Minibus Chronicles: From God cellphones come and to Him they return.

God chooses

some of the most interesting ways to teach you a lesson. My wife and I occasionally talk about our dependency on technology and I joke with her that though I make use of items such as my computer, camera and cellphone regularly, I can always do without them and so God decided to test whether I was truthful or not.

It was a little before Maghrib prayer when my teacher texted and asked when I would be able to come and pick up the udhiyyah (meat) that was sacrificed earlier that morning for Eid Al Adha. I assured him that I would pray Maghrib at my local masjid and then make the trip over to the location. It was a bit of a drive and seeing as I am trying to utilize mass transport more often (to save money) it would take me a bit longer.

By the time I got there, picked it up and started walking back I was tired and carrying 12 kilos (26 lbs) of meat. I jumped on the bus that I usually take from work to the main bus area (Sayyeda Ayesha), then walked over to the busses that go to Mokattam (my town). It took about 5 busses until I was finally able to get on one. People here aren’t patient, nor do they really care how much you are carrying, especially if you’re a man. If you’re a man you can handle yourself. I finally had a group that was patient enough for me to squeeze myself onto a small bus. I got in the front seat which has three seats, placed all my things on the middle seat and sat to the far right, that was until another gentleman came and I had to scoot over to the middle and bring my bags closer.

We started driving and all was well.

Except for when I reached to grab my phone. Or rather when I reached to grab a phone that was no longer there. My heart stopped for a moment as I checked my bags, under my butt and pockets only to realize that my phone wasn’t there.


“Alhamdulilah.” I told my self. “There was a reason for this. I’m not sure why but I’m not going to allow my heart to be distraught over something so trivial.”

I was aiming to comfort myself however I was able. “Maybe I could finally get that Android I wanted to try,” but that idea left quickly when I realized how much money I had spent recently on various items for myself and my wife. “No, I’ll buy a cheap phone for 20 Jinei (Egyptian pounds), I’m not about to use this as an opportunity to fall deeper in love with this world. My focus needs to be on God and the lesson I’m learning.”

I also didn’t want to be a fool that simply gave up because “God has something to teach me.” What God calls us towards is a life of balance. So I turned towards the gentleman next to me and told him that I left my phone in the bus prior to this and if he would be willing to give my phone a call. No answer. I thought he would just turn to me say “Asif Habibi (I’m sorry beloved)” and move on with his life, but instead every time he got no answer he would hang up, and call again immediately. He probably tried calling 30 times in the span of the 20 minute trip. God bless him for being such a kind soul.

It was then that my Apple Watch gave me a little jolt because I had received a text message. I scrolled up on my watch and sure enough in big green words it read, “Connected.” If there is one thing us Apple Watch owner know is that these damn things won’t connect if you’re in a separate room let alone separate busses kilometers away from each other.

It was here and I had that sigh of relief moment without the actual sigh. I turned to the uncle next to me and kept telling him. “Here here, it’s here.” The bus driver pulled over quickly thinking I was telling him to stop there. I apologized and continued my search as we kept driving. I knew I didn’t need to worry anymore and so, “All praises be to God (Alhamdulilah)” left my lips. I started doing the Takbeerat,

“God is the Greatest, There is no God worthy of worship aside Him, God is the greatest and to Him is the Praise.”

The uncle eventually told the driver his stop was next and he jumped out the bus and there it was, my beautiful iPhone 6 Plus sat where the Uncle was just sitting. I picked it up and showed the Uncle as we drove off and I could see his smile as he yelled,

“MashAllah! Alhamdulilah! Good for you Habibi!”

Another lesson learned on a Cairo Minibus.

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