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Death


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2020 hit me like a train. From the word go, from the very beginning of the year, even before Corona, everything seemed to be falling apart. I have a feeling it has been like that for most people, and on my side, I was holding by the thread. I remember when I was young, my mother would often tell me ‘don’t carry those mountains on your shoulders’. I was the cesspit of every worry. Every sadness. Every wound. I would carry it all, the scars evident all over my soul. Sometimes I look at my nephew (my happy place 1, remember?) and I see how intense his emotions are. As a highly sensitive child, he cries too passionately, you can literally feel the sob come from the deepest part of his soul, and my heart breaks a little, or maybe a lot. I want to tell him, ‘oh baby, this world is cruel, it will ruin you’ and I want to hug him so tight. I want to protect him from the world. And God, it worries me a lot. But then I do know that I have to let him have his journey like I’m having mine. Let him live, do mistakes, fall, stand up again, perhaps get his heart broken,feel all the emotions in his heart and live with it. Such is life I guess.

Then amidst all the Corona chaos, several family members got affected. Not the first time when Mombasa was allegedly a hotspot for the virus. During that period almost none of the Mombasa residents knew anyone who’d been affected. It is now that we are seeing people dying right, left and center, and everyday, more people are succumbing to the virus. And you know, with these things, even when you are taking precautions with the virus, you never really realize how bad it is until it hits directly home.

One of my favourite humans died then. Just three days after he informed us that he was ill, he was gone. At first I seemed okay. I cried as any bereaved would but I was mostly okay. I talked to my friends about his death. I prayed for him. I remembered him. But grief for me, comes like a trickle of blood. Thick, heavy and very slow. A week after his death, we were remniscing about good memories of him, and we laughed and smiled and joked about him. Then that night, it all came down with a thud. Curling up in bed, I cried and cried and cried. I couldn’t stop. I was trying really hard to suppress my weeping so no one would hear me. But it was too much. I was crumbling and I felt like I was falling apart. I desperately needed someone to hold me. To just hug me tight. To hold my pieces together. So I went to my mother and cried to her. She and my elder sister talked to me for a while before my mother led me to her bed to sleep with her. For hours, she held me in her arms, patting my hair, encouraging me to sleep yet all my eyes could do was wander around the room. I had lost someone so important to me. We all did. But no one prepares you for such a sudden death.

A day before he died, he called me, and funny enough, he was the one asking me how I was. It was such a short conversation. He seemed to be struggling to talk, so I made a dua for him and that was it. I wish I had told him I loved him. I think he knew, but I wished I had said it. I can barely even remember the last time seeing him or what we talked about that time when he was healthy. But I have all these many memories of his inspirational advice, his oozing, extremely sweet kindness, his laughter, oh his laughter! When I was a teenager, he would do this loud, funky laughter that I just found to be too hilarious so sometimes I would try to imitate it and my family would burst into laughter too. He had this good sense of humour that I will forever miss, his magical, mind-blowing, creative ideas, his beautiful smile, his many many jokes, his pride of me-and us all-I can still see him in front of me. His voice still rings in my head. More than once I have dreamt of him and sometimes,thoughts of him keep me awake at night. Out of blue, I’d notice tears coming down my cheeks, so randomly, so easily, I can literally feel the emptiness in my heart.

Just two years ago, it used to be the four of us around the small dining. There were two phenomenal women; the storyteller, the heart of the family and several times, whenever he was free, he would join us too; the tree lover. I was there frequently; in between meetings, waiting for someone, resting before going for another errand, a place to pray, or eat, sometimes with my friends…I got too comfortable I even started taking naps in the bedroom when I was tired. It felt like home. Sometimes I was there as early as for breakfast meal or brunch or lunch, on lazy afternoons, sometimes even dinner. 2018, the story teller left us. Then last year, the heart did. This year it was him. And now, whenever I think of that table, my heart sinks. Their faces still so vivid in my memory, and our conversations, moments, jokes, the meals we shared, still so fresh. There are people who die and we mourn them and we move on, and there are people who leave this earth and the world shifts a bit. It will never be the same. Never.

My favourite human was very passionate about trees. He was extra-ordinary and phenomenal and no words could ever suffice to describe him. I pray that his grave is a garden from the most beautiful gardens of Jannah, with trees and flowers so beautiful he has never seen, and that we get to meet again, the four of us, and all our loved ones in a bigger table, with more laughter, zero worries and absolute bliss. Ameen.

I won’t curse the year. After all, whatever Allah wills for us is the best for us. This year has been life-changing for me and so many of us. I pray for ease, patience and better days for us all. Ameen.

Please do take care of yourself. You have the information on Corona please act responsibly. As the prophet said: ‘Tie your camel then pray to Allah’ So do the necessary to protect yourself and your families. I met a friend who told me they buried four people from their family and friends within a week and on the day we talked, there was one more, all Corona deaths. Doctors keep sharing even worse news on Twitter that they have run out of beds and there are many Corona patients walking around. Please take care. May Allah protect us all. Ameen.

P.S: Please do remember to make a dua for my person. Thank you 🙂

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As you might have realized, I haven’t written in a long while. I have probably lost my ‘mojo’ but please bear with me.

Thank you for taking the time with my blog. I appreciate it 🙂

There is that moment before everything changes. That one long second before everything turns sour. That one long second of total oblivion. You, at one of the beach stalls, laughing with your friend at how ridiculous you look with the sunglasses you want to purchase. The vendor looking at you amusingly. The old mirror reflecting your big grin and a huge pimple that just won’t go away. Your friend makes a silly joke about your indecisiveness while you make funny faces, still staring at the mirror. The sea waves are almost touching your feet. The fresh breeze is brushing on your face. You are fully absorbed at this moment; at this nothingness, or perhaps ‘somethingness’. See this moment, hold onto it for a second longer. Freeze. Pause. Take it all in.

Before you know it, you’re out of breath. Your hand on your chest. Your knees touching the white sand. The old mirror is shattered beneath you; thousands and thousands of broken pieces. Like your heart. Like this moment. You are sweating. You are shivering. Your heart is palpitating. You are losing control. Your friend is nudging you vehemently, she asks what is wrong. The vendor is p.e.t.r.i.f.i.e.d. He probably thinks you have a jinn. Maybe a sea jinn even. He takes a step back, slowly, while still asking you whether you are okay. Of course, he doesn’t want to seem like a coward. He cares. He is empathetic. But then, *insert Kenyan accent* ‘weuh! bravery for who?!’ People start to notice. Someone is asking someone to call for an ambulance. Who is someone though?

There is that moment before everything changes. Loud sirens. Silent weeping of your friend holding your hand. A machine beeping beside you. Constricted space. You.cannot.breathe.

You’re wheeled into the hospital. There is a lot of movement. A lot of whispers. A blurred sight of your friend talking to the doctor while tearing a lot. Darkness. Blurred sight. More beeping machines. Blurred sight again. Total darkness.

There is that moment before everything changes. You sleeping in your hospital bed, your parents by your side, your friends around you. The doctor then breaks it to you. You have just a couple of months to live. Everyone is crying loudly now. There are only a few times you are ‘let’ to cry in front of a dying patient. In fact, there are only a few times where you can ‘comfortably’ cry in front of anyone. This is one of those times. So everyone is probably making the best of it. Some are crying more than expected; they’ve probably been holding too many suppressed emotions. Some are too silent; they’re too loud.

There is that moment before everything changes. That one long second. That oblivion. Unfreeze the moment now. Can you see it? The pure joy? The hearty smile? The friendly touch? The silly actions? That one annoying pimple on your face that won’t just go away? Wouldn’t you do anything to experience it again? Wouldn’t you do everything to just pause that moment and take it all in? Feel the bliss? Appreciate the ocean? Laugh a little louder? Hug your friend tighter?

There is that moment before everything changes. It could be this one long second right now. Maybe, just maybe, you should take it aalll in.

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It’s been a while my good people. Thank you for staying tuned always. Thank you for your time 🙂 Please subscribe!

I think one of the scariest things in this life is that our daily actions and the things we dedicate our time to, do dictate to a certain extent how our end will be. This is not even science, it is logic. Have you ever seen how when someone dies we almost never miss to check their social media accounts and exclaim at their last posts? Sometimes we talk of how it is a strange coincidence that the last thing they posted was about death or pain or doing good deeds. But these things are never coincidences. Most of the times, if you check even the past posts of the same person you’d see similar posts. It is only that we mostly take notice of what someone said after they are gone for good (sadly).

So here comes the logic: If you love posting about food or fashion or even Islamic reminders there’s a high probability the last post before your death will be the same. If you spend 80% of your time reciting qur’an, then there’s quite a high probability that you will die reading the book of Allah and if you spend most of your time with earphones on and loud music popping, there’s also that probability you’d die in that same way. It is never a guarantee but we also can’t entirely dismiss this. One would think, what’s the big deal if I died with my earphones on? The big deal is that you’ll be resurrected in front of your Lord, not in sujood, or on a trip to do charity but in the sinning process. With what face do you stand before your God?Of course our Lord is the most Merciful and despite all our frequent sins, He is always ready to forgive us. But are we ready to accept our mistakes and repent sincerely? For how long will we be in denial?

We are living in this ridiculous century whereby everyone is ‘holier than thou’ or otherwise in the ‘don’t judge me’ phase. We always tend to forget that we are human beings and it is natural for us to sin and make mistakes but what then do we do? We deny. We deny that our lifestyles are filthy and our eyes are blinded by the materialistic world. We deny that we need to take a step back and think hard about our words and actions. We deny that we are being irresponsible and immature to think that God will JUST somehow forgive us even when we don’t try to change and sincerely repent.

I’ve seen several videos that show sudden deaths; someone died in sujood, another died in Makkah while doing hajj, another died while reciting qur’an in front of a large crowd…and yet still I’ve seen clips of people who’ve died while dancing, others who died on stage while singing and even while stealing. Yes, you read it right. A thief who died in the process of stealing. How scary is that? These people probably thought they’ll have an entire lifetime ahead of them; to enjoy life, to be happy and probably get close to God at some point? Well, tomorrow is not promised to anyone. How do we know that this bad habit we are so attached to will actually be the end of us?!

One of the scary true stories I heard is of a young lady who loved listening to music and dancing a lot. She was so passionate about it that she would indulge in the dancing whether it was Ramadhan or Jumuah or any other day, it never really mattered to her. So one day, this young lady was invited to a wedding and she was happily dancing around when someone suggested to her, ‘Why don’t you go dance at the stage?’ The young lady agreed and she went on to the stage. She folded one arm and kept her hand on the waist. She raised her other hand over her head and stood on her toes on one foot, ready to take a swirl. Just as she was taking the turn, she collapsed. Her family rushed her into the next room, splashed some water on her face but in vain. The girl was gone. Now during the ghusl time, her body remained fixated in that same last posture she was in just before her death; hand akimbo, another hand above her head and with one foot as if she were standing on her toes. The lady who was doing ghusl tried everything to force her body straight but she didn’t succeed. She then decided to call a sheikh to ask for help. The sheikh suggested that she washes her with warm water over her muscles maybe then her body would relax and straighten up. The lady said that she had even tried immersing the entire body in warm water but still, it wouldn’t budge. With nothing else possible, the young lady was buried in that same posture.

The lady who did the ghusl asked the mother about her daughter and she said of how obsessed she was with music and dancing. She would always send her younger brother to go buy her the latest releases of music. The strange thing was that after she had collapsed, her body was straight. It was only when she was taken for ghusl that her body posture turned like that during the dance. Subhanallah. And that was her end…and unfortunately, this is how she will be resurrected.

The truth is, we are not dumb or stupid. Not at all. We know of our sins and we know what habits we need to discard. But do we really even try to take a step and think of our sins or do we attack those who try to correct us? When people tell us about Miraa or smoking or hijab or anything else, do we stop for a moment and think, ‘What if they are right? What if my choices will really lead to my horrible end?!

The good news is that our Lord is indeed the Most Forgiving Most Merciful. Each one of us is struggling with some bad habits or sins that we frequently commit. What we do about them is what matters. If we sincerely put the intention to change and actually TRY to become better Muslims, then Allah will definitely help us and easen for us the path and judge us according to how we strive to get closer to Him.

Indeed life is short and we can never know in which way we will die. Best thing is to pray for a beautiful ending and a beautiful meeting with our Lord when the time comes. Let us keep praying for ourselves and even for our fellow Muslims that we may follow the right path. May Allah guide us and grant us husnul khatima. Ameen.

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This article initially appeared in the JKUMSA magazine of 2019 that was released recently. To read/download the issue click on this link: http://magazine.jkumsa.or.ke/magazine/the-light-april-2018-issue/2019/

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The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “(The performance of) ‘Umrah is an expiation for the sins committed between it and the previous ‘Umrah; and the reward of Hajj Mabrur (i.e., one accepted) is nothing but Jannah.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

You can now join the Muzney Hajj Group for this important spiritual journey. Check out the details in the poster below.

You can read part 5 of this series by clicking the link: https://lubnah.me.ke/the-greatness-of-prophet-muhammad-p-b-u-h-pt-5/

DEATH OF THE PROPHET (S.A.W)


Symptoms of Farewell

Months before the prophet peace be upon him passed away, he showed certain symptoms signalling his upcoming death. Allah (S.W) revealed this ayah during the farewell pilgrimage ‘hijjatul wad’a’: “This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” [Al-Qur’an 5:3] which was the signal of the completion of deen and faith and that the prophet’s duty and role on this earth was only a matter of days before it ended too. Some of the symptoms he showed were:

• In Ramadan in the tenth year of Al-Hijra he secluded himself for twenty days for I’tikaf in contrast to the usual last ten days he did in the previous years.

• The angel Jibril reviewed the Qur’ân twice with him instead of once like he would do in previous years.

• His words in the Farewell Pilgrimage (i.e. Al-Wida‘):”I do not know whether I will ever meet you at this place once again after this current year.”

• The revelation of An-Nasr Chapter amid At-Tashreeq Days. So when it was sent down on him, he realized that it was the parting time and that Surah was an announcement of his approaching death.

• On the early days of Safar in the eleventh year of Al-Hijra, the Prophet [pbuh] went out to Uhud and observed a farewell prayer to the martyrs. It looked like saying goodbye to both the dead and the living alike. He then ascended the pulpit and addressed the people saying: “I am to precede you and I have been made witness upon you. By Allâh, you will meet me at the ‘Fountain’ very soon. I have been given the keys of worldly treasures. By Allâh, I do not fear for you that you will turn polytheists after me. But I do fear that acquisition of worldly riches should entice you to strike one another’s neck.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari 2/585]

• One day, at midnight he went to Al-Baqee‘ cemetry, and implored Allâh to forgive the martyrs of Islam. He said: “Peace be upon you tomb-dwellers! May that morning that dawns upon you be more relieving than that which dawn upon the living. Afflictions are approaching them like cloudy lumps of a dark night — the last of which follows the first. The last one is bearing more evil than the first.” He comforted them saying: “We will follow you.”
Beginning of ailment

On Monday the twenty-ninth of Safar in the eleventh year of Al-Hijra, he participated in funeral rites in Al-Baqee‘. On the way back he had a headache, his temperature rose so high that the heat effect could be felt over his headband. He led the Muslims in prayer for eleven days though he was sick. The total number of his sick days were either thirteen or fourteen.

When his sickness grew severe he asked his wives: “Where shall I stay tomorrow?” “Where shall I stay?” They understood what he wanted. So they allowed him to stay wherever he wished. He moved to ‘Aishah’s room and it was there that he spent the last week of his life. During that period, ‘Aishah used to recite Al-Mu‘awwidhat (Chapters 113 and 114 of the Qur’ân) and other supplications which he had already taught her.

Five days before his death, he made a speech to his people and said amongst other things “The curse of Allâh falls upon the Jews and Christians for they have made their Prophets’ tombs places of worship.” Then he said: “Do not make my tomb a worshipped idol.” He also said:

“Allâh, the Great, has given a slave of His the opportunity to make a choice between whatever he desires of Allâh’s provisions in this world, and what He keeps for him in the world, but he has opted for the latter.” Abu Sa‘îd Al-Khudri said: “Upon hearing that, Abu Bakr cried and said: ‘We sacrifice our fathers and mothers for your sake.’ We wondered why Abu Bakr said such a thing. People said: ‘Look at that old man! The Messenger of Allâh [pbuh] says about a slave of Allâh who was granted the right between the best fortunes of this world and the bounty of Allâh in the Hereafter, but he says: We sacrifice our fathers and mothers for your sake!’ It was later on that we realized what he had aimed at. The Messenger of Allâh [pbuh] was the slave informed to choose. We also acknowledged that Abu Bakr was the most learned among us.” [Mishkat Al-Masabih 2/546]

On the evening of the fourth day before his death, he grew so sick that he could not overcome the strain of disease or go out to enter the Mosque. Whenever he wanted to stand up to go to the masjid, he would faint, over and over again. Eventually he sent that Abu Bakr should lead the prayers. Aishah (peace be upon her) tried to convince the prophet to exempt her father Abubakr from leading the prayers due to his high level of gentleness but he refused and said: “You (women) are like the women who tried to entice Joseph (Yusuf) into immorality. Convey my request to Abu Bakr to lead the prayer.”

The Last Day Alive

In a narration by Anas bin Malik, he said: “While the Muslims were performing the dawn prayer on Monday — led by Abu Bakr, they were surprised to see the Messenger of Allâh [pbuh] raising the curtain of ‘Aishah’s room. He looked at them while they were praying aligned properly and smiled cheerfully. Seeing him, Abu Bakr withdrew to join the lines and give way to him to lead the prayer. For he thought that the Prophet [pbuh] wanted to go out and pray.” Anas said: “The Muslims, who were praying, were so delighted that they were almost too enraptured at their prayers. The Messenger of Allâh [pbuh] made them a gesture to continue their prayer, went into the room and drew down the curtain.”

This was the last prayer witnessed by the prophet peace be upon him. During the day, Muhammad (S.A.W) called for his daughter Fatima. He then whispered something to her in secret and she wept. Then he whispered something else and she smiled. After the prophet’s death Aishah asked her about the strange incident and Fatima replied, “The first time he disclosed to me that he would not recover from his illness and I wept. Then he told me that I would be the first of his family to join him, so I laughed.” He gave Fatimah glad tidings that she would become the lady of all women of the world.

Fatimah witnessed the great pain that afflicted her father. So she said: “What great pain my father is in!”. To these words, the Prophet [pbuh] remarked: “He will not suffer any more when today is over.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari 2/641]

The prophet then requested for his grandchildren Al Hasan and Al Husain. He kissed them and recommended that they be looked after. He asked to see his wives. They were brought to him. He preached to them and told them to remember Allâh.

Pain grew so much severe that the trace of poison he had at Khaibar came to light. It was so sore that he said to ‘Aishah: “I still feel the painful effect of that food I tasted at Khaibar. I feel as if death is approaching.” He ordered the people to perform the prayers and be attentive to slaves. He repeated it several times.
His last moments

Aishah (peace be upon her) was blessed to have had the last moments of the prophet with him leaning on her.
She is known to have said: “One of Allâh’s bounties upon me is that the Messenger of Allâh [pbuh] died in my house, while I am still alive. He died between my chest and neck while he was leaning against me. Allâh has mixed his saliva with mine at his death. For ‘Abdur Rahman — the son of Abu Bakr — came in with a Siwak (i.e. the root of a desert plant used for brushing teeth) in his hand, while I was leaning the Messenger of Allâh [pbuh] against me. I noticed that he was looking at the Siwak, so I asked him — for I knew that he wanted it — “Would you like me to take it for you?” He nodded in agreement. I took it and gave it to him. As it was too hard for him, I asked him “Shall I soften it for you?” He nodded in agreement. So I softened it with my saliva and he passed it (on his teeth). In another version it is said: “So he brushed (Istanna) his teeth as nice as he could.” There was a water container (Rakwa) available at his hand with some water in. He put his hand in it and wiped his face with it and said: “There is no god but Allâh. Death is full of agonies.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari 2/640]

As soon as he had finished his Siwak brushing, he raised his hand or his finger up, looked upwards to the ceiling and moved his lips. So ‘Aishah listened to him. She heard him say: “With those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace with the Prophets and the Truthful ones (As-Siddeeqeen), the martyrs and the good doers. O Allâh, forgive me and have mercy upon me and join me to the Companionship on high.” Then at intervals he uttered these words: “The most exalted Companionship on high. To Allâh we turn and to Him we turn back for help and last abode.”
This event took place at high morning time on Monday, the twelfth of Rabi‘ Al-Awwal, in the eleventh year of Al-Hijrah. He was sixty-three years and four days old when he died.”

His Burial

There was a lot of confusion and disruption after the prophet’s death. The sahabas were at unrest and were unsure who deserved to take lead after the prophet. With all that arguments and dialogues that were happening between the Ansar and Muhajirun, time went by fast while the prophet’s body was still lying on his bed covered with an inked-garment. He was locked in the room.

Finally they acknowledged Abu Bakr (peace be upon him) as a caliph due to his special status in the prophet’s eyes as well as the fact that the prophet let Abu Bakr lead the prayers during his ailment period (among other reasons). They spent the whole Monday there till it was night and to the next day Tuesday.

On Tuesday, his body was washed with his clothes on. He was washed by Al-‘Abbas, ‘Ali, Al-Fadl and Qathm — the two sons of Al-‘Abbas, as well as Shaqran — the Messenger’s freed slave, Osamah bin Zaid and Aws bin Khauli. Al-‘Abbas, Al-Fadl and Qathm turned his body round, whereas Osamah and Shaqran poured out water. ‘Ali washed him and Aws leant him against his chest. They shrouded him in three white Sahooli cotton cloth which had neither a headcloth nor a casing and inserted him in. A sort of disagreement arose with regard to a burial place.

Abu Bakr said: “I heard the Messenger of Allâh [pbuh] say: ‘A dead Prophet is buried where he dies.’ So Abu Talhah lifted the bed on which he died, dug underneath and cut the ground to make the tomb. People entered the room ten by ten. They prayed for the Prophet [pbuh]. The first to pray for him were people of his clan. Then the Emigrants, then the Helpers. Women prayed for him after men. The young were the last to pray. This process took Tuesday long and Wednesday night (i.e. the night which precedes Wednesday morning). ‘Aishah said: “We did not know that the Prophet [pbuh] was being buried till we heard the sound of tools digging the ground at the depth of Wednesday night.” [source: the sealed nectar. Page:549-561]

We may look in the books of history, we may look at the up-coming legends, we may look around us to find the best role model and the most amazing of mankind, but no one will ever be better than Muhammad (peace be upon him). May Allah guide us and make us amongst those who follow the footsteps of the Rasul and be a positive influence to mankind. Ameen.

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We have now reached the end of our series. I hope and pray that you have gained something from this in shaa Allah. Kindly remember me in your duas 🙂

P.S I am not a scholar and this is my little effort in spreading the knowledge therefore in case of any mistake/correction/addition needed in this article about the prophet (p.b.u.h) and his life, kindly email me at: info@lubnah.me.ke.

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Concerning the fundraising for our sister Nuru Salim, we are currently at 80,000/= However, we have organized an event this Sunday and a food bazaar to make more money for her treatment in shaa Allah. Kindly avail yourself and share with others. Shukran.

Photo Courtesy: https://kiss100.s3.amazonaws.com

When I was studying journalism, I really looked up to John Allan Namu and Mohammed Ali for the investigative journalism they were doing. Their work was commendable! I think it is because I have a drive for solving mysteries, a keen eye for details and finding out the truth. But then I am also an anxious-wreck, and that’s just the most paradoxical combination ever. The time I realize how right I was to not pursue that adrenaline thrill is when terrorist attacks happen. I panic. People get sad. People get angry. People get frustrated. People get killed. I panic. Now I remember when the West gate attack happened, one of my classmates joked about how i’d die without being shot if I ever were in a terrorist attack. Die because of the horror rather than any other kind of harm. Maybe get a cardiac arrest then boom! I’m gone (God forbid). Now imagine if I were covering such a horrible event, I would probably end up being the journalist -not the victim-who ended up with PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder). How ironic would that be? Going to a therapist all sad and petrified and she asks me gently, ‘where exactly were you when the incident happened?’
‘Oh me? I wasn’t inside the building. I was in the neighbourhood covering the story.’
‘Did you get hurt?’
‘No.’
‘Did you get to see any of the terrorists?’
‘No.’
‘Did you know anyone who was inside?’
‘Ummm…no?’
She stops scribbling, tilts her head and looks at me from above her specs.
‘Well that doesn’t make sense.’
‘Exactly my point.’
Then we’d have a moment of awkward silence as she contemplates this journalist, really urged to ask whether she was forced into the profession.

It’s always about the thoughts though. Always. Because when a terrorist attack happens, my mind races to picture the people who are in there. I imagine a couple walking in with their travel bags, hand in hand, big smiles on their faces. The lady giggles at something the husband said as they get to the reception to check in. The receptionist asks them how long they’d be in there and they say two weeks. It won’t get to the end of the day.
I imagine a lady in an office swirling in her chair, laughing with Grace who is directly opposite her. They are gossiping about their boss who has been coming with the same clothes the entire week.
I imagine a father on the phone, telling his wife he’d be late so she has to pick the children from school. An argument starts up between them. He slams his phone on the desk.
I imagine a young man running up and down the office trying to impress his soon-to-be bosses. If he does well in his internship, they’d hire him permanently. He wanted the job so badly so he runs and pants like a dog. He will get the job at any cost. Even if it means surviving a terrorist attack.
I imagine two high school friends planning a meet-ups for ages of which they always postpone or cancel. Then one fine day they decide, today we will meet. Today we must meet. Then they start discussing the venue. Then they weigh their options. The closest place for both of them but also a nice place to hang out with a very close friend. Finally they choose their place. The place of their death.
I imagine someone having a bad day, being all grumpy and moody. He turns to his mate and says, ‘I just can’t wait for this day to end’. But the day is just about to begin.

It is strange isn’t it? That on a very random day, some people make their way to a trap, having no idea whatsoever that their lives will be changed forever. Busy working, busy talking, enjoying their meals as terrorists are seated somewhere watching them and pitying these poor people who don’t know what’s about to go down on them. But these terrorists…how do they choose venues? How do they choose the dates? How do they just decide that today, the angel of death will have a party. Do they have any remorse in them? Is there any one of them who is a bit hesitant and says ‘maybe we don’t have to kill them. We could just frighten them.’ And then the colleague asks, ‘Are you chickening out?’ Is there any part of the planning where they think of cancelling or maybe it dawns on them that it isn’t worth it? Do they ever watch the targeted place and see a pregnant woman with a young boy walking through the gates and they hesitate a bit? Or see a man carrying a bag of pampers and think ‘that’s probably a good father he doesn’t deserve to die’? Don’t tell me they are just cold blooded murderers with no emotion at all. Everyone has something that causes a pinch in the heart. Even if it something very tiny that would trigger their emotions and maybe, just maybe make them or just one of them think twice. Or maybe that’s all they are; cold blooded murderers with no affection or compassion whatsoever. Because how else do they go on a shooting spree on very random, normal people?

I remember an Iftar event that I attended some years back and I happened to sit with a lady who was a victim at the Garissa university attack. Well I didn’t know this until a riot started right outside where the iftar was taking place. I could see how uneasy she got. Of course everyone was restless but she was terrified. And then she told me that she was at the university when the attack happened and somehow she survived. By then, quite some months had passed after the attack, but there she was, re-living the nightmare. I can’t imagine how disturbing and horrifying it is for anyone who has experienced such incidents. It is true some heal and move on, but some will forever be looking behind them whenever they walk. Put three locks on their doors. Avoid going outside unless necessary. Avoid popular places. Avoid public places entirely. Never take taxis or ubers. And it is so so sad how a piece of someone’s life and peace of mind will forever be gone.

What’s more sad is when innocent Muslims and Somalis have to pay the price of others’ wrongdoings. The issue of Islamophobia has been going on for quite a while now and just when we think we are making progress in killing the stereotype, terrorists surprise with another heart-breaking event. It is so unfair that other people have to continue to prove their innocence and justify their existence as if they are ‘natural criminals’.

Sincere condolences to all those who lost their loved ones (May their souls rest in peace), and praying a quick recovery to all those who were injured during the recent Riverside attack in Nairobi, Kenya. We shouldn’t forget to thank and pray for all those who helped in any way during the attack; the police, the ambulance personell, Red cross, blood donors and all other unnamed heroes who assisted in any way. Indeed it is only God who can repay them for their bravery and courage.

May God protect our country and our people. May God turn away any human being with evil intentions for us or our people. May we all stay safe. Ameen.

Silence. Silence is over-rated. Silence is golden, but not so golden. I know silence because I have mastered it. My current read is ‘Silence is my mother tongue’ by Sulaiman Addonia and the last time I talked to anyone is months ago.

As I hit rock bottom and eventually made it my permanent home, silence is the only way to speak. Silence until you hear your own fading heartbeat. Silence until your legs warm up to the extremely cold water as you continue drowning. Silence until it becomes sharp and loud, your body disappearing into the blueness. That’s how much I relate to silence. That’s how much I am the silence.

Staring at my mirror, I touch the strings of my grey, white hair. Wrinkles staring back at me. Cheeks flabby like inflated balloons. How did I get old too fast to notice? If I died in this empty house or went missing right now, no one will notice immediately. The first person will notice a week later at least. In the midst of her shuffling between her busy schedules, it will strike her. Silence is not always good. She will remember. In the midst of her jolliness, she will remember me the way you remember that you left a child all alone at home or when you lose a toddler in a busy supermarket. Sudden. Almost in a panic. God knows she cares.

The second one will notice roughly a month later. No blame whatsoever because that’s how we roll.

My son would be the last one to realize. News would get to him as the stranger he’s become.

I lie down on my bed, hands stretched apart wondering how to do this the right way. He’s leaving the house. He wants to start a new life in a new city with some of his friends. He had said it so casually like I was but a nanny to him. How does one live alone after their entire lives revolved around one person and they left? How does a fifty five year old woman restart her life afresh? How do I break the habit of worrying about his asthma whenever the weather gets too cold? Or cook food just for one? How do I be myself without him?

He has grown now. He wants to go after his dreams. Build an empire of his own. Make new friends. Have a new family. But what does that leave me with?
I know how this works okay. I know. First comes in the distance. Then the busy schedules and less conversations. Then less visits home. Then the small talk, hurried phone calls. Then silence.

I know how this works because that is how it went down with everyone else. He was the only one left and that too, I am losing now.

I don’t want to be the selfish kind of mother. I don’t want to cage him. I don’t want to tighten my grip on him way too much until he slips away in between my fingers. He already slipped though. But how do I let go of him without losing him entirely? Is that even possible? Fathomable?

How do I start self-discovery at this age and time? How do I ask myself what is really my favourite meal after his, became mine? How do I identify what I love about life when I see a drone flying past and I smile because I love what he loves? Does that even make sense?

I don’t have friends. Okay, I have two out-of-this-world friends who have many other friends. That makes me very dismissible. Very much replaceable. I don’t have friends because I thought being a dedicated mother would cover it all. Because his friends became my friends and my sons too. Because I could always expect to walk into the house and see him with a group of them fighting over food. I didn’t prepare for this. No one prepared a single, obsessive mother of the day she will have to let go of not just her son, but her life as well. Because now, how do we untwine all that we have? Our entire lives? Emotions, Books, Thoughts, the pictures in the album, moments. How do we share them between us like, ‘This is mine, this is yours.’ How do I even know what was really mine for my own sake and what was mine because he was in it?

Listen to the silence in my room. In my house. In my big, empty house. It reminds me of my own soul. Lost within all the familiarity.

How do I love without being the enemy? How do I respect his decision of moving on without crying, without it eating me up like wasted wood on fire? How do I deal with nostalgia; the literally painful pangs of missing him without going insane? How do I become the good, understanding and supportive mother without losing my essence? The very thing I was living up for?

Apparently this is how life is. Everyone eventually leaves. Whether it is by travelling, going after dreams, changed priorities, death, unresolved matters, masks falling off…whatever it is, they eventually leave. How then can I hope for love as intense as my own from anyone? At this age and time? How then do I expect to ever get in return what I give out without holding anything back?

If I died or went missing, barely anyone would notice. And now, I am losing the only beautiful thing in my life. Tell me, tell me…how do I love and let go without losing him entirely?

SILENCE.

Photo Courtesy: Unknown

Of Blame Games
Stop. Let’s stop right there. Let’s have a moment of silence. Let’s take a moment to understand what is happening before pointing fingers or saying what’s wrong or right. A young man was killed by the mob; a wanted young man, part of a gang, and his mates now want revenge. But that isn’t the full story is it? There is a whole lot of things that have gotten us to where we are. One of which is the blame game.

Let’s stop because the too strong blame game will not bring any results. We need to critically look for a way forward soon and soon enough. We need answers not speculations. We need to come together not split further into antagonists and protagonists.

Of lost Youth, Drugs & Unemployment
What could have gone so wrong? Is it that we were raised in such a wrong way? Is it that our parents and leaders have failed us? Is it that we are too cool for planet earth? But no. We are all to blame. Parents, Teachers, Leaders, Peers…We have failed each other. We all have an equal role for we have brought ourselves down. Let’s not say there are no jobs. Let’s face it; jobs can be found. You just need to seriously look and TRY. Problem is, there are no jobs that we think we deserve. The problem is when we say, I have an education so I can’t, shouldn’t and wouldn’t ever be a shopkeeper or a tailor or anything else that appears minor in our eyes. Let’s accept that our youth have gotten the wrong idea of life and success. Let’s accept that this is the generation that watches macho violent movies and we forget those are but fiction that we forget the part ‘Don’t try this at home’. This is the generation that is sooo obsessed with ‘Being Someone’ such that any way to get to that is good enough. Drugs that are easily found by teenagers, how does that happen under our noses? How are we training our young ones to be steadfast and upright in such a century? How are we being role models to the youth such that they can be something in this life without harming others? Allah (S.W) says in Surat Ra’d: Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves. Can we be the change first?

Of Tearful Mothers and Hurt Fathers
We can all agree on this; No parent ever wants to see their children lose their way, being in the wanted list or harming other people (Not unless the parent/s themselves are involved) So let’s not be too quick to say, ‘How did his/her parents let him become a goon like that? It must be that they were negligent.’ Okay maybe they are negligent. Maybe they failed at some point in their parenting. Yes maybe they should have brought forward their spoiled child for rehabilitation or for justice. Maybe they should have tried harder…but who are we to criticize when we haven’t even heard their side of story. How can we ever know how much they battled and wept for the children or they still do? Perhaps they also had some little hope for them to reform, maybe they didn’t want to give up praying just yet.

Let’s take a moment to reflect on what happened with Nabii Nuh when he was asked by Allah (S.W) to ask all the believers to leave with him on the ship as from the qur’an.: “And [Noah] said, “Embark therein; in the name of Allah is its course and its anchorage. Indeed, my Lord is Forgiving and Merciful.

And it sailed with them through waves like mountains, and Noah called to his son who was apart [from them], “O my son, come aboard with us and be not with the disbelievers.”

[But] he said, “I will take refuge on a mountain to protect me from the water.” [Noah] said, “There is no protector today from the decree of Allah , except for whom He gives mercy.” And the waves came between them, and he was among the drowned.

And the story goes on and he says:
“And Noah called to his Lord and said, “My Lord, indeed my son is of my family; and indeed, Your promise is true; and You are the most just of judges!”

He said, “O Noah, indeed he is not of your family; indeed, he is [one whose] work was other than righteous, so ask Me not for that about which you have no knowledge. Indeed, I advise you, lest you be among the ignorant.” (Ch 11:41-48 Quran)

Does that mean that Nabii Nuh failed as a parent? No. Or when Qabil killed Habil, did that make Adam (A.S) a bad parent? Some children are but tests to their parents and as much as some have contributed to their children’s ugly behaviours, some are nothing but helpless souls. We should be encouraging them to bring out their children for rehab instead of throwing off words to judge their parenting. We should join them in prayers for today it might be their child tomorrow might be yours. Yes, life is that scary.

Of misplaced priorities
Where is all our concentration? No, let’s be honest. What have we given our priority to? Hasn’t it been politics and what which politician did what or arguing over who is a better candidate? Hasn’t it always been on petty issues like what day was ‘real Eid’? Haven’t we put too much energy debating and roasting one another online over ridiculous issues like who holds a fake account and whose wife was seen where? For how long have these gangs been harassing different communities? Long enough to bring about call to action. I won’t discredit the efforts of some individuals and few leaders who’ve tried taming the situation but this should be something we all come together for; not with too much anger and remorse, but with wisdom, prayers and smart strategies.

Of unethical images and their widespread
Please people, it is wrong. It is so very wrong to publicly share photos of a dead individual especially when it shows his/her face or that makes him identifiable. It doesn’t matter if someone was a thief, a goon or a ninja assassin because when one dies, they just become a body. Those widespread photos won’t hurt him, but will hurt his loved ones who probably have no involvement in his/her actions. It is disturbing that you share those images even when you put a huge disclaimer that the photos are disturbing. I mean why are we so hungry to be the ones to spread some news? Please adapt the golden rule which says, ‘Do unto others as you would have done unto you’. Now maybe you are not a thief or a goon on the wanted list, but I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t want such disturbing photos of your brother or friend or even someone you know being spread after they die or killed or suicide or during an accident…whichever the case is. Give the dead their privacy and respect. Their judgement is now upon the Most High.

Of second chances
I’m just trying to imagine, what if one of the gang members really wants to surrender right now?? But then there is the wrath of the people awaiting him. Would he really surrender? Should he? Would you, if you were in his shoes? We say we really want to help our young ones and children, but are we ready to give them second chances? Can we accept them back and forgive them? Perhaps they need reassurance. Maybe not all, but even if one is ready to repent then that’s a win for a community.

Remember the story of Ghawrath bin al-Harith. When the Prophet received word that some of the tribes of Ghatafan were mobilizing an attack on Madinah, so he undertook a small expedition toward their territory but they fled before the Muslims arrival.

However, while the Prophet was resting under a tree, an enemy warrior by the name of Ghawrath ibn al-Harith, who had pledged to assassinate the Prophet, quietly took the Prophet’s sword as he slept and suddenly declared, “O Muhammad, who will save you from me?” The Prophet awoke and simply replied, “Allah.” Ghawrath inexplicably dropped the sword and the Prophet picked it up and asked, “Now, who will save you from me?”

Ghawrath was astonished and pleaded, “Be the better victor!”
The Prophet Muhammad forgave him. He asked Ghawrath whether he believed in the truth of Islam and Ghawrath replied, “No, but I promise not to fight you or aid those who fight you.” The Prophet let Ghawrath return to his tribe, whereupon Ghawrath said, “Verily, I have come from the best of people.” (Mustadarak al-Hakim, Sunan al-Bayhaqi, and Ibn Kathir in al-Bidayah wal-Nihayah). Food for thought.

Perhaps there is too much bitterness right now; of harmed individuals and robbed people. There are also revenge plots looming, God have mercy on us…
It is understandable why people would choose mob justice any time, but can we come together to sincerely help them, forgive them? Can we come together to make a special prayer for our lost youth? Can someone who knows how to go about this, arrange please? I mean, last time we had drought we came together to pray asking for rain alhamdulilah, why not do it again, for our brothers and children and future generations too? After all, it is only Allah who can grant guidance to people. Why can’t we have these many sheikhs come together with our leaders and parents for prayers and for a way forward?? To ensure that those who need rehabilitation are taken there?

May Allah guide us and our young ones and our children and protect us from all evil and bloodshed. Let us remember to pray for ourselves and our cities and communities frequently. Ameen.

 

#3 Sin
He stood at the precipice of the world,
Watching the cacophony of
Automobiles
Tear through neon-lit storms
And asphalt clouds,
Turning shadow earth into walkways
Where
Sky winds kissed star dust.
He was an artist,
A prisoner to everything
That was beautiful,
And he willingly succumbed to its
God-crafted temptations
As if it was a
Blessing
To adorn its sin.
She watched him in his element,
Listened to the way
Her demons
Roused
To the music his presence sung,
Tasted the longing
That collided with
Bittersweet words he left
Unspoken
At the edge of her tongue.
It was hard to tell
What sin
She would do next,
Plunge herself into the rippling
Echoes
That called to her desire,
Or drive a knife
Into depths that were deeper
Than the extent he
Destroyed her.
Then again,
How bad could it be
If she did
Both?

***

She wasn’t prepared for this. Pain ruled her world now, & it seemed as if the world was daring her to die… to take the knife she’d been watching for the last 30 minutes and finally lift the veil that hung between her and the Other world. Time seemed to be irrelevant. She had been chasing it all her life, but now when she gave up on it, she was drowning in an anguish that tore its way through her, leaving separate pieces of her soul to drift into grey realities of Forever. It seemed ironic, that sorrow made her feel immortal, and not love.

Her cell phone kept buzzing by the minute, calls from family and friends sending condolences and making haste to conduct the funeral ceremony and get it over with, as if keeping her dead sister too long from the grave would disturb the reality of the living. It was hard to tell, part of her was angry that they were rushing her into the earth, far away from her reach, but another part of her didn’t really care. Why would she? Katherine was part of the reason she was broken for the better part of four months now, she probably got what she deserved.

“I can’t be thinking like this right now”
She murmured to herself, trying to latch on to the loose shreds of humanity she still had left within her.
“She was still my sister nonetheless”

She couldn’t hide the fact that the way she was killed was chilling in every way. She remembered Tiffany’s face cringe as she described the scene of her murder, keeping the urge to puke away long enough for her to be able to tell the entire story. T was strong, the strongest girl she’s ever known, seeing her at her weakest like that was like a sign that the world was truly coming to an end. She even fell sick in the morning, and it fell to her to get her kids ready for school. Redd, her husband, had decided to stay behind as well and look after his wife, not letting Luna do everything that he could do as well.

“Trust me Lu, I won’t hear the end of it when she gets better or if the roles reverse. Plus I love her just as much as you do, in the least, I have to do my part don’t you think?”

And so with that she was left to her thoughts by mid morning after exhausting every physical activity that she had set out to do that day and distract her mind. It felt strange somehow, spending days hating everything about someone to feeling completely alone when they are no longer there… when it felt like thinking about them was the only solution you have for making you feel like you haven’t lost as much as the whole world is telling you. When memories are all that you have of a life that makes you feel more alive than you are at the moment.
She let herself indulge to the days she grew up with Kat. The first time she knew she was getting a sister was when she was 3 years old, her mom heavily pregnant back then.
“Mom how come your belly is getting bigger than dad’s?”
“Well Luna, that’s because there’s a baby in there who is about to come out”
“There’s a baby in there? How could you mom?!”
“How could I what, honey?”
“How could you eat a baby?!”
That was probably the first time she ever saw her mother laugh that hard.

When Kat finally came to the world, Luna realized that her mom didn’t have a mouth big enough to swallow a whole baby, especially one that was as big as Kat. Then again, she was 3, anything she carried on her hands always seemed to be bigger than her. Her sister though, was as adorable as her name. She had a heavenly scent that was addictive whenever she came from being bathed, something that reminded her of the warmth of home…of waking up to eggs and fried sausages and pineapple juice in the morning…a scent that grew from the endlessness that their mother loved them. In a way, it made them inseparable. In the end, she learned to love her like anyone would love their own sister: to infinity.

And now here, she sat after having spent what felt like eternity hating her sister. Building up waves and waves of anger that never met the shores of her lips, cleaving away the stone cliffs of her mind with every splash the memories of pain spilled from the seams of her shattered soul.
“*sigh* I hope God can forgive you Kat. Wherever you are, I hope He can.”

She thought about Sin, and everything he took away from her after he came into her life.
“With a name like that, I must have been a fool for not knowing what I was walking into!”
Finally, with relative ease, she put the knife aside, and set out to get another kind of poison to kill the bleak voids of her mind. It was only when she opened the door that she stopped short at the figure that was now walking toward the threshold.
“You got to be kidding me?!”

He watched her with artisan eyes, taking in every color she spilt into the hollow canvas of the world, seeing how darker her shadow-brown eyes were, how tears ate away the blush from her cheeks, the storm that weighed down the feather-light wings of her hair, and the pain; pain that took everything else God gave her. His steps were careful, but with intent, like he could see dragons rouse in the spark of his presence. His black suit did nothing to drown the devil in his smile, even though he tried to make it seem sympathetic. A light wind pulled at his tie, and it hung to the gale like a cape tied to darkness as infinite as his sunless eyes. He stood a few feet in front of her, minding the space he left between the artist & the living portrait of anguish he created.

“Luna”

Sinclair finally called out, agitating the dead leaves of her heart with soft words that pushed through his lips & to the ghosts of skeletons in her closet. Her hands coiled into raging fists beneath the sleeves in her sweater, trying to lax the fire that burned in her mind as anger rose like a new-born phoenix. Between the split second moments, she found herself wondering why she left the knife on the kitchen counter.

Photo Courtesy: Unknown

It Began With Death

I looked on
At the death of your
Laughter,
Watched as tears came down your face
Like angels of
Life,
Gleaming like silver-winged diamonds
Caught in the gold beams
Of the sun’s web.
One after the other
They carried your laughter down
To the surface,
Where the rest of the world
Received everything that
Your sky eyes let go.
There,
The wind brought forth
Loose fragments of the memories
You left behind…
The blushes…
The love…
The kisses…
And gathered it over the grave
Where broken hearts lay.
And I could only watch
As your world
Collapsed
Into yawning black holes
Filled with
Undying ghosts of the
Non-existent.

***

She watched the world in silence, letting the solace of the cold winter wind wash out dying embers of a once raging inferno that still charred the inner parts of her being, drowning any semblance of light inside with blackness as ancient as night itself. It has been days, and time still persistently dragged her back to empty avenues of memory lane where pain rained on the reminiscence, soaking her reality in gloom that doomed blooming colors to a grey hell.

“Hey! Hey Luna! Are you listening to me?”
Tiffany was at her side, her black eyes straining to find the open latches to the windows of her soul, finding only hollowness instead. They had been sitting at the restaurant for hours now, steam dancing between them like misguided ghosts from the heat of their coffee cups.

“Lu I know what he did to you was wrong, but you have to let me in, I want to help you. You have to let him go. I have to see you letting him go.”
“I want to, I really do T. But I don’t know what kind of person I’m supposed to be anymore. How can I let you in when I don’t even know myself anymore?”
“I know its not easy. It can’t be. But I know your pain won’t last forever. Don’t look back, there’s nothing there…”

She was right. As cruel as Tiffany’s words were she was still right. She always was.

Looking back felt like she was looking for things she could never find…light she could never see…the touch that she would never feel…a face she’d never wake up to again…

“I’m trying, but its hard letting go of someone who could love you like that!”
She could hear how soft the words fell from her wounded lips, torn by the endless nights she spent sobbing, as she watched the girl in the mirror crucify her lips upside down. Tears that dwelled from the seams of her ashened depths were now rounding the corner of her glass eyes, willing them to break one more time. She held her breath, hoping to suffocate the growing buzz of his voice…
His words…
His eyes…
His deceit…
“…I just don’t understand! I just don’t understand at all! Am I cursed to be this way?! Do I fall in love too hard every time just so karma can stab another knife through me deeper & deeper again?! What did I ever do to deserve this?!”

Familiar hands wrapped themselves around her own, as Tiffany moved her seat closer to Luna to comfort her. She hated it all. Hated how this angel she has always known to be the kindest girl in the world could never be given the love that she deserves. She was perfect to her, more perfect than she could have ever been, and had a beautiful soul. And today is the third time she’s seen it crushed, but the hardest she has ever seen her hurt. It made her angry…vengeful…almost like she could walk out there & kill him right now…
“He deserves to die.”

It was a surprise saying it out loud like that. And they both laughed at the thought. It was the first time she successfully made her laugh in a long while since the breakup 3 months ago.
“Damn right he does!” Luna added.
They laughed harder this time. For once, talking about death didn’t feel like a bad thing. It was just simple. Innocent. A release from the grip of an already dying reality. An escape from whatever fate time had conceived for her. And they laughed on, chiming out the gloom like church bells in the rain.
…That was how it all began.

Photo Courtesy: http://www.hivisasa.com/

Apart from the Uhuru-Joho and #UhuruChallenge fuss, people like me consider the foot bridge to be a great blessing. And when I say people like me I mean the paranoid, the hysterical, the psychotic freaks, the ones suffering from agyrophobia (fear of streets or crossing the street); yep, the people who see a car rushing right into them, crashing all their bones when crossing a busy road.

So years back when I started uni, I was quite overwhelmed with the highway. I would always stand for moments and moments again before actually crossing the road. I would stand close by to the next person beside me and follow them right when they cross. If I am to die I wouldn’t die alone right? I mean, who wants to die alone? 😀 But then we do die alone so while standing next to the person, I would go their left side or right side according to which side the cars are appearing from. If the cars are coming from the right side, I would go to the left side. If we are to be knocked down, the person is to die first. It sounds so selfish nah? So I decided I should stop being selfish and take care of my paranoid self. I decided to use the underground pathway-under the bridge 😀

Now there is something about the Buxton underground bridge. It is dark and scary. It is old and smelly. And most of all, it is not the place for me to walk into. Once I was down the stairs, I would hold my bag firmly.
Phone stashed away-check
Money hidden in a paperbag, inside a zipped smaller bag, inside a smaller smaller bag-check.
Karate move-Urgh, I should have watched the karate kid more.
Walking steps-Fast, FASTER THAN FASTEST.
But then remains one problem, what if this bridge falls on my head?!

This is precisely what happens when you watch too much of final destination 🙁

Oh my God, I should have written a will. My diary should be taken by Husna, my best friend after ‘the tragic incident of underground bridge collapsing’. But who will tell my mum that I love her more than I love my phone and laptop? 🙁
Which is worse though? Bridge Collapsing or someone attacking you in this dark hole? Rape, murder or kidnap?
Oh my God, I don’t even have a daughter to share this tiny sweet paranoic love portions with ;( No no, enough is enough. Where is the highway route again? So I decided to go back to innocently stalking people crossing the road.

God heard my cry and sent me a blessing 😀 I had some lovely classmates who would always accompany me to the stage. Yeah, sometimes I would be grasping one of their hands because a car from the farthest end is approaching. They would wait until the childish me was inside a matatu before they left their ways. You know, just to ensure I don’t get kidnapped or robbed or have my intestines scattered on the highway floor after a tragic accident. So on the days one of them or more wouldn’t come to class, I would have a mini-attack.
“Where are youuu? Why haven’t you come to class?!” *weeping emoji*
“Ah siji leo, mwalimu aboesha (I am not coming today, the teacher is boring)
*Weeping emoji, weeeeeeping emoji* “I am going home alone today” *weeping emoji again*
“You will be okay” *laughing emoji*
*weeping emoji is even tired of crying*

Then comes a bully or more bullies, “You going home alone today 😀 ” But then some bullies are friendly bullies, so they’d escort me and wait until I am gone. No wonder one of my friends told me I was always walking around with bodyguards 😀

Right now when I think of those moments and now with the foot bridge up I’m like, “If this highway was to be speak, it would be proud of how terrified I was of it.” Not to mention that one night I almost got knocked down for real and in my pursuit to evade the car, one of my legs ended up in one of those uncovered holes. Don’t even ask me how I got home that day 😀

May the credit for whoever built the bridge reach them because one of my 2017 goals (ameen) is to walk on that bridge, take a perfect selfie and caption it like, “Well well well, guess who survived the highway 😀 Oh! and the underground too!” 😀 😉