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A man will be tested according to his level of religious commitment. If his religious commitment is solid, his test will be more severe, but if there is any weakness in his religious commitment, he will be tested according to his level of religious commitment. And calamity will continue to befall a person until he walks on the earth with no sin on him.

-Prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h

I’ve intentionally been avoiding to write about this. No, not about sabr, about Shekuwe’s story. I feel no words can really paint the real picture of the situation. My own imagination fails me but then it keeps haunting me. The thought of someone losing his entire family at once? I think of how I make a fuss out of nothing, how me and you, break down because ‘I lost a job’ or ‘My car was hit today’ or ‘The cake I made turned out too sour’. The thought of this fills my heart with shame. I mean, have you even thought about it yourself? Take a moment and picture it please. Imagine all your family members succumbing to high tides and waves of the ocean; watching them die. One after another. And then nothing. You are left alone. All that darkness like a heavy cloud on your head. The numbness, the trauma, the disbelief that you are even breathing. Coming back home to only find emptiness? With echoes of laughter and cries and memories that are no more? How many of us could actually handle that?

But here’s the flip side to it.


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When you believe in Allah, and when Allah loves you back just as much as you do, then He’ll put you in tests over and over again. You will be pushed to be edge until you cry ‘why?’ But there are a few answers to this dreadful question:

1. “And know that your wealth and your children are but a trial and that Allah has with Him a great reward.” ~ Quran 8:28

2.“And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits…” (Qur’an, 2:155)

3. “Allah does not burden a soul beyond that it can bear…” (Qur’an, 2:286).

4. “Say: ‘Nothing shall ever happen to us except what Allâh has ordained for us…’” (9:51).

5. “We shall certainly test you, until We ascertain those of you who (sincerely) strive and those who are steadfast (in Allah’s Deen); and We shall test your affairs (to distinguish the liars from the truthful)”: (47:31)

6. “Most certainly you will face tests in your wealth and in your persons. You will definitely hear much painful abuse from those who have been given The Book before you and from those who worship many gods. But if you are patient and fear Allah, then that will be the determining factor in all affairs.” ~ Quran 3:186

7. The prophet p.b.u.h said: If Allah wants to do good to someone, He afflicts him with trials. ~ (Bukhari 75/5)

8. The prophet p.b.u.h said: If Allah intends for a servant to reach a rank he is unable to reach by his good deeds, then Allah will put him to trial in his body or his wealth or his children, and he will be patient until he reaches the rank intended for him. [Ahmad]

9. The prophet p.b.u.h said: Nothing befalls a believer, a (prick of a) thorn or more than that, but Allah will raise him one degree in status thereby, or erase a bad deed. ~ Bukhari

10. The prophet p.b.u.h said: On the Day of Judgement, when the people who were tried (in this world) are given their rewards, the people who were pardoned (in life), will wish that their skins had been cut off with scissors while they were in the world. ~ Tirmidhi 36/100

11. Mus’ab ibn Sa’eed reported: His father asked, “O Messenger of Allah, which people are tested most severely?” The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “They are the prophets, then the next best, then the next best…”

12. “… and be patient over what befalls you.” ~ Quran 31:17


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Shekuwe’s story is something you’d probably imagine to be something extracted from an emotional, heartbreaking Bollywood movie. But it isn’t. How much do you think Allah loves this human being to put him in such a test? How much strength of imaan does he have that Allah put him through such kind of pain? How much do you think Allah loves YOU to put you in the pain you go through?

Truth is, everyone is undergoing something. It only differs with magnitude. Some have it easier than others and others have it waayy heavier than you could possibly imagine. But don’t we all want Allah’s love that bad? Don’t we want to reach that kind of status that brings us closer to Him?? We can only pray for Shekuwe, and for ourselves and for each other. We can only support and be there for one another because behind every smile is an untold story of sabr. So let’s keep making dua over and over again; we pray for strength and imaan and taqwa to keep walking however bad the storm gets. May Allah easen it for him and for us all.

One of my favourite ayahs is from Surat Ankabut, 2nd verse: “Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: “We believe,” and will not be tested?” And I keep reciting this ayah over and over again like it is my mantra. It has a deep meaning that strikes right into the heart. It gives us a purpose to soldier on to prove our love to Allah.

Dear heart, dear you, Do you believe?? Then have sabr oh dear heart. Have sabr. Because sabr is indeed beautiful (Assabr Jameel).

May Allah grant us sabr like of Ayub aleyhi ssalam. Ameen.


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The only thing I constantly dream and anticipate of my future, is to be a mother. Not just any kind of a mother; a very dedicated one. I live for that. And I hope that God makes it come true. Ameen. I don’t know what it feels like to lose a child or to be in marriage and await for children, but I can only imagine and pray that God doesn’t test me with that and to grant those who are still having faith and praying for a miracle, a good offspring.

This is a rather special post for me because here, I narrate two different stories of two different individuals who lost their children. This gave me a heart ache but I do realize the need for people to hear other people’s stories; to appreciate their own journeys and to be patient in whatever they are going through. It is not going to be an easy read. Take heart and know that if you are/were in this same journey, you are never alone.

***A PREVIOUS NARRATION BY A DAD WHO LOST HIS FOUR UNBORN BABIES***

“Not many have the courage to speak about their disappointments in life, it hurts to lose people you love but it hurts more to lose people you expect and they don’t materialize. As we celebrate my 29th birthday, so do we celebrate the lose of our four unborn kids that never even had a chance to have a breadth of life through miscarriages. It’s the most devastating and disappointing event that has ever met our lives, and the worst of it all, the doctors can’t explain the cause of the miscarriages even after spending chunks of bills for tests and medication.

Recently, Mark Zuckerberg posted his experience with miscarriages and now expecting a baby girl, this is reassuring that there’s calm after storm. The comments and replies the post received were amazing, I came to learn that as I find it difficult having lost four babies, many other families have lost more than ten before they finally got a baby or more thereafter. And the least pleasing fact is that a huge number of couples have not even had the experience of the miscarriage itself let alone having a baby and passes on after successful birth.

Allah SW provides to His subjects what they need and not what they want, for what they want may not be beneficial to them or rather harmful in their lives and religion. For as much as we don’t know is in store for us by destiny, we shouldn’t stop trying and exploring available halaal ways of finding solutions to this problem. Allah has given mankind brains and resources to find solutions for such medical conditions, and the best of the mankind are those that are patient and those who depend on Allah for their lives and their hereafter.

The miscarriages issue has come with it many disappointing and devastating events. Young couples divorcing, wrangles in families and lack of happiness in homes. Yet the problem may be a medical condition that is treatable or may be chromosomal that is not, but in the long run, couples must remember it’s Allah SW who decides who gets what and when and in what form, so it’s not upon you to question the deity. The best of your response should be to thank and remember Allah SW during all moments. Allah tests His subjects both in hardship and pleasure, so the have are no better than the have not. Children come with responsibilities, so for the one who have, it’s also a great challenge for them too since the responsibility comes even harder for who they become is a reflection of what their parents are!. Lastly, as I pay tributes to the gone babies of ours, we missed you though we never had the chance to hold you in our arms, perhaps the right time hasn’t come. Or may be, better babies are yet to come. We shall always remember you and cherish the feeling of your few weeks with us. You gave us a lot of hope and joy but Allah Has the better plans for them and the many that have gone before and after you.”

***A NARRATION BY A MOTHER WHO LOST HER SON***

“Two months into my marriage, I was already pregnant. There was excitement in the house. It’s every woman’s dream; any couple’s dream and mine was finally going to come true. I was happy and counting down of the nine months began. Then one day we went out with my husband to a hotel at Diani and I hit myself at the abdomen with the swimming pool slide. The complications started right after that. My abdomen started aching and all the hospitals I went to, I was told nothing is wrong, the baby was fine but I should have bed rest. My scans were clear too.

By then I had already resigned from my workplace so as to take care of my health. Nonetheless, I got better and I applied for another job of which I was accepted. On the same day that I reported to work, I started feeling unwell and had to ask for permission to go see the doctor. By the time I got to the ferry, all I was seeing was black. I went and held a pole nearby to support myself as I tried to regain my strength. Two ladies came to me and asked if everything was okay. When they noticed I was pregnant and helpless, each of them held one arm and helped me board the ferry. I was still feeling nauseated and I started throwing up. The two ladies noticed I was vomiting red they thought it was blood although it was because I was from eating watermelons. That worried them and a nurse came to their rescue. I couldn’t clarify it wasn’t blood because I could barely open my mouth. So the lady nurse came to us and decided to carry me. Since they considered it an emergency case, the ferry immediately left to take me to the other side where my husband was waiting for me.

After the three ladies got me to my husband, I went for check-up, the doctor insisted that this time round I should have a bed rest for one whole month. As such, my husband had to go to my new workplace and inform them that I can’t make it.

My grandma decided to take me with her, to ease it for my husband since he has to go to work. But then one day, the pain revisited my body, this time more painful than ever. Nearby, there was a mid-wife so we went to her and she gave me a massage. I was told that the baby was leaning on my abdomen and thus the pain. But the massage was like adding charcoal to the fire. I had to be rushed to the nearest hospital which was Coast General and was told that my baby’s path was already open. I was about to give birth. At six months.

The nurses injected me and prepared me for birth. It was going to be a pre-mature birth and chances of survival was 50-50. But we were hopeful and I had faith. All my relatives were told to wait outside the ward. I still had some time before I could give birth, so the nurse left me alone. But then the bone-breaking pain came and I was confused. It was my first time, with absolutely no idea how things work. I just pulled off my hijab, kept it under my thighs and started pushing and pushing…extreme pain, sweat…then black…

“Ah! She has given birth already!” I could hear the nurses calling out from afar. “Ma’am, ma’am…do you know that you have already given birth?’

I didn’t know,but I just nodded. I checked the time, it was almost 1 hour 45 minutes later since I started giving birth and lost my consciousness. There was frantic movement for some time. Then cleaning me up, then cutting of the umbilical cord. One nurse then came to me, ‘Ma’am, you gave birth to a baby boy…but i’m sorry, he passed…Do you want to see him?”

I said no. I requested for my family instead. My aunt who raised me came in with my mother in law. They found me crying. I could now feel the emptiness in me; in my heart, in my stomach.

“Have you seen your son?” My aunt asked as she went on consoling me. When I said no, she insisted I should, “This is your son and you are never going to see him again. So take heart and hold him and kiss him. Be strong.”

And I bid farewell to my son; my only child, my only flesh. For a long time, I was never going to forget that moment.

Almost two weeks after giving birth, the abdomen pain struck again. It was too painful. I went to see my gynecologist and after yet another scan, they noticed a leakage, though they couldn’t tell where it was from until I was operated on. The assumption was that it was bacterial infection from the post-birth. So the next morning, first thing I was taken for the surgery. After being cut, is when my gyno, another general doctor and a nurse realized that my appendix had ruptured. There was a lot of pus inside and the baby had been drinking that. But my situation freaked them out. They had never handled such a case so they called another fellow doctor who directed them what to do. When they were done, four hours later, they called in for another nurse to take me to my room and they disappeared through the back door.

My family followed me to the room with worry, but the doctors were nowhere to be seen. One hour later is when my gyno appeared. Upon being asked where he was he said, “In my entire 20 years in this career, i’ve never seen such a thing and i’ve never had such a surgery.” They had removed 3 liters of pus from the leakage and some pus was still left. While I was about to leave the hospital, my nurse asked to have a private word with me and said, “My dear, if you ever feel the need to cry, then cry. No one should tell you you have to be strong. Let it out. Scream, shout, do whatever will make you feel better but don’t let it eat you up inside.” And that was it. Weeks after that I was still going to the hospital to have some more pus removed. You can’t imagine the pain. Both the physical and mostly the emotional torment.

Months later, I went for my final check-up and I met my gyno and he said, “Has anyone ever told you that God is great? That was a very risky operation, I have never been that scared in my life. I never even imagined you’d get up and be well again…Your baby saved you. He was drinking the pus which was poisonous all along. Hadn’t you given birth to him, we wouldn’t have known of the leakage…” He then quickly summoned for the other doctor who had operated on me to come into the office.

“You remember this lady?” My gyno asked his fellow doctor.
“How can I forget this girl…” Looking at me, “When we did your operation, I asked doctor here, can I just cry for this girl? I went home that evening and told my children, ‘before you sleep, there is a special patient at my hospital, we have to pray for her condition. You are a very strong lady!”I just nodded with a smile.

It was such a rough time. For months after that, I cried. I had a difficult time whenever i’d see relatives and friends with their children. My husband and I had to move to a different house to avoid the questions and the despair. For years after that we were still praying and hoping for another baby…but nothing happened. It got to a point I told my husband he can marry another woman if he willed. I was broken. But he was supportive and still is. I remember when I told him about marrying another woman he said, “Say audhubillah. Go take ablution and pray two rakaats to your Lord…” It’s been five years since we got married. We still don’t have a child. It may be a hard test but as my husband always reminds me, “God doesn’t give you except what you can handle…and maybe, He is preventing some harm into our lives by all this.” When you ask my husband about our gone son he would say, “I did not only have a son, but an angel who saved the life of my wife and gave up his own. He was our hero!”

I have faith in God and I still pray for what is best for us. Yet I have this beautiful memory of my son for I gave birth to him, I felt him and I experienced labour pain.”

****

All I know about this life is that it wasn’t meant to be heaven. You will be tested; in one way or another. He will give you wealth but test you with lack of health. He will give you children but test you with a difficult spouse. He will give you health but with lack of children. He will give you wealth but you will be tested with early death of parents. Everyone, and I mean, EVERYONE, is fighting some kind of battle. Even those happy people you see spending money and acting all classy like they got it all…they also have something missing in their lives. It’s pretty much difficult for everyone in this life, but we need to pass these tests. We need to believe that God knows what is best for us, He knows the answers to your questions, He knows why He gave you this instead of that…We need to be patient and strong. We need to have faith that God only gives us what we can absolutely conquer. So whatever you are going through right now, soldier on.

I pray that Allah grants children to all those who’ve been waiting; a good, pious, healthy offspring that will be close to Allah. May Allah grant you higher reward for your patience and grant you strength in all stages of life. Ameen!

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About a week ago, my father went missing after Isha prayers. How that went down is a story almost like the ‘Don’t breath’ movie…

My sisters and I were all seated in our room together with mum. Each of us was in a different corner studying for their own exams that were approaching while mum busily texted our other sister abroad. Just out of nowhere mum started, “Your father is really late from the masjid today.” None of us replied because mum always got anxious easily and she had such a talent at making me panic too. I, for one, didn’t want to hear of anything to excite my heart with anxiety at that moment, so I just sat calmly and read on. Some minutes later, mum walked to the window where she could directly see the masjid, “Your father isn’t back yet!”

“Relax mum, relax. He will be back any minute,” I told her as I went on studying. Soon enough, my elder sister’s husband came back home from work and they left, leaving two paranoid creatures alone with one younger but stronger one to keep us sane enough.

As mum kept worrying about dad being late, I kept checking the watch in my phone.

“Ma, it’s just 9 p.m. Say ‘audhubillah mina shaytan rajim’ (I seek refuge to Allah from the Satan). There is probably a meeting at the masjid, or he is talking to one of his friends, or someone needed his help urgently…all that is possible,” I said as I patted her shoulder.

“Audhubillah mina shaytan rajim,” she repeated after me.

Mum thereafter convinced my sister to go check if he is still in the masjid. It isn’t far so it is safe enough especially since we could see her movement. She came back and stood right beside our car, looked up at the window where we were waiting and said, “the masjid is closed.”

Now one thing about my father, which I really admire is that, he was never the kind to roam around places or talk to friends for hours. He was either out for a purpose or inside his home with his family. He is never late home unless it is beyond him. If he wants to go somewhere a bit far from home he wouldn’t go without informing my mother or at least one of us to inform mum. So this was kind of odd. Our masjid is just 3 minutes away. What could have kept him out for more than one hour?

So nowadays, i’ve been reading several self-help books to conquer anxiety and such, and since I know mum’s anxiety is enough to knock me off, I tried really hard not to worry. Time to time, I kept telling her that he will be back soon. My 17 year old sister was in control. Not showing her worry nor saying much, she was just by the window waiting for him to appear. His phone was at home that meant that he had no plan to go anywhere after the prayers and it also meant, we couldn’t call him.

It was already getting past 10 and now I was the one chanting, ‘audhubillah mina shaytan rajim’. I was really struggling not to allow the anxiety get to my head. My sister and I went to the next door neighbour who is also his friend to inquire if he was there or if they had seen him; but they hadn’t. My mum called my brother to inquire from my dad’s friends whether he was with them. His two closest friends said they hadn’t seen him that day let alone that hour. LOL now you know what that means. It means me allowing my super-active anxiety hormones start doing what they have to. My mother? Don’t even ask; she was already having stomach upsets.

We were all reciting duas now; seriously praying, each one of us at a different window. I kept pacing from the window in the bedroom to the one in the sitting room, just hoping to see him appear. Thoughts were now flowing like a waterfall. What could have happened between the masjid and home? An accident? No, it is so close home we would have known by now. Kidnapping? Raid by the police? Perhaps took him as Al-shabaab suspect? Lol but then why would my dad be a suspect anyway?! I started thinking of the families in news crying for their missing persons, of the facebook posts of people missing their dead dads, of what if my dad had gotten into a fight which ended at the police station??

My sister’s baby started crying in the room, barely thinking clearly I walked to him and fed him, “I have to remain sane,” I said to myself. “Things could get worse here…and I am the eldest available. If anything is wrong with dad, mum would need a sane person.” Now my anchor during my panic attacks has always been my best friend. She was the only one who could make me think rationally at such situations. So I was texting her while still checking one window to the other. Making me stay positive, to calm down bla bla bla…lol those are the perks of having a doctor as your best friend 😀

My mum insisted that I should call my elder sister and her husband to come join us in the search. But I told her, “What help can they really offer now? We can’t do anything ourselves except wait. We would just be making two more people anxious like ourselves.” And trust me, waiting helplessly without doing anything is the biggest test of patience.

We were barely exchanging words now; my sister,mum and I that is. Each one was either deep in thoughts, deep duas or deep in conversation with the people who could have information about dad. Mum didn’t want to create a fuss so she tried to only ask the closest friends and the neighbours who pray with him. My brother had already arrived by then. He went back to the masjid. checked again, went to ask the neighbours…no sign of him…

Several minutes past 11 I saw my brother, his friend and dad’s friend walking past home. I knew what that meant. They were going to the police station. It also meant, no good news will come out of this.

Only one thing was in mind now. If something has happened to dad, if he is dead…what would be the situation here?! How would mum be? Does he have any debts we don’t know about?…Drowning in the thoughts and after several hours of stopping myself, I broke down, silently…

I could hear my mother move some utensils in the kitchen of which she explained to me later. “I knew I couldn’t be sure what news was coming then; maybe a dead body so I started clearing the place…”

As I stood by the window, stomach upset and tears in my eyes, I saw my dad appear from the direction of the mosque. I just shouted, “Mum! dad is here!” before running downstairs to open the door. I wasn’t planning to cry in front of my dad but when our eyes met, I just started crying and hugged him.

“Where were you?!! We were worried?!” I said, still in his arms. He remained silent and patted my shoulder, which made me fear that maybe something had been done to him . But by then my mum was already downstairs too, her voice shaky. He looked at us with surprise, like he was confused why we were crying.

“I was in the car. I dozzed off unintentionally…”

Mum said this after she heard that statement, “Upon seeing him, I was already about to cry but when he said he was in the car, I forced back my tears” like ‘what??!!’ So she kept complaining and complaining how worried she was and how she had thought of worst of the worst.

“It isn’t my fault. I came here and rang the bell for almost an hour (which apparently had a problem). No one opened the door for me. It was getting pretty cold out here. I didn’t have a phone to call any of you. So I just got into the car knowing Saeed (my brother) would be here any minute now and we can come in together. But then I just suddenly dozzed off and right now the only thing that woke me up was a noisy car that passed by.”

By the time he woke up he didn’t know that it was already getting to midnight. My mum quickly called my brother to stop them from going to the police station. My elder sister and husband had already been informed that dad was missing just a few minutes earlier by my brother and coincidentally, while mum was dialing my bro’s number, my sister’s call came in and thus both of them were in the call when mum said, “He is back home. You don’t have to go to the police.”

For a few minutes after dad was home, we were still contemplating what was going on.

“Imagine if they had already reported to the police…in fact the police would have wondered who reports a missing healthy, normal, grown-up man after just four hours? Then afterwards going back to inform them that he had just dozzed off in the car.” We were now laughing about it but after every statement, each one would say, ‘alhamdulilah’ (Thank God). That was a mighty scare. But for people like me and mum, we believe there are lessons to be learnt in everything that happens.

“Imagine I stood right beside the car when I was telling you the masjid was closed, I didn’t even notice he was in there. And when Saeed went to ask the neighbours he passed by the car more than three times and still…We just weren’t meant to see him,” my younger sister said.

“Oh my, Imagine the power of Allah. How He can shift just something really small in your life and how it can mess you up. Imagine just how all this happened because of the bell that we didn’t hear…God was testing our patience and the value of dad amongst us,” I told them.

“He wanted us to just have a taste of what it would feel like if He took him away from us,” Mum said.

We remained silent for a moment, contemplating that statement. It was heavy…and it made me dread the day I will lose my dad…or any of my family members.

We could barely sleep after that, we were just narrating how we felt during the trial, laughing at how silly the end is, at the wild thoughts we had, at how we made other people anxious too, telling the story to our sister abroad and keeping her in suspense just like I did to you right now 😀 …We slept late that night and in the morning, we had so much to tell to our elder sister and her husband.

If I have learnt anything from this experience is that, perhaps if it were not for this, my dad wouldn’t have known how much exactly I love him or how we all do. And that the worst words are those left unsaid.

P.S I love you dad!