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Sometimes people wrong us in such despicable ways. Sometimes we are the ones who wrong people. Sometimes we are oppressed, we are discriminated and mistreated. Sometimes we are the ones carrying the baggage of harming others. Sometimes we lose everything at once, sometimes it is so hard, it is difficult to move on. Sometimes is sometimes our always; each one of us desperately trying to understand why things go the way they do. How villains are still walking free while some really good souls are the ones to be diagnosed with cancer. How very evil, ungrateful, arrogant people could be the ones enjoying luxurious lives while a very hardworking person suddenly loses his hand which he desperately needs for his manual labour. It doesn’t make sense! It never does! How is it a very poor child loses their mother who was the only family they knew while an already rich boy wins a car he doesn’t even need…How is it that one prays for a child for ten years yet when they finally get one, the wife dies at delivery??…and sometimes we just want to ask God, ‘Why though?’


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Only God knows…
Sometimes we realize how lucky we are for not getting what we cried for and sometimes we never get the answers. And sometimes it is as it is. We can never know. Difficult things happen. We lose and sometimes we gain. Sometimes people hurt us, they betray us, they take our differences to another level it shouldn’t ever reach, they forget all the good and tough situations you went through together. Sometimes they realize they wronged us and apologize and sometimes they die believing what they did was right. That is the human being. He is insan. He forgets and he errs.

But we should always believe that there is a bigger picture. That as much as we don’t understand what is going on in our lives or why it is going the way it is, we should have undoubted faith that God knows what’s best for us. And this is actual test of faith; believing when it is hardest to do so.

We have proof in the qur’an that there’s always something more to our painful and even happy stories. There is always something extra that our eyes will not simply see and our minds won’t easily fathom.

In Surat Kahf, in the story of Nabii Musa aleyhi salaam when he was told to search for a servant of Allah who had more knowledge than him, we get to learn something very valuable. During their journey; Nabii Musa and his teacher, Al Khidhr, three occasions happen which agitated Nabii Musa aleyhi Salam:

71. So they both proceeded, till, when they embarked the ship, he (Khidr) scuttled it. Musa (Moses) said: “Have you scuttled it in order to drown its people? Verily, you have committed a thing “Imra” (a Munkar – evil, bad, dreadful thing).”

72. He (Khidr) said: “Did I not tell you, that you would not be able to have patience with me?”

73. [Musa (Moses)] said: “Call me not to account for what I forgot, and be not hard upon me for my affair (with you).”

74. Then they both proceeded, till they met a boy, he (Khidr) killed him. Musa (Moses) said: “Have you killed an innocent person who had killed none? Verily, you have committed a thing “Nukra” (a great Munkar – prohibited, evil, dreadful thing)!”

75. (Khidr) said: “Did I not tell you that you can have no patience with me?”

76. [Musa (Moses)] said: “If I ask you anything after this, keep me not in your company, you have received an excuse from me.”

77. Then they both proceeded, till, when they came to the people of a town, they asked them for food, but they refused to entertain them. Then they found therein a wall about to collapse and he (Khidr) set it up straight. [Musa (Moses)] said: If you had wished, surely, you could have taken wages for it!”

78. (Khidr) said: “This is the parting between me and you, I will tell you the interpretation of (those) things over which you were unable to hold patience.

79. “As for the ship, it belonged to Masakin (poor people) working in the sea. So I wished to make a defective damage in it, as there was a king after them who seized every ship by force.

80. “And as for the boy, his parents were believers, and we feared lest he should oppress them by rebellion and disbelief.

81. “So we intended that their Lord should change him for them for one better in righteousness and near to mercy.

82. “And as for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the town; and there was under it a treasure belonging to them; and their father was a righteous man, and your Lord intended that they should attain their age of full strength and take out their treasure as a mercy from your Lord. And I did it not of my own accord. That is the interpretation of those (things) over which you could not hold patience.”


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If we were to witness these same occasions ourselves, wouldn’t we just react according to what is visible to the eye, as Nabii Musa did? If your boat was the one destroyed or your boy killed, how long would it take any of us to actually think that perhaps there is something greater, something bigger beyond what the mind comprehends? Were we the ones to be denied food, would we even want to smile at those people let alone build a random wall somewhere? If you just lost all your property in a fire and someone told you, ‘Perhaps it is kheir’ you would perhaps glare at them like they are the ones who set your property on fire. When misfortunes befall us we cry ‘Why God?’ yet we don’t know how much good Allah is doing to us by that same terrible incident. We tend to only look at what is in front of us. But Allah is the Most Merciful and there are a lot of instances where we should thank Allah for despite how ugly the situation is. And indeed, this story is the perfect proof that we don’t know everything. That however powerful, mighty, rich or knowledgeable we are, there are just some things we would never be able to explain or understand. That as much as we make plans, Allah has already written in detail how our lives are going to be. That we should always ask God to direct us to only what is kheir for us.

We may not have the answers but we need to trust Allah’s wisdom and choices for us. May Allah grant us the patience and guide us always. Ameen.

We plan and Allah plans, and He is the Best of planners.

P.S Humble Reminder: Do read surat Kahf if you haven’t. It still is Friday ๐Ÿ™‚


โ€œDo theย  peopleย  thinkย  thatย  theyย  willย  beย  leftย  toย  say:ย  Weย  believe,ย ย  and they will not be tried?ย  But We haveย  certainlyย  tried thoseย  beforeย  them, andย  Allahย  willย  surelyย  makeย  evidentย ย  thoseย  whoย  areย  truthful,ย ย  andย  He willย  surelyย  makeย  evidentย ย  theย  liars.โ€ย  (Qur’an, Surah Al-Ankabut, 29: 2-3)

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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.โ€œAnd certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruitsโ€ฆโ€ (Qurโ€™an, 2:155)

3. โ€œAllah does not burden a soul beyond that it can bearโ€ฆโ€ (Qurโ€™an, 2:286).

4. โ€œSay: โ€˜Nothing shall ever happen to us except what Allรขh has ordained for usโ€ฆโ€™โ€ (9:51).

5. “We shall certainly test you, until We ascertain those of you who (sincerely) strive and those who are steadfast (in Allahโ€™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. Musโ€™ab ibn Saโ€™eed reported: His father asked, โ€œO Messenger of Allah, which people are tested most severely?โ€ The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, โ€œThey 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: โ€œDo people think that they will be left alone because they say: โ€œWe believe,โ€ and will not be tested?โ€ 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!

By: Farwa Shariff

At first
Life was amazing
No hurts
Just hugs and kisses
No regrets
Home full of blessings

He wakes up with a smile
Kisses her on the forehead
And says goodbye as he goes to job
So happy she was
So blessed she was
To have
A loving one

The whole day she spends
Looking at the album
She smiles on seeing the friends
Who attended her wedding
She keeps on looking
And suddenly
Tears start falling
Not because she is hurt
Not because she is mad
On looking at that
She is elated
Contented
Feeling so blessed
To have
A loving one

In the evening she waits
So curiously
At the gate
And suddenly
The awaited one
The lovely man
Arrives
Overjoyed she is
To have
A loving one

Years passed
More happiness filled their hearts
The expected happened
It is a baby boy
It is a baby girl
Yes!
They were blessed with
A daughter and a son
Expected was another little one
Three months old
She felt she owned
A more precious thing than gold
So exultant she felt
To have
A loving one

One bright day
He went away
On an extremely long journey
Left home no money
And there she was
The optimist one
Waiting for her man
She believed
She was blessed
To have
A loving one

With the little one
Daughter on the left
On the right is the son
Eagerly waiting
At the gate
For
The loving one

People passed
Cars rushed
Yet!
No appearance
No news
For the loving one

Time passed
Really fast
Children grew into
Economists
Managers
Directors of big hotels
With the help of no one
But only
The optimist
Courageous
Strongest woman of all

The awaited one
Never showed up
Yet!
Happiness was their title
Success their body
And
Forgiveness their conclusion.

You can read more of her work at: https://farwashariff.wordpress.comhttps://farwashariff.wordpress.com

So it’s my third day in this particular government public office. I’ve been here the past two days, I wasn’t able to get served fully which brought me back the third day. Nothing astonishing right? On this day, I decided I will be an early bird at the office. By 8:30 I was there and sat comfortably next to four other young people. It kinda elevated my morale knowing that i’d soon be done with the whole frustrating process.

So, a man was being served when the printer suddenly jammed. The lady official graciously stood up from her seat to the printer and started clicking the buttons randomly.
“Eish na hii imejam,” she says as she continues to play around with the printer buttons. Unsuccessfully, she goes back to her seat and fidgets with her computer now. She calls one of her colleagues who takes over the dissecting of the printer like an experimental guinea pig. He pulls out the lower tray of the printer, peeps inside then returns it. The old lady (probably in her 50’s) goes back to her sit, relaxes back comfortably as she swings her chair and starts swiping her phone upwards with a smile plastered on her lips.

It gets to one hour past. The man is still ‘trying to do something’ and the queue is now queuing. Everyone is becoming rather restless now.

“Kwani hamuna spare tire nyi watu?” (Don’t you have a spare ‘tire’you people)

The lady is still swinging comfortably on her chair. The man says something, she wakes up and they start discussing on what they should do.

“Tuende?” (Should we go?) Another young man shouts from behind.
No response.
“Tuendee?”
No response.
“TUENDEEEE?!!! Sisi bana hatuwezi poteza mda wote hapa.” (We can’t waste all our time here)

We all start laughing at his tone.

“We can’t do anything,” she says in a vague way. We couldn’t even get it whether she was talking to us or to herself. All in all, she had said what she needed to. They have given up.

The ‘tuende’ guy loses his cool and walks away.

Like we don’t even exist, the lady graciously walks to her desk, takes a beautiful green scarf and puts it on her shoulder, picks a paper bag, goes to another drawer and removes a small jar. She is going for breakfast.
“Hallo?! what kind of public office is this? How can you just leave?” A young man behind me starts getting worked up. The lady ignores and disappears into the staircase.

“Government offices have always had the worst service eveer,” An elderly lady says.
“These people are not serious. Some of us have been here since 7 then you expect us to leave now then come back again?! Hiyo fare iko wapi?! (Where is the fare for that?)

He walks aggressively to the man.

The man is still ttttrrryiiinggg…

“Some of us have to travel. We have to finish this NOW,” he continues complaining. But the poor man is still tryiiiiiinggg ๐Ÿ˜€
Angrily, the young man storms out, “I can’t do this anymore!”

I smile to myself, sit back comfortably, specs pushed forward. Oh well, isn’t this the best place to just scrutinize human behaviour under pressure?! Should have brought my notebook with me ๐Ÿ˜€

After the young man stormed out, several others followed behind. With empty seats now ahead of me, I turn to the lady beside me, “Move forward to the next seat, lest someone else takes our numbers in the queue.”
“What for?” Her back slumped even way lower than mine, “Nothing is happening here.”
I laugh. And the young man on my left side chuckles.
“I’m just being optimistic. Subira huvuta heri (Patience pays)” I laugh at how ridiculous that sounds at this moment. It’s already past two hours and no one has been served. The young man on my left backs me up, “Yes, let’s just wait a little more.”

Our lady grace, queen of the office arrives from her breakfast. She takes her time. No hurry in Africa my friend. Slowly she gets to her desk and asks the poor man who is still TRYING, “Not yet?”
“Nop.”
She stands next to him for a moment, they discuss once again, before she takes a seat again; picks her phone and starts smiling.
“We unacheka tu hapo sisi roho zinatuuma,” (Another young man behind me whispers) We all start laughing.
The other young man next to him joins in, only he was ready with grenade-like insults for the lady. He insulted her, her mother, back to her and I almost thought he would insult her entire ancestry in a moment. Then he just decided to zip it up with, “dem ni dem tu” (A woman is just a woman) and in my mind i’m thinking, “Really now?! How does being an insensitive worker have anything to do with being a woman?” ๐Ÿ˜€ I would have told him that but oh well, I really didn’t want my children to be insulted before they are even born, so I’d just swallow it up.

The poor man still TRYING, decides to call another colleague in the office and request for his printer. So he left and in a few minutes, he was back, climbing down the stairs steadily with the printer over-weighing him.

The two young men and lady in front of me are all staring at the man carrying the printer. One looks back at me and we start laughing. We are thinking of the same thing ๐Ÿ˜€ Like finally! but then what if it doesn’t work? ๐Ÿ˜€
But then the man, as if reading our minds, says, “If this doesn’t work, you guys are jinxed.”

Laughter again. But then we are all getting too anxious. Three hours, no one has been served.

The other printer is set and the our lady grace queen of the office tries to print one of the forms. It agrees. Everyone is hurrah! Finally! But the fellow colleague interrupts, “The form hasn’t printed out the words properly. Try again”
Wait. What?!

Another form is printed. It is not okaaayyy!! Something is wrong again!

The cursing starts again. A few more clicks of the tongue here and there.

The poor man, who deserves the award of the month for his patience, decides to seek help from someone else. Soon enough, two older men with that official look came. They start looking into the printer. Removes some wires here and there. Puts some more forms in the tray then tries printing again.

“These small sized forms, it is always better when they are in large quantities,” one of them says. The printer works. Finally! We should be having that confetti moment right now. But wait. Seems like the office is full of surprises, we may just as well cross our fingers until served.

“But this is so wrong,” the other old official man cuts in. “You should have informed me about this way earlier.”
“You know, we thought it won’t take this long,” Lady grace the queen says so humbly now.
“Even so…this is wrong. You have kept the customers for too long and it is not good,” he then turns to us, “Really sorry about this. Really sorry.”
Oh. Finally someone apologizes.

“Thank you,” I nod excessively. I mean, don’t people understand the great effect of apologizing?!

The man turns back to her again, “Next time, anything like this happens you should refer them to Huduma centre.”

She nods pitifully, “By the way, those who are in a hurry can go to Huduma now.”

HAHAHA. Are you kidding me? Have you seen that endless wavy line that is at Huduma since 7 a.m. in the morning? The queues actually look like the ants are taking a trip to somewhere so cool like the moon or like children going for a field trip and they have to make those chain lines to ensure no one gets lost ๐Ÿ˜€ Only that public offices is nothing cool like the moon or even the field. No ma’am. I’ll wait.

The two older men leave and we finally start getting served. Oh but guess what? The lady grace (Grace is not her name by the way ๐Ÿ˜€ I mean grace by her poise ๐Ÿ˜€ ) insists to ruin my day despite my anger management goals of 2017.
“Let all those who’ve got receipts come first.”

WHAT!!

Quickly, another long line was formed by those having receipts while we; the early birds, the starving-from-hunger-due-to-lack-of-breakfast, the I-was-here-when-it-all-started, we were just left there to rot on our seats *sob sob* And then people wonder how psychos because pyschos; of course it is like this. With all that hunger and fatigue, we could all start a strike right there and then ๐Ÿ˜€ So all we do now is complain, “This is not fair”, “Most of them have just arrived now”, “How can you do this woman”

Then comes in this tall, pretty pretty young lady, looking so fresh and neat. She takes a separate seat aside. Another worker from the office comes to her and does the whole process for her. In about 20 minutes she is done and there she is, elegantly walking out. And you can’t even get angry anymore so you just say, “Okay. The rest of us who are thugly (thin and ugly :D) can just wait and rot right here. I’ll just wait” :/

I anxiously now start swinging my left leg restlessly. The line of the receipt guys is not ending and at this moment even doing the ‘Ommm!’ to calm the nerves won’t work.

To make matters worse, the lady grace is working single-handedly and taking her sweet time at it. Whispers of complaints still going on around me. Well, you want to learn how to manage your anger? Come to such offices my friend. You will have a good battle with your demons while at it.

Another worker comes in and takes a seat on the next desk beside the lady and he starts serving us; the abandoned children of Jerusalem ๐Ÿ˜€ Hurrah! I am third in line. At this point, I don’t even want to wink. Ready and steady. No distractions. No one should dare take my place. When my turn comes, I quickly take a seat. Let’s just end this please. The worker starts typing my details quick. At least he is faster than lady Grace, I say to myself. Then I notice two dead houseflies on the desk with a little distance between them. Who knows what is the sad story of these poor tiny houseflies? Maybe they’ve been waiting for this man to come with some food and pour some drops on the desk so they can have some meal? Poor them. Must have waited as long as I did. Rest in peace dear housy and housy 2. Or should we call the other Housier, considering that maybe it was a she? RIP Housy and Housier. The world is surely going to miss you two.

Then my mourning session is suddenly interrupted.

“Ai, kwani imeanza kuleta shida tena?” Lady grace says.

WHAAAATTTT NOWWWWW?!!!

She goes to the printer and peeps.

God…why am I so jinxed? I am the reason all this havoc happened? Oh God…but whyyy?!! Oh God please I repent right now. *crying emoji*

“Okay okay…it is working.”

Whoof woman! Kwani were you sent to do all you can to test my anxiety hormones today?! Jeez!!

My card is printed! After four hours! Alhamdulilah! Don’t ask me how fast I was already leaving that office when I heard lady grace call out, “Hey young lady! Come back. That is not your card” ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ Okay relax. That last bit was just from my imagination. Thank God it didn’t happen? Coz I think i’d have ended up beating up lady grace’s face beyond recognition. I mean, all that karate kid watching can do some good nah? ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜‰

Photo Courtesy: http://cosmouk.cdnds.net/

The past two days at the first annual Islamic conference were just A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!!! Alhamdulilah; just the kind of things that can make me feel the thrills for the rest of the year ๐Ÿ˜€ I mean, one sheikh Rishard can make your entire week wonderful so you can imagine having him plus sheikh Kishki plus Al Qahtani plus Abu Hamza plus Ismail plus Abdulghani Bashir plus sheikh Suleiman from different parts of the world, all under the same roof on the same stage! May Allah bless them for all their outstanding lectures and to all the organizers, volunteers and donors who made this event a major success mashallah. It was too exciting I wish I could literally drag everyone to come and learn from them. If you missed it, you REALLY missed out! Lol okay I won’t add any more pepper to the wounds but I can share something I learnt from sheikh Abdulrahman Mansur Al-Qahtani; one the most humorous and coolest sheikhs of our century ๐Ÿ˜€ Maybe next time we can have both Mufti Menk and Nouman Ali Khan on the same stage and we all know how that conference will rock! Ameen to this ๐Ÿ˜€

So sheikh Al-Qahtani talked about the promises made by Allah in the qur’an and how Allah is speaking directly to us. So many times we are swept off by life, with it’s tests, with it’s demands, always busy, always in a rush with the worldly affairs and it’s fanciness we forget the most important thing; what brought us into this world.

The Prophet salallaahu ‘alayhi wa aleh wa sallam said that Allah said (in hadith Qudsi): “Myself, Mankind and Jinn are in a great serious state. I create them, then they worship other gods that they make for themselves. I bless them with my bounties, then they thank someone else for what I sent them. My Mercy descends to them while their evil deeds ascend to Me. I endear them with My gifts even though I have no need to any of them while they alienate themselves from Me with their sins even though they are desperate for My help. Whoever returns to Me , I accept him no matter how far he is. And whoever turns away from Me, I approach him and call on him. Whosoever leaves a sin for My sake, I reward him with many gifts and whoever seeks to please Me, I seek to please him. Whoever acknowledges My Will and Power in whatever he does, I make the iron bend for his sake. My dear people are those who are with Me (i.e. whoever would like to be with Me, let him supplicate to Me and remember Me). Whoever thanks Me, I grant him more blessings, whoever obeys Me, I raise him and endeavor him more. Whoever disobeys Me , I keep the doors of My Mercy open for him, if he returns to Me, I bestow him with My Love , since I love those who repent and purify themselves for My Sake. If he does not repent, I still treat him by putting them in hardship to purify him. Whoever favours Me over others, I favour them over others. I reward every single good deed ten times over or seven hundred times over to countless times over. I count every single bad deed as one unless the person repents and asks for My Forgiveness in which case I forgive even that one. I take into account any little good deed and I forgive even major sins. My Mercy supercedes My Anger, My Tolerance supercedes My Blame, My Forgiveness supercedes My Punishment as I am more Merciful with My slaves than a mother with her child.”

Subhanallah, the weight of this hadith qudsi is heavy. So much to question ourselves about. Like how much Allah keeps blessing us, granting us what we want, forgiving us, forgiving us again and again and what do we send back to Him? ‘their evil deeds ascend to Me.’ Yet still He made promises to us; the ungrateful weak humans.

The first promise is: “So remember Me, I will remember You.” Surat Baqarah: verse 152
I am pretty sure we have come across those angry memes on the blue ticks on whatsapp. You are in dire need of help or perhaps just someone to talk to, the ticks have turned blue, the last seen is every past second you check…yet no reply. It is annoying, sometimes heart-breaking. But this is us human-beings. Have you tried Allah? Have you tried talking to Him directly? In your sujood? In your dua? Anywhere anytime??! Do you remember Him at all? We keep saying that communication is a two-way thing then how do we expect Allah to remember any of us when we don’t do the same to Him? Not that He needs us, but because WE NEED HIM! So remember Allah as many times and in many places as possible. Remember Him and He has promised to remember you!

The second promise is: ‘ If you are grateful, I will surely increase you (in favour)’ Surat Ibrahim: verse 7
But how many times do we thank Allah? Sincerely thanking Allah from the bottom of our hearts? For both the good and bad in our lives? He says: ‘when you thank me, I will give you more’. It is a promise. So thank Him. Thank Him for every small and big, Good and bad. And remember; even that the bad you go through is good in disguise. Again, have trust in Allah! ๐Ÿ™‚

The third promise: ‘Call unto Me (and) I shall respond to you!’ Surat Ghafir : verse 60.
The thing with Allah is that your messages to Him are delivered spontaneously and so are His replies. You may not know it but Allah has already answered your prayer the moment you make it! Even when you don’t see an answer, His silence is the answer. Sheikh Al Qahatni said: Allah answers your duas in 3 ways: I know you have heard of this so many times but look at it keenly this time round. Let it sink in the mind.

1. He answers your dua immediately. Yep that is when I say; Blue ticks and typing (not literally, His way is way faster than that but you get me right?!) ๐Ÿ˜‰ Trust me, if you have ever made a dua with so much sincerity from the heart, you will relate to this perfectly.

2. He doesn’t give you what you want so that He prevents you from some harm. We have cried. Most of us or all of us for something we wanted so badly. You cry your eyes and heart out but the answer you get is ‘silence’. You pray and cry in days, in months, in years and you give up because you think Allah doesn’t feel you, doesn’t love you…then some day years later something better happens in your life and you are so happy and you just say, ‘I’ve never been happier that what I wanted never happened!’ Ever done that? or heard someone say that? It could be for a job they wanted so badly, or a spouse, or a journey or a child…it can be anything. Yes, that is Allah, loving you and protecting you always. Have trust in Him!

3. Allah doesn’t answer your dua so that you can get abundant reward in jannah. All this pain and heart-ache you are going through right now, be patient about it. Be happy with what Allah has prepared for you. Nabii Ayub aleyhi salam was tested with sickness and loss of wealth and children and Allah answered his dua 18 years later. Mind you, he was a prophet and his dua is immediately accepted yet Allah answered him only after all those years. Be patient. Don’t say that is a prophet I can’t wait that long. Yes, but you can wait for as long as you can.

There are several other promises Allah has made to us, but we are just too blind to see or too unfocused to understand. Verily, in the qur’an and hadiths and hadith al qudsi, you will find Allah repeatedly telling us talking to us, promising us, giving us hope…

“Abu Dharr reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, relates from his Lord that Allah said:

ูŠูŽุง ุนูุจูŽุงุฏููŠ ุฅูู†ูู‘ูŠ ุญูŽุฑูŽู‘ู…ู’ุชู ุงู„ุธูู‘ู„ู’ู…ูŽ ุนูŽู„ูŽู‰ ู†ูŽูู’ุณููŠ ูˆูŽุฌูŽุนูŽู„ู’ุชูู‡ู ุจูŽูŠู’ู†ูŽูƒูู…ู’ ู…ูุญูŽุฑูŽู‘ู…ู‹ุง ููŽู„ูŽุง ุชูŽุธูŽุงู„ูŽู…ููˆุง

O my servants, I have forbidden oppression for myself and have made it forbidden among you, so do not oppress one another.

ูŠูŽุง ุนูุจูŽุงุฏููŠ ูƒูู„ูู‘ูƒูู…ู’ ุถูŽุงู„ูŒู‘ ุฅูู„ูŽู‘ุง ู…ูŽู†ู’ ู‡ูŽุฏูŽูŠู’ุชูู‡ู ููŽุงุณู’ุชูŽู‡ู’ุฏููˆู†ููŠ ุฃูŽู‡ู’ุฏููƒูู…ู’

O my servants, all of you are astray except for those I have guided, so seek guidance from me and I will guide you.

ูŠูŽุง ุนูุจูŽุงุฏููŠ ูƒูู„ูู‘ูƒูู…ู’ ุฌูŽุงุฆูุนูŒ ุฅูู„ูŽู‘ุง ู…ูŽู†ู’ ุฃูŽุทู’ุนูŽู…ู’ุชูู‡ู ููŽุงุณู’ุชูŽุทู’ุนูู…ููˆู†ููŠ ุฃูุทู’ุนูู…ู’ูƒูู…ู’

O my servants, all of you are hungry except for those I have fed, so seek food from me and I will feed you.

ูŠูŽุง ุนูุจูŽุงุฏููŠ ูƒูู„ูู‘ูƒูู…ู’ ุนูŽุงุฑู ุฅูู„ูŽู‘ุง ู…ูŽู†ู’ ูƒูŽุณูŽูˆู’ุชูู‡ู ููŽุงุณู’ุชูŽูƒู’ุณููˆู†ููŠ ุฃูŽูƒู’ุณููƒูู…ู’

O my servants, all of you are naked except for those I have clothed, so seek clothing from me and I will clothe you.

ูŠูŽุง ุนูุจูŽุงุฏููŠ ุฅูู†ูŽู‘ูƒูู…ู’ ุชูุฎู’ุทูุฆููˆู†ูŽ ุจูุงู„ู„ูŽู‘ูŠู’ู„ู ูˆูŽุงู„ู†ูŽู‘ู‡ูŽุงุฑู ูˆูŽุฃูŽู†ูŽุง ุฃูŽุบู’ููุฑู ุงู„ุฐูู‘ู†ููˆุจูŽ ุฌูŽู…ููŠุนู‹ุง ููŽุงุณู’ุชูŽุบู’ููุฑููˆู†ููŠ ุฃูŽุบู’ููุฑู’ ู„ูŽูƒูู…ู’

O my servants, you sin by night and day and I forgive all sins, so seek forgiveness from me and I will forgive you.

ูŠูŽุง ุนูุจูŽุงุฏููŠ ุฅูู†ูŽู‘ูƒูู…ู’ ู„ูŽู†ู’ ุชูŽุจู’ู„ูุบููˆุง ุถูŽุฑูู‘ูŠ ููŽุชูŽุถูุฑูู‘ูˆู†ููŠ ูˆูŽู„ูŽู†ู’ ุชูŽุจู’ู„ูุบููˆุง ู†ูŽูู’ุนููŠ ููŽุชูŽู†ู’ููŽุนููˆู†ููŠ

O my servants, you will not be able to cause harm to me and you will not be able to cause benefit to me.

ูŠูŽุง ุนูุจูŽุงุฏููŠ ู„ูŽูˆู’ ุฃูŽู†ูŽู‘ ุฃูŽูˆูŽู‘ู„ูŽูƒูู…ู’ ูˆูŽุขุฎูุฑูŽูƒูู…ู’ ูˆูŽุฅูู†ู’ุณูŽูƒูู…ู’ ูˆูŽุฌูู†ูŽู‘ูƒูู…ู’ ูƒูŽุงู†ููˆุง ุนูŽู„ูŽู‰ ุฃูŽุชู’ู‚ูŽู‰ ู‚ูŽู„ู’ุจู ุฑูŽุฌูู„ู ูˆูŽุงุญูุฏู ู…ูู†ู’ูƒูู…ู’ ู…ูŽุง ุฒูŽุงุฏูŽ ุฐูŽู„ููƒูŽ ูููŠ ู…ูู„ู’ูƒููŠ ุดูŽูŠู’ุฆู‹ุง

O my servants, were the first of you and the last of you, the human of you and the jinn of you, to become as pious as the most pious heart of anyone of you, that would not increase My kingdom in anything.

ูŠูŽุง ุนูุจูŽุงุฏููŠ ู„ูŽูˆู’ ุฃูŽู†ูŽู‘ ุฃูŽูˆูŽู‘ู„ูŽูƒูู…ู’ ูˆูŽุขุฎูุฑูŽูƒูู…ู’ ูˆูŽุฅูู†ู’ุณูŽูƒูู…ู’ ูˆูŽุฌูู†ูŽู‘ูƒูู…ู’ ูƒูŽุงู†ููˆุง ุนูŽู„ูŽู‰ ุฃูŽูู’ุฌูŽุฑู ู‚ูŽู„ู’ุจู ุฑูŽุฌูู„ู ูˆูŽุงุญูุฏู ู…ูŽุง ู†ูŽู‚ูŽุตูŽ ุฐูŽู„ููƒูŽ ู…ูู†ู’ ู…ูู„ู’ูƒููŠ ุดูŽูŠู’ุฆู‹ุง

O my servants, were the first of you and the last of you, the human of you and the jinn of you, to be as wicked as the most wicked heart of anyone of you, that would not decrease My kingdom in anything.

ูŠูŽุง ุนูุจูŽุงุฏููŠ ู„ูŽูˆู’ ุฃูŽู†ูŽู‘ ุฃูŽูˆูŽู‘ู„ูŽูƒูู…ู’ ูˆูŽุขุฎูุฑูŽูƒูู…ู’ ูˆูŽุฅูู†ู’ุณูŽูƒูู…ู’ ูˆูŽุฌูู†ูŽู‘ูƒูู…ู’ ู‚ูŽุงู…ููˆุง ูููŠ ุตูŽุนููŠุฏู ูˆูŽุงุญูุฏู ููŽุณูŽุฃูŽู„ููˆู†ููŠ ููŽุฃูŽุนู’ุทูŽูŠู’ุชู ูƒูู„ูŽู‘ ุฅูู†ู’ุณูŽุงู†ู ู…ูŽุณู’ุฃูŽู„ูŽุชูŽู‡ู ู…ูŽุง ู†ูŽู‚ูŽุตูŽ ุฐูŽู„ููƒูŽ ู…ูู…ูŽู‘ุง ุนูู†ู’ุฏููŠ ุฅูู„ูŽู‘ุง ูƒูŽู…ูŽุง ูŠูŽู†ู’ู‚ูุตู ุงู„ู’ู…ูุฎู’ูŠูŽุทู ุฅูุฐูŽุง ุฃูุฏู’ุฎูู„ูŽ ุงู„ู’ุจูŽุญู’ุฑูŽ

O my servants, were the first of you and the last of you, the human of you and the jinn of you, to rise up in one place and make a request of me, and were I to give everyone what he requested, that would not decrease what I have any more than a needle would decrease the sea if put into it.

ูŠูŽุง ุนูุจูŽุงุฏููŠ ุฅูู†ูŽู‘ู…ูŽุง ู‡ููŠูŽ ุฃูŽุนู’ู…ูŽุงู„ููƒูู…ู’ ุฃูุญู’ุตููŠู‡ูŽุง ู„ูŽูƒูู…ู’ ุซูู…ูŽู‘ ุฃููˆูŽููู‘ูŠูƒูู…ู’ ุฅููŠูŽู‘ุงู‡ูŽุง ููŽู…ูŽู†ู’ ูˆูŽุฌูŽุฏูŽ ุฎูŽูŠู’ุฑู‹ุง ููŽู„ู’ูŠูŽุญู’ู…ูŽุฏู’ ุงู„ู„ูŽู‘ู‡ูŽ ูˆูŽู…ูŽู†ู’ ูˆูŽุฌูŽุฏูŽ ุบูŽูŠู’ุฑูŽ ุฐูŽู„ููƒูŽ ููŽู„ูŽุง ูŠูŽู„ููˆู…ูŽู†ูŽู‘ ุฅูู„ูŽู‘ุง ู†ูŽูู’ุณูŽู‡ู

O my servants, it is only your deeds that I record for you and then recompense for you, so let him who finds good praise Allah and let him who finds other than that blame no one but himself.”

Keep having faith, keep being strong, keep thanking Allah, keep trusting Him and most importantly; keep smiling ๐Ÿ™‚

Photo Courtesy: Unknown

While some people are born in the luxury of a rich family someone else is born in the streets.
While some people are lucky enough to have been breastfed by their mothers, some don’t know their mothers’ names. While some people are born to a fancy life of bread, cheese and butter, some are born with Kwashiorkor and Marasmus.
While some are born to immediately learn the world of internet, cartoons and play station, some are born to learn the world of drought, hunger and poverty.
While some people’s biggest problem is not knowing what latest car model they should buy, some people can’t even define in words which is their biggest problem.

We tend to take so many things in our lives for granted; like how much Allah has blessed us. Not just blessed us but REALLY blessed us. We complain and whine over the small tests sent to us yet we forget about the people less advantaged than us. However hard your battle is, do know there are millions of people facing harder problems than you are. Keep reminding yourself of the people in Syria, Palestine, Iraq, Yemen; people who have never seen fireworks in their lives except the fire from bombs and grenades. Remind yourself of people in drought areas, people living in what they call a ‘house’ yet all rain pours in. Remind yourself of the homeless and the ones fighting for their lives in hospitals.

Indeed we are ungrateful beings SubhanaLlah. Who are we to even think about complaining let alone speak it out? We keep denying God’s favours and once we succeed, we walk tall forgetting by whose grace we are where we are. We forget where we came from; where we started. We forget to help those more unfortunate than we are; we forget that this world is nothing but a number of days. We forget that Allah never charged us for His air, for our hearing or our sight.

While you get really annoyed because you couldn’t get the dinner you wanted, or your payment is late do remember that many wish they could have anything to eat or even money to wait for. Do know you ARE indeed lucky; luckier than those who consider themselves lucky. And ironically, the people suffering mostly are the ones appreciating the smallest of things in their lives; treasuring the fact that they are alive, that they have their limbs or that they have their parents with them. Because for them, they very well understand that this is a test from Allah and that they will be paid for their patience. They remain strong and have faith in Allah and all their tongues utter is ‘alhamdulilah ala kul hal’. While those of us with greater blessings, we forget everything at the smallest test we get into.

May Allah guide us and grant us patient hearts and souls that help others more and more. May He easen all our troubles and for all mankind who are going through more difficult times than we are.

Parting shot: Which of your Lord’s favours will you deny??