.com/

Selective Mutism. That’s the medical term for what I went through for a good portion of my childhood. Crucible of Suffering is more accurate if you ask me. Apparently millions of kids all over the world suffer from it every year, but none of them went to school where I did.

Mother carefully tied the yellow scarf on my head so as not to tamper with my neatly plaited hair and slowly led me towards the fancy yellow car. Yellow was undoubtedly her favorite color, but I didn’t understand why she was forcing me like it too. I just stared at small edges of the yellow scarf that were hanging to my tiny shoulders and shrugged.

But I have to tell her today, I said to myself as I treaded along. But how? I scratched my head. I have to find a way, I was now almost in tears.I don’t want to go to that school again. No. Never again. Soon tears were rolling down my face and she turned to face me.

“What is wrong mami?” she said as she stopped in her tracks. She lifted her hands and wiped the tears from my face all the while whispering softly, ‘Don’t cry.’

“When are you going to get used to your school? It’s been more than six months now since you joined,” she once again said using her hands.

How am I going to tell you mother? I thought to myself.

Mother held my hand firmly and made me sit in her sparkling clean car.

“Your teacher says you haven’t yet learnt to write the letters…you have to work harder mmh?” she gestured to me and softly patted my head.

But that is the problem! How can I tell you anything when I can’t even write besides everything else?

When you can’t talk or write you cry.

When you cry, you get reprimanded and punished or at best pitied.

I all but squeezed my mother’s hand as we approached the school gate. I could see my colleagues playing in the compound with so much zeal, all dressed in uniform pink skirts and white t-shirts. I stared at them for a moment. They were all younger than me…and smarter. At least they know how to write.

Mother kissed me on the cheek and gave me a slight push towards my teacher; Miss Khadija who was standing some steps away. My teacher was elegantly tall, but “tall” wasn’t adequate to describe her height. She was reallytall! I always feared looking up at her because I thought my neck might break in the process. But that wasn’t all; Miss Khadija always wore that same scarf throughout the six months that I had spent in the school. She wore it tight enough only to reveal the middle part of her face which made her look old and grumpy. She always managed to match her dark veil matched with her scarf but even that could not distract fromthe fact that she was scary.

She bundled her way to where I was stood and hugged me so tightly her expensive perfume flooded my nostrils. I wriggled myself out of her grip and quickly walked away.

I stood by the wall of the school and hunched; with my hands covering my tiny face except for my teary eyes.Then Leila, the kindergarten prima donna with hordes of sheep following her around, appeared with a smirk on her face. She pulled out her tongue and made funny faces to me. I decided not to bulge from my place. But soon enough, a whole gang of other bullies joined her and were now laughing hysterically at me. I tried to speak out but all I could make were incomprehensible sounds, useless mumbles. My mouth betrayed me again.

Selective mutism, you still remember that term right? I should have told you it’s worse when you are deaf as well as selectively mute. Once in a while though, the rage that stems from being different and misunderstood can be quite liberating. I rushed to Leila and pulled her scarf off. I got hold of her long pigtails and pulled them with all my energy. Her screams filled the entire compound immediately. The other bullies suddenly freaked out and called Miss Khadija. I was breathing heavily when Miss Khadija finally succeeded in stopping the fight. I saw Leila say something to our teacher in between tears, although I couldn’t exactly understand what she was saying, I knew she was hurt. And that was enough to satisfy me; at least for the day

During the lunch break, Miss Khadija came and sat opposite me. She slid my lunch box across the table and stared me in the eyes. I looked away to where the other children were playing. I sighed with a longing; I wished I could have friends too, even if just one. I sighed again My helplessness was killing me!

Miss Khadija drew my lunch box closer to her. My lip-reading was not perfect but I understood the words she mouthed to me perfectly. I was to be punished for losing my temper that morning, not that my account for that event mattered. I stared at her long nails as she grabbed my sandwich, pushed it in her mouth quickly and gobbled it down, maintaining her stare as if to gauge my reaction. She cleared my lunch in no time and left my table without a word. Mother has to know about all this…I have to learn how to write! I declared with a finality.

I grabbed my book and held the pencil firmly with all fingers. I slowly started drawing the curve to shape an ‘a’, struggling my way through. After what seemed to be an endless energy-draining hour, I wrote my first letter. It was enough to make me jump up in delight.

I am going to write a letter to mother soon! Yes I will!