Hassan and The Other Man

The river broke its rush and slowed; Beside the lazy cattle lowed, Where palm to¬†olive shade bestowed Was¬†Hassan and the other man. And standing thus, Hassan perspired, The journey had him very tired, But its completion still required Engaging with the ferry man. Then in that good and blessed place, The other turned his kindly face And looked at Hassan full of grace, “What keeps you though proceed you can?” “The ferry boat is on its way,” Said Hassan with a sweet display Of gentleness; the long delay Would have worn down a lesser man. The other served a rev’rent nod, And in the name of the one God, Upon the flowing river trod While neath his feet the waters ran. Two angel forms did Hassan see, Make firm the pathway watery, They kept the other company Until he did the river span. Then Hassan went back to his wait; The ferry boat was surely late. He then began to contemplate An alternate to his day’s plan. The sun descended some degrees, To hide behind the date palm trees, Then with a mild and balmy breeze, Arrived the poor, old ferry man. “You’re late, my man. What kept you so”, Feigned Hassan with an angry show, Then listened to a tale of woe As only men like Hassan can. The other man was gaining ground, When something made him turn around, And look towards a tasbeeh sound, That came from where the river ran: A ferry boat was bathed in […]

Walking

I can walk all I want, I can go any place, With my heart in my hand, and my feet on the road And the sun in my face. I can sing all I want To the tune of my soul, I can reach very high, grab a handful of sky And decide I am whole. But each shadow’s a sign To an eye that can see Through the fog of the sin that it finds itself in, Yes, I’m talking ’bout me. And the laughter like wine Makes the colors all dance Till you turn your eyes down, as you look to the ground At a shadow of chance. Now I’m seeking a place Past the reaches of space Where no shadow is born, and a soul that is torn May be mended by grace.

Now My Heart Is An Ocean

There runs a stream from every limb, A river from each organ, And every single one that flows From the top of my head To the tips of my toes, Yes, each one drains my plains and goes Down into the seas of my heart. And there it splashes against the cliffs Of my transgression, Mixing with the salt of my sin. Now my heart is an ocean, And my journey may begin. But where does an ocean go? It goes to my eyes and streams down my face As I fall to my knees in utter disgrace Till the winds of forgiveness blow on its waves Of hope for this lowly, most hapless of slaves. Yes, there’s hope in these tears To put out the flames Of a fire that taunts me By all of my names. Let them flow till the seas of my heart become calm, Till my face feels the kiss of eternal Salaam.

Bartering Our Souls For “Peace” – Srebenica Twenty Years On

As we mark twenty years since the brutal killings in a Bosnian town of over 8,000 Muslim boys and men ranging from ages 12 to 77, we are faced with emerging evidence bringing into focus the unfortunate role of the free world in the commission of what has been called the “worst massacre on European soil since the Third Reich”. Details around how a safe area came to be presented to the Serb death-squads are chilling, no doubt. Photo courtesy guardian.co.uk: man praying at the gravesites of Srebenica But there is something even more disturbing than the actual genocide itself. This was clearly not the first time an act of ethnic cleansing had shocked the world. If we restrict ourselves to a simple game of numbers, the killing of 8,000 boys and men is a drop in the ocean of genocide that the twentieth century alone has seen. (Wikipedia List of genocides by death toll.) No, the numbers are not interesting. But the politics is. It is one thing that the Serbian killing machine had overrun Srebenica, and the likes of Mladic had personally overseen the separation of boys as young as twelve and their fathers and grandfathers from their mothers, sisters, daughters and wives. While the women and girls were sent off to “Muslim territory”, a collective term for the horrors that awaited them as they were delivered to their new homes, the boys and their fathers and their grandfathers were transported to the lush fields around the town […]

Moment

There is a moment in the still night air That passes by a pair of swollen feet, A moment when each heart submerged in prayer Breathes in the sweetest fragrance of retreat, When all of space is folded in a tear, And time compressed into a Word Divine, It is a moment cool, compact and clear Like drops of shiny dew upon a vine. You seek this moment fervently without And speak of it at every chance you win, But all that ever matters is about A silent search entirely within. There is a moment in the still night air, A moment that is you submerged in prayer. Inspired by Shaykh Amin’s profound words on Laylat-ul-Qadr.