I was seated with a friend; a lady thirty years older than me (By the way, having older friends is one of the secrets to better growth no joke) and during our conversation about my career journey, I blurted out my thoughts aloud with a sulky face, “I don’t even know what I’m doing with my life.” She looked at me with an astonished face, “Do you even know how lucky you are that you got to start your dream journey so early?!”

So she went on to tell me her own personal story on how she quit her job after working there for 19 long years to pursue her goals. It was a crazy move because she was getting really good pay but decided to let it all go so she can do something she is passionate about. I just sat there with WOW written all over my face because she wasn’t someone you’d think struggled that much to be where she is. You know, the kind of people with a high intelligence, great network, wonderful resume, a name and an identity that makes her very respected. And it just marveled me so much because it just confirmed to me what I’ve always thought; that when you see someone you look up to and consider successful, do know they also had to sweat their way up to where they are.

Sometimes, I am sure of what I’m doing, I’m sure it is the right thing, I’m sure this is what I want until someone just comes out of nowhere to remind me what the society expects. So the narrow path the society expects you to follow is Primary school-Secondary school-University-Get a job-Get married-Do your masters-Have children etc etc and this path isn’t always fixed like this. Sometimes one thing comes before another. Like some get married before university, some do masters before they have children and all that. But then in the end, it is all about this common steps of life people expect you to do in life such that when you step out of the ‘system’, something is very wrong with you. It doesn’t make sense why you’d choose the far and wide path yet everyone else is taking the long and narrow one.

Anyway, as we went on with our conversation, my friend said, “Let me tell you something someone I consider my mentor told me when I informed her I am quitting my job. She said to me, ‘My girl, people will laugh at you. They will think you are crazy. They will say a lot of things, but just go for it. Go after what you are passionate about. THE MONEY WILL COME. Slowly, you’ll start getting clients and you will be fine.” So now I’m telling you the same thing. The money will come. It may be a long-term sacrifice and struggle but I believe you will break it through sooner or later in shaa Allah…”

What I’ve learnt is that the criticisms will never stop. You will remain a mystery because people just don’t understand what you are doing. You will make a lot of sacrifices. You will be BROKE. Did I say BROKE? Yes, you will come face to face with poverty. You will question your choices over and over again because those who took the long, narrow path are succeeding and leading good, comfortable lives. Your friends and age mates are already fulfilling their life ‘expectations’ while you are still trying to figure out who to approach to help you with this new project you want to do or who you can borrow some cash from so you can implement this other new idea. And people will think, ‘This one is always trying a new idea’. It will become hilarious for everyone, sometimes including you. You will be tempted to just settle for anything that comes your way and say, ‘At least I tried.’ Please don’t. You didn’t come this far to quit now. Not this time. Not in ever.

After that conversation, the phrase ‘The money will come’ kept ringing in my mind. Not because the money is the main objective of going after my dreams, but because it would mean I have finally reached the level of being the achiever I want to be. And I wanted to share this with you because I know I am not alone. The free spirits amongst us who are hungry to lead exceptional lives. So here I am telling it to you, ‘All these sacrifices you are making now? They will pay off. Everything will fall into place if you keep walking. Look at the horizon; the long-term benefit not what is just ahead of you. And yes…the money will come! In shaa Allah. And i’m leaving this with you so you can pass it forward to anyone who needs to hear it.

Dare to be different. Be unique, be brilliant. And keep praying. Someday, you will be real proud of yourself and your journey.

A toast to all the go-getters!

By: Jin Khan

The Islamic world influenced the renaissance as well. The origins of the renaissance are generally believed to lie in Italy where renewed interest in classics had a huge impact on art and culture, but the foundation of the renaissance were laid much earlier and not in Italy but in a town called Toledo in an Islamic Spain. When Toledo fell to the Christians it’s doors were open led for people all over Europe. These people mixed with the Muslims who initially lived in the city. Learning their language and reading their books.

1) In 872, Ahmad Ibn Tulun built the first mental hospital in cairo which included music therapy. Bimaristans were described by European travellers, who wrote about their wonder at the care and Kindness shown to lunatics.

2) chemistry

Jabir Ibn Hayyan known as the father of chemistry or Alchemy which actually an Arabic word of Al-Kimiya invented many scientific methods including methods of separation such as filtration, crystallization, pure distillation.

3) Ibn Sinna  known in Latin as Avicenna, his books his two books were an authority on medicine throughout the world for 500 years.

4) Ibn Al Haytham known as the father of optics. He was the first one to explain how the eyes see and first one to perform eye surgery. His work with lenses eventual led to the discovery of the camera. The camera is an Arabic word “Qamar” which means the moon or light entering a room in small processions  “Qamra” or “Qamara”

5) The first practical Windmills ever used were in the 9th century invented in Eastern Persia however an earlier anecdote involving the second Caliph mentions about Windmills having been used in 634-644 A. D

6) When we talk about bulbs and electricity it would have never existed without Abbas Ibn Firnas.

He designed one of the first ever water clocks  and devised a means of manufacturing colourless glass. He also  was the first person to make a room which conducted electricity simulating lightning.

7) Influenced Western architecture.

The Great Roman Catholic cathedral in the middle of Cordoba town in Spain was first built as a Mosque by Muslims and from its design a century later similar designs were adapted by Northern Europeans, in Lincoln cathedral and gothic cathedrals in northern Europe.

8) Al Khawarizmy known as Algorizmi or Algoritmi,   invented algebra and was instrumental on the calculus and in the development of trigonometry and the Use of Algorithm. His name itself was Latin of Algorithm. Without it we would have never been able to make computers or even phones.

9) Al – Zahrawi known in Latin as Abulcasis. Recognised as the father of modern surgery. He invented 200 tools of surgery and many of them are still in use today. He was also the first physician to describe an ectopic pregnancy and the first to identify the hereditary nature of haemophilia

10) “Amr Ibn Bahr” was the first man to discuss foodchains in his famous work ” The book of animals in the 9th century much earlier than Charles Elton who popularised it in his book in 1927

11) In 796 A.D the first brass astrolabe was built by Muhammad Al – Fazari. The astrolabe was a complicated astronomical devise that served many purposes such as telling time,  compass direction and showing the position of the stars.


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.