“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)