Day 22: Raihanah

وَلَلْآخِرَةُ خَيْرٌ لَّكَ مِنَ الْأُوlٰ

And surely what comes after is better for you than that which has gone before.” – Surah Ad-Dhuha, Verse 4:
It started beautifully, with quiet prayers and beautiful words that healed and fixed.

Fixed. That was what I was at the end of 2013. I was ready for 2014, without any of the cracks and shards of pain and grief.

2014 was not about family or friendships or career, it was mostly about myself. The superhero needed saving too, so I did.

This year, my energy was directed within.
Within; close enough to chat with my soul, to truly feel myself and to synchronize myself with myself. I poured myself gradually and intently, into loving myself.

The path of self re-discovery led me to knowing. I discovered layers of me that had been coated with unnecessary darkness; like how I can be intense and emotional and how crying can be awesome and liberating, or how I can be relentless and stubborn while still being submissive at the same time.

A lot of learning and unlearning…

I learnt that change is the reason. For everything.
So I unlearned all that “I will never” and replaced it with “I may”, and “that would be OK”
I’m learning how to be a doctor, to counsel, to guide and to be so many things to many people at once without losing myself.
I learnt how to assist a caesarian section, how to mess around with makeup, how to say no without guilt..
I had to unlearn silence and to speak out when the need arises.
I relearnt how to talk to my Almighty with no holds barred
I unlearnt my shame and my regrets, and let go of unchannelled grief
I learnt to love like a human and like a woman, fiercely.

Nothing quite describes metamorphosis like my transition from Ibrahim R, medical student to Dr Raihanah Ibrahim (MBBS ABU). I always knew I wanted to be a doctor. All the 8 years in medical school and the dark days and recycled strikes and the sheer madness of the training programme did not kill that dream.

I took the Hippocritic Oath of Medical Practice on  20th Of June (the happiest day of my life) – exactly a year after the worst day of my life – when I woke up to the kiss of death at my brother’s doorstep. This to me was like beautifully written prose from my Illah (Creator); a situation laden with lessons. This quiet message rekindled my faith. Alhamdullilah. I am on my path now. Healing; undoubtedly. I haven’t quite figured out my speciality, but I’m sure that the answer will come to me naturally and soon.

This year, I picked my ass up and finally succumbed to the pull of the needle. I woke up one day and signed up for sewing classes. Acquiring new skills comes with a fulfilment. I was giddy with it on the day I wore my first self-tailored dress!
My pen is still neglected and I still unlook all my half-finished pieces in my blackberry notes everyday, but I think we’ve come to the agreement – prose, poetry and I – that we will stick together and find how not to disagree so often. I am half-writing again. And practicing my spoken word. It’s beautiful.
“Be free to make happiness your muse”

I joined the #100daysofhappiness on instagram. It afforded me the opportunity to stop and count my blessings each day and I realized that the choice to be happy was a really easy one and that “Happiness is a mood… Not a destination.” Its in the little things that warm the heart and they aren’t so farfetched.

Sometimes, I don’t believe it but I’m truly happy now! Look at me, ma!

I fell completely off the fitfam train and hopped on the fatfitfam carousel . It was like an entire Cheat Meal Year! Praises be. I’m actually OK with that.
In the long quiet nights of Ramadan, i found spiritual equilibrium and I’m striving each day for piety. This understanding has made living easier.

Allah gives you what is best for you. I can not overemphasize this. He takes what you want and modifies it into what you didn’t even realize you needed. Even in times where I thought he was denying me the things I thought I needed, I realized that patience paid me better in manifold. I didn’t get the house job placement I wanted, I already had the one I needed and the advantages of this one I have is something I come to garner everyday.

The imaginary brain tumor decided to chill this year, fewer migraines in a month. As a family, we’ve dealt with heart failure, sciatic nerve injury, nasopharyngeal cancer…and we’re still here. Still dealing. We welcomed a number of babies. Kamilah, Noor-Zayyan,  Hannan!

We grow.

It’s been a good year, for me and mine. In places where we hurt, we found balms that turned our sores to beautiful scars and the rest is about to be unravelled.

Thank You Amir Sulaiman.
Thank You Mufti Menk.
Thank You Rumi.

Thank you, Amunudun mi. *Ah*

In the end, I remain
Panacea – Healer
Writer, in and out of hiatus
Member, FatFitfam
Seamstress, in training
Lover, intensely
Doctor, Passionate
Muslimah, Striving.
Woman, in progress.

“Fear is the fire that burns.
Faith is water. And Prayer is Its Rain.”
#NoFear #NoHalfway



For those of you who are used to Raihanah, I’m sure this felt as refreshing as it did for me. If you are really back, we look forward to your creative talents on display in 2015. Continue being great.


I love to learn. I love to teach. For me the two are the same.


  • Ire says:

    …and My Moonbeam.


  • P says:

    I like this one

  • edgothboy says:

    Likita! We are forever rooting for you. Ever growing. Always there.

  • Adedayo says:

    I really like this. Simply my best review so far. I like the way you write Raihanah.

    Efe, this did feel refreshing…

  • Ifeoluwa says:

    ‘Allah gives you what is best for you.’
    It’s funny how you guys just think you’re writing your year in review. No, you’re inspiring many of us who are just reading. Taking it all in. I heaved a deep sigh of relief when I saw ‘Allah gives you what is best for you.’…I don’t know why it felt like I just heard that for the first time. I’m going to let it sink in. I should have known this, shouldn’t I? Sigh. Thank you God. Thank you, Raihanah.

    • Raihanah says:

      It is only a reminder. And we all need a little reminding once in a while.
      Happy this has soothed you in some way…
      Allah does give us the best.
      And I’m sure you knew it… And know it now.

      So again… We thank God!

  • Mr Wolf says:

    Raihana’s ability to make me lounge in her mind when ever she writes is amazing, the opening verse culled from surah Dhuha made me rub my palms Cuz I know I’m in for a treat!


  • mofixit says:

    Words well stitched together, tailored towards telling YOUR story and inspiring OUR inner beings.

  • Tobi says:

    This my first comment. I love how you write, it was indeed refreshing. Thanks for sharing

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