Photo Courtesy: Salem_Beliegraphy

By: Swaleh Arif Sayyid Ali

We spend a lot of time plotting
We spend a lot of time planning
But you should ask yourself
In the end
Will it be worth it?

I’ll begin with a little story. I was in a matatu that was taking me to kisauni one day, and there was this man riding shotgun (that’s the seat next to the driver by the way). He was chatting with another person and he said, “Poa bro, tutaonana kesho. Lakini kesho ni ya Mungu kwa hivyo huwezi jua”. The weight of those words struck me so hard that I immediately started feeling ashamed of myself. Here’s a man, who to most people is probably a nobody, saying something so profound and so true that it made me wonder who really is wise and who really is ignorant in these troubling times. The shame that I felt was because I kept forgetting that death is closer to us than we think.

We, as human beings, are ambitious in nature. We were designed to want to achieve something. It can be anything really, be it money, fame, general popularity, that Adonis physique that most men and women crave for and so forth. There’s nothing wrong with ambition, nothing wrong at all. What’s wrong is what you’re ambitious for. The worst kind of ambition is the ambition that is self-serving and derogatory in nature, whereas the best kind is the one that is selfless and benign in nature. A prime example of a person with selfless and benign ambitions was our Beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). I don’t need to elaborate on what he achieved and what he’s still achieving.
No one knows when they’ll die, that’s obvious. So why plan for something that is selfish and pointless, if there’s every chance you’ll drop dead the next second? Wouldn’t it be futile in the end? I think this year is the year where a lot of us have witnessed young people with bright futures have their mortal coils severed. So if you’re going to be ambitious, be ambitious for something greater than yourself. Be ambitious for something that will benefit your family, community and the entire world, if possible. Then again, nothing is impossible before the eyes of The Almighty. Aspire to build schools, free hospitals, sports and other recreational centers that will distract the young generation from the temptation of drugs and other destructive vices. And what’s so amazing and beautiful about this, is that in case your life is cut short and you never managed to serve your ambitions, you’ll still be rewarded by Allah because of the good intentions you had with everyone.

But remember, no man is an island. Find like-minded individuals who are working towards the same goal and achieve all that you could not accomplish on your own.

As I conclude my piece, my advice to you, dear reader, is this: make sure the seeds that you sow in this life, will grow into something healthy and beautiful, ready for reaping in the next.

Aspire to inspire.

And Allah knows best.


A freelance writer, journalist, poet and blogger venturing mainly in social and community issues, study and analysis of behaviour and life, and the plight of the under-dogs in the society. 'I feed on human stories.'


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