Lubnah Abdulhalim


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Definition of terms:

Mental health: A state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.

Mental illness: Health conditions involving changes in emotion, thinking or behavior (or a combination of these). Mental illnesses are associated with distress and/or problems functioning in social, work or family activities.

It is crucial to understand that mental illnesses are not only the common disorders like depression, anxiety, OCD and bipolar. There are other mental disorders including learning disorders, personality disorders, eating disorders, sexual disorders, mood disorders among many others. It is thus important that none of us ignore any distress we are experiencing and seek help when we can. Parents have to look out for their children for any unusual behaviour, slow response in their learning or interaction or how they deal with difficult situations and take them for therapy in case of anything unsettling.

When should you seek help?

  • You feel an overwhelming and prolonged sense of helplessness and sadness, and your problems do not seem to get better despite your efforts and help from family and friends. 
  • You are finding it difficult to carry out everyday activities: for example, you are unable to concentrate on assignments at work, and your job performance is suffering as a result. 
  • You worry excessively, expect the worst or are constantly on edge.
  • You often find it difficult to sleep, nothing seems to calm you down and feel frustrated most times, sometimes for no apparent reason.
  • When you’re seeing/hearing unusual sounds that others are not.
  • When you experience a major shift in your life or a tragedy, for example war, abuse, an accident, marriage, divorce, violence, loss of a loved one, moving to a new country/city/school etc
  • Your actions are harmful to yourself or to others: for instance, you are drinking too much alcohol, have a temper, abusing drugs, becoming overly argumentative and aggressive think/plan on committing suicide.

Please note that these are but a few of the symptoms. There are many more and you may decide to research further on them.

Another important thing to note is that counselling/therapy is not only for those crazy or addicts. For a healthy lifestyle one should seek therapy even when they feel pretty much okay. Just like you would go for a physical check-up at the hospital, you should also go for a session for your mental health whenever possible. We all experience difficulties in life and it is not bad sometimes to have a safe space to just open up and release the stress.

How do I choose my provider?

Mental health providers like any other health professionals are different. Some have more experience than others. Some come from different backgrounds. Some are more qualified than others. Some have worked more with specific kind of clients (example: children, addicts, spouses etc). Some charge more than others. Seeing a therapist at a public hospital is mostly cheaper than seeing them in their private clinics/offices. Most importantly, their methods also differ. It is thus important to take your time to find out which mental health provider is appropriate for you.

Here are some of the questions you may ask:

  • Are you a licensed psychologist/coach/counsellor? How many years have you been practicing?
  • I have been feeling (anxious, tense, depressed, etc.) and I’m having problems (with my job, my marriage, eating, sleeping, etc.). What experience do you have helping people with these types of problems?
  • What are your areas of expertise — for example, working with children and families?
  • What kinds of treatments do you use, and have they been proven effective for dealing with my kind of problem or issue?
  • Do you incorporate Islamic principles, values, methods and techniques in your treatment plan (for your Muslim clients)?
  • Are your sessions strictly physical or do you also do virtual ones?
  • What are your fees per session? How is the payment process (can one pay weekly or monthly? Can one pay via Mpesa? Is there room for a discount?)

Wellness & Mental Health Providers:

Life Coach: A life coach is a type of wellness professional who helps people make progress in their lives in order to achieve their goals and attain greater fulfillment. Life coaches aid their clients in improving their relationships, careers, and day-to-day lives.

While working with a life coach may help you to deal with certain unresolved issues, life coaches cannot treat mood disorders, anxiety disorders, addiction, or any other mental health condition.

Counsellor: A counsellor is a mental health practitioner who gives guidance on personal or psychological problems. They mainly address clients’ emotional and relationship issues through talk therapy and skills development. They often work in school or career settings and private practice.

Counsellors can go by different titles depending on the type of education they received, the population of clients they work with, and the settings they practice in. Common examples are Licensed professional counsellor (LPC) and licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT).

Psychotherapist: A psychotherapist has specialized training in treating mental disorders. They use talk therapy to help people find better ways to cope with emotional issues and overcome unhealthy behaviors or thinking patterns. Psychotherapists can be psychiatrists or psychologists.

Psychologists: A psychologist is someone who studies the mind and behavior.  This profession actually encompasses a wide range of specialty areas including such things as animal research and organizational behavior.

The term psychologist can apply to people who:

  • Use psychological knowledge and research to solve problems, such as treating mental illnesses
  • Work as social scientists to conduct psychological research and teach at colleges or universities

Examples of psychologists include:

  • Counselling psychologist: A counselling psychologist helps people of all ages deal with emotional, social, developmental, and other life concerns using mostly psychotherapy (talk therapy). These professionals use a variety of strategies to help people manage behavioral issues, cope with stress, alleviate anxiety and distress, and deal with the issues associated with psychological disorders.

Take note that a counselling psychologist holds a higher qualification that a counsellor. As such, they primarily treat clients with serious mental health conditions than counsellors. 

  • Clinical Psychologist: A clinical psychologist assesses, diagnoses and treats individuals experiencing psychological distress and mental illness. They also perform psychotherapy and develop treatment plans. Clinical psychologists tend to focus on psychopathology (abnormal mental states) and thus often work in hospitals, mental health clinics, and private practice. They typically deal with clients experiencing more severe mental illnesses that counselling psychologists do. 

While clinical psychologists often work in medical settings, they are not physicians and in most cases cannot prescribe medications.

Psychiatrist: A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specializes in the treatment of mental disorders. Because psychiatrists hold a medical degree and are trained in the practice of psychiatry, they are one of the few professionals in the mental health field able to prescribe medications to treat mental health issues. Much like a general practice physician, a psychiatrist may perform physical exams and order diagnostic tests in addition to practicing psychotherapy.



Kindly take note that these are submitted names after a call-out I made on my social media platforms right after conducting a survey on ‘UNDERSTANDING THE PERCEPTIONS, ATTITUDES AND COPING MECHANISMS OF MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES AMONG MUSLIMS IN KENYA. Unfortunately, I was limited to providing full information about each one and there are also many more therapists/coaches out there that are not mentioned.

I also cannot verify anything more about them (than provided below) and will therefore not be responsible for anything beyond this article. I would therefore advise the client themselves to do their homework, ask the questions mentioned above and find the appropriate therapist/centre.

In case of any wrongly/missing written names/addresses or any short-coming, kindly pardon me and would appreciate a correction email:

I pray that the information provided will be beneficial biidhnillah. Kindly share this post and subscribe to the blog below; you never know who might need it!

Dr Ilham Mohamed FarajPsychiatrist at Afya first medical centre/ Coast General Hospital
Spaki, Mombasa0721946477
Dr. Nabila AminConsultant psychiatrist at Chiromo hospital group
Dr. Neema ArakaPsychiatry resident at Mathari hospital/Psychotherapist & Life coach at FITAHI
Dr Husna Salim Ali
Psychiatrist at Mandera county referral hospital South C & Minaret Hospital South B
Dr Salwa Haithar
Consultant psychiatrist at Chiromo hospital groupLavington, Nairobi0797784446 (Clinic line)
Dr Janbibi Yusuf
Psychiatry RegistrarEldoret0707180531
Salma Bashir
Clinical psychologist at Health Source
Nyali, Mombasa0786477699
Wafiyyah HamidClinical psychologistMombasa0722425000  (Prefers SMS/Whatsapp to calls)
Mumtaz MohamedshafiClinical psychologist/psychotherapist/Art therapist/Play therapist etcMombasa0717408069
Soud Alli TengahClinical psychologistMombasa0114152081
Salma AhmedClinical psychologist (working with National Police Service Commission)
Riziki AhmedClinical psychologist at Hidaya Timeless Solutions
Nafisa Abass
Clinical psychologistNairobi0722492999
Halima Khalif
Clinical psychologistNairobi0732082869
Aysha Ali Hassan
Mohamed Said Athman
Psychotherapist/TrainerSouth C, Nairobi0796757074
Musa Mwale Kanenje
Nuru AminPsychotherapist/Psychologist/Ongoing MAMFT
Nana Ali MohamedSenior accredited counselling psychologist (KCPA registered) at Potreitz Subcounty/ Private practice at Kheiyrunnisaa Medical CenterMombasa0712820121
Saida Bukheit
Counselling psychologistMombasa0722662568
Nawal Mareai Al-Karbi 
Counselling psychologist/Child & play therapist (Women & Children only)Nyali, Mombasa0725202777 
Aisha Hassan (Munira)
Counselling psychologistNairobi0790398212
Khadija Hussein Abdow
Counselling psychologistNairobi0792612238
Rukia Mohamed
Counselling psychologist/General counsellorMachakos county within Nairobi Metropolis0723024017
Fawziya A. Hashil  
Counselling psychologist/TEAM CBT & mediator certification (on-going)Nairobi0769889359
Hamida Ahmed
Counselling psychologist & Wellness services/TrainerNairobi0718233759
Imaad Saleh
Counselling psychologist/Certified associate counsellorMombasa/Nairobi0736693525
Muslima Essak
Counselling psychologistFree Virtual during weekdaysmuslimaessak@
Halima Abdalla Al-Harazi
Community counsellorTown centre, Mombasa+254104001211
Zeitun Juma

Counsellor at Amani Counselling/Freelance tooNairobi0727802749
Farhiya Yusuf Abdi
Counsellor (mostly young adults & teenagers) Virtual0792928988
Nusrat Mohammed
Mindset coach/Corporate wellness coachMombasa0708944883
Ilham Amin
Life & spiritual CoachVirtualilhaminated@
Ruwaida Abdulaziz Dohry
Life Coach & Islamic psychology counsellingVirtual appointments/scheduled appointments at masajids (At the moment, TSS)0756903506
Noor Counselling Centre
Guidance & Counselling institutionMombasa0739724234
Ta’alluful Quloob
Guidance & Counselling/Match making institutionMombasa0774222204/ 0111222205
Shariffa Centre
Family/Marital counselling institutionMombasa0722499986
Mewa Rehabilitation Centre
Rehabilitation & Counselling CentreMombasa0722819795/
Ruby Family Care Clinic
Mental health care (among other health services)Malindi0722523847
Family Resource Centre
Guidance & Counselling institution/Family servicesJamia Plaza, Nairobi0717767888
The Pearl Recovery
Addiction and Mental health recoveryAthi River0798756046



You may read the second part of this article here.

I love this one; with his brown eyes, cute dimples, and not-fully formed disarranged teeth. I call him ‘Bundle of Joy’ because he was born in twenny twenny; the year we were all occupied at the supermarkets, with plastic containers on our heads, and almost coming to blows for the tissue papers and sanitizers (wiilddd times!). I needed him and maybe my vanity allows me to say he needed me too, for I was there to receive him from the moment he took his first breath. But mostly, if I am really honest, I love him because he loves me too, almost in an obsessive manner.

‘You got what you wanted didn’t you?’ My mum would often chorus it to me when I complain that he should give me a moment to breathe. As if to rub it on my face, she would repeat it again when he is holding the lower part of my dress with his tiny hands, following me from room to room, from corner to corner, until I get to the washroom and I stare at him. He stares back with a fake cry until I close the door on his face. He continues whining till I am out and we continue our tailing game. When I am out of his sight, he comes and throws the door to my room open, and walks in with vigor. And when the door is closed, he lays down flat on the floor outside like a typical spoilt brat, crying. Once he sees the door opening, he slowly gathers himself up and seizes to cry. Or when I ignore him, he throws himself to the floor, down on his knees before finally lying flat on the ground. You can see him summon his cry from the bottom of his heart, his hand on his forehead and I roll my eyes ‘Drama king!’ Sigh. Is this how tough motherhood is?

They say the third’s time is always a charm. Indeed. How else did I deserve this love? I, who used to fight for Hassan and Halimi’s affection endlessly?! (Tough times y’all!) And suddenly I am receiving this profound love on a silver platter. Hassun (somehow all their nicknames start with H) comes to my room every morning blabbering and with a big smile, ready to terrorize the room, sometimes throwing anything he gets hold of out of the window. This makes me grab him and leave the room together. We sit in the sitting room and he cuddles up on my chest or other times on my lap, occasionally looking up to my face as we watch ‘Omar and Hana’ or ‘Dave and Ava’. He smiles often and sometimes he spontaneously kisses my hand, which warms my heart with all sorts of colours I never knew existed. He lets me kiss him endlessly which makes me appreciate how easy I am having it this time compared to the other two. And when it is his time to nap he lays his head on my shoulder as I pace back and forth singing or rather struggling with Swahili lullabies; more words missing than not. Or I decide to sing for him ‘You’re my honey bunch sugar plum…’ Again, with so many words missing, I realize this is not my thing at all. Yet when I get to the part ‘Snoogums, boogums’ (I googled this lol) which I sing as ‘Schikum chikum’, he bursts into laughter or gives me a big smile like it is the most amusing thing ever… and it melts my hearts. I imagine this is what motherhood is about; whether by biology or nurturing. It is these small, tiny moments of pure joy that make all the difference. So even when I want to breathe and he is attached to my side and I just want to put him down, I just have to look into his adorable eyes and joy fills my heart, erasing all the irritation he causes me in the first place.

While we are the inseparable duo the whole day, here’s the plot twist for you; when his mother arrives from work, he doesn’t even maintain eye contact with me. The theory is that if he looks at me, he probably assumes his mother will disappear. So my mere attempt of touching his hand or kissing his cheek brings about shooing me away with his agitated, ‘Nonono’. His ignore game so strong at this hour, and all I say is, ‘Well, morning shall come, shan’t it?’ Despite his arrogance when with his mum, I am content with the love I am given during the day. Granted, a mother will always be a mother, and I am not trying to compete with her. So I take my rest like the part-time mother I have become. My family calls me his ‘mama two’. It is not such a baaad job anyway. Any mother wouldn’t mind having some selfish-not-so-selfish hours to themselves. The next morning I resume having a tail; with his fast and tiny feet trying to catch up with me.

Hassan and Halimi have grown considerably. The once rebellious Hassan is now a disciplined, typical-first-born child. When I go pick them up from school, Hassan still has his shirt tucked in (almost). His socks are still above his ankles. He still has his mask on his ears. He wears his lunch bag on his neck until I arrive at his class when he hands it over. Who ever thought? (If you read My Happy Person 1 you know what I am talking about 😀 ) He is caring and affectionate and so loving. I see it every time he sees his baby brother Hassun on the table, or when the door is open; how he rushes to call out to an adult so he can be protected. Sometimes I’d send him downstairs to open the door and he will chorus ‘Hassun, Hassun’ to indicate that there is the risk of baby brother following him downstairs. He still hasn’t articulated his speech like other kids his age but he has significantly improved since he started schooling alhamdulilah. Once we get home from school, he quickly changes his clothes, eats, and asks to do his homework (mashallah thu thu thu). He then sits and watches ‘Numberblocks’ which is pure math. Sometimes we look at what he is watching and just be amazed and amused. He would be watching multiplication of rather huge numbers you’d think he is in grade 4 (or above) and not PP 2. He seems to be thoroughly enjoying it because he is fully focused and complains if you dare change the channel. As such, he’s memorized rather difficult multiplication numbers bigger for comprehension than his age, so we call him our little genius mashallah tabarakallah. I look at him concentrating and call out his name. He smiles shyly. I tell him ‘I love you’, he says it back, quickly before looking back at the TV. He says it back now; without hesitation or arrogance. My dad was right after all; sometimes you should let people appreciate you at their own timing without forcing your love on them.

Halimi is the total opposite; he is cheerful, charming, full of energy, and playful mashallah. When I pick him up from his classroom, he has no mask, his shirt untucked, and his shoes untied, full of dust. His teacher often has something to say, ‘He sleeps the entire afternoon’, ‘He was crying for his mother’ ‘His Juzuu is torn’. SMH. I tie his shoes and off we go. Throughout our trip home, he is shouting, ‘LOOK! LOOK! MOTORCYCLE!’ ‘LORRY!’ ‘COW!’ ‘LOOOOK! TREE!’ ‘VEHICLE!’ With a lot of blabbering that I can’t really make out what he is saying. He is loud enough for passersby to look our way. His excitement is almost touchable and so innocent. His curiosity is seen in his cute eyes. ‘It’s cominggg!’ he would say loudly upon seeing a vehicle approaching us. He would read random words written on the doors of kiosks, and make sure that I am listening to him. His obsession with vehicles is fascinating. You should see his excitement when he sees a garbage truck- GARBAGE TRUCK! LOOK! Who is even this happy to see a garbage truck?! EXCAVATOR! he would shout upon seeing one. And this priceless reaction is the same every single time as if it is his first time seeing these things. He has an entire vocabulary of different types of vehicles, all thanks to ‘Blippi’ (A very educative and enjoyable series for kids. If you have kids you should definitely check it out). All this while Hassan is silently walking but then at some point when he sees people looking our way, he would shout to Halimi ‘Nyamaza wewe!’. Typical introvert-ambivert exchange. They both fumble with words with their English accent (Blippi again) and rather big words that I never heard of till my adult age (Blippi!). It never stops to amuse me how different the two brothers are; like two sides of the same coin-and I can’t wait for Hassun to grow up so we can discover his personality too.

Halimi is the trouble-maker, so once he gets home he quickly asks one of us to remove his uniform. He says it with such urgency you might think he is in clutches. Once changed, he eats while he plays with his toy cars-the excavator is his favourite, or watches Blippi or any kids channel that has vehicles in it. You have to beg him to do his homework. He teases you around while laughing, as you try to change him or make him do his homework. He comes to my study desk often; which always ends up with me kicking him out of the room with ‘I love you but NO!’ He gets to my nerves. He knows it and thus enjoys frequenting my desk with his toy cars and making bridges out of my books. Sometimes he would request that I (or one of us at home) open for him ‘police monster truck’ on youtube and once we do, he would shoo me away with his finger, while saying ‘wendaa! wendaa!’ to mean go away. We are yet to understand whether he does this out of shyness or arrogance lol.

When we started telling him ‘Allah yihdiik’ (May God guide you) whenever we were angry with him, he would repeat to us ‘Allah yihdiik!’ like it is simply a game for him. But other than his mischief, he is adorable, and sometimes when he is in a good mood, he gives random hugs and kisses, which means the world to me.

My baby Hassun turns two this year in shaa Allah. Whenever they ask me who is my favourite I say I love them all, but then he is the only one I created a verse for. It goes like ‘Oy oy ooooy, bundle of jooooy, handsome boooooy’ (lame, I know!) and his two elder brothers would chorus along with me. They tell me I am a chameleon, for with every nephew’s birth I claimed the newborn is my favourite (It isn’t a lie though). But this time it is different; he loves me as dearly as I love him. That counts for something, doesn’t it?!

May Allah protect my babies, grant them good health, guide them and make them great and kind human beings, ameen!


Thank you for reading! Kindly do subscribe below to keep up with my latest blogs 🙂

To read the second part of this article, please click on this link:

What exactly constitutes making it in life anyway? 

Is it an enormous bank balance with multiple health problems accumulated over the years? Is it owning three companies while having strained relationships with your children because you were never there for them? Is it being a workaholic only to be let go the moment you get sick? Do we all have to become doctors and engineers to be counted as worthy children or citizens (as many in our society perceive)?

This mindset problem is not only within the school systems but with the majority of parents too who’d rather see their children slaving around than ride a bicycle during a weekend. A child’s performance in school should never determine their validity or worth.

Most times, all these kids need is someone who will hold their hand with love and guide them through life until they find their calling, rather than constant admonishing and mocking. I am not saying you don’t push them to do better but don’t push them off the cliff either. You can’t measure a fish’s intelligence by asking it to climb a tree. What if this child is a fish and she is best at swimming? How will she know what she is capable of if you are all confining her in a box with your set standards of intelligence?

How many first-class degree or master’s holders are currently in low-paying jobs, despite their endless hard work? And how many students that were considered ‘failures’ are now thriving in life because they followed their passion and achieved their dreams? 

The greatest joke of all is the thought that once you start working you can finally settle down and have some peace of mind. Says who? 

You spend the next two, three years after university, tarmacking, in search of a job. If you’re lucky you have a spot saved for you at your family business or like others, you resort to giving bribes and nepotism just for a chance at an interview. 

By the time you get that job, you have tried five different businesses that failed miserably. At one point you even worked as a type-writer at the cyber in your neighbourhood despite your hard-earned glorious bachelor’s degree. Sometimes, even with your master’s degree, you end up working in a different field. How many intelligent and successful individuals with high academic achievement and degrees have we seen on the news selling water or working at salons? Some opt to go outside the country in search of greener pastures and the debate has always been: is the grass really greener on the other side? Very few privileged individuals get an opportunity to choose which job to go for. We mostly just grab the first chance we get regardless of our passion, our dreams, our capabilities, or even our academic field.

Having a job doesn’t guarantee you rest either because now you have to arise early to avoid the terrible traffic jam to get to work in time, and your days are now a matter of clocking in and clocking out. Most Kenyans also have to work more than one job or get employed while also having a side gig in order to survive the tough economy in our country. A mundane and very tiring routine but you gotta do what you gotta do right?

You will get the time to rest. 

That’s the biggest scam that is fed to us when we’re young. It never gets easier. The responsibilities double and triple. You get out there and see how everyone is hustling and fighting so hard to make it. It is survival for the fittest, and if you’re not a shark then you get eaten at the first chance. 

The reality of life is that it has no formula. None of us can ever be sure what will lead to our eventual happiness and satisfaction in life. We might think we know until we realize we don’t. We’re all just trying our best. So we might as well do everything in moderation; studying smart, working smart, and living smart. None of us has to die from burn-out for a job that would not mourn us more than one day. The perfect illustration of this is how many employees got fired between last year and the current one due to the pandemic. We do understand that the pandemic was beyond anyone’s control and that the entire world has suffered physically, emotionally, and economically. Nonetheless, it is proof enough that slaving for a company can never guarantee your place in it. Competence and integrity at the workplace are highly recommended but they shouldn’t lead one to poor physical and mental health.

I don’t know who came up with the idea that the future should be about survival, but it shouldn’t be! Instead, it should be about thriving, supportive families and providing a positive, conducive environment for growth. It might be too late for the majority of the adults to change their childhood experiences or how they perceived life then, but we can make a difference now for our children and students. This is the generation known for its abundance in information and self-awareness, for the bravery and courage to break ‘generational curses’. And so we’ll use that to be better, both for ourselves and for future generations.

If I was ever given the chance to go back in time to when I was a child, I’d sleep more. I’d play more. I’d read more books. I’d take care of myself. I’d stop worrying about an endless future. I’d work on my writing talent more and build myself. I would make more friends. I wouldn’t cry myself to sleep just because I didn’t get a 98% or 100% in maths. I wouldn’t skip my meals in a rush to get to school. I wouldn’t allow the pressure to seep into my veins. I would ensure I had the best childhood I could afford to have. 

Right now, what I consider important is very much different from what I thought at school. You grow up and realize the importance of good health and physical fitness, of mental wellness, of having goals that YOU chose for yourself, of nurturing talents, of having faith and integrity, of a good support system and social network.

To whoever it may concern, let these kids be kids. Let them play, let them be silly, and write silly letters to their best friends. Let the only hurt they feel be because their friend refused to share food with them or that their knee got hurt while playing or that they can’t race faster like their mates. They will never be twelve again. Life doesn’t get any easier from here. Please, let these kids be kids.

Before dawn, I see these kids and my heart sinks. Home-schooling seems like a very attractive thing to me right now.

BACKGROUND SOURCES:,mature%20into%20adulthood%20%5B23%5D.’s_Education_Sector_and_Implications_for_Development_Some_Empirical_Reflections#:~:text=The%20Competency%20Based%20Curriculum%20(CBC,served%20Kenya%20for%2032%20years.

To read the first part of this article, please click on this link:

Have you realized that PP1 students, children of about 4 years only, study around 7 textbooks? And sometimes have to leave home as early as 6 a.m?!

When talking about the well-being of children, we must also talk about the draining effects of the new education system in our country.

The intention and vision behind the new curriculum (CBC) may be brilliant but the amount of pressure this system has exerted on parents, teachers, and the students has been immense so far. CBC aims to shift Kenya’s educational paradigm from a teacher-centred approach to a more student-centred one. Student-centered learning places more emphasis on skills development, a child’s well-being, and inclusivity. However, despite this new curriculum’s appeal, at least on paper, we know that there’s a lot more that needs to be done in reality. We have deeper systemic challenges that need to be dealt with i.e. teacher training, ineffective policy, and infrastructural barriers. Not to mention how these children and even the parents were not mentally prepared for all these changes. AT ALL!

Some assignments require the use of smartphones and the internet. Some require the active participation of parents for example practical making of scarecrows or musical instruments and the like. The number of lessons has increased for school children by almost double, which can be quite overwhelming. The number of textbooks plus supplementary books required in schools has been a big burden to most parents too. The reality is that many Kenyans still struggle to make ends meet let alone afford the internet. Some have to work overtime to bring food to the table such that they barely see their children let alone assist them with the assignments. What happens to these children? Or what can these helpless parents do? Weren’t all these factors to be taken into consideration before the implementation of the new system (even if we acknowledge its long-term benefit?)

We can see how bad things are by the number of children attempting or committing suicide for losing money intended for school or when achieving lower grades than expected. Just this year, students have had to attend 4 schools terms in an attempt to catch up with the time lost to COVID-19 last year, while parents have had to pay school fees 4 times too. The frustration and exhaustion are affecting many parents, students, and even the teachers to scary depths.


Parents too play a major role in creating emotional distress amongst school-going children. Some of them offer conditional positive regard and love on the basis of their performance or the career path their children partake. If one was lucky enough to have joined a university or a college, then there was the endless reminder of how much money (most of which were loans) is being paid for the school tuition. You could never afford to fail, or God forbid repeat a class, even if you really did your best! 

There’s also the very common habit of forcing children to take up courses they have zero interest in. How many students have we heard went into depression because they were forced to study medicine or engineering despite the child’s apprehension and protests? Parents set the standards for their children based on their own personal dreams and self-fulfillment, and induce pressure on their children to do as they expect. When the children attempt to resist the university courses that their parents want them to enrol in, they are threatened with abandonment – “you’ll pay your own fees” or “please move out of my house.” Some are even ready to disown their children if they don’t follow the career path they choose for them.

Understandably, parents want the best for their children and they have more experience in life. However, that does not in any way help when their son or daughter is passionate about a different career path. It is also not helpful when the children have to suffer psychologically and emotionally in order to please their parents. So many children have had to resort to two degrees; one that the parents want them to undertake, and another that they want for themselves. Some had to drop out at some point due to the dissatisfaction and lack of interest in the degree courses their parents chose for them.


The struggle for young adults doesn’t end here. 

After being forced into careers that they’re not passionate about, many students at the university are often faced with myriad other challenges. Even for the students who genuinely dedicate themselves to their education, university life can become overwhelming. This is the phase whereby everything seems to put one on the edge. You’re either thinking about your future, your career, or your piling, unpaid fees; and at the same time, you are thinking about the need to establish social networks crucial for career progression in the future; or worried that you haven’t seen your family for close to eight months, or missing out on forming important long-lasting relationships. 

When were you ever going to rest?

In a report by the Kenyatta National Hospital that was released in 2015, over 100 cases of attempted suicide among the youth aged between 18-25 (mostly campus students) were reported within a span of two months. These numbers have escalated since the Covid-19 pandemic. Keep in mind that these are only the reported cases. With suicide and attempted suicide still being considered taboo in the majority of Kenyan cultures, many of the cases are hidden.

In a 2019 publication by The Standard Entertainment epaper, there are growing concerns over the number of young adults committing suicide. One victim of suicide was Ndirangu Mwai, a second-year student who committed suicide at his rented house outside the university premises. It is said that Ndirangu had confessed to a local pastor about his suicide plan over squabbles between his parents regarding poor grades.

Another 23-year-old student, Edwin Mwaizi, a fourth-year Petroleum Engineering student, committed suicide by inhaling carbon IV. In the note that he had left behind, he stated that he was stressing over lack of money and upcoming end-of-semester exams among other reasons. 

According to someone who knew him closely, Edwin was smart and ambitious.

The surge of suicide attempts and cases haven’t only been reported among campus students. We’ve also heard quite a number of times from the news, of children at primary school level committing suicide too. In 2018, a class eight student allegedly committed suicide for not performing well in a test. The 15-year-old had been leading his fellow candidates in other internal tests. However, it is said that he came out second out of 26 with 372 marks during the second term while the leading candidate scored 373 marks. As reported by The Standard Entertainment epaper, sources said that the boy wrote on the blackboard, explaining his disappointment with his performance.

The note – “Congratulations to all my teachers who have been teaching me since I joined this school. It is not my fault to bid you goodbye but because of unavoidable circumstances, I’m forced to do so. It is useless to live without peace according to my gradual poor performance. To all candidates, best wishes in your exams. We shall meet again.”

According to the school headteacher, the student hadn’t performed poorly: “The information I have is that some children reported to his guardians that his academic performance was declining when they saw him become number two. But that is untrue because last time he was number one with 369 marks while this time round he was number two with 372 marks,” he said. The headteacher speculated that the boy’s problems might have emanated from home.

Whether or not this young boy truly died from suicide because of his results, isn’t it heartbreaking that a child would even consider 372 marks (out of a possible 500) as a failure? 

This is just one example. 

There are many others who take their own lives due to their perceived poor performance in school. Who’s responsible? 

Parents, for instance, are known to have helped their children cheat in exams, to have bribed the system, or to completely subvert it. For example, they have registered their children to sit their exams in poor-performing schools, so as to take advantage of the quotas reserved for these underprivileged schools by prestigious secondary schools: Alliance, Kenya High, Maseno School, Mang’u, Starehe, Limuru Girls, are often amongst those most prized. Students resort to cheating in exams, after realizing their parents are also doing it. 

Where did this obsession for ‘success’ through shortcuts, really come from?

I once spoke during a parents-teachers meeting for KCPE candidates and the on-going discussion was whether the candidates should attend classes on Saturday too during the holiday period. First of all, the Ministry of Education had already banned holiday classes, but several schools were doing it secretly. In addition, plus the assignments being given daily, they wanted the children to go to school on Saturday too. 

‘When will these children rest?!’ I remember protesting. 

Even if they’re examination candidates, it gets to a point where it is just too much for them too. How do we expect them to learn if we keep over-feeding them with information and assignments to a saturation point?

Only one other parent, a mzungu, agreed with me in the entire room, all rejecting my apprehensions. They all recounted how hard they had to work, relayed the pressure they endured during their time as students. 

Then I was tempted to ask, ‘and how did that turn out for you? Are you happy with your life?’ But well, I decided against it. 

Throughout the entire meeting, as the mzungu and I conversed, I could sense an air of disappointment, ridicule perhaps, coming from the parents’ present. An atmosphere that gave life to the old adage, ‘Coastal and white people often spoil their children.’ 

They proceed to talk about how life is challenging, and of the need to toughen up children so that they could deal. In my mind, I kept thinking, the economy and life in our country has always been tough since I could form any independent thought. That it is very likely that our children, including their own children, would also have to hustle hard so as to make it in life. But then again, why do we feel the need to put our children through the same dysfunctional system? Why do we need to make these ten, twelve-year-olds understand struggle at such a tender age? Why do we romanticize struggle and poverty and hustling and harsh environments like it is the ONLY way that we can ever succeed in life? Why do we make it seem like one needs to work fifteen to twenty hours a day, or even more, so as to make it in life? 

What exactly constitutes making it in life anyway? 


Stay tuned for the final part of this article. Thank you!


Also, my book ‘Reflection & Resurgence: A Believer’s Journey to Islam’ is available at 1500/= only. To get yours contact me at 0704 731 560

Before dawn, while I am still yawning and full of sleep, I see these kids trudging across the street, hunching from the weight of their school bags. I see them rub their eyes, the older one pulling the younger to move faster. Sometimes, it is just the older one, running while peeping at his watch every two minutes. I bet he has missed breakfast today too. 

Sometimes, they leave for school before their parents leave for work. And my heart sinks. 

When did we become okay with this? 

Isn’t this some form of slavery? 

Will children ever be allowed to be children?


When you walk into a therapist’s office, one of the first things they will ask you about is your childhood, regardless of whether you’re there for drug addiction or seeking to resolve your marital problems, or when grieving the loss of a loved one. It is by no chance nor for the sake of striking a conversation do they ask you about where you come from, the dynamics of your family, or even which school you attended. It has everything to do with who we are, how we view the world, and even the manner in which we deal with problems. The nurture debate in developmental psychology is proof enough that the environment in which one grows up in has a significant impact on one’s future. 

Previous research has shown that childhood experiences affect one’s health in their adulthood. Children who experienced several adverse situations are at a higher risk of developing mental illnesses like depression and anxiety, developing substance abuse habits, and detrimental health behaviours as they grow up. The opposite is also true: children who grew up in a positive environment and with supportive families are said to have better health as adults. The effects of one’s childhood don’t end here. Research has also shown that parenting styles are handed over to their children, who then parent their own children in a similar manner. Children who were abused are likely to do the same to their children, and those with unresolved emotional problems become disorganized with unhealthy attachment styles and exhibit more frightening parenting behaviours. It thus becomes a chain of unhealthy behaviours and lifestyles from generation to generation for the majority of families.

How does this relate to our school system? 

Our Kenyan education system is such that a child, of very tender age, starts spending the majority of their time within the school compound. This means that the school environment, the teachers, the schoolmates, have a great influence on a child’s growth, the shaping of their behaviours, and their worldview, sometimes more than their parents.

The truth is, we come from a society that really glorifies hustling and the idea of bending over backward in order to achieve our goals. We’re told, ‘wake up at 2 a.m. to study; arrive at school at 6 a.m. sharp; conduct prep studies until 8 or 9 p.m.: basically, do whatever it takes to be number one in class and with consistency.’ We’re led to believe that the only way to make it in this life is if you continue studying even with a torch while the rest sleep in the dorms. We’re made to think, the more you work, the more you thrive. 

We’re brainwashed to assume that skipping sleep and lying down for just three to four hours makes you a legend. 

We’re talked into believing that it is either now or never, whatever the cost is. 

We glorify the future.

We invite motivational speakers and make children feel that without 400 plus marks (out of a possible of 500 for primary school kids) or an A at the end of secondary education, then you can kiss your dreams and goals goodbye.

Most parents blackmail their children emotionally, with famous statements ranging from ‘I had to walk 20 kilometers to get to school’, to ‘I had to cross the river barefoot every day in order to acquire an education or ‘I used to stay hungry the whole day because we were very poor but I still achieved good grades.’ 

Granted, to some of the previous generations, hardships had to be endured so as to acquire an iota of a decent education. They indeed deserve all the respect for striving so hard. However, the struggle should never be glorified in such a way that we expect our children to also slave in order to achieve what society defines as success.

The past has everything to do with the future. 

And unhealthy beginnings filled with overwhelm, sleeplessness, and wild expectations can never give a child the proper foundation for a future that supports them according to their abilities, talents, and IQ. The pressure placed upon school-going children to succeed later translates to adults working merely to pay bills, with no passion, and many times, filled with sadness. 

Remember when we were young and the adults then would have us believe that we’d finally get to rest after successfully completing our primary school education? And then once we were done, we had to prepare for secondary school where the workload was twice as heavy, coupled with more intense competition for grades and as a result, more hours dedicated to study? 

The teachers would lead us into believing that this is the phase that will determine whether you will ever be somebody in life or remain invisible forever. So, everyone joined tuition or extra-school academic program, including group discussions that went on until after dusk. The non-academic extra-curricular activities were mostly there for show. Physical exercise was done scarcely throughout the year, while life skills classes were taken up as a free lesson to finish assignments. The only active clubs for several schools were drama and debating clubs, which would organize activities only once or twice a year. The only dreams we could afford to have involved Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry. We were denied family time, with all these assignments and exams always lurking. We would come back home feeling like zombies, with eyes half-open, the only thing we’d want to see is the bed. We would barely have time for madrasa. For anyone who cared to be somebody someday, life was a robotic experience.


I remember when I was in primary school, we had a mathematics teacher I would now call Mr. M. As a form of punishment, he would cane us for every wrong answer in his tests (and those tests were almost on the daily!!). Those who received 98% on the tests were not spared. They would get a cane for giving an incorrect answer to that one question. That also meant if someone got a 50% they would get 25 good strokes!! 

He had this fine and strong cane that he would use on us, and he would cane us right below our thighs with so much vigour that my skin would turn greenish-black. According to Mr. M, this was for our own good. It was the best way to make us improve in maths. However, the only thing it did was make us terrified of him and maths.

Our whole day was spent dreading that it will soon be maths class. 

Other than that, it made us feel less of ourselves. 

When someone jumped or cried whilst being caned, the rest of the class laughed, even when all of us knew we would get a taste of the same cane. So, you can imagine how it must have been like for the students who would get 50% or below, as the whole class watched and laughed at them whilst receiving twenty-five strokes of the cane on their little thighs.

I for one did improve in maths slightly, but in retrospect, it made me hate the subject entirely. It made me detest going to school. I used to have a maths phobia and sometimes before an exam, I would panic about failing the subject. And this went on for my entire life, I would avoid anything that had any math or even had the slightest similarity to the subject. Sometimes I wonder what happened to Mr. M, whether he is really proud that he made us achieve better marks in maths by causing us such unnecessary dread and panic, despite the cheating that was done by some? What exactly is the point of putting these young kids under so much pressure? When will teachers understand that all kids have different abilities? 

I didn’t realize it back then but when I look back now I am convinced that that was plain old-school bullying. Mr. M broke my self-esteem, just like several other teachers along the way. I am not anti-disciplining; I am just anti-bullying. The saddest part is that several of the teachers who were known for their brutality and nastiness don’t even realize how much they have scarred students over the years; some to the extent of making their students detest school, transfer elsewhere, or drop out and gave up entirely…


Please subscribe below to stay tuned for part 2. Thank you for reading and sharing! 🙂

My marriage has been rocky and it feels like I’m in the middle of an impending divorce.

It just happens; the drift I mean. One day you’re married, and suddenly it’s 15 years. And when you’re married for that long, there’s a certain weight of pressure and expectation from you from the society. You’ve been the icon of love for generation X, and the #Couplegoals for the Millenials, you cannot afford to disappoint them with love, can you?!

There is nothing I can pinpoint as the exact reason for our failing marriage. Life just happened. I got busier, and he stopped waiting for me. Meals are quieter nowadays. I see him look at me like he’s expecting me to say something. Do something. But I continue nibbling at my food, feeling like a failure. He sighs and moves away from the table. I can feel him slip his fingers away whenever I try to hold his hand. I can’t even remember the last time we shared a joke, or a bed, or a decent conversation like we frequently used to do. It is sad.

It is sad because I can feel him walking away. Like he wasn’t the love of my life. And the sadder part is that I’m letting him go.

We’ve had our ups and downs. We’ve been happier than ever. We’ve also cried a lot along the way. But we survived, we emerged stronger. But right now? The candle is burning down. The silence is alarming. The future is scary. And this, this right here is a desperate attempt to rekindle what was once a fierce, passionate love.

I have betrayed my husband in unimaginable ways- writing. Yes, writing is a lifetime commitment, very much like a marriage. What did you think I was talking about? SMH.

Anyway, as I was saying, life has been happening.

There was a time when I used to write twice a week! Can you believe that? Twice a week! Mashallah mashallah. It blows my mind to think about it now. I used to be the icon of persistence, J.K. Rowling would have been proud. Nowadays I write once a month after many many pep talks and postponements.

I want to blame it on adulting or use my final year excuse card that I am violently throwing around nowadays to any commitment or meeting or my several rejection letters from the literary world that make me question whether I am really good at this.

The most painful thing about rejections is the ‘almosts’. You almost made it. You’re almost there. You are so close to getting a hang of it. But when you’ve been an almost for more than a decade, what does that make you? It really does feel like you’re in an unrequited love situationship.

I however do not want to be ungrateful. I’ve come such a long, long way. I’ve had awesome milestones in my writing. I’ve had great feedback from my close people and people I’ve never even met too. I’ve seen myself grow alhamdulilah.

I remind myself of one of my readers who once asked me, ‘what’s success to you as a writer?’ And I said something along the lines of ‘I want my work to shake the literary world, you know, write something that will be a classic and be read like 100 years after my death.’ And I genuinely think most writers want that, you want your work to be noteworthy with the very sense of the word. I am no exception. I want that too. I want someone to read my work in France or Moldova or a remote Island somewhere that’s unheard of and be speechless for how amazing the book or novel was. I want my work to be translated into 28 languages or something. I do want that. And it’s not about the fame really, it’s about knowing that your work made such an impact, the whole world had to read it. But my reader’s response still strikes a chord, he said, ‘Isn’t it enough that one person read your work and was positively influenced by it?’

And I think about that response often. It should be enough. It doesn’t really have to be the whole world. If just one person is moved, positively impacted by my words, then I should count it as a win. A big one in fact.

I guess as human beings we always want more. We want to touch the sky even when our ladders can’t get us there. And it is not necessarily a bad thing.

I am not saying I want to give up on my dream. I still want my work to someday shake the literally world. Be so mind-blowing it becomes in everyone’s a must-read booklist. I deserve that for all that the hard work into this journey. But me writing this piece is a reminder to myself, and you who’s reading this, that it’s also okay to be where you are right now and I believe that’s what my reader meant by his response. I mean life is life and regardless of how big our dreams are, we shouldn’t forget to appreciate the smaller, bigger wins and the baby steps and the milestones.

I do not want to give up on this dream despite how hard it is becoming for me. I want to remember why I started. Why I never stopped even when life got really hectic and I had very valid excuses to stop. I want to remember why this marriage is important to me. And me admitting that I’m struggling with it is the first step to get back on track.

Dear reader, thank you for taking this journey with me throughout the highs and lows. I never take that for granted. I really appreciate you!

Cheers to being human, to working on our marriages, and to fulfilling our dreams!

P.S: I finally released hard copies of my full glossy book, Reflection & Resurgence. It is 1500/= only. You can buy your copy at 0704 731 560. The copies are limited! Don’t miss out!!

I can feel the love of Allah
in my bones
A warm, soft blanket embracing me
like a fetus in the womb
A certainty of His Mercy
engraved in my soul
Soothing me
over every hurt of tragedy
and every wound of confusion

I have taken
as my friend
A special love language
shared between us
Where I talk for long hours
in the deadness of the night
In murmurs
and quavers
and rambles
and He listens through it all

My Lord and I
have built this bond
where I ask
and He grants me my wishes
in abundance
or in superior firms
His affection encompassing
the entirety
of my universe
We sit in utter silence
Understanding the language of my heart
and I,
receiving His compassion
in portions bigger than
my form

And whenever I think of Him
a spring of gratitude gushes within me
Washing off me any residues
of doubt
and uncertainty of this life
The impermanence of this world
vivid with every death
and every departure
I want nothing of this universe
and all its planets of deceit

A splendid day will dawn
upon mankind
where souls
will be filled with euphoria
of fulfilled dreams
and enriched beauty
Yet my heart swells with
a yearning that is
than all of paradise
For on that fine day
there would be nothing
more beloved
than gazing at the Magnificent Face
of My Love.

I recently had a conversation with a friend concerning a character in a TV competition who was sweet, very honest, and nice. Well, at least that’s how I viewed the character. He was kind to fellow contestants and loyal to those he had made a connection with. Every other contestant knew for sure where they stood with him because he was as real and raw as possible. On the other hand, my friend viewed this same character as boring and going an extra mile just to be liked-calling him a people-pleaser. That was a first for me, because how?! Or is this the perfect depiction of the 6 and 9 image, where one sees a 6 yet another sees the same image as a 9?

Okay, I get it. There is a very thin line between being nice and people-pleasing. Sometimes the differences are blurry and one could easily cross the line. We, of course, don’t deny that people-pleasing isn’t the healthiest way to lead a life yet why do we always assume that when someone is nice, there’s more to them (secret agenda) or nothing about them (mediocre or too boring)?

When a man is so nice he is considered weak. When it is a woman, she is lacking intelligence and a voice. When it is a husband, he is pretentious or too good to be true. When it is a wife, she is too submissive and unempowered. When it is an employee, he/she is a people-pleaser and when it is a leader, we consider all their nice and kind acts to be PR stunts. Is it that we have completely lost faith in humanity that we no longer believe in good when we see it?

When Ghaith of Qalby Etmaan (a charity progran about a man traveling around the world helping people of all kinds) came to Kenya and the episodes were aired last Ramadhan, it was quite hilarious yet sad how the Kenyans who were approached reacted. You could see the fear and skepticism on their faces. Some were very hesitant to respond to the questions Ghaith was asking, some refused to receive the envelopes being handed and some used quite the harsh tone in their conversations. I get it, this is Kenya. We’re living through tough times where a woman cannot trust her daughter with her husband, where people are kidnapped, people are killing other people in panic for fear that they’re kidnappers, dead bodies are being unearthed from the backyards, bullying and cruelty are so normalized, and sometimes well covered in the name of jokes and comedy. We see it every day on Twitter, other social media sites, and the news. We are so used to being bullied, harassed, conned, and manipulated even by our own police and leaders (especially them!) that we can’t trust a person asking for direction. We can’t trust a stranger shaking our hands. We can’t trust someone asking us who we are. When someone stops us on the way we’re already defensive and alert. Consequently, this has made us not trust any form of kindness or compassion handed to us because our ‘fight or flight’ response is already on. We tend to think that everyone is out to harm us. I truly get it…but does that mean we have given up on kindness entirely?

Most often than not, nice people are greatly misunderstood, taken advantage of, undervalued, ignored, and taken for granted. People would sort for all ways to push their buttons just to frustrate them or make them react, just to provoke them so they can stoop low to their level. But here’s the thing though, and this is the main difference between being nice and people-pleasing; Being nice means you do good to people and treat others with kindness without expecting anything in return. You see the world as a community so you offer your love, care, and support unconditionally. You forgive easily and avoid conflict in order to stay in harmony with others. You do it because you have neither the time nor the energy for drama nor chaos… not because you lack self-esteem or cannot stand up for yourself, or are not intelligent enough. People-pleasing on the other hand is a form of dependency which lacks boundaries. You do good and give to others, without being able to say no, because you expect something in return; it could be validation, attention, or acceptance. People-pleasing is a form of transaction; I will help you but you need to validate me in return. You become a doormat by allowing people to treat you badly in pursuit of their love or attention. Being nice and kind is about self-expression and having true altruism; I will help you regardless of whether you will appreciate it or not.

The stereotypes that come with being nice are many. Ask any nice person you know out there they’ll tell you; if we were expecting something in return then being nice is barely rewarding in this life. Human beings can be so ungrateful, insensitive, cruel, and irritating. Yet we still keep doing it, because we want this world to be a better place filled with more kindness and compassion, and we feel happy when we’re able to do so in our own small ways.

Kindness is especially hard when those on the receiving end are not appreciative of our actions; this could even be our own family members. But then it goes back to our intentions, ‘why are we doing this?’ Is it to seek someone’s approval or because we genuinely want to express our love and concern for them?

Our religion highly recommends being nice, kind, and compassionate. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: ‘Whoever gives up telling lies in support of a false claim, a palace will be built for him in the outskirts of Paradise. Whoever gives up an argument when he is in the right, a palace will be built from him in the middle (of Paradise). And whoever had good behavior, a palace will be built for him in the highest reaches (of Paradise).'” It also explicitly states in another sahih hadith that a strong believer is better and more beloved to Allah than a weak one, even though both are good. This shows that Islam doesn’t recommend that a Muslim lacks a voice or dictates his self-worth only based on how people praise, love, or validate him. He shouldn’t let himself be taken advantage of or be oppressed for the sake of pleasing human beings or seeking their love. Granted, we all want to feel loved in this life but it should never be our primary goal or at the cost of our dignity and respect. We are expected to be as kind and nice as possible but it should always be for the sake of Allah and not fellow human beings.

Harold Kushner once said: Do things for people not because of who they are or what they do in return, but because of who you are.” And I think that should be a mantra for us to adapt in our lives.

Answering our question, being too nice is not necessarily being too phony. I think we should give kind, nice people the benefit of the doubt (as our religion requires from us) for their actions unless proven otherwise. Of course, I am not telling you to hop into a car with a random stranger (Especially during these scary times, may Allah protect us!) but I am saying, sometimes we judge other people too harshly based on our own fears and skepticism and that could be unfair for the other party. I believe one’s intentions always end up revealing eventually. If someone seems nice, take them as they seem. If they’re not, time will tell for sure!

I come to you once again

Lord of my frail heart

and wandering thoughts

To You I belong

and to You

I seek refuge

from the atrocities

of my soul

I send peace and blessings 

to the embodiment of Mercy

The epitome of beauty

and the essence of bravery

My beloved prophet


Salla Llahu aleyhi Wassalam


I call unto you

Ya Kareem

with dear wishes 

and dire needs

that none can grant me

But You

Respond to me

My Lord

For there’s no response

more beloved to me

than Your response


Ya Salam

Ya Wakeel

I hand you the affairs of my mother

For her worry is too big

for the universe

and too small for You

Grant her serenity

Oh Giver of peace

when the world seems

a bit too much for her

Grant her Your Love

Ya Wadood

For she is the manifestation of widaad

donning love

in all its shapes

and all its colours

Grant her Your Highest Jannah

For You are Al Wahhab

The Great Giver of gifts

and she is Wahiba

the receiver of Your gift of giving

And what better reward than a most beautiful garden

For a lover of gardens?!


I pray to you

Ya Raafi’

Elevate the status of my father in the heavens

Make the angels chorus his name

Let the humans know his title

on a day that everyone 

seeks Your attention

Ya Malik

Grant Him palaces next to You

of majestic, magnificent architecture

than he’s ever dreamed of

For he has raised daughters

And sons

And grandchildren

in a way that suits 

Your love 

and grand Mercy


I beg You

Oh Most Pure One

Purify my sisters 

my brothers

my nephews and nieces

for they seek nothing

than Your purity

Ya Muhaymin

I beseech You to be their Guardian

and Their Light

in a world that is so wicked

and so wrong

in so many ways

Grant them goodness

Ya Barr

For you’re the source of goodness

And a Benefactor of a kind

Fill them with happiness and joy

in both this world

and the one that comes



Ya Rahman

I have loved ones in the graves

Ones that I miss dearly

Ones that I pray for mostly

Pardon them 

Oh Pardoner

Illuminate their spaces

in a way that befits You

Ya An-Nur

Grant them new homes

more beautiful

Than they left behind

Grant us a reunion

more joyful

more blissful

more pleasant

than we could ever envision.


I invoke you

Ya Baasit

Extend to me,

my lovely family,

my cherished friends,

and my very dear ones

Your Mercy

in all that we do

Guide us to Your path

and make us steadfast

in it

Give us wisdom

when we are blinded by the world

Grant us ease

when nothing seems easy

Enrich us, Ya Mughni

with faith 

and hope

with contentment 

and peace

with love 

and compassion

Make us among Your favourites

for I yearn for nothing

more than that

Oh My Beloved.

I pray.

I pray. 

I pray.

Photo by Idina Risk from Pexels

I beseech Your aid

Oh God

For my heart has become a graveyard

with withered flowers

and weeds of undesirability

I can no longer bear the weight

of the caskets carrying

the deadness of my emotions

My doom-laden pillars crumbling

at the height of my anxiety

and my tombstone

displaying engravings

of all the letters

of pain


I invoke you

Ya Allah

This desolation

has brought me to my knees

My hands raised high

to the sky

Save me, Oh God

For my mind has become

a battle field of abrupt wars

and hostile armies

Only this time

I am both the ally

and the enemy

Corpses of my thoughts

lie around like hungry fleas

sucking the life

out of me.


I beg for mercy

My Lord,

This affliction

is wrecking my soul

An air hunger seizing my lungs

amid a thunderstorm of craze

A heavy downpour of anguish

floods my entire being

while the strong winds howl

at the loss

of my sanity


I implore you

My Creator

For a miracle

When everything seems impossible

Let your


Beam through this shadow

Turn the valley of my wounds

Into river beds

Where your Mercy

Can flow through

If my soul is in the shade that pleases you

Then I ask,

O Maker of suns,

To show me how to bloom.

I pray.

I pray.

I pray.