The Ghazali Children’s Project by Fons Vitae & Hamza Yusuf
This is an awesome venture. Support this effort by the amazing Aisha Gray Henry and her team at Fons Vitae. I just did!
Here’s a poem I wrote some years back, inspired by a lecture delivered by Shaykh Amin in an Introductory Theology class at Darul Qasim in which he alluded to Imam Ghazali’s ingenious allegory for tauheed (divine unity).
There stood an ant so wee,
And nothing was around him that
Was littler than he.
He watched with great amazement as
A giant feather quill
Descended into blackness, then
Remained to drink its fill.
And thus the quill withdrew before
Returning for its sips,
Which made the ant to wonder what
Transpired tween the dips;
He ventured round the glassy well
And out his head did poke
To find the quill make strokes on what
Reminded him of oak,
And marveled at the written work,
Extolled the feather quill:
How utterly magnificent
Was its creative skill,
But as he watched, his eye did catch
Five fingers, slender, long
That grasped the feather quill with care:
A grasp so firm and strong,
And so the ant was overcome
With admiration true
For how the hand did wield the quill
To all its bidding do;
But short lived is such wonderment
For soon the ant did see
The subtle motions of an arm
That moved about so free.
The arm he traced to what he deemed
The body of a beast
With head and face that comely seemed
And noble at the least.
So turned he from the noble face,
Content he would not find
What underlay the vast of space
That leaves the seeing blind.
But man, unlike the ant, can see
Much more than just a face,
For knowledge of the intellect
Is with the human race;
The guided eye may even see
Beyond the intellect
Where inspiration is the light
That hearts of men reflect.
And so beside the inkwell of
Divine creation, we
Extol the means, but turn away
From what we cannot see.
But even did the little ant
Acknowledge with a sigh,
That all creation springs from One
Well hidden from the eye.