Monday, 4 September 2017

The Ever Graceful, Flowing Life

Photo courtesy: ZME Science

What do you do when…
When the air around you gets heavier with every breath
Viscous
Slowing in flow as you struggle to inhale
Thick
As it forms layers around you
From the world
Suffocating as you gasp in the last ounce


What do you do when time freezes you in place
Locking your limbs as you awe in terror
Watching the world move gracefully around you
Beautiful, fresh, promising
As its sphere floats about with golden brown pollen
Peaceful under the evening sun
Shining upon their poise as they move with elegant flow
Like deep water in divine current


What do you do when you wedge
When the world around
Moves on 
Swimming in perfect harmony and hidden flaws
While you dwell within
Stuck...
Sunk
Amidst the current
Stagnant
Within the flow


What do you do
When all you want is to be free
When all you wish is to be you
The true you
The happy you
But don’t understand how 
Don’t understand you
Don’t know you
And every effort you exert is lost
In between the fringes of your frozen limbs
Motionless
As they stand ignorant 
Of the wishes you dream
The wants you expire
The burning you entire
Raging inside like a circum-rotating ball of molten material-less lava
Spinning with passion as it destroys the very walls that house life


Tired
Lost
Forgotten

Inside the ever graceful, flowing Life 

              ******

            You Smile...

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

A date in Jumba

Who new Ruins could bring so much…
Photo Courtesy: Safari254


The excitement was relentless that day because this time, we weren’t taking aid to the needy or visiting the less privileged among us, no. We were taking the orphans of Bin Suleiman on a date. MTY (Motivational Talks for the Youth) had organized a treat for these orphans following the promise we made to come back after our Ramadhan visit. A day at Jumba la Mtwana Ruins in Mtwapa was the decided destination and frankly, a pretty sweet one too. Shout out to MTY leaders #awesome_sauce.


The journey there was kingly. Two buses were rented for the occasion; one for the members plus other goodies and the other for the orphans. We arrived there and the only thing tying the place to our civilization was its entrance; you had to pay first lol. And even with the good number of people, the slab-laced pathway descending to the beach graced beautifully, carved along the undisturbed sublime of nature and culture-soaked glimpses of the historical treasure.


Photo Courtesy: www.ermakvagus.com

We decided on a historical “chill joint” at the beach shore that composed a small series of rows, each with elongated benches forged from limestone dust and sand that rose from the sandy base. Its walls merged with the hilly slope behind that descended into a tile of stairs along one of its sides, completing the pathway to the beach. The place was finalized with company from canopying trees and crawling branches, a cool breeze and an ocean view that was to kill for.


Photo Courtesy: Jumba Ruins Monsoons


After some breathing from the boys and a few games from the girls, we begun the tour.


The 500 year old site was painted with a law court, time defined tombs and houses such as Of the Cylinder (for complete sanitary services for visitors), Of Many Pools and that Of the Kitchen; probably the most important of them all 😜. It also had two small mosques across the ruins and a grand one that overlooked the ocean. The latter was mainly used to offer the Friday prayers hence its name: Jamia Mosque. They were beautiful. These mosques also had water wells beside them so that the settlers could take ablution with ease. This is why we have the Swahili saying that goes, Haskii la muadhini wala mteka maji mskitini; to symbolize the placement of such water wells.


Photo Courtesy: safari254



Photo Courtesy: safari254








Courtesy of Safari 254
Photo Courtesy: Safari254


We finished the tour with a historical display of the cultures and practices the settlers had. Their artifacts and family trees graced us with the evidence of inter-marriage between the settler Arabs and the local communities; an act believed to have given birth to the Swahili language.


By this time, we were famished.


Luckily, it was already lunch time. We decided to pray first as we waited for food to arrive. To have the full experience of this site, we made our way to one of the two small mosques called Mskiti wa Kati; for its center most position in the ruins. Best. Experience. Ever. As for that brief Dhuhr time, we had a gist of what it would have been like living a humble life in such an amazing and stunning location.


Photo Courtesy: AMP. Zuru




Alhamdulillah, it was now time to eat.

MTY provided a generous and scrumptious dish of Biryani served with complimenting accompaniments. This is no wonder why everyone begun admiring the scenery even more whilst they laid under the cool ocean breeze afterwards. It was a full-filling moment. And a tasty one as well. Again, to the decision makers, made our day.









After tending to our bowels, the boys broke into beach soccer, some went for more site seeing and others rested under the afternoon shade; Biryani game too strong. 



The younger kids played at the ocean shore completely loosing themselves to time and to this new world they had discovered. It was heartwarming, how they would run across the shallow waters, cheering and screaming as they would splash water to each other, and fall in excitement, echoing the open sands with laughter…a true sign they had forgotten their reality. One of pain and dread.




It was everything.


The day now begun welcoming its sister to sky the earth and even though we were present in this timeless palace, time worked its magic on us. We regrouped once more for some refreshments and gladly did we eat ourselves through a buffet of wonderful snacks, while awaiting our royal carriage back home. At this point in time we felt home. Among the crafty houses and leafy tombs, we felt we belonged. 










At least for that day. And it was worth every second...

The buses arrived and we were soon in many goodbyes with our new friends. Promising each other for more memories together. We rode home that day taking digital souvenirs of our time together amidst the golden red sun, as we complained about how tired we now were.
But for us, it was a good kind of tired…

It was a good kind of day.






Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Fear

Hellow Beautiful Creatures!
Photo Courtesy: The Odyssey Online

I was just reviewing my archive when I came across this article. It's a piece I wrote for a competition I never won unfortunately. But I chose to share it with you guys because I'm certain you've gone through or is undergoing this phase right now.  

I know that it seems hopeless, feels useless to keep on moving. I know no amount of words can really express what's hidden inside and no one truly is capable of comprehending your pain. I know fear. And even though it's miles apart with every person, it is still made up with the same four letters. 

We live in the moment. Life happens Now. And whatever your fear might be, as long as you know that Now is going to end, you will enjoy it while it lasts. But first you've got to start living it.

Anyways, I really hope this helps. So chill back, relax and enjoy some literature.
                                                                    
"I came across this challenge through a facebook tag from one of my good friends and mentor today. I kept on trying to figure out what to write about the wordless word 'Fear', but, every time i look at it, i see abstracts...shapeless forms spiraling around in a shady haze, sharp yet concealed, apparent but deep...hidden... I look at this uncertainty and I feel lost, empty...I feel alone.

How do you write about something that makes you feel helpless, scared, something that makes you afraid for yourself, afraid that you have lost yourself, so deep, far...and you have not the single of clues on finding you. How do you share a void that denies all fillets you pour in, desperate, an emptiness that strips you of your worth, assurance, purpose...that drowns you in a bottomless pit of confusion, gasping for care, for concern, for every ounce of attention while everyone else is blinded by the refraction of smiles put up conditionally...a mere trick of the light, a mere illusion...such power in so fewer of letters... 

I was full of empty ideas when i tried to write about this. A wordless word. Because I think of none when I think of it. I only feel. And the thing about feeling is that you cannot just share it with another person. You become afraid that they will judge you. Lol, I just realized a new feeling to add to the list. Or maybe you fear telling them about it because you can see them, the real them, the ones hiding behind the masks of smiles they practice on the mirror wall, as lost as you are. Afraid as you are. Alone as you are. And you cannot help them, them not you...but at least you share a common pit, right?

Anyways I decided to right about the one everyone's writing about. You know, the word-full one. At least I won't be the odd one out this time. 

"So what is Fear? I can tell you this wholly only by that one time I ran across our estate's field crying for my mum as my neighbor's dog happily ran after me. I lost my favorite slippers that day. My favorite slippers were the least of my concerns..."


Heyya, I hope you enjoyed this piece. It's super deep, I know; occupational hazard 😜. If you liked it, hated it, a bit too "meh" for you, comment below. I want to know what you think. 

And if it relates or moved you in any way, share it. I want it to reach as many people as possible. Each one of you is fighting a battle of their own. With a bit of Recharge, the scars don't hurt as much. Share. 

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Life Hack: Ramadhan Edition Part 2

Asalaam aleykum warahmatullah😃
Photo Courtesy: Unknown

Welcome back!😄I hope you are having a blast wherever you are in shaa Allah and if you’re not, may Allah make easy your matters, Ameen. Anyways, we’ll be picking up from where we left off in the previous article on ‘Life Hack: Ramadhan Edition’. If you’ve not read part 1 of this sequel, check it out here. Otherwise, let’s get it!

5.A Friend Indeed.
Photo Courtesy: WordPress.com

Alhamdulillah, we are blessed with companions who know us for who we truly are and also those that we prefer in our company. Whether good or bad, they make up a part of our lives right now. Use them 😐. In a good way😄. In a month where every good deed is turned from gold to diamond, Shaytaan’s locked away somewhere to the neck and blessings are constantly descending from the heavens, everyone’s down to their nasf and their effort. 

This is why this month, however little of a time is left, is the best time to really do something beneficial and ajeeb with your friends. There is nothing more fulfilling than getting out to help others and knowing that your friends have your back. 

Furthermore, it might even be the first step to the best direction there is for some of us and our companions so to speak. The main man (Shaytaan) is still in chains so no one’s there to sway anyone anyhow.

Before we move on, there are some who Shaytaan put in auto pilot before he was locked up at the beginning of this month to raise havoc to those trying to change and enjoy free iftar donations. With that said, may Allah purify all our intentions and hearts and guard us from living without life in our souls, Ameen.

The deed could be anything. You can decide to do a street or village clean up or help around a local in café in serving. Take a day to clean your local mosque or visit the sick, the dead even, at your local graveyards. Just do something. Even if you decide to go around your neighborhood greeting people with smileys on your faces. Just do something.

The most common deeds however, are works of charity. Whether it be donations to the needy are contributions to buy foodstuffs for orphanages and iftaar programs. This often is the easiest to do among many but the more involving the activities are, the better.  
  
What’s awesome and important about this is that you, as a group, get to do something good in the sight of your Lord. We are well too familiar with the ayaats in the Qur’an and Hadith narrations about the Day best of friends will wish they hadn’t befriended each other. And the only friends who will be glad of their friendship are those that used to encourage good and advice against evil. And the latter of the two to each other are surely, the friends indeed. So let’s be of such to one another.


6. Raising your hands (Dua)

“Dua is the weapon of a Believer.”
Photo Courtesy: Islamic Supreme of Canada

Making Dua (supplication) is one of the most emphasized acts of worship for any and all Muslims. Soo many examples are relayed upon us of our Prophets Alyehimu Salaam making dua when they were in distress and even more from the Swahabas of Prophet Muhammad aleyhi salaam and how they revolved their lives around it and connected with Allah. But we don’t have that connection. We don’t feel the heft or the impact and sometimes, the importance of making dua for the things in our lives.

Many scholars have insisted on us making dua frequently, some even saying that if you want chips and chicken for supper, make Dua to Allah for it. Because that is how you connect to Him and how you depend on Him. (Yap. After a few of this hacks in shaa Allah, maybe you might just find yourself try asking for mshikaki on the side 😂) 

This is why the following hacks are just awesome. The first of them is a three step guide to transform your duas into practical life changers. These steps are part of a program called Visionaire Online. It was imangined by Ustadh Muhammad Al-shareef and is dedicated to give you all the content and guidance you need to re-establish that link with your Rabb, give meaning and depth to all the duas you make and guide you in fulfilling the conditions required for your duas to be accepted.


Photo Courtesy: Visionaire.com


Click here to begin your journey into ultimate satisfaction

What does it for me in all its totality is one hadith. It relates that when a servant raises their hands to make dua to Allah subhanahu wata’ala, He (Allah) becomes shy to let you off without giving you something. I mean…Subhanallah. The owner of all heavens and earths, Master of everything that breaths lives or exists, Lord of every single atom ever created, is made shy by you…Oh one who raises thy hands in supplication. 

The simple fact that you can make ALLAH shy of not replying when you raise your hands for dua is enough for me. For it is beautiful. And more a reason to establish that connection you never feel when you make dua. Alhamdulillah for such a Lord. Alhamdulillah for Islam.

Another one of my favorites is the other one stating that when you call upon Allah’s name i.e “Yaa Rabb” when making dua, He answers you there and then by replying to you i.e “Yes my servant.” See what everyone means when they talking about dua? #theconnection #heartmelted.

Finally, here are the times dua is accepted without delay when made and, the people whose duas are accepted 100%. This is of great importance especially today, when we enter the night of the 27th. This night is considered the most likely night for laylatul Qadr so if you’ve been slacking the past days, tonight’s the night to hustle like nothing else and biidhnillah, we might just be among the lucky few to get 1000 months of ajrs this Ramadhan. May Allah make us among them, Ameen. 

For the Times:  

Ø When it is raining: Make a small dua every time rain finds you. It is a blessing and a mercy. Pray for your akhira and dunya. And if you love walking in the rain, good news for some of the scholars recommend it. Because it is among the purest forms of mercy, they say walking in it can actually help washing away Hasad (evil eye) that you’ve picked up somewhere. Alas, as the Prophet aleyhi salaam never ran for shade when it rained. He walked in it as well.

Ø The last part of the night (2.30-4 am): Allah 3azza wajjal descends to the last heaven before earth in this time and asks if anyone has troubles and/or needs to ask Him and He will grant them. This is also referred to as Tahajud time.

Ps, tahajud is still there until you can no longer eat suhoor. If you’re a heavy sleeper, wakeup at this time and pray atleast two rakaats then make your dua. Besides, waking up for suhoor takes care of the heavy sleeping. So don’t miss tonight’s. It’s the 27th.

Ø In between Adhan and Iqamah: This is an opportune moment for everyone to ask Allah for their dreams and hopes. It is also a great way to get yourself into salah mode. Use it people.

Ø In Sujood (Prostration): We are closest to Allah subhanahu wata’ala when in sujood. This is where worshiping Allah like you can see Him takes to play in its totality. For if you can’t see Him, He surely sees you. Take a pause before saying the dhikr when you go into sujood. Feel the majesty in that position and then let the words roll off your tongue in concurrence. Beautiful

Ø After an obligatory prayer: Take a few minutes to say some dhikr then make your dua. It makes a huge difference

Ø While visiting the sick: This is a gift to those who give care to the sick. Pray for all of you while you’re there. Two birds with one Dua.

Ø While travelling: We should travel more shouldn’t we? Well, here lies one perk of moving about. Make it count.

Ø Just before opening your fast: Allah is with the weak and the humble, two characters most of us possess in the wee hours of the dayAt this time is also when your Iman is mostly highest during the fasting hours of the day. Take a few minutes to pray two rakaats and then make dua. Goes straight to Allah. 

As for the people, an oppressed person, a fasting person (gotta make the most out of this guys) and a just and fair Imam (leader) all have their duas accepted in express.

So make lots of duas guys. Make dua for your families, your lives, the Muslim Ummah that’s undergoing major stresses right now. Pray for those you’ve lost and those still present. And most importantly, pray for your akhira. It is something else to picture yourself being punished in the grave and worst of all, on the Day in which your limbs will either stand with you, or against you.

7. Remember to remember a.k.a Dhikr.

“The difference of the heart that does dhikr and the one that does not, is life and death”

As short and effortless as they are, heavy in scale and worth they present. Dhikr. Let’s honor them and keep this short, for this guest has no home, except on tongues of constant commemoration.

Hacks:

Ø Anyone who says “Allahuma ajirni mina annaar” (Oh Allah pardon me from the hell fire)  7 times after Fajr prayer and dies that day, they will enter Jannah unless they do something to spoil that. And when one says it 7 times after Maghreb prayer and dies that night, they will enter Jannah unless they do something to spoil that.

Ø For the one who recites Ayatul Kursiyu after every compulsory prayer, nothing stands between them and Jannah except death.

Ø For the one who suspects a night is that of laylatul Qadr, he is to say “Allahumma Innaka a’afuwu tuhibu a’fua faa’fuani” which loosly translates to “Oh Allah, You are the one who pardons, and you love to pardon. So pardon me”

Furthermore. There’s an app called Hisnul Muslim (yes they made an app out of the dua book) that covers all the basis you need and even those you never thought you did.
Photo Courtesy: Hisnul Muslim



It is about 34 mbs and can be downloaded in Google Play Store through here.


Photo Courtesy: Hisnul Muslim


It’s awesome for learning new duas with its audio and visual aids and gives you reassurance with the valid sources from hadiths and their references.


Photo Courtesy: Hisnul Muslim


Before I get sued for word overuse, let me just finally say how awesome it still is. Get your hands on it. You will Not regret it.

4. The Self.

Finally, just be true to yourself. You can never take any of these tips up if you’ve not accepted the fact that you need them. The first step is always about acceptance. No one is better than the other in the site of Allah except by goodness of character and actions. But no one is perfect either. We have slipped once, twice and more times in a while, even in this noble month of the Qur’an. 

Sometimes we catch ourselves before we fall, sometimes we have nowhere to hold on to. But like I said before, disappointment in Islam isn’t not having done something, it’s not doing anything once you realize you should have.

So evaluate yourself. Identify your flaws and mishaps and accept them as a part of you. Then start making those parts better every dawn of day because at the end of the day, they define who you are and decide who you become. Most people attribute qualities like kindness and others primarily as a care for others. But in reality, you have to learn to be kind, generous and all the other qualities first to yourself, then to others. Because how can you show them to others when you don’t even know how it works on you?

This is why Islam is so Beautiful. All the abstinence and prohibitions and the character boot camps are meant to guard you from all the evils and build you from within. So that you can walk out to the world, brave, kind, just and strong and teach others what it means to be all that. Teach them what it means to be Muslim. Teach them what it means to love you… 

Because in this world, its all about you. And NO ONE can save you, except You. So get up from the dust and start putting one brick after the other. Build yourself. This world needs you.

In shaa Allah, this is the final part of this sequel. I really hope you got to benefit from it in one way or another biidhnillah. Well, until next time, jazakumullah kheiran, Ramadhan Mukaram and Eid Mubarak in advance!

Asalaam Aleykum👋