Are you feeling a little down today? Maybe a little lonely or under the weather? Perhaps you feel a little tired today? Exhausted? Are you feeling for some company or comfort? Craving for a little “lift-me-up?” Trust me, you’re not alone. Grab yourself a cup of tea, teh tarik, chai or coffee. Or maybe some hot chocolate. Let’s dive into this story together to lift our moods, awaken our hearts and replenish our souls. 


The Boy Who Sold Shells (Allah is Al-Kareem)

It was early morning after Fajr in Mangochi, Malawi. The lilting thrumming of a beating heart could be heard in the distance as earth’s chest heaved and shivered in anticipation of the new day. Birds and insects chirped and sang and praised Allah in perfect harmony. Shafts of light peeped through the clouds and cast their gaze upon the calm lake awakening from its slumber. A fisherman stood on his wooden canoe, gently rowing through the warm water. Golden beads of sunshine spread across the landscape like marmalade on toast. Delicious, sweet, mouth-watering. The face of the sun beamed radiantly, as my father and I sat still and watched the scene in awe. We were on an exhausting work trip and had stayed over at a lodge to rest for the night. This morning felt like the hug I needed to reawaken my heart. 

As this picturesque scene unfolded, a young Malawian boy walked up to my father. “Do you care to buy these shells for 30 kwacha, bwana (sir)?” The boy asked. He opened his hand to reveal an array of white shells. My father smiled at him and apologized as he had forgotten his wallet at the lodge which was a distance away, “pepani mnyamata (sorry young boy), I don’t have any money on me.” The boy then came up to me and I too looked at him with apologetic eyes indicating that I had no money on me. The boy shook his head. “It’s a gift,” he told me and handed me the little white shells. 

Zikomo kwambiri (thank you very much), '' I told him. I was touched at his gesture, wishing there was some way I could show my appreciation as I watched him walk away. It was then that I remembered I was carrying a 200 note in a different currency in my leather pouch. This currency was worth much more than the Malawian kwacha. I went to my father and consulted him about giving it to the boy. He encouraged me to give it, so we called the boy back and handed him the money. “This is for you,” my father told the boy. He explained that it came from another country but that he could buy a lot of things with it if he changed it into kwachas. “What are you going to buy with it?” my father asked. “School books,” the boy told him with a smile. “You’re a smart mnyamata!” Replied my father. 

This story fascinates me until today. This little boy walked up to my father, hoping to sell a few shells. He got rejected, decided to give me the shells and started to walk away empty handed. However, Al-Kareem (The Most Generous) didn’t want this boy to walk empty handed. He SWT planned for me, a humble servant of His to carry a good amount of money in a foreign currency on that February morning. He then inspired me to give this young boy the gift He had planned for him all along. This was a mercy on both me and the boy. A mercy and a grand gift from The Most Generous Lord who showers us with blessings every day. 

To The Muslim Who Believes In Al-Kareem: 

Give and give and give. Give generously, give happily, give sincerely. That little boy didn’t have anything but a few shells, a hungry belly and a hopeful heart. He gave away his shells in kindness. And Al-Kareem gave him so much more. Give to your family. Give to your loved ones. Give to your neighbours. Give to your community. Give to your ummah. Give to humanity. Give from your time. Give from your love. Give from your mind. Give from your pocket. For Allah will surely show His generous servants that HE is The MOST Generous. GIVE and Al-Kareem will give you so much, so much more. 

I know there are times when you feel down. There are times when things are tight. There are times when you feel like the doors have closed. But I promise you that every time a door closes, a thousand better ones will open up. At the right time. In the right way. Just call upon The Most Generous. Talk to Him about your struggles, talk to Him about your dreams and goals and ambitions. Ask Him to grant you a provision from where you least expect it. Ask Him to make you grateful for His generosity. Ask Him to make you generous towards His creation. Allah will answer your prayers in the best way. He blessed you with gifts you never even asked for. Do you then doubt that The Most Generous will give you what you ask for? 

Who is it that would loan Allah a goodly loan so He may multiply it for him many times over? And it is Allah who withholds and grants abundance, and to Him you will be returned. (Quran, 2:245)

If you’re going through a tough time right now, know that there’s a sister somewhere across the globe praying for you, believing in you, cheering you on. With Al-Kareem, you’ll do great things. So keep on going, keep on striving, keep on giving, keep on healing. Keep talking to Al-Kareem. He will never let you down. 

Want to give and make a difference straight away? COMMENT BELOW some encouraging words for whoever might be having a hard time right now. Let’s spread the love and peace from Al-Kareem as far as they can reach! 


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