We lost our class representative a few years after graduation. He was a vibrant young man, a politician on campus and had been our class rep for majority of our almost 7 years in the university. I had worked quite closely with him in our last year as officials of our student body organisation. The news of his death hit me like a ton of bricks. He had supplied me with materials for entrance examinations into residency training (as he had passed his) since we shared the same interest in specialisation.

Still shocking how he was said to have died in his sleep; healthy the night before, no complaints, no warning. I wondered if he had an idea his days were numbered. I wondered how and if at all, he had prayed the night before. If he had prayed, he must have had no inkling it would be his last. I pondered on how his parents and siblings felt.

He couldn’t have lived much longer than 3 decades but he had a lot to show for it; so much that even some of us, who might live to ripe ages, may not get to achieve. It is sad but it is life. ‘It’s not the duration but the donation’. He had donated a lot of his time to improving our welfare in our varsity. His footprint is still visible in the teaching hospital where we trained years after his demise.

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Do our lives count? Are we waiting for a certain time in our lives before committing ourselves to Allah, helping people, giving charity, loving our families?

We should not feel like Allah owes us our lives. We may not see the next salaah. We might not return home tonight. We might not be awake this time tomorrow.

Let’s make the next salaah count and spend time in supplication to Allah. Who knows? It could be our last.

Did you know any young person who died suddenly?



This post is dedicated to my oldest friend. We’ve known each other for 2 decades now.

When we met, we had an altercation. I was new in the class and sat in her seat because she had not resumed. I was expected to make my desk and bring from home but I only realised that after I had commenced classes in my new secondary school. I thought it was like primary school where you came as you were and were assigned to a seat. So, while the carpenter made me a seat and desk, I took an empty seat (hers) and received my classes. Until the day we met.
empty classroom
I had heard she had returned but she received her lessons in her friends’ class so I was not bothered; besides, my seat wasn’t ready yet. She came into the class with some of her friends and ordered me to get up. I did not. I continued to copy my notes.

I cannot remember all the details clearly now but it quickly degenerated into she and her friends insulting me but I ignored them. We did not fight physically (not that I even knew how to) because we would be suspended from school. Eventually, they left (if my memory serves me correctly).

When I went to the bus park, I saw her and looked right through her. As far as I was concerned, she was just a spoilt rich kid who had friends simply because of her status. We rode on the same bus more times than I could count but studiously avoided each other. I would have rather gotten on another bus than to seat beside her!

Eventually, we became friends. I do not remember how it happened but I know she made the first step toward reconciliation and we became good friends since then. Decades later, we still joke about how it incensed her that I ignored her while she insulted me. What did we know then?

So, my dear sweetheart, I am glad to have you as a friend. I wish you the very best in life, way more than you can even conceive. May Allah continue to bless and strengthen you and your beautiful family. May we continue to be friends even beyond the day when there will be no friendships or intercession.

Love you, dear! 🙂

Do you have any old friends? How did you meet?

NOiR: Preparation for Eid

[Qur’an in Ramadan 29:Q78.01-Q114.6]
Ooh! It’s almost Eid and we are in a tizzy!

Our house in upside down, everyone is in a flurry of activities. We have gifts to wrap, snacks to make, meals to begin to prepare, clothes to iron, hair to coif, henna to decorate our palms and feet, zakatul fitr to give, the house to decorate, kids to co-ordinate…and so much more.

Here is just a friendly reminder that it is still Ramadan so we do not get carried away. Remember your salaah and adhkaar. You still have some opportunity to complete your recitation of the Qur’an if you planned to complete it this holy month.

Remember also that the month could be 30 days so tomorrow could still be Ramadan.

Happy Preparation and Eid Mubarak in advance!

NOiR: Community Sunday

[Qur’an in Ramadan 23:Q39.53-Q42.12]

I apologise profusely for posting so very late today but since I promised to post every day in Ramadan this year, here is today’s post.
Ok! Today is the day for the community. This could include extended family members and distant neighbours.
Unfortunately, the more citified we become, the lousier our manners and the less our care for those outside our immediate family. We have become accustomed to not caring for each other and minding our own business. No one bothers about what is happening to his neighbour unless it is material for juicy gossip.

If we do not care for our extended family members and neighbours, how can we care about the community? Here are some ways to make us more civic-minded:

• It could be something as simple as sending our neighbours some food for iftar or giving out food or drink at our local masjid.

• Solving a problem in the community like planting trees or filling a pothole on the street, replacing the streetlight bulb, planting trees, clearing the bushes etc. It could even be resolution of a dispute between neighbours.

• Feed the street vigilante group or policemen patrolling your neighbourhood to keep you and your family safe.

• Invite other members of the community to pay a visit to orphanages, hospitals or rehab centres in your neighbourhood.

• If you live in a block of flats, you could consider fixing the light bulbs in the stairwell or even sweep and mop the stairs or remove the cobwebs if there is no janitor.

• If you have an older neighbour who lives alone, you could send your kids over to give them a hand in running errands or helping around the house.

Can you think up more ways to assist your community?


PRECAUTIONS Q3.200, Q4.71, Q12.67

Anas ibn Mailk reported that a man said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, should I tie my camel and trust in Allah or should I untie her and trust in Allah?’ The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: Tie her and trust in Allah.

We once had a patient who presented very late with terminal cancer. Her husband was wealthy and insisted that the cancer had been detected early enough and he had flown her out of the country for treatment. Unfortunately, after being persuaded by ‘Men of God’, she had discontinued her medications and decided to rely solely on faith. Needless to say, she died a slow and painful death and there was nothing anyone could do about it.
During the Prophet (SAW)’s time, considering that they could be attacked at any time, some were stationed to watch out while the rest prayed. They did not foolishly place all their eggs in a basket.

And this applies to all situations. Allah has blessed us with technology, innovation, medications and a myriad of wonderful things that it will simply be foolhardy to refuse to take advantage of them and make a show of piety instead.
Tie your camel AND trust in Allah.


BANKRUPTCY Q3.180, Q4.29-30

Abu Hurairah narrated that the Prophet (SAW) said: Do you know who is poor? They (the Companions of the Holy Prophet) said: A poor man amongst us is one who has neither dirham with him nor wealth. He (the Holy Prophet) said: The poor of my Ummah would be he who would come on the Day of Resurrection with prayers and fasts and Zakah but (he would find himself bankrupt on that day as he would have exhausted his funds of virtues) since he hurled abuses upon others, brought calumny against others and unlawfully consumed the wealth of others and shed the blood of others and beat others, and his virtues would be credited to the account of one (who suffered at his hand). And if his good deeds fall short to clear the account, then his sins would be entered in (his account) and he would be thrown in the Hell-Fire.’ –Sahih Muslim 2581

Concept key

Imagine the irony of it. Consume and confiscate people’s wealth in a bid to amass more and never run out, only to be declared bankrupt on the Day of all days. All those insults we hurl from behind the safety of our computers, as well as a huge chunk of our good deeds hit their targets. Our domestic help which we treat like animals collect not only their wages at the end of the month but our deeds as well.

May Allah save us from such a humiliating fate.


Before you exercise, you will be advised by any professional or fitness buff to do warm-up exercises first. The warm-up helps prepare the body for the exercise proper and run oil through the machine, so to speak. Well-stretched warm muscles are more resistant to wear and strain unlike cold muscles which do not absorb impact well hence injure faster.

Preparing for Ramadan is key to a successful Ramadan. If you’ve been preparing since Rajab, good for you! If you haven’t, here’s your chance.

So, it is Shaaban already! Ramadan is but a hop and skip away. Here’s a checklist to put us in the mood and right frame of mind for Ramadan. Consider it a head start in order to fully enjoy the blessed month when it arrives.

• Repay the missed fasts of last year’s Ramadan if you have not completed it.
• Review and refresh your old du’a list to update both adhkaar and prayers you wish to be answered. If you don’t have one, now is a good time to begin listing all the prayer points you would like to cover. Hisnu-l-Muslim (Fortress of a Believer) is a good book to peruse for extra rewarding adhkaar.
• Resume daily recitation of the Qur’an. If you would like to read in Arabic but cannot, now is as good a time as any to learn.
• Download your favourite reciter’s quranic recitation online or procure it at an Islamic shop.
• Recommence good habits to prepare yourself for the Holy Month and beyond: giving alms, the two rakats before Fajr, Tahajjud (night prayer), Witr, Monday and Thursday fasts, fasting on the White days etc.
• Try to observe all your salawat in the masjid in congregation (for males) or at least, Fajr and Ishai if you work where doing so is not feasible.
• Invite your relatives, neighbours, or reverts over for dinner to break the ice before Ramadan.
• Cut down on unhealthy food in particular and food in general. Begin to trim back on your coffee, cigarette, Coca-Cola intake and other addictions.
• Cut back on excessive speech and watch your tongue so you don’t spend the entire month trying to rein in your tongue.
• If you would rather be on leave during the Holy Month, now would be a good time to apply for it at work.
• Scout for someone to feed if you are chronically ill and cannot fast.
• Send money to your parents and dependants for Ramadan shopping (particularly if you use the bank) so they can get what they need in time.
• Make your menu and draw up your grocery list. You can even begin to shop for the non-perishable items on your list so you are not overwhelmed by the increasing costs of foodstuff and the stress of shopping in Ramadan.
• Do you believe in Ramadan Resolutions? Write yours down and begin to work toward it.
• Buy Eid gifts and clothes for yourself (and the children too.) Give them to the tailor on time for sewing, if you have to. You do not want to be shopping in Ramadan under the blazing sun or joining in the pre-Eid rush when it’s more expensive.

Have you anymore to add?