Wednesday, October 23, 2013


My feet ached. My energy ached more. Gatvol is that not-so-pleasant (eek) Afrikaans word that describes me. We are just pushing along this 24hours.

I do a zombie walk to the gynae ward at 3am, and scrutinize the files through the light of the passage. The patients' groans don't strike me as anything strange - most woman in this rotation are groaning anyway. As I scan the drs notes, the pt whispers "bietjie water asseblief" (some water please).

The gatvolness in me flares up - in retrospect unnecessarily so - my thoughts race... this is not my job, does anyone know how tired I am... I'm not a Sister, speaking of which where are them Sisters? Uff, sleeping as usual. If I have to walk around handing pts water I will never learn what I'm supposed... there's not even any cups in sight...

 Wait a min.

A parable of primary Madrasah comes back to me through my zombieness - 'that sinner-lady of long ago was granted Jannah (heaven) when she gave the thirsty dog water, using her shoe as a cup.'
I shook my sleepy head, severely rebuking myself for allowing my frustration get the better of my humanity. Of me, being Muslim.

Everything around me suddenly took the shape of a possible water-holding utensil.

I thanked Allah, glad that thoughts were not counted as deeds. It still bothers me as to why I was thinking of myself as not worthy of handing out water. As a Dr once told me  - its time for a career change if patient care is no longer the most important.
 May all my evil thoughts be highlighted so I can stop them in time.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Eye

"...Now do you not see that the eye embraces the beauty of the whole world? It is the lord of astronomy and the maker of cosmography, it counsels and corrects all the arts of mankind, it leads men to the different parts of the world, it is the prince of mathematics, and the sciences founded on it are absolutely certain. It has measured the distances and the sizes of the stars, it has found the elements and their locations; it has given birth to architecture, and to perspective and to the divine art of painting. Oh excellent thing, superior to all others created by God! ....What peoples, what tongues will fully describe your true function? The eye is the window of the human body through which it feels its way and enjoys the beauty of the world. Owing to the eye the soul is content to stay in its bodily prison, for without it such bodily prison is torture"  
                                                                                                Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)

Glory be to Allah, the Creator of all.

Friday, April 19, 2013

"Aren't you hot in that?"

I'm certain anyone living within a Western community has been asked: "Wow! Don't you feel hot in your Hijab?!"

10. "I'm more protected against skin cancer"

9.  "It's cooler than my hair"

8. "I have air-conditioned thoughts"

7. "Yeah. I'm dying.  *whispers* I need you to free me"

6. "OMW, I don't believe you actually think that far"

5. "So what if i do?"

4. "Hell is hotter"
3. "My hijab is what a thorn is to a rose"

2. "Anything for my Allah, is cool"

and no. 1.

Feel free to add any more responses :p 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Food for thought

Prof Louw's closing remarks after the weekly Internal Medicine meeting was:
"...I want you all to imagine that you are in Paris. And at the corner of the painting square, you will find a Chinese man that will paint your portrait. If he had to paint the real you, which would he have made bigger; your ears or your mouth?"

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Life is a Roller Coaster

I recall receiving a BBM that compared life to a roller coaster. I zoned-out after reading the first line which stated what anyone might have guessed; that life has ups & downs. (Aside: Blackberry users will agree - this derailment is an unavoidable side-effect after use of BBM longer than a year). Sure enough life has its ups & downs, the upward times that at first seem to drag along.The spectacular view when you eventually reach the peak and have courage enough to open your eyes. To see, not just look. Quickly, else you'll miss it. The thrilling moments that subjectively are only just that, moments. The times you're still catching your breath and wondering if such a tachycardia is compatible with life...and there you go again whoooooop. The fact the ride only lasts for a specified time-period. You need to enjoy all you can before it expires. 'Have your money's worth' they said. Spectators admire you, and wonder how you do it, smiling, sometimes shrieking. But you are secured with a safety belt -your Salaah- the ultimate protector. The guards checked you had it secure before starting. You feel safe regardless of whether its up or down. Nothing can throw you off-track. And besides, you are, with both hands tightly clutching the handlebar - the Qur'an - what more do you need for support?  

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Youth Day

So yesterday (Sat 16th June) I was invited to join the 'Muslim Women's Group' (lol, I'm not sure they call themselves as such) to  a children's shelter to help hand out Soup and bread and Blankets.

There were more children than I expected - probably since it was a public holiday, other kids also decided to be part of the shelter for the day.

First they performed a few songs for us, most of em in Sotho so we understood little. I enjoyed observing the expressions of the Muslim children; the older ones seemed to stare in pity, the younger ones looked on with a mixture of curiosity, fear and wonder. One of them commented that the children seemed well dressed, to which I agreed. But I am certain they were told to were their best clothes for the "Youth Day celebrations"

We need to see more people whose needs of the day include finding food and shoes that fit. Guilty feelings enveloped me when I looked down at my own branded jeans and matching scarf, and added up the approximate cost of all I was wearing.

If I've got it right, most of these children are abandoned, or orphaned or their parents are too sick or too drunk or too poor to take care of them. Sigh. The injustices of the human race.

I felt an urge to pick each one up. Cuddle them. Each one is special. Each one deserves to be hugged.

Our youth are still suffering, They are still being shot and killed. The only difference is the killer is not the Apartheid  police. Youth Day cannot be a celebration.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


"Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should talk what is good or keep quiet, and whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should not hurt (or insult) his neighbor; and whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, should entertain his guest generously." [Bukhari Vol 8 Book 76 No 482]
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