Lubnah Abdulhalim


Allah Subhanahu Wataala did not lie when He said:

“The example of those who spend their wealth in the cause of Allah is that of a grain that sprouts into seven ears, each bearing one hundred grains. And Allah multiplies the reward even more to whoever He wills. For Allah is All-Bountiful, All-Knowing.” (Suratul Baqarah, Verse 261)

I recently came across the story of Hamza, a 56-year-old man who was jailed at the age of 16 after accidentally firing a gun which led to the death of his loved one. While in jail, he became a devout Muslim and had been pleading for parole for years. Forty years later, Hamza is finally going to be released at the end of March in shaa Allah. But here’s how one act of kindness has changed his life entirely.

Hamza was working as a janitor at the prison which earned him 13 cents per hour only. Yet what he got from the 136 hours of tough labour, a total of 17$, Hamza donated all to Gaza.

Justin Mashouf, a filmmaker who was in correspondence with Hamza, shared his story on X (Twitter). Touched by this noble act of kindness, his story quickly went viral and Justin created a gofundme campaign to empower Hamza to transition back into society with dignity and security after years of imprisonment. A total of USD 102,187 was raised until Hamza requested that it be suspended (after thanking all the donors of course). Instead, he requested the donors to consider helping the suffering children, mothers and fathers of Palestine, Yemen, and Africa living under inhuman conditions. 

When I first saw the fundraising, the goal was 40,000 USD. This was more than double that. Subhanallah!

Allah Subhanahu Wataala tells us in Suratul Baqarah, Verse 265:

“And the example of those who donate their wealth, seeking Allah’s pleasure and believing the reward is certain, is that of a garden on a fertile hill: when heavy rain falls, it yields up twice its normal produce. If no heavy rain falls, a drizzle is sufficient. And Allah is All-Seeing of what you do.”

Isn’t it mind-blowing that Allah Subhanahu Wataala inspired Hamza to do this act, a mere weeks before his release (in shaa Allah)? Can you imagine what kind of worries Hamza might have had (or not) about going back into the world after 40 years?! A different name, a different religion, a totally different era, jobless, homeless, with no money. Yet the heaviest of all is the concern of whether the community would embrace him upon his release. And subhanallah, just like the best of planners Allah is, He brought a way in which Hamza got all he could ask for, at least in terms of livelihood and community, at the eleventh hour!

Someone once told me of a time when he gave a guard lunch money, it was very random, and that same day, someone he had been referring clients to, randomly tipped him ten times what he gave the guard. Literally ten times! Mind you, this had never happened before and was quite unexpected. And he told me something that really struck me. He said, ‘I pity those who don’t believe in Allah.’ And I thought, yeah! What a great loss to not know, see and feel God’s love and mercy and kindness?!

I’ll never stop preaching about charity because I have read, watched and witnessed the miracles of giving. I have seen how much Allah can give and give and give. And the stories are too many to count.

We are just a few days to Ramadhan and many people are planning menus, festivities and early Eid shopping. Let us dare be different by planning for more ibadah and charity, charity, charity! 

Times have been increasingly tough, not just in our country, but in the entire globe. But that should never limit us from giving because you know what? We have a very generous Lord, and what you give, especially when it is difficult for you to do so, will never go unrewarded. Charity does not make you poor, it elevates you more than you can imagine.

The prophet peace be upon him said: “Charity does not decrease wealth, no one forgives another except that Allah increases his honour, and no one humbles himself for the sake of Allah except that Allah raises his status.” (Sahih Muslim 2588)

Let us have our intentions set, ready for Ramadhan, and let us put in effort to make it a more productive one than it ever was.

May we all live to experience the holy month and may we be among those whose lives will transform for the better, ameen. Ramadhan Mubarak good people! Please do remember me and my family in your duas 🙂

That said, here is a charity opportunity you can begin with:

Hamza’s story source:

“Sometimes, when Allah Subhanallah Wataala answers our prayers and grants us our wishes, He brings forth tests alongside those blessings. One could have prayed for a child for years, then Allah grants them one who is sickly or with special needs or very stubborn. Another could have prayed for a spouse, then they are granted one who really gets on their nerves or is poor. Another could have prayed for a chance to perform hajj or umrah, and then face many difficulties during the pilgrimage. Another could have prayed for a job, then got one with a merciless boss. Oftentimes, when this happens, we tend to focus on the challenges we are facing, forgetting it is a test from Allah.

Remember the words of Nabii Suleiman Aleyhi Ssalam when he said about the power and bounties granted upon him:

قَالَ هَٰذَا مِنْ فَضْلِ رَبِّي لِيَبْلُوَنِي أَأَشْكُرُ أَمْ أَكْفُرُ ۖ وَمَنْ شَكَرَ فَإِنَّمَا يَشْكُرُ لِنَفْسِهِ ۖ وَمَنْ كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ رَبِّي غَنِيٌّ كَرِيمٌ

“𝑻𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒊𝒔 𝒃𝒚 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒈𝒓𝒂𝒄𝒆 𝒐𝒇 𝒎𝒚 𝑳𝒐𝒓𝒅 – 𝒕𝒐 𝒕𝒆𝒔𝒕 𝒎𝒆 𝒘𝒉𝒆𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓 𝑰 𝒂𝒎 𝒈𝒓𝒂𝒕𝒆𝒇𝒖𝒍 𝒐𝒓 𝒖𝒏𝒈𝒓𝒂𝒕𝒆𝒇𝒖𝒍!

And whoever is grateful, truly, his gratitude is for himself; and whoever is ungrateful, certainly my Lord is Rich, Bountiful.”

Will you be grateful for the blessing? Will you be patient with the tests? Will you acknowledge Allah’s power and mercy in all that you have and do? Will you still praise Him? Will you remain steadfast and firm in your faith? Will you trust Allah’s plan?!

Indeed, we have so much to be thankful for.

Alhamdulilah for all that is gone. And all that we own. And all that is known and unknown.

الحمد لله حمدا كثيرا طيبا مباركا فيه.”

Just a couple of days ago, I wrote the above piece on my social media pages. It was just a random contemplation of life events. I didn’t expect that soon after I’ll meet the human manifestation of my post. And when I did, I was nothing short of stunned by the embodiment of patience right in front of my eyes.

Sister Zainab, just like any married woman, yearned to be a mother. She prayed for a child. She sought medical expertise on how to get a child. But she failed, again and again and again. Four years later, the Bushra came. By Allah’s mercy, she was finally pregnant. It only made sense that she would call her child Bushra- Glad Tidings, because that is what she was. Good news. A reward for her patience.

However, Zainab had such a complicated delivery that the child had to be pulled out of her womb. Bushra didn’t cry for hours. Zainab thought her baby was already lost, but Allah had other plans for her. She miraculously made it through, but there was more awaiting both mother and child…Bushra was born with severe Cerebral Palsy. 

Without knowing it, our sister’s life took a total turn after that. Her entire time and energy had to now revolve around her fragile baby who couldn’t see, move or communicate like other children. For years, Zainab carried her child everywhere. To the toilet, to the hospital, to therapy sessions, to Ruqya sessions…her life fully for her child.

Soon enough, rumours from relatives and neighbours emerged. Bushra was bewitched, she has been made a ‘kiti’ bla bla…The suggestions to visit a witch doctor to cure her child followed, while others slowly avoided her and her child entirely. Even when they would hear Bushra cry painfully, they would leave her mother to return to tend to her. It was only her mother, apart from her husband, who supported them greatly in raising Bushra. Despite having her own health complications, Bushra’s grandmother dedicated her life to helping her daughter and son-in-law. The three of them felt alienated and the stigma they have faced as a family has been real.

Being a believer, Zainab opted to put trust in her Lord and do what she knows best; pray and do more research. Zainab was always looking for ways to improve her child’s health. She attended any health seminar she heard of that was related to Bushra’s condition, and read books and research papers about it.

It is through her constant reading that she came across ‘Regenerative Brain Cell Therapy’ which has been able to assist those with severe conditions like Bushra. It gave her hope, yet it seemed like such a far-stretched option for her. She didn’t know where to start, whom to talk to, or even where she’d get the money for the treatment. Yet the thought of it lingered in her head for years, until one day when the specialists came from India to Mombasa and did a seminar about the therapy treatment. For Zainab, that was Allah making things easier and clearer for her. She was now more determined to find this treatment for Bushra, more than ever before. She thereafter travelled to Tanzania for an international health forum for ‘Autism and Neurodevelopmental disorders’ to learn more about regenerative brain cell treatment. 

You’d expect that for a woman like her, with all that she has been through, she’d be frustrated, miserable and sad. But the spirit of imaan in Allah glimmers in her eyes. She has so much belief that Allah will her through it all. That it shall get better. One thing she kept repeating to me was, ‘I have to have faith. There is no other way.’ And I’ve thought about that a lot ever since. Truly Allah does not burden a soul beyond what they can bear.

Here was a woman who could have chosen to just accept her daughter as she is and give her the medications to just manage her condition. Or she could have listened to those misguiding her into the desperation of seeking help from a witch doctor. Or worst of all, she could have abandoned or neglected the child, like other parents do. But here she was, doing everything possible in her power to make life for her daughter just a little more bearable, a little less painful, all the while seeking Allah’s pleasure.

Despite all the challenges, Allah Subhanahu Wataala never seized to bring good people to help them; sometimes financially, sometimes emotionally, sometimes with ideas, and sometimes even physically. There was especially one friend of Umm Bushra who would always look out for Bushra’s needs and help consistently. For this, Sister Zainab expressed her deep gratitude for Allah’s mercy, and sincere duas for everyone who has ever extended their kindness to them.

Throughout the one hour that we talked, Bushra was lying beside us with the sweetest smile, her dimples revealing, moving her limbs playfully. Sister Zainab says to me, “She loves smiling mashallah. Always smiling. I worry about her sometimes. Right now I can carry her around because she is still young, but she is growing older. She will become heavier and her needs will change. Sometimes she is bitten by an ant but since she can’t speak, she just cries so intensely, and I have to figure out what could be wrong. This Neuro Regenerative Rehabilitation Therapy is not a cure but it will help her move better. She’ll be able to at least sit up or perhaps walk, even if it is by stumbling. I have read deeply about this treatment, I know the pros and cons, and I want to tawakkal with it. The Indian doctors explained that the earlier she gets the treatment, the more effective it is. And because she is growing older each year (turning 7 this year) I really want us to travel this same year in shaa Allah.”

Here’s our beautiful, lovely Bushra. Allahumma Bareek

Umm Bushra needs to raise 2 million Kenyan shillings for the entire trip to India. From tickets to visas to accommodation and the treatment itself. Unfortunately, her husband is struggling financially with no stable job and Zainab has no other income since taking care of Bushra is a full-time job.

As a human being I look at that amount and think ‘Mahn, how will we raise that amount of money?’ but then I look at her patience and imaan and I remember that Allah is great and good, and very much capable of bringing miracles. 

Here’s a hopeful, devoted believer and mother seeking our help, I truly pray that we come through for her. Assist in any way you can, and please spread the word!

Let’s do this!!! Her hospital letter and donation details are below:

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Whoever relieves the hardship of a believer in this world, Allah will relieve his hardship on the Day of Resurrection. Whoever helps ease one in difficulty, Allah will make it easy for him in this world and the Hereafter. Whoever conceals the faults of a Muslim, Allah will conceal his faults in this world and the Hereafter. Allah helps the servant as long as he helps his brother…” (Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 2699)

You may read the third part of this article here

My very adorable boys have grown. It’s amazing watching them bloom. Don’t get me wrong, they still drive us crazy but whenever they are away, their absence is deeply felt.

My Hassun (my happy person 3) is close to four years, but now we call him Chenchen. He is the most charming of all. But he’s also got that kind of cat-ish pride, you know what I mean right? Sometimes he gives hugs and kisses and smiles abundantly, and sometimes you call him and he ignores you completely. If you keep calling his name he point blank shouts NO from wherever he is. He is only gonna love you when he feels like it. He is still my favourite though. It is an undeniable fact.

There was a time months back I went away from home for some days and every evening, I would call and the first person I would ask for is him. My aunt whom I was staying with once asked me, ‘You’re very attached to Chenchen yeah?’ I laughed and asked why. She said she rarely hears me ask about the others 😀

Sometimes I feel bad and say to myself that I don’t want the others to feel discriminated. But what is love? I cannot hide it. I get to the door of home and he is the first name I call out. I bring them sweets, and Chenchen is the first I give it to. Random times I would remember him and miss him and just say his name. SMH, I know, it’s an obsession at this point.

I noticed that whenever I left him home, he would avoid eye contact once I’m back. He would refuse to acknowledge my existence entirely. And any attempt to hug him or kiss him will be followed by a big NO. But then slooowwwllly, and with much persuasion, he starts smiling shyly then disappears, then at another moment he lets me carry him but then throw a tantrum to be left alone, then at another moment he comes to lay on my lap or if he cries, he comes to hug me. It’s like the perfect illustration of cognitive dissonance (a mental conflict that occurs when your beliefs don’t line up with your actions). It seems like he feels hurt and angry and betrayed for leaving without him, but then he is kinda happy to see you but doesn’t exactly want it to be noticed.

He is the absolute cutest. Well apart from the fact that he STILL refuses to call me by my name and calls me by my younger sister’s name instead. I think this move is very intentional; like he’s teasing me. You can’t tell me he knows how to say EXCAVATOR and MONSTER TRUCK and knows how to call our neighbour ABDULMALIK, but can’t say my NICKNAME *rolling eyes*. Sometimes, when he is repeatedly begging me for something, chorusing my sister’s name, he has a mouth slip and says Luby. It’s like once in a blue moon typa thing. When he says my name, even if I didn’t want to do whatever he was requesting for, my heart just melts and I do it anyway. I told my sister in shaa Allah I’ll take him with me once I have my own home but my mum stopped me in my tracks with ‘Tafuta wako!’ 😀

Chenchen’s personality is more visible now. He is very much a loner. He doesn’t mind playing alone for hours on end. You’d see him silently playing with his favourite car toys or chorusing the car noises as he hears them on TV, with intervals of high and low intonations. He is very energetic and loooveees exploring. If you take him to an open field, khalas, that’s heaven for him. He can run back and forth and back and forth like he is training for a marathon. If you leave him outside alone he will most definitely go further away. Sand and water are his favourite things to play with. He can stay the whole day playing in a pile of sand and a small cup, literally bathing himself in it. The same with water. He could cry if you remove him from the bathroom before he has enough play with the water.

Chenchen can get really silent sometimes, and sometimes he is jumping up and down and running wild. Also, if you’re wondering, yes, he still throws stuff outside the window :/

Anywayssss, Halimi (my happy person 2) is soooo compassionate and kind and sensitive and cheerful, and I really love that about him. He’s the kind to randomly give you a hug or tell you ‘I love you’ or kiss you. He’s just the sweetest and most loving kid, Allahumma Bareek! He’s the one who always wants to give his mother company while she works. When he comes back from school, he is always so excited to see any of us. He’d shout any of our names with so much joy, you’d think he hadn’t seen us the same morning. There was a time they all went to my brother’s house for a holiday. After some days, the rest of the family joined them there. When Halimi saw us approaching us, he ran towards us shouting, ‘UH! MY PEOPLE! MY PEOPLE ARE HERE!’ I could cry talking about how warm and beautiful his soul is. Whenever I see how he gets super enthusiastic about the smallest things, in my heart I pray that Allah protects his soul and that this world never takes away this gift from him.

Last Ramadhan we taught them the concept of dua and writing dua lists and so Halimi and Hassan (Happy person 1) started creating their own duas and sometimes writing letters to Allah which mostly consisted requests for toys and toys and more toys. Several months later, Halimi came to me one night, requesting for a paper and pen. He was visibly sleepy but he insisted he wanted to draw. So I gave him what he needed and to my pleasant surprise, he had drawn a toy phone and police car then wrote a letter to Allah requesting for the two. My heart melted. I did not expect that months later, he’d still remember that and even though he was pressed with sleep, he still wanted to communicate with Allah *happy teary eyes*. May Allah guide them and protect them and make them among His most beloved servants, ameen.

Halimi is also the reader and creative in the house, which of course makes me love him more. Whenever he comes across a book he’ll be curious and try reading it even when it is beyond his age. He also loves drawing and colouring and mashallah he is good at it too! He’s such a sensitive boy so you CANNOT make him cry. Because he doesn’t simply cry. HE WAILS! The entire neighbourhood will hear his screams and assume the worst.

The two older boys are at the curiosity phase where they ask very many simple yet difficult questions. Hassan especially is very inquisitive. Both he and Halimi would out of the blue ask, ‘When are we going to Allah? Where is Allah? Does Allah pray? Is Allah boy or girl? Where is Jannah? Can we go to Jannah then we come back?’ Just this month, as he (Hassan) was turning 8, he asked his grandmother, ‘How many years remaining then we go to Jannah?’ Hahaha. Another time he randomly said he doesn’t want to go to hellfire. Another time he said he doesn’t want to go to shaytan. There was a time he was so tired and sleepy but he hadn’t prayed ishaa yet. So he started getting teary saying he doesn’t want to go to hellfire because he has been taught after 7 years a child should pray all prayers miskeen. He takes his prayers very seriously and we love that for him 😀

They recently started being given chances at the masjid to do iqamah and they are always so excited about it, especially Halimi. They would race to the masjid and whoever gets there first does the iqamah, but Halimi would cry whenever defeated and Hassan, being the responsible, thoughtful elder brother, let’s him do it any way 😀

Hassan still loves maths and he is your typical first born. Sharp, caring, responsible and very thoughtful of his younger siblings. He’s also become a master in solving rubric cube after many many attempts. At the beginning, because he couldn’t solve it, he used to remove all the individual cubes then return them one by one in the order of the colours just so that he can proudly say he did it 😀 Thereafter, my sister started watching YouTube tutorials with him until he learnt how to do it better than my sister! He’s our little genius, Allahumma bareek.

But nooow, we have a new squad member who started living with us. My niece Mima is very pretty mashallah and very naughty. She is very sweet and loving and affectionate. You should hear her talk about her mummy and daddy, like the proudest child in the world. She is especially very very attached to her father. You should see her excitement when she sees him, and how much she cries when he leaves her behind, ‘DADDDYYYYY! I WANT MY DADDDYYY!’.

Mima loves freely and deeply and never shies off from expressing her emotions. When introducing herself she says ‘Mima pwinshesh’ while smiling cutely. Her smile can melt your heart but you cannot let that deceive you! 😀 Mima is like Masha from ‘Masha and the Bear’. Her teachers cannot tame her either and any attempt to do so brings out the sensitive, cry baby in her. Talk of ‘terrible twos’ extending to three, four years now 😀

Granted, she began school a few months before she officially turned four, but to date, both her school and madrasa teachers always have a lot to say about her 😀 We understand though; she’s young. As they say, ‘Akikua ataacha’ (or so we hope! 😀 )

Halimi is her best friend. Those two, are partners in crime. They’ll intentionally do what you specifically asked them not to, just so they can push your buttons while they have smug smiles on their faces. Kids really know how to get on your nerves and drive you crazy, but when they are absent, you still miss them somehow. Her and Chenchen on the other hand, are frenemies. One minute (most of the times) they are fighting over toys or food, the next minute Chenchen is shouting, ‘Let’s go Mima. Let’s play!’ or hanging on the grills of the window (even after you’ve told them 648765487 times not to do so!)

Regardless of all that, Mima loves to help around and to be involved. She’ll throw the pillows down with the boys but she doesn’t mind returning them at their rightful place. When the older boys are sent to the shop, she wants to join too. Plus she’s the only one among them who stays with their toys intact for more than two days (boys will always be boys!)

I’m writing this because I miss them all so much. They’ve all gone for holidays to their families and the house feels empty, and kinda boring (except for the part where we can sleep with no disturbances 😀 ). I’m already here nagging their mother to start preparing for January school opening like I am mother hen. But then it is no secret that I am THAT mother (in shaa Allah). The one to prepare breakfast items the night before so there is no morning rush 😀 Spoiler Alert: There’s ALWAYS morning chaos! SMH 😀

Anyways, may Allah protect my babies and make them kind, brilliant and pious Ya Rab. Please do pray for their guidance 🙂


P.S: Don’t forget to pray for Palestine, Sudan, Lebanon, Congo and all the countries undergoing oppression.

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

Devastating. Shocking. Agonizing.

We are witnessing a genocide live on our screens. An ethnic cleansing. Another nakba.

Shouldn’t the world pause?! Shouldn’t we all drop everything in our hands and DO something?! Shouldn’t we all be ENRAGED?! How are we able to enjoy life like a massacre isn’t taking place? How are some people okay with this?! Are people blind? Aren’t they seeing what we’re seeing?!

A brutal occupation. Living in an open prison. Bombing after bombing. Chemical weapons such as white phosphorus being artillery-fired. Flattening of entire neighbourhoods. Entire lineages are being wiped out. Severe starvation. Children writing their names on their palms so they can be identified if they die. Lifeless bodies lying across the streets. Rubble everywhere. Ice cream trucks being used to store dead bodies. Parents swapping children so that someone in their families survive. Women having their full hijab on all the time in case they get killed at any moment. An impossible evacuation of 1.2 million people. Constant terror. Constant death. Constant grief, that mind you, the Palestinians don’t even get to process because they need to educate and show proof of their suffering every.single.time. Yet some people still deny it!

How can we stay sane while feeling the most helpless ever?

This is how a society goes down the drain really quickly. First, we overlook evil. Then we permit evil. Then we legalize evil. Then we promote evil. Then we celebrate evil. Then we persecute those who still call it evil. on IG

Indeed Palestine will always be a sore wound for humanity until they acquire their freedom, rights and their land. And in that is a lot for us to ponder on.

1. The pen has been lifted and the ink has dried: Part of our faith as Muslims is the belief that everything is destined by Allah through His all-encompassing knowledge and wisdom. That includes all the good that happens to us but also, all the seemingly bad that happens to us. What is happening in Palestine right now is a huge test, not just for the people of Palestine, but for us too! How firm is our faith? How will we stand with our brothers and sisters in their struggle? How will we act as we watch all these devastating horrors in front of our eyes? WHAT WILL WE DO ABOUT IT?! So despite the pain and helplessness we immensely feel for the Palestinians or any other suffering nation, let us not forget that Allah is still and always in control. That HE knows of the oppression taking place. That He has a plan. That He knows what He is doing. That victory will indefinitely come for the Palestinians, and that we should trust HIM.

And We warned the Children of Israel in the Scripture, “You will certainly cause corruption in the land twice, and you will become extremely arrogant.

Suratul Israa, Verse 4

On the authority of Abu Abbas Abdullah bin Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: One day I was behind the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) [riding on the same mount] and he said, “O young man, I shall teach you some words [of advice]: Be mindful of Allah and Allah will protect you. Be mindful of Allah and you will find Him in front of you. If you ask, then ask Allah [alone]; and if you seek help, then seek help from Allah [alone]. And know that if the nation were to gather together to benefit you with anything, they would not benefit you except with what Allah had already prescribed for you. And if they were to gather together to harm you with anything, they would not harm you except with what Allah had already prescribed against you. The pens have been lifted and the pages have dried.”

In another narration, the hadith reads: “Be mindful of Allah, and you will find Him in front of you. Recognize and acknowledge Allah in times of ease and prosperity, and He will remember you in times of adversity. And know that what has passed you by [and you have failed to attain] was not going to befall you, and what has befallen you was not going to pass you by. AND KNOW THAT VICTORY COMES WITH PATIENCE, RELIEF WITH AFFLICTION, AND HARDSHIP WITH EASE.” (Hadith 19, 40 Hadith an-Nawawi)

So even as we shed tears and our hearts ache for our brothers and sisters (rightfully so), let us not forget that Allah, in His wisdom, allowed it to happen. The people who’ve been martyred were meant to be martyred. Those who are getting injured have been destined to get those injuries. Those whose houses were bombed, were meant to lose their homes. Those lineages that have been wiped out, that is what was destined for them. Qaddara Allahu wa ma sha’a fa’ala. Allah has decreed and whatever he wills, He does. And in Him we should always fully trust.

2. This dunya is nothing but a test.

أَحَسِبَ ٱلنَّاسُ أَن يُتۡرَكُوٓاْ أَن يَقُولُوٓاْ ءَامَنَّا وَهُمۡ لَا يُفۡتَنُونَ

وَلَقَدۡ فَتَنَّا ٱلَّذِينَ مِن قَبۡلِهِمۡۖ فَلَيَعۡلَمَنَّ ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِينَ صَدَقُواْ وَلَيَعۡلَمَنَّ ٱلۡكَٰذِبِينَ

أَمۡ حَسِبَ ٱلَّذِينَ يَعۡمَلُونَ ٱلسَّيِّـَٔاتِ أَن يَسۡبِقُونَاۚ سَآءَ مَا يَحۡكُمُونَ

“Do people think once they say, “We believe,” that they will be left without being put to the test?

We certainly tested those before them. And ˹in this way˺ Allah will clearly distinguish between those who are truthful and those who are liars.

Or do the evildoers ˹simply˺ think that they will escape Us? How wrong is their judgment!”

Surat Al Ankabut, Verse 2-4

Allah Subhanahu Wataala did warn us that we’ll be tested, our faith will be tested in all kinds of ways; earthquakes, bloodshed, hunger, floods, death and more. Each one of us is tested in a different way in this world, and this is how Allah separates those who are truthful in His way and those who are not. And on the day of judgment, each one of us will be rewarded according to how lived our lives on this earth. That includes the oppressors who will have to face Allah Subhanahu Wataala and taste the heavy consequences of their actions.

Do you think you will be admitted into Paradise without being tested like those before you? They were afflicted with suffering and adversity and were so ˹violently˺ shaken that ˹even˺ the Messenger and the believers with him cried out, “When will Allah’s help come?” Indeed, Allah’s help is ˹always˺ near.

Suratul Baqarah, Verse 214

The prophets were severely tested. The pious predecessors were severely tested. And Allah Subhanahu Wataala decreed this specific test for this specific group of people. We shouldn’t ask why or why them? Allah already promised us that He wouldn’t burden a soul more than they can bear. So for HIM to choose THEM for THIS TEST, it is because He knows how brave they are. How courageous they are. How unshakeable their faith is. How despite the terror, anger, angst, sadness, pain, hunger, they can still smile and say Alhamdulilah and make sijdatul shukr and make jokes and show gratitude and compassion everyday. Truthfully, they are the strongest warriors we’ve ever come across; all of them! From their men to their women to the children to their elderly! We probably would have died of fear and panic if we experienced what they go through in just one day.

Those who were warned, “Your enemies have mobilized their forces against you, so fear them,” the warning only made them grow stronger in faith and they replied, “Allah ˹alone˺ is sufficient ˹as an aid˺ for us and ˹He˺ is the best Protector.” So they returned with Allah’s favours and grace, suffering no harm. For they sought to please Allah. And surely Allah is ˹the˺ Lord of infinite bounty.

Surat Al Imran, Verse 173-174

3. These people are indeed very, very special. Here’s why:

It was narrated from Mus’ab bin Sa’d that his father, Sa’d bin Abu Waqqas, said: “I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, which people are most severely tested?’ He said: ‘The Prophets, then the next best and the next best. A person is tested according to his religious commitment. If he is steadfast in his religious commitment, he will be tested more severely, and if he is frail in his religious commitment, his test will be according to his commitment. Trials will continue to afflict a person until they leave him walking on the earth with no sin on him.’”

I came across an image that said, ‘There is no substitute for Palestine except paradise’ and truly, that is what awaits them biidhnillah. The individuals being killed in Palestine are considered martyrs as proven in a hadith of the prophet peace be upon him, ‘Whoever is killed protecting his wealth, he is a martyr. Whoever is killed protecting his family, he is a martyr. Whoever is killed protecting his religion, he is a martyr. Whoever is killed protecting himself, he is a martyr.'” (Sunan an-Nasa’i 4095) And do you know what’s the reward for the martyrs? Allah Subhanahu Wataala says in Surat An Nisaa, verse 69 and 70: “And he who obeys Allah and the Messenger -they shall be with those whom Allah has favoured -the Prophets, those steadfast in truthfulness, the martyrs, and the righteous.” How excellent will they be for companions! That is a bounty from Allah, and Allah suffices to know the truth.” Subhanallah, indeed what awaits them is beyond our comprehension.

Never think of those martyred in the cause of Allah as dead. In fact, they are alive with their Lord, well provided for—rejoicing in Allah’s bounties and being delighted for those yet to join them. There will be no fear for them, nor will they grieve.

Surat Al Imran, Verse 169-170

4. Allah is Al-Baseer (The All-Seeing): The All-Noticing, The One who Sees all things that are seen by His Eternal Seeing without a pupil or any other instrument.

As-Samee(The All-Hearer): The One who Hears all things that are heard by His Eternal Hearing without an ear, instrument or organ.

Al-Muntaqim (The Retaliator): The One who victoriously prevails over His enemies and punishes them for their sins. Allah is most patient, but the time will come when justice must be given. 

Al-Muqsit (The Just One): The Equitable, The One who is Just in His judgment.

Do not think that Allah is unaware of what the wrongdoers do. He only delays them until a Day when ˹their˺ eyes will stare in horror—rushing forth, heads raised, never blinking, hearts void.

Surat Ibrahim, Verse 42-43

Abu Hurayrah said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There are three whose du’aa’ is not rejected: a just ruler, the fasting person when he breaks his fast and the prayer of the oppressed person. It rises above the clouds and the gates of heaven are opened for it, and the Lord, may He be glorified, says, ‘By My Glory I will answer you even if it is after a while.’” (Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 2050.) 

Indeed Allah can hear the cries of the people of Palestine, He can see their pain and He definitely hears their duas. Allah will definitely come through for them, it is just a matter of time.

5. There is a post I wrote a few weeks back on my Instagram on patience that is also very, very relevant to this scenario and to our brothers and sisters in Palestine and other oppressed countries:

Whenever this dunya becomes heavy on the chest, I always ponder on this ayah:
 إِنَّمَا يُوَفَّى الصَّابِرُونَ أَجْرَهُمْ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ
“Certainly those who observe patience will be given their reward in full without measure.”
And it fills my heart with awe in anticipation for what Allah has in store for us. Can you imagine? The Lord of the seven heavens, the seven earth, every single creature and non-living thing in this world, is promising a reward without measure. Without limit. A Lord who is the Most Generous, Most kind, what do you think He has prepared for us? What exactly does ‘No Limit’ mean for HIM? Definitely something beyond our human mind’s comprehension.

Think of this man for example:The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “I know the person who will be the last to come out of the (Hell) Fire, and the last to enter Paradise. He will be a man who will come out of the (Hell) Fire crawling, and Allah will say to him, ‘Go and enter Paradise.’ He will go to it, but he will imagine that it had been filled, and then he will return and say, ‘O Lord, I have found it full.’ Allah will say, ‘Go and enter Paradise, and you will have what equals the world and ten times as much (or, you will have as much as ten times the like of the world).’ On that, the man will say, ‘Do you mock at me (or laugh at me) though You are the King?” I saw Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) (while saying that) smiling that his premolar teeth became visible. It is said that will be the lowest in degree amongst the people of Paradise. (Sahih al-Bukhari 6571) 

Subhanallah, if this is what the last person to enter Jannah is given, what more should we hope and expect from our Rab? How much more merciful, loving, generous is He?

Jabir narrated that the Prophet (s.a.w) 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.” (Jami` at-Tirmidhi 2402)

So bear a little more, dear believer. Whatever you’re battling through silently;
فصبر جميل والله المستعان
“So patience is most fitting. And Allah is the one sought for help.” 

These are very trying times for the people of Palestine but the reward they will get from Allah will make us envy them. At the very least, they know they have reserved spots in Jannah biidhnillah. We don’t. May Allah grant us all the highest levels of Jannah, ameen.

As Muslims, as human beings, we have an obligation towards those in Palestine. We must be outraged by what is happening to them. We must speak up. We must create awareness and educate the masses about the history of Palestine and the oppression taking place. We must teach our young ones about Al Aqsa and its rich history to the Muslims and why it is so important to us (Can check out this video for that: Palestine ). We must use all our platforms to share their stories, and their dreams, and their cries, and their culture. We must boycott Israeli products. We should never allow people to think of Palestinians as just numbers. These are human beings, and they desperately need to be treated as such! Never underestimate the power of coming together and being a voice for the voiceless. We must never get tired, we must not lose hope. Alhamdulilah we are very, very privileged to be able to even put our phones away when we feel overwhelmed by their news and videos. They however have been experiencing this terror throughout their lives! We thus must never get tired!

Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “You see the believers as regards their being merciful among themselves and showing love among themselves and being kind, resembling one body, so that, if any part of the body is not well then the whole body shares the sleeplessness (insomnia) and fever with it.

Sahih al-Bukhari 6011

Most importantly, we must make constant and sincere duas for them. Let’s wake up even for one night and pray tahajjud and cry to Allah about them. Let’s remember that dua can change qadr, and perhaps it is through our frequent duas for them that Allah grants them victory sooner. Do not for one moment underestimate the power of dua, or Allah’s power to change everything in just ONE INSTANCE. Let’s thank Allah for the blessings of life, food, water, clothing, roof and family. Let us seek Allah’s forgiveness for our shortcomings and our ingratitude. Let us seek refuge in Allah. Let us not stop praying for them!

Additionally, let’s sacrifice what we have, however little, and donate it to them. It doesn’t matter how little you think it is. The People in Gaza are starving, lack medical aid, lack water…they basically have nothing. So I kindly urge you to sacrifice what you have and biidhnillah, in the hereafter, they will mention our names as those who stood by their side.

Here are some ways you can donate to the people of Gaza and Palestine:

A few months back, just countable days before Ramadhan, my mum called me excitedly to show me a very moving story of a Pakistani woman in Tanzania being fundraised for. The project attracted so many donors around the globe that the fundraisers (a TV station) could buy a piece of land and build a house for her and her children (one of them is physically challenged). My mum’s first remark was, ‘Look! He does just like what you do! (fundraising projects)’. 

‘Not for houses though!’ I laughed.

‘This is a TV station so they have a wider reach, but maybe one day you will do something like this too.’

‘Maybe…in shaa Allah.’

That became the beginning of our daily following of this exciting show and specifically, this Pakistani woman’s story. My mother would eagerly wait for the next episode so that we’d watch it together. To say it was inspiring is an understatement. Her life was changing COMPLETELY, and for the better; a true miracle was unfolding. As the building process went on, my mother would often reminisce about her younger years when she and my father were entrusted to do such projects to build mosques and wells and even houses alhamdulilah. Little did we know what lay ahead…


It was just a few days after Eidul Hajj when a friend whom I deeply admire for her dedication to her Qur’an memorization journey, reached out to me about their mud house that was gradually collapsing. All they were asking for was a loan so that they could restore their house. At the time, there were heavy rains all over Kilifi County and the imagination of how anyone could be living in such a condition truly broke my heart. 

I mentioned the situation to someone I know who knows my friend’s neighbourhood, and was shocked! She asked, “You mean there are people living in that house?! I’ve always passed that same route to go to work and the house is in a very, very bad state. I never thought someone could even live in it!”

I felt helpless. And sad. And every time it rained outside my window, my heart ached a bit more. I had never done a project of this magnitude. Sometimes my projects take looong in such a demoralizing way. What if I start something, give them false hope then get stuck halfway? Still unsure of what to do, I decided to put up a post calling out to anyone or any organization to assist the family.

One of the first people to reach out to me was an ex-uni mate, and when he was asking for details about the house, I offered to give him my friend’s mum’s contact. He advised me then that it is best if I took the lead role in the project in order to efficiently manage the situation. I agreed, albeit reluctantly and decided to put up information for the opening of the fundraising. Before I even did that, someone from Twitter responded to my initial post and sent 100k. I was stunned. How?! A total stranger who didn’t even put me through an extended ‘interrogation’ as most donors do (I know I know, the world is full of scammers lol) So people can trust me with this? I got an immediate motivation boost subhanallah.

Right away, I called an architect/contractor to make a sketch of a new brick house. At the time, I knew a brick house would be way more expensive but I was unstoppable 😀 The contractor came the same evening and showed me the cost of just a few materials. It was around 300k. I said, ‘We can do this!’ He said, ‘There is still a lot more. It could get to double.’ 

‘Yeah, but I believe Allah will bring a way. Let’s tawakkal.’

‘My concern is that we don’t know how the fundraising could go. We could demolish the house and start building but then get stuck, leaving the family stranded.’

Excitedly, I said, ‘Yeah I understand but let’s just start. I believe when people start seeing the work taking place, more donors will appear. They’ll be motivated to finish it.’

Both my parents were seated with me at the time and they both interjected, ‘Kujenga si mchezo (Construction is not that simple)…’ My dad said.

‘Huyu she’s just excited at the moment,’ my mum joined, ‘but let us see. Perhaps the donors will come through when we start the process.’

We wrapped up the brief sitting with the plan to start the demolishing of the house soonest. At the time, another good lady and friend, Dr Kulthum, had collected donations for the family that had totalled 48,980/= alhamdulilah. (May Allah bless her with goodness in both worlds!)

And so it began. The fundraising. The shifting of the family to a rental. The house demolishing and the construction thereafter. The money coming in. Offers to help from every corner. 

Whenever I talked to my friend’s family, I would tell them, ‘So I think this is only what we can do for now.’ But Subhanallah, money kept coming in and coming in. Friends. Family. Mutual friends. Total strangers. Long-term donors from previous projects. 

Every few days I’d tell them, ‘Okay I think you can move into your house after two days’ or ‘Just this one thing remaining and we’ll be done with this project’, ‘We don’t have money to do this right now, maybe you can save for it in the future’ and someone would send me money out of nowhere. In the early stages of the fundraising, there was a short period where the donations slowed down a bit, but subhanallah, once we picked up the pace again, we were unstoppable. At some point, I stopped asking for donations anymore because I didn’t even have to ask. There were three individuals who were very keen on the project and let me know repeatedly that I shouldn’t hesitate to reach out to them in case anything was needed. Three total strangers. Three angels from Allah. Two of them ended up donating over 200k (one of whom was the one who sent the first 100k), and one close to 200k. Then two sisters joined in, sending me money from their family and friends group from time to time also getting to 200k (or over, I can’t even remember anymore 😀 ) Then Artistic Hope Organization offered to do some of the work (Plastering the whole house, plumbing and electrical). Best of all were our consistent donors who despite giving smaller amounts, kept giving and giving from what Allah blessed them with, alhamdulilah!

And I kept thinking Subhanallah, Allah is showing us again and again, ‘Who are you to determine what is enough?’ And I told this to my mum and said, ‘Perhaps our vision is so low compared to what Allah wants to give them. We just want them to have a house, but perhaps Allah wants to give them a dream house. Perhaps they have a secret with Allah or perhaps they have been patient for so long that Allah is finally giving the long-awaited relief.’’ 

And so we kept making changes to our initial plan because we had to consider what can we do better for them (since there was more money). It wasn’t easy of course and the construction team was inconvenienced quite a few times, but alhamdulilah for their patience and dedication.

During the finishing stages, when only about three fundis were still working on site doing the ceiling, I sat with my friend at the front stairs of the newly built house feeling the cool breeze from the ocean.

“I need you to tell me the secret…” 

“Which secret?” She laughed.

“Which secret do you have with Allah? Because I’ve NEVER done a fundraising like this, and I’ve been doing fundraisings for almost a decade now. Never …Subhanallah. This is the FIRST TIME EVER that I don’t literally have to beg people to donate. You have seen it yourself! And now,  people are racing to help your family mashallah Allah ybarik. What’s the story? Or what dua have you been making so we copy your method?” I laughed.

‘“Aren’t you the one who tells us to have secrets with Allah?” She chuckled, referring to the nasheed I love and frequently share by Mishary Al Afasy (Do you have secrets with Allah).

“Hahaha, okay but this secret you have to tell me. There must be a story behind it; a story that I and everyone who’s donated can benefit from. Because wallahy, this, for me, is a miracle. I’ve never seen this Subhanallah.”

With tears in her eyes, she said Alhamdulilah. Then went on to say, ‘It’s been dua, a lot of dua…’ Then started narrating their story to me.

Around 6 years back, my friend and her family lived on the outskirts of Mombasa town. However, their mother got divorced and because she was a simple housewife, she was unable to sustain the town life. She decided to come back to her father’s home in the remote areas of Kilifi. For them, it was a huge and TOUGH adjustment. From town life, they now moved to an old mud house. No electricity. No water. The bathroom is outside. The bushes became the toilet. As a jilbabi and niqabi, you can imagine the struggle of taking a bath in a space that is only covered with mabati and leso; almost an exposed space (especially since the mabati had holes only covered with nylon). They would share a bed that didn’t even have a mattress. 

“I would walk 45 minutes to the stage every morning to go to university and another 45 every evening. It got so tiring, I started living with a relative in Mombasa. But she was verbally aggressive. And I would be patient until when I’d feel my heart is too tired I can’t take it anymore, is when I would come back to Kilifi and continue commuting daily. Then when I’d get tired of commuting I’d go back to my relative…like that…”

This was a family that was once at the upper middle class- with water in the house, electricity and stability of a home. Their life turned upside down. But their patience was yet to be tested even more.

With each heavy rain, the mud house developed more and more cracks. At the same time, the neighbourhood was gaining some development. Slowly, the neighbours around started building brick houses in place of their mud houses one by one. Then when the government launched the token metres, homes got the token devices for free. So soon enough, the neighbourhood was bright with lights. Except this one house. Because of its dire state, and despite having the token metre, it was a risk for them to connect electricity since the house was clearly collapsing. Eventually, KPLC uninstalled the service line just for the safety of the family.

The neighbours started making fun of them and their house. When my friend would go to the shop she’d hear people joke, ‘Waschana warembo lakini nyumba ya kuanguka’. When their youngest brother would come home from school, his schoolmates would laugh loudly, calling out his name, pointing at the collapsing house and saying, ‘Hii ndio nyumba yenu!’ They were all so humiliated, so ashamed that they’d avoid going to the shops or even outside except when necessary.

Now the neighbours, who were now of a better living standard, used to gather in the evening. The women around would lay down their mikeka to chit chat (spell ‘gossip’) and because my friend and her mother were against such behaviour and wouldn’t join them, they became even more secluded. The neighbours barely ever had a good word for them, instead, they were the ones mocking and humiliating them at every opportunity. And as known in Swahili culture, they would ‘walisha vijembe’ by blasting out taarab music with insults, clearly directed at them.

“Si siri wajulikana wewe

Hauna sifa za kike wewe

Una nongwa we jeuri wewe

Mambo nare nare

Niko nae mimi sare

Usilete hare hare

Utakuja kufa bure….

Nnavokujua sio mwanamke wewe

Unajitwaza si mwanamke wewe

Unachechemesha si mwanamke wewe

Umejiangusha cheo kujishusha

Sasa unapasha mpasha upashike

Heshima uweke

Heshima uweke…

Wakati wa mwengine huu

Si wakati wako huu

Wakati wa mwengine huu

Si wakati wako huu

Mambo nare nare du

Umewekwa kando du

Unachekwa sasa du

Unachekwa sasa du…”

(Rough lyrics)

At the time, it was raining heavily outside, the house is leaking all over…mother and daughter are hiding in their collapsing house; humiliated and heartbroken; calling out to Allah…during the best ten days of Dhulhijjah. Crying to Him out of helplessness and pain.

“I always wanted to be the one to build this house for my mother,” my friend said. “I had a part-time job and was trying to save slowly so that we could renovate the house. But life was so tough, especially as the was always hand to mouth. Then corona happened and I lost my job. That dream faded. I felt so helpless. So I returned to Allah and begged Him that I cannot do this myself, only He can…and I prayed that He brings me a halal and kheyr means for this house to be built. I prayed so much during Arafah as well. But since we came here, we’ve always been praying for relief. Then I contacted you after Eid asking for help and what happened happened…”

Goosebumps. Literal goosebumps. Tears in her eyes. Tears in my eyes as I write this. Subhanallah. Subhanallah. Look at Allah’s Power. His kindness. His mercy. How He can change one’s condition JUST.LIKE.THAT!!! How He responds to duas. How He rewards for patience. How He hears how others are mistreating you and will grant you comfort. Indeed, with hardship comes ease, ALLAHU AKBAR!

Now, from the very beginning of the project, we really desired that the family gets electricity in the house. However, we kept getting obstacles until finally, we opted for M-solar (lipa mdogo mdogo solar program) alhamdulilah.

So on Thursday evening, the family officially moved into their house. And as they were settling in, there happened a blackout in the entire town. Literally! There was darkness at every corner of the town except ONE HOUSE. Only this one house that was always being mocked. Only this one house that was always looked down upon. Only this one house that was once the symbol of extreme poverty. Subhanallah! And so while the whole town drowned in darkness, Allah illuminated His light on just this one house. Coincidence? Could never be! Here was Allah, showing the people His Might and Power to change circumstances. A moral lesson they’ll never forget!

And all this is clear proof that Allah’s promise is true when He said: “Surely, Allah is with those who are As-Sabirun (the patient).” [al-Anfal 8:46]

And again: “If anything good happens to you they are grieved; if any misfortune befalls you they rejoice at it. But if you remain steadfast and mindful of Allah their designs will not cause you harm. Allah surely encompasses all that they do.” [Al ‘Imran 3:120]

Now standing very tall, is the only fully-plastered, painted house with solar power in the neighbourhood, Allah ybarik!

This is our good Lord. ALLAHU AKBAR!

Here’s what it’s all about:

A believer’s patience.

The power of dua.

The reward of patience.

The power of Allah.

The justice of Allah.

The miracle of Allah.

The miracle house!

“And whoever is mindful of Allah, He will make a way out for them, and provide for them from sources they could never imagine. And whoever puts their trust in Allah, then He ˹alone˺ is sufficient for them. Certainly Allah achieves His Will. Allah has already set a destiny for everything.”

[At-Talaq: 2-3]


Sincere gratitude to EACH AND EVERY ONE of you for being part of this amazing project. Regardless of what amount you donated or whether you shared the posts only, YOU DID THIS! You raised KSHS 1, 018, 093.50. YOU BUILT THIS HOUSE! In just a matter of 41 days, we managed to raise money AND build a 4-bedroom house with a separate bathroom, toilet and kitchen. ALLAHU AKBAR! May Allah bless you and your families with lofty gardens and palaces in Jannat ul Firdaus, ameen!

Special thanks to both our contractor and his construction team and the Artistic Hope Organization team for the amazing work they did to the house. And for their patience throughout the challenges. May Allah bless the work of your hands and raise your status in Jannah.

And to my dearest family and closest friends who gave me so much support, both physically and emotionally throughout this project(my biggest one yet!)  and for being patient with me when I was crying or getting very irritable at every small inconvenience 😀 Alhamdulilah thumma alhamdulilah.


When I posted the last video update showing the house, I showed it to my parents first. Both of them cried, and they kept replaying the video over and over and over, tears still streaming from their eyes. I wish y’all could have seen how my mother was now excitedly waiting for my daily updates on the construction project more than she was when we were watching that program. But better than all that is that this entire project was mainly under their guidance, alhamdulilah!!

Just a few days before the completion of the project, as I was laying down in bed looking at the house standing, my mother patted my hair and said, “Finally you’ve come into our line (of projects). You’re truly my daughter.” Urgh. My heart. For them to have witnessed and actively guided and supported me throughout this project is a full circle for me. Alhamdulilah! May Allah grant us all sincerity in what we do Ya Rab!

My only request is that when you see any goodness in my very flawed being, please make dua for my 3 parents (one is deceased, Allah yirhamha) to be granted good health and wellness both in this life and the next, and that they enter Jannatul Firdaus without hisab, for they have been my inspiration always and my biggest supporters alhamdulilah!

*Generalized Anxiety Disorder: GAD is a long-term condition that causes you to feel anxious about a wide range of situations and issues, rather than 1 specific event. People with GAD feel anxious most days and often struggle to remember the last time they felt relaxed. As soon as 1 anxious thought is resolved, another may appear about a different issue.


Disclaimer: Despite having had severe anxiety since childhood, it is only now that I have decided to give a deeper and personal account of my experience. This isn’t to acquire any sympathy or pity for I believe Allah does not burden a soul beyond its capacity, but rather to use this platform to share more information on mental illnesses and hopefully make you, dear reader, be more enlightened about such matters, and to be more understanding, compassionate and empathetic towards people in your own circles that have similar challenges. And also give a chance for those with similar issues to know that they’re not alone and that they’re emotions are valid. Anyway, here goes nothing…


Living with generalized anxiety, especially since childhood, is an extreme sport. The mind is a wild, wild place; everything escalates from 0 to 100 every.single.time. Even when it shouldn’t be so. Even when you have deep faith in Allah. Even when it is something so small, it is silly to overthink like that. But we still do. There is a fellow who told me a couple of times after reading my blogs that my anxiety is just about my mindset and that I should JUST STOP overthinking and think more positively. Just stop then khalas, you’ll be good to go. And as much as having a positive mindset can reduce your anxiety, it is a bigger struggle than that. Ask anyone who’s ever been diagnosed by a psychiatrist or psychologist with any type of anxiety they’ll tell you that living with such disorders is jihadu-nnafs. Quite literally. It is a continuous battle with yourself and your brain.

Every thing, every encounter, every experience with anyone is catastrophized; always thinking of worst case scenario. Then there’s the excessive worry over the smallest of matters and big ones too. Then there’s the panic attacks that make you feel like you’re about to go crazy or lose it completely. There’s the crying spells which can come to you at any time, out of the blue, and the tears just keep coming and coming-uncontrollable! There’s the excessive fear which controls your life; it makes you always live on edge. Then there’s the obsessive and repetitive thoughts that often overwhelm the mind. There’s also the depression and physical illnesses that sometimes tag along with the anxiety…The list goes on and on…

When I am extremely happy, I keep thinking that something bad is going to follow shortly thereafter. Happiness makes me anxious too. And even when it is someone else who’s extremely happy, I get nervous for them, ‘What if they lose that? What if the happiness doesn’t last long?’ And I quickly make dua for them so that their joy lasts. Then there’s the over-analysis of situations which take you down a dark rabbit hole of overthinking. Every single conversation is scrutinized; ‘Did I say the right thing? Should I have said this instead? Are they mad at me? I felt their tone change, did I hurt them? Perhaps they still misunderstood me? Should I clarify further for the fourth time?’ Every single thing goes so far; blown out of proportion. Worries; worries every day, worries everywhere. 

A simple trip to town could easily bring about death anxiety. I start imagining the car I am in getting into a very tragic accident. But it never ends there. I start imagining the details of the accident, the position they’ll find me in, when my family are informed, when I am declared dead, and when my loved ones start crying because of my departure. And this wild imagination is so real to me that it makes me tear up and I sometimes get a panic attack abruptly. I am grieving my death. 

When I am using a water heater or a toaster, I imagine getting electrocuted. And when a huge lorry or oil tanker passes by close to me, I immediately think of the ‘Final destination’ movies and imagine the lorry falling over me and crashing my bones 😀 When a stranger approaches me on the road, my guard is immediately on because I am afraid I could be conned or kidnapped or worse than that. There’s so so much to anxiety than people ever understand. That I wish they understood.

It wasn’t helpful that I grew up hearing people say mental illness is because of weak imaan. It really made me question my level of faith. Yet to be very honest, anxiety is one of the most draining and exhausting things to experience. It is so hard to fully experience the small and even big joys of life.

In a crazy world like ours where there is too much information everywhere, it is even harder for people with anxiety. You scroll, a mother has stabbed her two year old and ate her internal organs. Scroll further, a pastor has brainwashed an entire village to starve to death so as to meet Jesus. Scroll further, a father has been raping his daughters for years after his wife passed away. Go to another app, Palestinians and Uyghurs are being tortured to death. A war in Sudan; so many people stranded. Something is going on here, something is going on there…it never ends, the world never pauses Subhanallah. The information overload overwhelms you and drains you deeply. It makes you sad and helpless and truly anxious. Even with the knowledge and trust in Allah, even with the understanding that Allah tests us so that we can return to Him, the anxiety is mostly there. Jihadu-nnafs.

Being an educator, a recently graduated psychologist and a spiritual (among other categories) blogger for about ten years, there’s a kind of pedestal that people put you on. You never asked for it but it is constantly being mentioned, ‘You’re my mentor,’ or ‘I look up to you’. They think you’ve made it in life even when the reality is very different. This deeply terrifies me. The imposter syndrome kicks in. ‘But why? I am not the right person to look up to. I have so many flaws. I am really struggling with surrendering 110% to Allah or trusting Allah about the unknown. I always try to control how things roll out in my life, and when they don’t happen my way, it takes me down a very dark hole of heartbreak and pain. I am definitely not the person to even consider as a role model.’ Even when I don’t say these words out loud, it always gets to me. What if someone is misguided through me? Or someone who looks up to me, follows my unsteady footsteps? How will I deal with that when I am standing in front of Allah and He asks me about it? I will never be ready for such questioning by Allah. So I divert the couple of people who look up to me, to instead, look up to the prophets peace be upon them and pious predecessors who died upon imaan and were promised Jannah. And of course, they are indeed the best examples for us to follow and look up to more than anyone else.

There is this hadith that always hits me. It was narrated that Abu Hurairah said:”The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: ‘The strong believer is better and more beloved to Allah than the weak believer, although both are good. Strive for that which will benefit you, seek the help of Allah, and do not feel helpless. If anything befalls you, do not say, “if only I had done such and such” rather say “Qaddara Allahu wa ma sha’a fa’ala (Allah has decreed and whatever he wills, He does).” For (saying) ‘If’ opens (the door) to the deeds of Satan.'”

My older sister whom I look up to is always the kind of person to say ‘Qaddara Allahu wa ma sha’a fa’ala whenever something doesn’t go her way. Even if she goes on to grieve but she doesn’t allow it to overweigh her brain. She knows and truly believes that Allah knows best, may Allah bless her soul. And I adore that so much because I wish I was like that too. I wish my brain could stop overthinking. I wish my heart could fully accept the challenges of life. I wish I was able to immediately accept Allah’s qadar without throwing a tantrum or crying on and on about it such that it may lead to despair (May Allah protect us).

The hardest thing for me has been to be kind to myself. To realize and accept that this is my test from Allah, to accept the little good and benefit I bring to this world and people around me and to be more forgiving towards my mistakes in life. And while I have not overcome the anxiety, I am doing my best. I am taking medication, I am reading widely about it (in fact I took the Islamic Psychology degree at IOU because I wanted to understand whether I truly had weak imaan or what exactly was happening to me), I go for therapy, and I constantly pray to Allah to grant my soul peace and tranquility, alleviate my restlessness, overthinking and worries, and to make me among the Mutawakkilin (those who trust in Him) and the people of ‘Qaddara Allahu wa ma sha’a fa’ala’.

One of my biggest motivations is a hadith by the prophet peace be upon him. He said, “Allah the Almighty said: I am as My servant thinks I am. I am with him when he makes mention of Me. If he makes mention of Me to himself, I make mention of him to Myself; and if he makes mention of Me in an assembly, I make mention of him in an assembly better than it. And if he draws near to Me an arm’s length, I draw near to him a cubit, and if he draws near to Me a cubit, I draw near to him a fathom. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed.” (Hadith 15, 40 Hadith Qudsi). So I am doing my best to think better of Allah. To not allow my negative thoughts to divert me from Allah’s mightiness, wisdom and mercy. To never think that my plans are better than what Allah has chosen for me. That the tests from Allah are meant to make me get closer to Him rather than to punish me. And perhaps there’s a bigger benefit from this test, and that is, I get to talk more about such topics that are not openly talked about in our community.

Unfortunately, the fellow who used to tell me about changing my mindset developed anxiety during the early phases of Corona. He was unemployed at the time with no source of income. Having such abundant time on his hands while the world went into a panic, overthinking and anxiety of the corona virus kicked in him. He once called me to say that he now realizes it isn’t as simple as he initially thought. That it is much harder, and a huge struggle Subhanallah, and he asked for help on how to deal with it. Alhamdulilah his anxiety ended when things calmed down a bit around the world and after seeing a counsellor. The only reason I tell this story is for people to realize the same; it is not easy to have a mental disorder. Not at all. So please be patient, understanding and compassionate towards your loved ones and people around you, you just never know the huge mountains they carry. Educate yourself about these matters if you have to and offer help whenever you can. Be their support system and be there for them. Yet the best gift you can give them is making dua for their well-being and peace of mind.

We, as Muslims, believe that nothing is impossible to Allah Subhanahu Wataala. He can cure every single ailment and He can move mountains for us. However, we are also expected to do our due diligence by seeking treatment through talk therapy, medication and lifestyle changes. Most importantly is to get closer to Allah through the recitation of the Qur’an, making dhikr and always making dua to Allah to remove such conditions from us and to make us better believers.

Despite all the challenges and struggles of anxiety, it is not always doom and gloom. Anxiety makes people be highly empathetic, loving and compassionate. It makes you have high instincts which can benefit you in observing one’s surroundings, it keeps you motivated and can actually help in your performance nd make you have a great work ethic. It makes one highly aware of what could go wrong, and makes you think of all possibilities while dealing with a situation. This makes the anxious individual to be a careful decision maker and great problem solver among other benefits. Plus the anxiety memes are hilarious, that’s a bonus 😀

To end this piece, there’s a conversation I want to share that I once had with my father and brother while driving to another town. My father told us about an accident he witnessed many years back. An ice cream van was trying to overtake another car, but it lost control and hit a huge tree. When they went to check on the driver, they found the steering wheel had hit right into the driver’s seat. But the driver’s upper body was right above the steering wheel (on the roof of the car) and each of his legs was on either side of the wheel. Had the steering wheel hit him directly, he could have come out with major injuries probably, but Subhanallah, the man came out unscathed except for one small scratch on his arm. 

I asked my dad, ‘Was the man Muslim? Perhaps he had made dhikr that morning and it protected him by Allah’s mercy…’ Before he could answer me, I said, ‘I once heard a sheikh ask something powerful; how can you go to the battlefield unarmed? How can you start your day without dhikr?’ My dad nodded then explained that the driver wasn’t Muslim but at the end of the day, if something isn’t meant to harm you, it won’t, and some people give a lot of charity and for that, Allah showers them with His mercy.

I was about to get to my destination so I couldn’t continue with the conversation. I said to my brother, ‘Please drop me on the other side of the road, I am afraid of crossing this busy road.’ He then laughed and said, ‘Aren’t you the one who’s just from telling us about going to the battlefield unarmed?’ I laughed too and said, ‘I did do my dhikr this morning though.’ Then he said, ‘Then what are you afraid of when you’ve already asked for Allah’s protection?’

I was speechless.

I went out of the car towards my destination while deeply pondering on his last words, SubhanAllah.

‘What are you afraid of when you’ve already asked for Allah’s protection?!’ 

“Say: “Nothing will befall us except what Allah has decreed for us; He is our Protector.” Let the believers, then, put all their trust in Allah.”

 [Qur’an 9:51]

Thank you for reading this to the end. Please do make dua for me to acquire peace of mind and to go for umrah soon for I really yearn for the tranquility made available by Allah Subhanahu Wataala in the holy cities. And do pray for those with mental illnesses. May Allah grant us all ease, relief and comfort, ameen. Shukran 🙂

P.S: If you have anxiety, always remember this: ‘YOUR ANXIETY IS A LIAR!’



Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying: “Allah descends every night to the lowest heaven when one-third of the first part of the night is over and says: I am the Lord; I am the Lord: who is there to supplicate Me so that I answer him? Who is there to beg of Me so that I grant him? Who is there to beg forgiveness from Me so that I forgive him? He continues like this till the day breaks.”

(Sahih Muslim 758b)

During the 2017 Kenyan elections, a humble man by the name of Martin Kamotho, suddenly rose to fame simply for eating githeri in a polythene bag as he awaited his time to vote. The photo of this act trended across all social media platforms, leading to endorsements from different companies, a piece of land in Ngong Hills, a token of 100k from the president, among other gifts.

In 2020, during the early phase of the pandemic, a young Khaby Lame lost his job as a factory worker in Italy. He started a tiktok account which is known for breaking down seemingly ridiculous life hacks shared by other creators. Khaby started trending worldwide and acquired global success without saying a single word in any of his videos. As of February 2023, Khaby is the most followed TikTok user with a net worth of $13 million according to Capitalism website.

During the 2022 world cup, Abubakr Abass, a temporary worker in Qatar became internationally recognized for his actions of directing fans to the metro station with his megaphone and a foam finger. Soon enough fans started chorusing alongside him with the famous line of ‘Metro’ and the fans chanting, ‘This way!’ This soon led to the Metro guy being gifted by FIFA officials, invited to the stadium to address the crowd with his lines before a game and was eventually granted a two-year visa extension and a further $1100 monthly salary as Qatar’s metro brand ambassador.

Isn’t it mind-blowing how God can change a person’s situation just within a blink of an eye?! How He can raise the status of a person totally unknown to the world and make him acquire wealth and recognition and open up His doors of mercy and rizq from him in an astounding way? How He can give you and give you and give you until you become pleased?
Why then would any of us limit ourselves in our duas because we think something is impossible?!
Making duas is one of my dearest love languages. I see it as writing intimate letters to The Lord; the only One who deeply knows and understands me. The only One who can uplift me and guide me, forgive me and grant me solace. So when I recently got to watch a few clips from the Visionaire course by Shaykh Muhammad Al Shareef (Allah yrhamh) I was so excited. And let me tell you, it was such an inspiring and eye-opening experience, guiding you on how to come up with your dream duas and how to acquire them biidhnillah. As we’ve began the last ten days and nights of Ramadhan, here are some helpful tips that I learnt on how to live a dua lifestyle, not just in Ramadhan, but as a daily thing.

  1. First of all, keep in mind that when making dua, you are asking from Allah not from yourself, the AlMighty, the King of all kingdoms, the One who can simply say ‘Be’ and so it becomes. So before you list down your duas, remove any limitations in your mind. Remove any doubts, any hesitations in the name of ‘But I am a sinner, how could Allah grant me this?’ Come to your Lord with an open mind and heart, with firm faith that Allah is Al Mujeeb, that He can answer every single of your duas. That He is Al Ghafur, can forgive you all your sins as long as you keep repenting. That He is Al Af’uuw, The Pardoner.That He is Al Jabbar, the One who can fix all your affairs. You’re about to have a conversation with the One whose dominion encompasses the entire come forth with humility, sincerity and yaqeen that He will come through for you. So dream big, ask big.
  2. Never say ‘This is my qadar’ (majaaliwa yangu) and decide to stop making dua. Because none of us knows what’s written for us or what’s our fate. A couple could be struggling to get a child and give up saying that that’s what’s destined for them. How do they know that? How can they be sure? Indeed it is only Allah who knows what is meant and written for us. And even so, do not forget, ‘QADAR CAN BE CHANGED BY DUA!’ So don’t get weaker at making your duas. Instead, raise your dua and have more conviction that Allah will respond.
  3. Allah Subhanahu Wataala says in Surat Al- Ghafir ‘ وَقَالَ رَبُّكُمُ ادْعُونِي أَسْتَجِبْ لَكُم
    “And your Lord has proclaimed, “Pray to Me, and I will respond to you.”
    This is a promise from Allah and no one keeps promises like He does. So raise your hands to the sky and make those duas. Keep in mind that Allah answers duas in three ways:
    *Yes but not now
    *Yes but I’ll give you something better (either in this world or in the next)
    So either way, your duas will be answered. It is just upon you to make the duas and accept whatever Allah brings you thereafter, because Allah knows more than you do. And He is the best of Planners so trust in His plans for you. And perhaps you love a thing that is harmful to us. So TRUST.
  4. Raise your game in what you’re praying for by using stronger language. For example, when asking for health and fitness, ask Allah to grant you wellness and fitness that will enable you to play with your kids and serve your family. Or when praying for a child, ask Allah to bless you with a pious, obedient child and that you be present at their wedding.
  5. Remove mental blocks such as ‘I feel guilty asking Allah for worldly things’ for that comes from the shaytan. The prophet peace be upon him taught us to say the dua ‘
    ربنا آتنا في الدنيا حسنة وفي الآخرة حسنة وقنا عذب النار
    “O our Lord, grants us the best in this life and the best in the next life, and protects us from the punishment of the Fire.”
    So askkkk, oh servant of Allah. Ask for that dream house, dream car, dream job, ask for the kind of skin or hair you want, ask for the opportunity to explore the world…ask ask ask.
  6. When asking for dunya, craft it in such a way that it involves your akhera. For example, ask Allah to grant you abundant wealth that will enable you to help yourself, your family and the needy. Or when asking for a spouse, ask Allah for one who will bring you closer to Him. Or when asking for a chance to go to Borabora or Maldives, ask Him to grant you an opportunity to marvel at the beauty of His creation in the countries you wish to visit. Whatever you ask for, ask for the kheyr in it too. Because sometimes when we ask for worldly things and Allah grants us those things, they become a test for us and we quickly lose focus and forget about our Rab. So ask for the worldly things but ask for what’s kheyr in it as well. We can see this in Surat Maryam, verse 1-9:”Kãf-Ha-Ya-’Aĩn- Ṣãd.˹This is˺ a reminder of your Lord’s mercy to His servant Zachariah. When he cried out to his Lord privately. Saying, “My Lord! Surely my bones have become brittle, and grey hair has spread across my head, but I have never been disappointed in my prayer to You my Lord! And I am concerned about ˹the faith of˺ my relatives after me, since my wife is barren. So grant me, by Your grace, an heir, who will inherit ˹prophethood˺ from me and the family of Jacob, and make him, O Lord, pleasing ˹to You˺!” ˹The angels announced,˺ “O Zachariah! Indeed, We give you the good news of ˹the birth of˺ a son, whose name will be John—a name We have not given to anyone before.”He wondered, “My Lord! How can I have a son when my wife is barren, and I have become extremely old?”An angel replied, “So will it be! Your Lord says, ‘It is easy for Me, just as I created you before, when you were nothing!’”
  7. Avoid making robotic duas such as the ones you crammed since childhood and you chorus them while your heart and mind is absent. You say the duas because you think you have to, and not because you truly are asking Allah for that thing. To avoid this, find the translations of the duas you make and understand what you’re asking from Allah. And if it’s duas from your own mind, it is advisable to adjust and modify your duas over time (Shaykh Al Shareef suggested every 6 months) according to your current situations and desires.
  8. Make your duas concrete and specific. Make your duas such that you can SEE, TOUCH, FEEL. Something you can envision. For example, Ya Allah, please grant me an opportunity to go for Umrah with my mother before the end of the year. Or Ya Allah, please grant me a promotion at work to become the new manager. Or Ya Rab enable my book to be published by an international publisher (insert specific house if possible).
  9. Make your duas exciting, inspiring or such that they make you emotional just by thinking of them. Envision what you want, then think of an even better version of the same dua and ask for that instead. Remember you’re asking the One who owns everything in the universe, so ask beyond your own comprehension. For example, I dream of working with the Qalby Etmaan team some day. It seems soooo out of reach right now because I have no link to them whatsoever, but the thought of it happening someday makes me so excited and so I’ll keep praying for that opportunity biidhnillah.
  10. Let them be slightly unrealistic. In the sense that it may seem impossible but it is achievable. For example, a cleaner working in a company makes dua that they become the manager of the said company. To think of it based on human logic, it may seem unrealistic, but to Allah that is very possible. In fact we’ve seen several situations where this has happened. Or asking Allah to grant shifaa to a paralyzed person who’s been in that state for years, and truly Allah can make that happen. I’ve ever been told a story of a mentally unstable man who used to walk around with sacks of dirt and torn clothes and totally unaware and yet one day after 20 years of being in that state, he woke up in his full senses, just so confused over the 20 years he had no recollection of entirely. So yes, make those unrealistic duas consistently and Allah will definitely respond. Anything is possible!
  11. Make dua even for the smallest of things. You want to buy a dress you really love? Ask Allah for it. You crave ice cream and have no money? Ask Allah. You feel unmotivated to go to school? Ask Allah for motivation.
    Anas ibn Malik reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Let one of you ask his Lord for his needs, all of them, even for a shoestring when his breaks.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhi 3973)
  12. Don’t make dua only as a pain response or only during your difficult times. Many people only make dua only when in need and when things are good, duas are totally out of mind. So be proactive in your duas, show thankfulness and ask for more.
  13. Make dua during the times in which duas are accepted i.e. in sajdah, when breaking the fast, when raining, in the middle of the night e.t.c.
  14. Call upon Allah’s beautiful names. You want Allah’s mercy, ask the Al Raheem. You want to ask for wisdom, call upon the Al Hakeem. You want to acquire knowledge, call upon the Al Alim and so on…
  15. Don’t be hasty in seeking a response. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The slave will receive a response so long as his du’a does not involve sin or severing of family ties, and so long as he is not hasty.” It was said, “What does being hasty mean?” He said: “When he says, ‘I made du’a and I made du’a, and I have not seen any response,’ and he gets frustrated and stops making du’a.” (Bukhari, 6340; Muslim, 2735).
  16. Make duas for others and for the Muslim ummah. Abud-Darda’ (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “The supplication of a Muslim for his (Muslim) brother in his absence will certainly be answered. Everytime he makes a supplication for good for his brother, the angel appointed for this particular task says: ‘A meen! May it be for you, too’.” (Riyad as-Salihin 1495)
  17. Make duas for yourself too. Don’t focus so much on others and forget yourself. You’re the one who knows what you truly desire. So prioritize yourself too.
  18. Tie your camel. As much as you pray to Allah for your desires, also take action on what is beneficial to you. Put in the effort. You want Allah to make it easy for you to memorize the Qur’an, take practical steps to achieve that. i.e. Enroll in a hifdh class, find a Qur’an teacher, or an accountability partner who’ll help you keep accountability of your progress.

Shaykh Muhammad Al Shareef suggested that for the ten nights of Ramadhan, have a list of 6 dream duas. Your most important duas, the ones that you deeply, deeply desire. If you have to read from a paper, or if you forget them, then they’re simply duas, not dream duas. These are the duas that you’re most passionate about, so they’d be at the top of your head always. So have that list and dedicate special time (especially at the times when duas are accepted) for them during these days and nights plus 6 months after that.

This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t make your other duas, but these are the main focus. You constantly and consistently make the duas with firm faith, and with no laziness. From the Visionaire course, there were so many testimonials subhanallah mashallah on how most of them acquired what they prayed for before the next Ramadhan, some within days! So DREAM BIG, AND MAKE YOUR DUAS BIGGER!

As we enter the 21st night tonight, please try and apply the above tips and do remember me and my family in your duas as well. Remember that the Lord of Khaby and many others is your Lord too. So never lose hope in Allah, and keep asking Him!
To learn about the etiquette of making dua, click here

This will the last part of our Ramadhan series in Shaa Allah (unless otherwise). Strive to do as much good deeds as possible and give charity often during these few days.

May Allah accept our good deeds, allow us to witness laylatul qadr, accept our duas in a beautiful way, change our qadr for the better, make us steadfast in the Deen and grant us His forgiveness and mercy, ameen.


We’re currently fundraising for a man who just came back from India a few days before Ramadhan. He had gone for treatment for prostate cancer stage one. His business is struggling and due to health issues as well, he has a huge debt of over 300k in rent arrears. His two children had to drop out of school and the eldest is married. Due to the huge debt, the landlord has prevented him from moving to another house unless he clears his debt, which isn’t so helpful because the debt keeps accumulating. Please let’s help this brother pay his debt and relocate ASAP. Please do remember he is considered a recipient of zakat too because of his debts and being needy. To contribute mpesa to his no: +254 729 994 129 (Ahmed Musa). Updates will be posted on my twitter and Instagram @


Citizen Digital

To read part 1, click here

“Allah, the Exalted, says, ‘Spend, O son of Adam, and I shall spend on you.’” – Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.

(Al-Bukhari and Muslim).

Last week a wonderful woman (Allah ybarik feeha) donated some cash so that I could share it among deserving families. Before sending it to one of the young men highly indebted, I called him to ask which number I should send the money to. First thing he said was, ‘Wait, where’s the money coming from?’ I said it was a donation by someone (I didn’t want to say the name). Then he said, ‘Let me tell you what happened…’

“A woman sent me a message this morning asking for help to buy iftar. She seemed desperate so I checked my Mpesa and I had 100/= only. I decided to send it despite it being the only money I had with me. Immediately I sent the 100 bob, someone sent me 6k. In a matter of seconds, literally. And then immediately after that, your call came in, wanting to send me another amount Subhanallah.” I laughed in awe at Allah’s kindness. I sent the young man 5k, which is literally a bit more than double the amount he gave.

Allah Subhanahu Wataala says in Surat Al- An’aam,  6:160:

مَن جَاءَ بِالْحَسَنَةِ فَلَهُ عَشْرُ أَمْثَالِهَا، وَمَن جَاءَ بِالسَّيِّئَةِ فَلَا يُجْزَى إِلَّا مِثْلَهَا وَهُمْ لَا يُظْلَمُونَ

“Whoever does a good deed will be repaid tenfold, but those who do a bad deed will only be repaid with its equivalent and they shall not be wronged.” Truly Allah keeps His promises.

The economy has been so tough everywhere around the world Subhanallah. Everyone is struggling one way or another. Yet as believers, we should have that yaqeen (surety) that so long as we do good for His sake, He would never leave us hungry. That as long as we sacrifice what we love the most or need to give it to a fellow Muslim, then our reward will definitely come.

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “None gives charity from what is good, for Allah only accepts what is good, except that the Merciful takes it with his right hand. Even if it is a date, it is nurtured in the hand of the Merciful until it becomes greater than a mountain, just as one of you nurtures his young horse or camel.” (Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 1014)

So give, dear reader. Give, give, give. Give from what Allah has blessed you with. Give from the little you have. Or the many that you have. Your 50, 100, 1000 does make an impact. What’s little for you, may be a dinner for an entire family elsewhere. So give without hesitating, without worrying about where your next meal will come from. Without thinking that it will decrease your wealth. Tawakkal on Allah’s name, and see Allah’s mercy and kindness with your own eyes.

And even when you have nothing at all to give, you still have your smile. Smile at your Muslim brothers and sisters for it is charity. You still have your energy and health- put the intention and help the house girl or your mothers in doing house chores, that’s charity too! You have a useful skill, teach it to someone else. You have certain knowledge or information that is beneficial, share it with others who could benefit as well. You know a charity group, volunteer to help them in their physical activities. Or support them by sharing their posters and posts.

You know a sick person, visit and take care of them or help them out. There are stray kittens or birds or any animals around your home/work place, put out a bowl of water/food for them (especially with the kind of heat we experience now subhanallah), or take care of them in any way you can. Plant a tree if you can. Caring, supporting, cooking, serving your family is charity too. Men, helping your mothers, sisters and wives with washing dishes and cleaning up after iftar is also a form of charity 🙃 Making dua for your loved ones and the Muslim Ummah, giving sincere advice are all considered charity …among many other acts.

Jabir (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that he heard Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) saying, “Every good deed is charity.” (Riyad as-Salihin 134). And in another narration, the prophet peace be upon him said, “A charity is due for every joint in each person on every day the sun comes up: to act justly between two people is a charity; to help a man with his mount, lifting him onto it or hoisting up his belongings onto it, is a charity; a good word is a charity; and removing a harmful thing from the road is a charity.” (Al-Bukhari, Muslim)

So strive to do good every single day and always have that sincere intention to do it as charity for Allah’s sake.

Remember that charity is one of the best deeds- it extinguishes your sins, it will provide you with a shade on the day of judgement and it will protect you from calamities and hellfire (among many other benefits). Without a doubt we all know the importance of Ramadhan and the abundant rewards during this beautiful month. It is thus the best time to engage in as much charity as we can.

I’ll end this piece with one of the beautiful hadiths on the same:

Abu Hurairah (RAA) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:
“If anyone relieves a Muslim believer from one of the hardships of this worldly life, Allah will relieve him of one of the hardships of the Day of Resurrection. If anyone makes it easy for the one who is indebted to him (while finding it difficult to repay), Allah will make it easy for him in this worldly life and in the Hereafter, and if anyone conceals the faults of a Muslim, Allah will conceal his faults in this world and in the Hereafter. Allah helps His slave as long as he helps his brother.” Related by Muslim. (Bulugh Al-Maram: Book 16, Hadith 29)


For those interested in participating in charity for the poor, orphans, widows, the sick, indebted, reverts etc, kindly contact me at 0704 731 560, in shaa Allah I’ll directly link you up with deserving families.

Let’s also constantly remember our brothers and sisters in Palestine in our duas. May Allah protect them and grant them victory from the Israelis. May He revenge upon the Israelis for the animosity they do on our people. And may He shower His mercy on the Palestinians and the Muslim Ummah suffering all over the world, ameen.

*Musings: A period of reflection or thought.

I was never the kind to delete a phone number after someone close passed away. I would always hold onto it as if miraculously I’d realize it was just a terrible dream and my person was still there with me. Alive. Healthy. Never any better. That’s how I held onto mama two’s contact until I lost it when I changed phones. It was always like a souvenir where I’d open her contact details and just stare at them longingly. Grief does that to you sometimes. You ruminate on how she could have been now, what she’d be doing, how she’d react to your growth and achievements and what she’d have said on different occasions. You remember how she’d call when you were late home and lovingly say, ‘my baby’ whenever you picked up the phone. You’d remember how she’d fill your bedroom wall with hand-written motivational quotes for your studies. You’d remember how she’d sacrifice her sleep to wake you up to study late at night. You remember a lot of things…

However much time passes, her memory is always there. Like a stubborn stain on a cloth. And everything and everyone reminds me of her. I recently met mama two’s very old friend for the first time. She looked young and healthy and she was very bubbly mashallah. My first thought was, so this is how she’d looked (age-wise) had she been alive to date? She died so young, didn’t she? Is this how charming she would have been with my nieces and nephews had she met them? I bet she would have been so for she was the most loving and caring aunt ever.

The grief follows me around always but sometimes I dream of her. Once she was combing my hair like how she’d do when we were young, another time she was seated with me in the backseat of a car and she was holding me close; my head on her chest, another time she kissed me on my cheek. Whenever I’d have these seemingly very real dreams, I’d ask her, ‘But aren’t you dead?’ That’s always the question, but I never get a response. When I’d wake up from such dreams, I’d be emotional but also very happy because it feels like a gentle squeeze of my hand. Like a reassurance that she is okay (I pray she is). That she is with me even if far away.

I always regard these dreams as Allah’s mercy on me. That Allah knows how much I miss her so He brings her into my dreams so that it can comfort me. So that it can give me joy, even for a short moment. And it warms my heart that Allah keeps gifting me these beautiful dreams of her. The thought of it makes me wonder how much more Allah Subhanahu Wataala can be merciful to me? To us?

Many times we think of Allah’s mercy in terms of repentance and forgiveness such that sometimes we overlook these seemingly ‘small’ mercies of His. Like when you’re having a terrible day and a message pops us where a good friend is expressing gratitude and love to you. Or when you’re very broke and He brings forth someone to purchase your goods unexpectedly. Or when you’re ill and Allah gives you relief by allowing you to pray seated or even lying down. Or when someone speaks well about your deceased loved one and it warms your heart. Or when you’re sad and feeling low and Allah grants you a job opportunity that you’ve praying for. Subhanallah, when you think deeply about it, we’re always in Allah’s mercy-one way or another.

I started a gratitude journal on my phone early this year. There were days I could easily write what I was grateful for -like when I graduated, or when my article was published, or when my books were purchased. Yet there were some long days, some mundane days too that I had to think for a while on what I was grateful for. Days whereby nothing extraordinary happened. But this is when you get to realize the small ways Allah comes through for you. Like when I was having severe anxiety and I couldn’t point out where the issue was exactly but Allah guided me to realize it and deal with it. Or on a very normal day and I got to buy something I couldn’t afford before. Or when I was sad and I had a very beautiful conversation with my mother and sister about life, it uplifted me. Or when a dua I asked for, a very long time ago was finally answered even though I had forgotten about it. This is all by Allah’s mercy. The relief we get. The joy we get. The love and compassion that others give us. The beautiful bonds we have with our families and friends. The good people who volunteer to help us without expecting anything in return. The unexpected rizq that we get when we have no money at all. The opportunities that open up for us. It’s all by Allah’s mercy.

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Allah created one hundred units of mercy on the Day He created the heavens and the earth. Each one of them can contain all that is between the heaven and the earth. Of them, he put one on earth, through which a mother has compassion for her children and animals and birds have compassion for one another. On the Day of Resurrection, He will perfect and complete His Mercy”. (That is He will use all the hundred units of mercy for his slaves on that Day). [ Riyad as-Salihin 420]

Subhanallah, how amazing is our Lord? And if what we’re experiencing is just ONE UNIT of His mercy, how much more can we expect from Him on the Day of Judgment?

May Allah grant us His mercy and may we always be among those who identify it and appreciate it. May He enable us to be among His most Grateful servants.

May Allah have mercy upon our loved ones who’ve passed away. May He elevate their status and make their graves to be gardens from the gardens of Jannah. May He make them among the dwellers of Jannatul Firdaus and may He reunite us with all our loved ones there, Ameen.


Ramadhan Mubarak good people! I pray that your Ramadhan started well in shaa Allah. Talking about gratitude, I challenge you to download a gratitude app (I am currently using ‘Presently’, it’s free and works well for me so far) or get a small notebook where you note down every day, the way Allah comes through for you by His mercy. You’ll be amazed!

Also, for those interested in participating in charity for the poor, orphans, widows, the sick, indebted, reverts etc, kindly contact me at 0704 731 560, in shaa Allah I’ll directly link you up with deserving families.

May Allah accept our good deeds and make us firm in His deen. May our duas be answered most beautifully that He knows best. May He grant us relief from all our worries and distress and may He grant us forgiveness for all our shortcomings. Ameen ameen. Please do remember me in your duas 🙂

The first time I ever laid my hand on anyone, I was about twelve years, six months old.

When it happened again, it was ten years later, only this time with blood on my hands.
“Una meno kama ya ngamia!” A burst of rising laughter emerged behind us.

“Your smile is disgusting!”
Hanaa’s hand clasped mine.

“You must be adopted. You’re darker than your whole family,” another chuckled.

“Do you hear that, Hanaa? You’re adopted!” One shouted.

We both continued looking ahead, my other hand clenched.

“Even your sister Sarah knows that you’re stupid, that’s why you’re always last in class!”

I stopped in my tracks. I could feel the heat rising in my face.

Hanaa pulled me forward with her tiny, bony hands. I didn’t budge for a minute.

I turned around just in time to see the smirk on Fatma’s face, the oldest and loudest of the group. Without thinking twice, I dashed to where she was and planted a hefty slap on her face. There was a gasp from her friends as Fatma felt her now red cheek. My heart still pounding, and before I could say anything, someone smacked my head from behind. For a moment, all I could hear was the ringing of my ears. With tears in my eyes, I looked up to see Fatma’s father and mzee Abubakar, one of our neighbours.

Without a word, Fatma’s father took her daughter and walked away to their house which was just a few steps away from where we were standing. What were the odds? I thought to myself, still standing at the same place.

Mzee Abubakar started patting my back as he requested I explain what just happened. In between loud sobs, I narrated my sister’s constant predicament with this specific group of girls. He continued wiping my tears until my breath returned normal, then he bent down close to my ears and whispered, “Don’t tell your mother about this incident. You wouldn’t want her to start a fight with mama and baba Fatma, would you?”

“But…”I said as I looked at Hanaa, whose trousers were now soiled with wetness.

“They are kids. You’re older than them so you understand they’re just being childish. Forgive them for now. Your mother needn’t know.”

Before I could say any other word, he was gone, and so were all the other kids. I looked over at Hanaa who was silently crying. I walked back to her and held her hand.

“Mama will be angry when she sees me,” she pointed to her trouser.

“She is at aunty Wahida’s place today. Let us rush and change before she gets back home.”

We started running quickly, hand in hand. But before we reached our doorstep, mama’s voice rang behind us. My blood froze. I could feel Hanaa’s hand tremble in mine. I turned to face mama as Hanaa quickly positioned herself behind me.

“Why are you late? Madrasa ended half an hour ago.”

We both looked down.

“Sarah, speak!”

“We met some friends on the way and got a bit distracted with some games,” I said, still looking at the ground.

“Mwataka kikoto sio?!”

We shook our heads quickly.

She clicked her tongue loudly, “I have a wedding to go to so I won’t let you ruin my evening. Get inside, your food is in the kitchen. Thereafter, make sure to do your homework.”

As they entered the house, mama turned around and faced Hanaa with scrutinizing eyes.

“Did you pee on yourself again?! What is that on your trousers?”

We remained silent. Mama looked at me.

“Uhh…we…we sort of got into a fight with Fatma and her friends…Hanaa got scared,” I whispered.

“Again?! What do those girls want? I will break their necks the next time I see them. What was the fight about?”

In a very low and shaky voice, I narrated to her what had occurred.

“Mama, please don’t start a fight with them. Mzee Abubakar said he will talk to her parents about her behaviour,” I lied.

“I am not stupid to go fight with those pigs. With one tackle they will break my bones. But I know what I shall do. Wataona!”


“Hanaa, why would you pee on yourself while you weren’t even the one who was beaten huh?” Mama ignored me. “How many times have I told you, that you need to stand up for yourself? You think those girls will ever respect you if you keep peeing on yourself and bringing bad grades home?!”

Our eyes remained glued to the ground.

“Go on …go change. I will deal with this. And this should be the last time you pee on yourself! If you pee once more, ntakufunga jongoo waskia?” she threatened.

Hanaa nodded meekly.

Mama then stormed out of the house and I quickly followed her to Fatma’s home which was in the same neighbourhood.

“Mama Fatma! Fungua mlango!” Mama shouted outside their compound. “Mama Fatma!” she banged the door.

Mama Fatma slowly opened her door with a frown.

“Bismillah, kuna nini?”

“Do you want me to start telling your neighbours the truth about Fatma?!” she hissed with a murmur.

Mama Fatma’s eyes bulged, looked left and right then quickly pulled mama and me inside the house and closed the door behind us.

“Listen very carefully! Your child is a nuisance and we both know why that is. If you don’t want me to go around and inform people that she is a mwanaharamu, then you better discipline her. I don’t want her near my daughters ever again. And that husband of yours, if he ever raises his filthy hand on my daughter ever again, I will finish him with my own two hands!”

“Sawa mama Sarah. Sawa,” she said with a shaky voice. “I will talk to my daughter, I promise. Please stiri mambo yetu kama vile Mungu anavotustiri sote,” she pleaded.

“Before you mention God to me, teach your child manners first, waskia? Don’t make me do things I don’t want to.”

Before mama Fatma could respond, Mama took my hand and led me outside and we started walking back home.

“Is it true Ma?” I asked.

“What is true?”

“That Fatma is an illegitimate child?”

“I should never hear you say those words again, do you hear me?!”

I nodded quickly, and we didn’t say a word the rest of the way.

As the years went by, the bullying still went on. Despite mama’s threats, Fatma didn’t change at all. In fact, she seemed to attain more pleasure in picking on Hanaa. And because Hanaa didn’t want mama to make a fuss about it, even when mama asked her about Fatma and her friends, she said that everything had been good; they’d left her alone. I would often try to protect her, but we never brought the complaints to mama ever again.

The bed-wetting went on too until she was ten years old is when it finally stopped. Mama was so relieved; she almost thought Hanaa would still be peeing on herself even as a bride. However, her grades never got better and both mama and her teachers gave up on her. Hanaa slowly became invisible to them. All tasks at home were given to me because according to mama, Hanaa was useless like our father’s family. At school, the teachers praised my intelligence as they compared the two sisters in the staffroom.

As expected, Hanaa didn’t have any friends at school or madrasa and spent most of her time alone. She would join me for both break and lunch because I was the only one who would talk to her.

When I got into secondary school, it was very difficult for both of us. Students started picking on Hanaa again because I was no longer there. Many evenings, she came back home and went to bed without speaking a word. She was losing weight at a high speed and mama’s frustrations gave us an even rougher time. Sometimes I would awaken late at night and hear Hanaa sobbing silently into her pillow. My heart ached for her but I was mostly helpless to do anything.

A few years later, when Hanaa finally completed primary school after repeating two classes, mama didn’t even wait for the results to be out. She immediately found a groom for her. The man, who was twenty years older than Hanaa, was set to marry his bride as soon as she turned 17-only a few months later.

“Mama, how can you do this? You always complained about dad’s family pushing him to go for a second wife just because you’re not their choice. How are you okay with Hanaa being a second wife now?!” I protested when we were alone.

“It is not the same.”

“How is it not the same?!”

“This man is only marrying again because his first wife can’t conceive. That is a genuine reason. And mashallah he can afford to comfortably look after two wives.”

“Why have you given up on her so early?” tears started falling.

Mama sighed as she sat down on the mkeka, “You think I am happy sending away my child? Aren’t I a mother too? Don’t I want the best for all of you?”

I remained silent.

“Your sister is very slow and naïve and doesn’t even have extraordinary beauty to boost her prospects. Do you think life is easy? Look at me. Look at how miserable I am despite my beauty and brains. No one has ever helped me. And your father’s family never once asked about us or stepped into this house since he died. Despite their wealth, they never cared about the orphans he left behind, just because he refused to marry the woman of their choice.”

“So that’s your reason to get rid of her?”

“I just want her to be settled in her home before I leave this world. I am not so worried about you. I know you can face anything that comes your way…but Hanaa…she is too weak. Sometimes we have to help her in making decisions that will be good for her in the long run.” Her voice shook.

We sat there for a long time without saying anything, tears in our eyes.

Being a secondary school student, I was still powerless to do anything to help Hanaa. I had no one to turn to. Hanaa had given up on herself too. It seemed she had bought to mama’s belief that she had no prospects in life, so she readily followed mama around as they shopped for the upcoming wedding.

“At least I’ll be a mother. I’ll be useful for once,” she said to me one night as she stared at her green and white hijabi wedding gown.

“You’ve always been useful Hanaa. You’re kind and thoughtful and a great friend and sister. It just takes another kind heart to see that.”

She chuckled.

“You will be visiting me often, right?”

“At your palace you mean? Of course!” I laughed. “You always wanted to be a seamstress. I hope you still try it out. You have great ideas for clothes.”

“Haha, well, now it depends if Mr Husband lets me do it.”

“He better! Your talent shouldn’t go to waste. Once you become a mother in shaa Allah you’ll be the one to make pretty dresses and clothes for them.”

“And for your children too in shaa Allah,” she winked with a smile.

“I have a long way to go. I have to finish secondary first, then go to college, then find a job to help mama in shaa Allah.”

“Maybe then she’ll stop being so bitter,” She laughed quietly.

“You do know that she loves you right? She’s just had a very rough life…and baba who was her only support died so young. I am not justifying her actions of course, but never think that she doesn’t love you.”

“Well, I just hope our children never grow up doubting our love for them.”

I moved to where she was seated and hugged her for a long time before we finally retired to sleep.

A few days later, a small, intimate nikah was performed at our house. The only people present were mum, our aunt who we rarely ever saw, and two of our neighbours who were friendly with mama. From the groom’s side were his elderly mother, his sister, and his two brothers. The ceremony was short and sweet. The visitors were glowing from all the gold they were wearing and all seemed jovial. Even mama shed some tears. We all had a buffet of a variety of Arab and Swahili dishes for lunch and there was laughter and merry in our small house. Hanaa looked like a midget seated next to the tall and built Ismail, her husband. She had a sweet smile and it was almost painful to look at her innocent face.

Before Hanaa left, mama took her most loved golden necklace and put it on her neck. I could see the surprise in Hanaa’s eyes, and the tears that followed shortly after that. We all then kissed her goodbye as her in-laws escorted her to her new home. I almost believed the wedding wasn’t such a bad idea after all…until several months later…

Being a bride looked good on Hanaa. Ismail was away most of the time and she enjoyed her freedom. She was living in a luxurious home and could afford most of what she wanted. The best of all was that Ismail allowed her to take up a sewing course at a nearby college. Soon enough, she had her butterfly sewing machine at her home, making cute tiny dresses as trials. I would visit her often enough whenever I knew Ismail wasn’t around. Even mama seemed happy visiting her, and sometimes, being mesmerized by all the kitchen equipment Hanaa had, mama would even offer to cook for her while there.

However, after a while, it became clear to me that Hanaa and Ismail never really had much love or affection for one another. Hanaa rarely mentioned Ismail unless necessary, and when she did, it was like she was referring to a neighbour she knew.

One time I asked her whether she was happy and her shoulders fell.

“It’s the same story, you know.”

“What same story?”

“Same cliche story we’ve heard over and over again. He loves his first wife very much. Even when with me, he still keeps calling her. I believe his family pressured him to marry a second wife just to get kids. It is clear I am only here as a birthing machine.”

“I am so sorry Hanaa,” I held her hand.

“But I am okay, don’t worry about me. He does fulfil his duties as a husband, at least the majority of them. Plus I am more at peace can’t you see? Mama is no longer stressed about my grades, Fatma and her gang are far away from me now, I am eating well plus I get to do this!” she pointed at a cute green and white dress she was still working on.

I sighed loudly.

I looked at the dress keenly and said, “You should start selling these you know? They’re too good to remain in suitcases under your bed.”

“I will! Let me perfect the art first,” she winked as she continued sewing.

Within the first year of marriage, Hanaa was selling elegant and stylish clothes to her neighbours. During the Eid and wedding seasons, she would get super busy with client orders. Ismail started getting frustrated with the frequent clients coming into their home. Moreover, Hanaa hadn’t conceived yet. The man was getting impatient.

Every month, Ismail diligently asked about her menses and would sometimes refuse to eat when Hanaa confirmed that she got her periods. Soon enough, he was breaking plates and cups at every minor mistake that Hanaa did and would disappear for more days than he did previously.

At the time, I had already started attending nursing classes. Every weekend I would visit Hanaa and find her trying out new recipes to win over her husband. But Ismail had become even more distant than before and his art of breaking cutlery was getting more intense by the day.

“I am unsettled about this man. What if he harms you?!” I exclaimed one evening as we shopped for new plates.

“Majaaliwa yangu.”

I rolled my eyes.

“You deserve better. And you need to stand for yourself now. Don’t just allow things to happen to you!”

“Mama shouldn’t know about this, please. She is already stressed that I am not yet pregnant.”

“I won’t. But maybe it is also for the best. You should enjoy your youth before you become a mother.”

“Enjoy what youth? I am already 18. I want to be a mother. That will be enjoyable for me.”

“That is because mama made you believe that is the only good thing you’re capable of. You’re more than that. For one, you’re a very talented seamstress!”

“Yeah well…”

“Hasn’t Ismail been tested? Doesn’t he know that everything has turned out clear for you?”

“He knows but I wouldn’t dare ask him. He could break a plate on my head. Plus the doctor will question him about me. How will he explain marrying a 17-year-old girl at this year and age, who could as well be his daughter?”

“That is a good question. I would love to hear the answer to that.”

“Must be painful for him to marry a girl he didn’t even want and couldn’t give him children either,” Hanaa looked down.

“Hey! Don’t allow that pity of a man to make you his punching bag! You are a dutiful wife and again, the doctor said nothing is wrong with you. If he really wants kids he should put his ego aside and get tested!”

“We’ll see about that in shaa Allah. Let’s get going. I have an engagement dress to make.”

“Oh look at you! Soon enough you’ll be selling wedding gowns as well!” We both laughed heartily.

The first time Hanaa suggested that Ismail should get tested, she was given a black eye and her sewing machine was taken away. The whole week she avoided my calls and kept excusing herself that she is busy with some orders. I had to pop up at her home unexpectedly on a Friday afternoon for me to find out what was going on.

She avoided eye contact the whole time I spoke to her and her voice was barely audible. Ismail hadn’t apologized and hadn’t been back since he had left.

“Please don’t tell mama.”

“That is your worry right now? We must tell mama. You should come home with me right away.”

“Come back and do what? Overwhelm mama once more with my presence? Our relationship has gotten better since I got married. I don’t want to go back to what we once were.”

“But…mama wouldn’t mind your return. It is still your home after all. You’re not safe here.”

“This is my home now Sarah. Ismail won’t do it again, don’t worry. All I have to do is avoid asking him about getting tested, khalas.”

Although I insisted, Hanaa refused to return home with me and made me promise to not tell mama.

However, despite Hanaa’s attempt to cover up for her husband by using make-up, mama finally noticed that something was up during our next visit. This time there was a fresh mark on her arm. Apparently, during one of his plate-breaking sprees, a piece of the glass mistakenly hit Hanaa’s arm.

“That is the fate of us women, my daughter. From birth we are made to carry the burdens of everyone; our parents, our children, our husbands, and our community. Subiri…just work harder at getting pregnant, he will be okay once he has a baby in his arms,” she said slowly as she looked outside the window.

“But Ma!!!” I exclaimed.

“We can’t get involved in matters between a husband and his wife. This is beyond me now,” she sighed.

“She doesn’t have to carry this burden. And she shouldn’t! Hanaa is still very young and beautiful. She can get her divorce and open her boutique. She can still get married when she is ready in the future.”

“Hmm, which world do you live in? Who will accept a divorcee who hasn’t even gone beyond primary education? Plus do you think it is easy to open a business?! Look at how we’ve struggled all our lives. We depended on well-wishers for your school fees throughout. We don’t have any savings at all. We can barely make ends meet.”

“Sarah, it is okay. Mama has a point. I’ll see a herbalist about the pregnancy issue, perhaps the outcome will be different this time.”

“In shaa Allah, and I am praying for you every day, that you may get a child and be happy in your marriage. Right now, he is blinded by his first wife’s love…but once the child arrives, he will finally appreciate you. That will be the game changer.” Mama said.

As we left that evening, I could feel a pinch in my heart as I saw the sadness lingering in Hannah’s eyes. When our eyes met, she spread her lips a bit and waved me goodbye.

Hanaa was now sleeping through the day and night. She had lost more weight than she had ever before. Ismail hadn’t been to her home for an entire month and when I’d visit, the entire house would be dark with no curtains or windows open. I’d be welcomed by the stench of dirty utensils, rotten food and body odour. When I realized that she was bed-wetting again, I packed her clothes and went with her home without informing mama.

When mama first saw Hanaa, she gasped but never said a word after that. I opened a warm water shower and let her inside. Hanaa was simply performing robotic movements and hadn’t said a word since I found her in her bed. After that, I made her some hot soup and fed her before laying her to rest in her old bed.

“My God! What should I do about Hanaa?! Ataniuaaa ataniua huyu mtoto.” Mama lamented when I finally sat down with her.

“You don’t have to do anything. I will take care of her, don’t worry. At least I will put my nursing skills to use.”

“That is not what I meant, come on. I can take care of her as well. I just don’t understand where I went wrong with her. Why is she so different from you?!”

“Please let’s not talk about this. She might overhear you and she already has enough on her plate.”

“Fine. But what will we tell her husband when he comes searching for her?”

“Are you…are you afraid of him?!”

“No, but he is a noble man. We shouldn’t interfere in their marriage.”

“Noble because he comes from a known, rich family? What nobility is that? He and his family can all go to hell,” I said with finality as I went back to our room and closed the door.

Ismail turned up at our house one week later. In his hands were a bouquet and Hanaa’s butterfly machine.

Mama welcomed him with a nervous smile and explained to him that Hanaa had been unwell, that’s why she was brought home.

“I was worried about her. Her phone has been off. I figured she must be here. May I talk to her?”

“No, you may not and will not!” I interjected.

Ismail stood up with puzzlement.

“Hanaa is not your punching bag for your infertility. Go to a gym or go break all the remaining plates in your home if you want. But you’ll never see Hanaa ever again. You’ll never get the chance to harm her anymore!”

“What are you saying?! Hanaa is my wife!” he trembled with rage.

“And I am his sister.”

“Okay okay, let us calm down for a minute. Hanaa is unwell and we all care for her well-being. Let us talk calmly,” mama said.

“Watch your tongue young lady,” Ismail waved his finger at me.

“I want a divorce,” Hannah’s timid voice interrupted us.

We all turned around at once. She was standing in the hallway with messy hair and a flowery dera.

Mama gasped.

Ismail clenched his fist.

My heart was now drumming.

Ismail slowly approached Hanaa with an intense look on his face.


“You heard what I said. I am exhausted, I can’t do this anymore. I want my divorce right now.”

“Hanaa, you’re not thinking clearly right now. Let us go home and we can talk carefully.”

“No, I am sure this is what I want,” she said, still in a low voice.

“Did they…did they ask you to do this?!” Ismail pointed to mama and me.

“Ismail…” Mama started.

“This is purely my decision. I can’t give you a child so divorce me. Find another wife or adopt one with your riches if you want but if you were a real man, you’d seek treatment instead of dragging your wives into your misery.”

Ismail instantly grabbed Hanaa’s neck and pushed her to the wall, his grip tightening. “Did I not tell you to never mention this stupid treatment thing to me?! Are you still doubting my manhood?!”

“Ismail stop!!” Mama shouted. Both mama and I rushed to him and tried pulling him away. But both of us were two feeble women while he was a tall, built man. Mama was now crying as she cursed him. Hanaa was choking as she pushed her palms on his face.

Without thinking twice, I grabbed the nearest heavy pan from the kitchen and struck Ismail’s head. Within that split moment, and as his grip loosened around her neck, Hanaa shoved him.

The loud thud that followed startled us.

Still glued to the wall, Hanaa breathed heavily.

My entire body was shaking.

Mama’s mouth was wide open with tears in her eyes.

“There’s blood,” Hanaa murmured shakily.

We turned to where Ismail was lying still. His head had hit the edge of our glass dining table and a pool of blood was forming beneath him.

We stood silently in our places, only our heavy breathing could be heard.

“Sarah, do something!” Mama shouted.

I looked at her in a daze.

“You’re a nursing student, aren’t you?!” She continued.

Hanaa gave me a nudge and I cleared my throat uncomfortably. I slowly placed the pan on the floor and bent to where Ismail was lying and felt for his pulse.

“Bring a clean towel or cloth Hanaa. Quick!”

“Is he alive?”

“His pulse is weak but I think he is. Move!”

Hanaa brought a small clean towel which I pressed firmly on his head where the blood seemed to be coming from. But the blood kept coming and coming, and I kept adding more and more pieces of clothes. The blood just wouldn’t stop.

I looked at my trembling, bloodied hand.

“We have to call for an ambulance Ma. I don’t know what else to do. I don’t know!” My voice broke.

“Haven’t…haven’t they taught you how to save people?”

“Ma! He will bleed to death! I am still very new to this! I don’t know what else to do!”

“They will arrest us,” Hanaa said, still holding the wall for support.

“Ma please do something!” My tears now mixed with the blood smeared all over my arms and clothes.

“Okay okay… Hanaa call the ambulance. Tell them there’s been an accident, he is bleeding heavily. Tell them to rush and give them our address. Don’t say anything more. Do you hear me?”

Hanaa nodded. I could see the wet patch on her dera, still frozen in her place.

She started sobbing loudly.

“Hanaa make the call!! He can’t die!”

“I don’t think he will survive this Ma…” Before I could finish my statement, Ismail’s body stiffened and started shaking violently, his arms and legs jerking repeatedly. Mama rushed to him and held his limbs down.

“Just make the damn call!” she shouted to Hanaa.

Startled by her voice, she rushed to the next room and talked in a shaky voice.

“Here’s what we will say,” mama said when Hannah joined us again. Ismail’s seizure had stopped but he was still unconscious.

“We will tell the truth from the beginning. Then we shall explain what he came to do here today and he tried to choke you when you demanded a divorce. You were struggling to breathe, I had to save you or else he would have ended your life. I am the one who hit him with the pan and pushed him away from Hanaa.”

She turned to me, “You were helping me stop the blood thus the mess on your clothes. Don’t say anything else.”

“You don’t have to do that Ma,” Hanaa cried.

“It was a matter of life and death. It can’t be that hard to convince the judges in court. They will understand, right?” She looked at me.

“Ma…”I quivered.

Mama slowly picked up the pan and wiped the handle with the leso she had on. She then held it with her free hand before placing it next to her.

“What are you doing Ma?” Hanaa stared.

“The pan handle has to have my fingerprints, no?”

Hanaa sat down on the floor, her hands on her head. I held mama’s left hand as her tears fell freely.

“I am sorry. I am very sorry…I was supposed to be your mother and protect you and be there for you, but I always failed. Please forgive me.” She cried, looking at Hanaa, then I.

My one hand still pressing on Ismail’s head, mama knelt and embraced me. She then signalled Hanaa to join us. So we sat there in the pool of blood, our heads close together, each one of us weeping.

Ismail’s limp body lay in front of us, with barely any sign of life. As we heard the sirens get closer, our crying became more vehement. Whichever way this went, we were doomed. We all knew it- our lives would never be the same again.