In The Valley

He heard the good word, then took off his sandals And silently stood there in awe Of how came the order to throw down his staff; And marveled to see what he saw: What once was his staff now crawled in the dirt, A serpent forbidding and frightful; He turned on his heels and started to flee For reasons immensely insightful. Then came the command unexpected, it was To stay and toward it draw near To grasp it; he thrust down his hand in its jaws Without any semblance of fear. You know it behooves inquisitive minds To ponder the reason just why One settles to flee from peril, yet finds Repose in instruction from high. I hear it’s the wisdom of prophets to hold Respect for the nature of things, While knowing that nature obeys what it’s told From where all of destiny springs. “What is, is just not; what is not, then, is;” Is everything this story brings. Inspired by what I heard on November 23, 2014 at Darul Qasim’s weekly exegesis of the Quran by Shaykh Mohammed Amin Khowladia (Surah Al-Qasas, Session 5).

Thursday Riddle (November 20, 2014)

A snout of length and many uses; A chest without a heart can’t love; A stalk of strength; the winner chooses A word for each of the above.

Homeward

I’m on my way towards my destiny, And chance upon a verdant wooded land With trees and lakes and endless shrubbery That I must pass to reach to somewhere grand. Each tree, each lake and every shrub within Does bear a sign divine, or so inspired; I’d gladly follow each but can’t begin, For knowledge to divine them is required. And then I come upon a glade from where Four paths diverge, each splendid and well trod, And each takes from the wilderness its share Of what it willed within the will of God. And while each path may help me ford a stream Or get around a stubborn hill or two, Each runs a course directed to redeem The one who treads upon it soft and true. Will I display my arrogance and shun The labors those before me had begun, Or will I choose to humbly choose a path And stay upon it till my journey’s done? The means are many, but the end is one.

Thursday Riddle (November 13, 2014)

Survives to be heard even as executed To echo the voice of a soul that is muted.

Thursday Riddle (November 6, 2014)

Old Ebenezer can be quite distressing: You take off his cloak, his coat and his shirts And offer a tear to find it depressing That Eb is more hidden with every undressing.

Baby on the Nile

There is something about a child, you know, Something that makes all other pain seem less; To hear the constant utterance of No And find amorphous order in a mess. I was a child once, more I set my thought To drain the worlds of wisdom for a clue To help me solve this mystery of what Compels a child to do what children do. And then I hear these words so sweet and sage: Of how a mother nursed her infant, then Set him afloat to cool a river’s rage; I see my quest is drowned in error, when Indeed somewhere between a kiss and shove Lay hidden treasures of parental love. This sonnet was inspired by an exegesis of the opening verses of Surah Al-Qasas (The Story). Shaykh Amin describes the inspiration sent to the pious mother of Musa (AS) as a profound allegory for parenting.  The agents of the Pharaoh would Be on her son in time, What of this urge to nurse him good With death upon the line? She nursed him still, then heeded well Another thought bizarre To wrap the handsome, happy babe And set him float afar. Upon her peace, upon him too, A prince who fled in fear Into the wild, but only to Return with word sincere And lead his people out from where A tyrant wrought his worst. All from a mother’s act in faith Upon a baby, nursed.

Thursday Riddle (October 30, 2014)

I hope you don’t mark me forgetful a man For all of this tardiness is in my plan. Four score and two thousand eight hundred is what You must now resolve if you can.