Allah Has Abandoned Us

Allah Has Abandoned Us

Allah Has Abandoned Us 150 150 Comfort Aid International

Allah Has Abandoned Us

I return to Dar es Salaam from a trip to Pakistan and the Philippines dog-tired and weary, vowing not to sit on an aircraft or a car until I am in heaven and can travel to a desired place at the bat of my eyelids. Both Sohail and I had to endure lack of sleep, delayed baggage, hours in vehicles, and hard-to-come-by-halaal meals (in the Philippines) on this trip. Consider this itinerary – Dar (NYC) – Dubai (Istanbul) – Islamabad – Mansehra – Muzaffarabad – Murree – Chakwal – Faisalabad – Chiniot – Islamabad – redeye to Bangkok – Manila – Cagayan De Oro – Illigan – Malabang – Davao – Manila – Dubai (Istanbul) – Dar (NYC) – all in 14 days. The payback? We meet many progressive students denied education because of poverty or gender or both, that CAI sponsors, witness CAI-constructed projects, perform due diligence on two promising schools the CAI donors will shortly sponsor, gift beds to poor schoolgirls sleeping on the floor, sponsor solar power to two schools struggling to run fans or computers, distribute iftaar to the poor, equip a library with books and furniture and get a high like no other.

If Islamabad and the northern circuit in Pakistan Sohail and I visit are frigid, the Mindanao islands of the Philippines, and Tanzania are sweltering, especially Dar. Sitting in my living room, on the 10th floor of my apartment building, there is no breeze to speak of. It seems the ocean cycles have conspired to deny us the customary cooling summer ocean winds this year. Sweat beads trickle from the base of my scalp and slowly trickle down my back to settle in the crevices of my behind. I can switch on the AC of course, but the ensuing LUKU bills will give me unabated toothaches for extended periods.

I receive a call from Mullah Mchungu’s caretaker Hameesi, summoning my presence, saying the old man wants to see me yesterday, but the earliest I can go is today, the first of Ramadhan. Since most of us are fasting, the air in my neighborhood is cleaner, breathable, and void of frying samosas and kababs pollution and frying onion/garlic smells from the restaurants around. The sun is so intense and bright, I feel the rays frying the brains under the skin of my exposed scalp and my bared hide elsewhere feels like shriveled kukus that are barbecued on the streets of Dar every day by the time I plod up the crumbling ancient stairs to the Mullah’s apartment. My t-shirt is soaked wet by the time I am seated under a furiously swirling fan, facing the Mullah. 

The Mullah is peering at a copy of today’s Daily News, tightly clutching the fluttering paper so it will not fly away by the sheer force of the fan. He looks up at me, makes a face, and lets go of the newspaper; they go swirling around the living room, Hameesi giving chase. When the ruckus subsides, the Mullah attacks in his usual fashion.

Kisukaali, he clicks his insane dentures into place and they grin at me inanely, finally, you find time for me. Where have you been, ghadhero? Still spending your life peponi? Before I can retort to his unkind remark, he is off. I really think Allah has abandoned us Muslims. 

This man has controversial opinions about all matters under the sky, some quite thought-provoking, but I try and humor him, because of his age. The old hen is eighty-plus, how much more will he live? However, to utter such sacrilege, in this holy month, makes me shudder, but I remain unprovoked, knowing he’ll go through the usual tirade and tire. Boy, am I wrong!

It has been nothing but humiliation for us Muslims the past few months. The Zionists in Israel continue to butcher the Palestinians, committing blatant genocide, and defying calls from all to cease their heinous debauchery by showing the middle finger, the gangsters who are in power in India dehumanize and abuse minorities, especially the Muslims, and get away scot-free, the lunatics who rule Afghanistan debase their women and oppress their Shia population and still sleep unaffected, the Rohingya Muslims are still stuck in the muck in Bangladesh. Everywhere I look, we Muslims are in disarray, unable or unwilling to put up any defense. So, where, Kisukaali, is Allah in play here? Where is His mercy?

I stare at the guy, stunned, sweat still oozing from my skin. All the fan above does is move that humid air around, scattering anything unsecured. I try and avoid looking at the Mullah, for his stupidly grinning dentures throw me off, even as he argues on such a profound subject. I suddenly shiver involuntarily, despite the heat and humidity in the room.

I pray for the Palestinians every time I think of them, every time I read about them in the papers, every time I see their plight on television. I was hopeful the Zionists have a heart and will stop at 5,000 kills, then 10,000, and now over 30,000. I weep at looking at the killed and maimed children, burnt by the bombs, with pieces of shrapnel in their bodies. I weep all the time; my heart wants to burst asunder and I beseech Allah to make the beasts stop. I pray for them with every morsel of food Hameesi feeds me, thinking of the starving children, I pray for Allah to ease their pain every time I’m tucked in my comfy bed, thinking of the two exhausted girls sleeping in the muddy water in their destroyed home. What did they do to deserve this humiliation? But no, no, He, Allah, has abandoned us. He does not listen; He does not want to listen to me…

Then, as he has done in the past, the Mullah breaks down and sobs painfully. This is an always uncomfortable moment because I don’t know what to do when adults cry. I look around desperately for Hameesi, but he is not around. So I get up and gingerly hold the Mullah’s convulsing shoulders; they feel thin and brittle. I pat them gently.

Aghaa, Allah works in ways we mortals can’t always understand. He will act, I promise. He will act in a decisive and just manner. And when His anger and wrath are aroused, He will show no mercy to the unjust, no matter how powerful they are or may seem to us now. Please do not cry but continue your prayers for them. He will listen, He has promised…

But the guy has fallen asleep on me. His head leans forward and he lets off a sharp snort snore. Had I not held him, he would have certainly toppled off his easy chair. Thankfully, Hameesi jogs back, a sheepish look on his face.

Samahaani, sorry, Bossi, I was in the loo. I’ve been fighting the runs.

He picks up his ward as if the Mullah is a baby and jogs to the back where the bedrooms are. I depart shortly after, leaving Hameesi’s usual tip on the table, securing the flapping bills with a heavy mug. Mulla’s anguish whirls in my mind all the way home. Are we really abandoned?

Close to my home, a hefty African woman, her face weathered with wisdom, sits by a shuttered shop, vending zambarao (Java Plum in English, Jamun in Urdu.) They are purple and plump and look divine. I have not seen them this season yet and get giddy with the anticipation of biting into them for my iftaar tonight. As is expected in this part of the world, I bargain the inflated price she quotes and we agree on two generous piles for 5,000 TShs (about 2 US$). I hand over a 10,000 TShs bill and wait for the change. She smiles broadly, revealing startling strong white teeth, digs deep into her bosoms, and fishes out a few crumpled notes, one is a 5,000 bill, blatantly moist; she offers it to me; I take a hurried step back. Oh my, what a dilemma. So I purchase two more piles instead. What a marketing genius, no? 

My maid Hadeeja will happily take them for her two infant totos after work tomorrow.

Click here to view some interesting photos of Sohail and my trip to Pakistan / Philippines. 


Join Our Email List

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: . You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact


1399 Hempstead Turnpike, Suite 128
Elmont NY 11003

Phone: +1 (832) 643-4378
Phone: +1 (646) 807-8866