Category Archives: Religion

A Tale of Two Lawyers

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity; it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness; it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair; we had everything before us, we had nothing before us; we were all going directly to Heaven, we were all going the other way.” A Tale of Two Cities, By Charles Dickens

Two lawyers got in a lift. One came rushing through just as the doors were closing. They greet each other enthusiastically. They seemed happy to see each other. They talked about having to be in court later that day. There were two other people in the lift. A tall gentleman and a girl. It took a few seconds for the lawyers to notice the girl. Maybe because she was short and at the back of the lift. She looked like she was lost in thought, a slight frown on her face. Maybe she was thinking about serious stuff. She was in fact thinking about the ribs and fries she indulged in the previous night, and what the effects would be to her waistline. Maybe she should have used the stairs this morning. It took a bit longer for the girl to notice the change of tone in the conversation. The excited chatter had turned serious.

“So what do you think will happen to those guys” Lawyer One said in a loud voice. A bit too loud the girl thought. After all lift car was small. But maybe a loud voice was needed for his job.

“Which guys?” His colleague clearly was clearly not reading from the same script.  By this time they had aroused the girl’s interest so she was looking at them from the corner of her eye; she saw the Lawyer 1 nod in her direction. Lawyer 2 said, “Oh those guys.  I don’t really know.” He  still looked slightly confused. As though wondering where this was going.

“Yes, the terrorists that were sent to Uganda. I think they will be hanged.  People like those have no rights. Terrorists need to be hanged.” Lawyer 1 continued. Lawyer 2 laughed nervously, casting a furtive glance towards the girl. The girl still looked lost in her thoughts. “We have no place in this country for these kind of people! They should all be thrown out and go to their home!” Lawyer 1 had now abandoned all pretense and was now looking directly at girl. The girl, her fists clenched, gritted her teeth and worked very hard to maintain her look of being blissfully oblivious.  The lift got to 7th Floor, a law firm and they got off. Lawyer 1 seemed very pleased with himself. He probably felt he had done his patriotic duty for the day. Put those damn foreigners in their place! Did I mention the girl was wearing a hijab?

Before I continue, I want to say that I, like many Muslims that I know, was completely against the bombing that happened in Uganda, and I am not in any way represented by Al-Shabaab, Osama Bin Laden or any other terrorist groups.  It is wrong and against my religion.

I don’t know many lawyers. About 3, and 1 hopeful currently studying for his Bar exams (S/O to Ted Wandera). But, as a lay person, I would think that lawyers would have a better grasp of matters of law. And  politics. And there is a lot of politics behind the illegal extradition of Kenyan citizens to Uganda for prosecution. This judge thought so. But I don’t want to discuss that right now.

I’m not even offended that the guy mistook me for Somali simply based on the hijab. It has happened many times before. However, we should note there are Kenyan Somalis. Assuming that all of them are refugees and hence affiliated to Al-Shabaab and need to be rooted out of the country is wrong. My best friend  from high school was Somali. Her shags is not Mandera, or Wajir but Narok, in Masaai land. I would think a lawyer would be in position to know the difference. Or maybe I’m giving him too much credit. Maybe all he needs for his job is a loud voice and stereotypical opinions. I don’t know.

All I know is that I HATE it when someone challenges my credentials as a Kenyan and questions my right to be here simply based on how I’m dressed.  Should I walk around with a copy of my family tree going back more than  100 yrs to prove that I am a valid Kenyan? Or maybe I should wear my ID like a name tag.

Or maybe the threat of a bulging waistline made me overly sensitive this morning. I don’t know.

Heart’s Awakening

It’s amazing how much we take for granted. And how much we can go through life without even realizing it. Because we’ve always had something; family, friends, health, life, religion, we assume we have a right to it and hence treat it as we choose. Sometimes we barely notice that we have it. It’s relegated to the background of our lives.

It’s only when you are confronted by someone else, someone who discovered what you’ve always had and see it through their eyes that you realize just how lucky you have been. You see someone else hold what you always thought was rightfully yours, and you see them look at it with awe and wonder in their eyes. You see the gentleness in their hands as if they are holding the most fragile thing, and you think of how roughly you’ve mishandled it. You see the joy in their faces, for discovering this thing, for finally being able to have this thing and you think of the millions of times that you barely acknowledged it. You see how this person is willing to sacrifice so much to protect it, the struggle they go through every day to make sure they have it and your eyes are suddenly opened and you see the beauty of what you always had, in the hands of someone else. You see just how ungrateful you have been.

My heart is filled with shame. Shame and profound sadness for all the years I have wasted in my life pursuing fickle things, chasing after this world, when Allah blessed me, the day I was born a Muslim. I read a strangers words and saw myself through their eyes, saw the beauty of the gift that was bestowed upon me and I weep. I weep with shame and regret and with hope. Hope that all is not lost yet.  The journey of life is filled with discovery, making mistakes and missteps. The lucky ones are allowed to see the errors of their ways, and to correct them.

To the stranger whose words will always resonate in my heart, I thank you. May Allah open the gates of the highest place in Jannah for you.

May Allah forgive me my  past transgressions and lead the Ummah to the right path. Ameen

“Ya muqalibul quluub thabit qalbii ala diinik”

Hear My Prayer

Dear God,

It’s me again

I’ve called out to You many times

I’ve sent my problems Your way

Sometimes it seems I’m always whining.

My prayers to You have been various

Sometimes selfish, sometimes mundane

But this time God, I have a special request

This time I ask for You.

Dear God,

I feel empty

I’ve walked many streets

I’ve met many people

I have laughed, cried, loved and despaired

I have found pleasure and deep sadness in this world

But despite being around people, I fee alone.

Like I’m caught in a circle of icy vacuum

No one can pierce through to touch me

No matter how much they care, how much they reach out

I  now know it’s only You who can fill this void.

Dear God,

I need you

I’m tired of crying alone in the dark

The only time I can dare show my shame

Drowning me in bitter regret

Helpless and lost

I seek reassurance, comfort, solace.

Dear God,

I’m on my knees

I’m insignificant without You

I submit myself to Your will, my Lord

I beg you to hear my call

Hold my hand and guide me

Committing me to Your cause

Dear Lord, hear my prayer

What-not Wednesday

Good morning.

I know I was supposed to post the continuation for the Proposal story today, but I’m sorry I am unable to do so. I haven’t managed to write in the last few days. My sincere apologies. I will definitely have the story next Wednesday or sooner if possible.Thanks in advance for your patience

My mind is a bit scattered today so please excuse and allow me to ramble a bit…

My grandma whom I mentioned in  this post passed away on Sunday. The last 3 days have been emotional for my family and we are grateful for all those who have shown us support through their kind words, presence and in any other way. She was the oldest member in our family and her death marks the end of her generation. She leaves a huge gap but as someone said, death is a robe that all of us will one day wear. What is left is for us to map our lives exemplifying  the values she instilled and personified everyday.

Indeed we come from God and Indeed to him we shall return. May Allah forgive her and grant her Paradise. Ameen.

My Grandma- taken last year during Eid. May she R.I.P Ameen

Secondly, I’d like to say something about Ramadhan.

O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqun (the pious). (Qur’an 2:183)

The month of fasting is here with us again. Some people have started fasting today while others will start tomorrow.

Ibn Umar related that the Prophet said: Do not start fasting unless you see the new moon, and do not end fasting until you see it. If the weather is cloudy then calculate when it should appear (Bukhari, Muslim).

Ramadhan is the 9th lunar month of the Islamic Calendar. It starts with the sighting of the new moon and ends with the sighting of the next new moon. In case of failure to see the moon, we are then advised to complete 30 days.  I k now there are different reasons as to why there’s always an issue in regards to the starting and ending of this month(especially in East Africa) but that’s not what I want to talk about.

Last week, Kenyans voted overwhelmingly to support a new constitution. One of the contentious issue was the Kadhi Courts. The head of the Kadhi Courts is the Chief Kadhi and Muslims all over Kenya look to him as an authority as far as matters of religion administration are concerned. I feel that it defeats the whole purpose of fighting for this if we are not united in following the Chief Kadhi. What’s the point of having him there if we won’t respect his authority?

Ibn Umar reported Prophet Muhammed (SAW) as saying, ‘Hearing and obeying are the duty of a Muslim, both regarding what he likes and what he dislikes.’

God knows best.

Wishing you all a Ramadhan Kareem and Saum Maqbul. May we use this month to reflect and improve  ourselves. Ameen

Ramadhan Kareem

Signed

Aisha

Open letter to Ayan Hirsi

Dear Ms Hirsi,

I don’t know you. You don’t know me either. However, in today’s world of internet and what not, it’s hard not to know of you.

Let me start this off by saying that I have not read any of your books. Just a lot of reviews and interviews. I don’t know if that gives me enough authority to respond to you. But ever since I was asked about my opinion on your thoughts few weeks back you have been on my mind.  I feel that I owe myself and many others like me an answer.

But first let me tell you a bit about myself.

I am a Muslim woman by birth.

By that I  mean that I was born into a Muslim family. And my parents like all other Muslim parents made sure that I was educated in the matters of my religion. And as you know, Islam is a religion that is entrenched in the culture. So I was raised in an Islamic environment as well. I suspect this is more or less the kind of upbringing that you went through while you were living in Kenya

Second I’m a Muslim woman by choice.

This is the most vital part of my letter. According to what I’ve read, you are fighting against Islam and it’s subjugation of women. How if women in Islam had a choice she wouldn’t choose a life of cover up and modesty. Well I’m here to tell you that I made a choice. I’m not going to pretend that I am perfect in my religion. But I choose to be a Muslim every single day. And guess what Ms. Hirsi, I am not alone. My cousin used to be what you would call a “westernized” woman. One day she changed her life. And I envy the kind of contentment she got. She made her choice. And there are thousands even millions of women all over the world who make this choice.

The aim of this letter is not to try to paint perfection in the way matters of my religion are handled. All I’m saying is that women like me are tired of being constantly portrayed as weak and brainwashed with no sense of self-worth. We are proud of who we are.

So, Ms. Hirsi,  you want us to let you live your choice? Then please allow us ours!