a taxi driver and du3a2

i got in a taxi to go a short distance a few days ago. while driving, the man said to me:

you know, today, something strange happened. i just dropped off my nephew to the airport where he’s traveling to qatar. i am subscribed to a “du3a a day by sms” service by etisalat, and i got the du3a while driving him to the airport. so i told him, “read me the du3a,” since i was driving. he read the du3a (which said something along the lines of “astawda3 Allah” (or put as a trust with Allah) my self, my family, my deeds, and so on).  the taxi driver continued, “i was shocked - the timing was incredible! it’s as if Allah had that message come today just for him specifically!”

he then asked me to listen to a clip of a story from a sheikh on his phone. the sheikh mentions a man whose wife was pregnant and he had to go and travel. the wife didn’t want him to go and tried to insist that he stay and not go. “how can you leave me while i am pregnant,” she asked? so he put his hand on her stomach and said, “oh Allah, astawde3ak ma fee batniha” - that “oh Allah, i leave as a trust with you whatever is in her stomach.”

so he left. he came back after he was done with his travels and found young kids (from his family or relatives or what not) telling him that, “your wife has passed away.” so he said, “inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji3oon.”

they then told him that they found something strange - that every night, some sort of smoke would come out from the place that they buried this lady. so he went there and dug up the grave, and found his wife sitting in the grave with his son alive and between her feet.

sub7anAllah… as the taxi driver added, had the man made the same du3a and added the mother in the du3a as well, he would have come back and found his wife as well.

another near death experience

i almost died yesterday… again…  sub7anAllah.  it was around 1am and i was really tired and sleepy… i was trying to cross the street from the maw2af to get to the other side and find something to ride home.  i guess i really wasn’t paying attention and was thinking instead about “what will i take home,” and weighing my options as to what transportation is best to take.  i crossed half the street and saw cars coming, but didn’t register that they were flying… so i started crossing the road nonchalantly (mind you, this is a highway-type road) without paying much attention.

suddenly i hear screeching brakes and i look and i see a mini-truck (one of those that carries a particular type of good for a supermarket, etc) coming straight at me and scrambling to come to a halt… a second later, i realize that it’s going to hit me and he’s trying to stop to avoid hitting me.  i don’t know what happened, but i guess i stepped back two steps just in time to avoid getting hit.

i finished crossing the street and some people on the other side are like, “mesh tekhalee balak ya sheikh, hatdaya3 nafsak keda!”

sub7anAllah…  Allah saved me, al7amdulillah.  death can come at anytime…  the problem is that i often forget this.  may Allah grant us 7osn al-khatema - ameen.

free taxi rides

i stopped a taxi that had just picked up some people and was going the same direction i wanted to go in.  he asked the others if he could drop me off on his way to their destination.  because i was in a rush, i said, “if not, if you may please just drop me off at the end of the street on your way.”

so i got on, and he shook my hand and said “taqabal Allah mina wa minkum” - i was like, “uhh… thanks, jazakAllah khair”  (this wasn’t after a salah time, i wasn’t coming out of a masjid, and it wasn’t the end of ramadan, so i was just surprised)…

anyway, i made it to the end of the street.  i had a 5 LE note and 1.25 LE worth of change.  i valued the travel at 2LE, so i gave him the 5 and asked him for change.  he said, “i don’t have change.“  i said, “okay, take it and forget it” - he refused and put the money in my hand and clenched my hand and said “you’re making me hold up traffic, go!“  i insisted but to no avail…  in reterospect, i should have given him the 1.25, but i forgot that i had it at the time, and it wasn’t exactly fair either.  i felt bad, and so i made du3a that Allah gives him more rizq on that day than he ever made in a single day before - i hope it happened insha’Allah :)

that would be the second time i got a free taxi ride.  the first time, i was walking to jum3a at masjid al fat7, and a brother in a taxi stopped me and said, “are you going for jum3ah at masjid al fat7?” - and i said, “yes” - and he said, “come” - he also refused to take money, saying “i stopped you, you didn’t stop me” :p

transportation mania

today (well, yesterday actually) - was quite a busy day!  within 24 hours, i rode 4 different types of masharee3 (minivans), a bus, a train, an underground train, and a handful of taxis.

some of these minivans are crazy - imagine that when a minivan stops, 20 people run towards it, all trying to get on.  time passes and another one comes by and the process repeats.  it’s quite possible that you may end up standing inside the minivan, or even end up riding while hanging on to the door.

i’d like to add that google maps and gps definitely come in handy at times!

open 24 hours?

in egypt, you may encounter stores with large “open 24 hours” signs.  don’t believe what you read.

“we don’t accept reimbursements…”

a few days ago,  i had to wake up extra early to go to work, and it so happens that i also ended up sleeping really late that same night.  i woke up and was really spaced out.

i went to take a “mashroo3” (minibus) to work.  first off, i got on the wrong one (despite me asking, “is this going to x?” and him answering, “no, it’s going to y”).  secondly, i was next to the door.  “mashroo3 etiquette” mandates that the person by the door closes the door when passengers board or depart the vehicle.

the guy behind me pushed the door midway to close, and, being spaced out and all, i neglected to close it.  we drove a little, and the door fell off.  “Allah yenawar ya bashawat,” the driver said (sarcastically and seemingly upset - can’t really translate it, but an english equivalent would be, “nice going, gentlemen”).  the driver and his assistant went back, grabbed the door and tied it on the mashroo3.  the man said something about, “lazy people who don’t close the door,” got back in the car, and started driving.

i felt bad, so i handed the driver some money to fix the door with (of course i am sure it was already in really bad shape, otherwise it wouldn’t have fallen off from driving at such a slow speed on local roads for a minute or less, but nevertheless…).  the driver asked, “what’s this?“  i said, “this is to fix your door with.“  he said, “we don’t accept reimbursements…” i said, “but it’s my fault, i neglected to close the door.“  he said (approximately), “we drive with Allah’s protection, and the door’s time came and qadar Allah wa ma sha2a fa3al.“  he refused to take the money (and the passenger next to me also told me, “forget about it, keep your money”).

i really respected the guy for his mindset and for controlling his anger.  may Allah increase his rizq - ameen.

what on earth are you doing here?!

i took a metered cab in cairo to the train station a few days ago.  the driver and i started talking, and amidst our discussion, i told him that i lived in the us for the greater part of my life.  he asked, “what on earth are you doing here?“  in other words, “who in their right mind would come here when they have the option of living in the us?”

i gave him my reasoning and he wasn’t at all convinced.  the conclusion of the discussion was this translated and paraphrased quote (based on my memory and understanding):

“in 20 years, you’ll think back and realize that you wasted your time here and that you should have stayed there.  regardless of what good you see here, you’ll realize that things are better there (whether in terms of work, money, religion, or anything else), and you’ll regret the time you wasted here.  at that point, i want you to remember that the old man who drove you in the taxi said so, and ask Allah to have mercy on me regardless of whether i am alive or not.”

i posted this so that 2 decades from now (if i am alive), i can insha’Allah remember to look back to this conversation and say, “al7amdulillah, he was wrong - i have no regrets.”

google walking directions im egypt


it’s nice to have directions (walking and navigation) in egypt - quite useful (albeit imperfect).


shook hands with shuyookh

in the words of wael:

“he is sheikh-ul-mashaAllah.”



عسل و طحينه