One of the greatest signs of Allah’s lordliness is to watch his rahmah unfold upon his unassuming slave, most notably in how the man welcomes death. All his life this man lives simply. He is no scholar. He is no philosopher. He barely articulates his thoughts. Every time he disagrees with someone around him, he finds himself corrected by a dozen other voices. Yet, he gifts the last word to anyone who is in conversation with him. He does this with kindness, even gratitude. Every time. So much so that you might think him a nobody. What you may miss is that he is very good at being that. Here now, in his final moments, so efficient is his economy with words, so powerful his choice in them, so frequent his recitation of the only word that matters, and so thorough his mending of fences with all his kin, that a lifetime of scholarship and pontification may be sacrificed for the nūr that illuminates his face. Much intellect shines now through the humor in his eyes. His eagerness to meet his Lord is tangible, electric, in the air, betrayed only by his brow dancing ever so slightly in response to an oft raised index finger. If we could see a man’s true worth as he dies we can begin to make sense of his life because what he has truly accomplished is now before our eyes What a man!
It's chilly, must be time to pay my taxes To fund the schools to do their saintly deeds Get roads repaired and trains back on their tracks: Is The park in need of shears to trim the weeds Help libraries build wings so patrons fly And help the good police have stronger knees Give judges seats to let them ponder why That billionaire needs help to crush his lease I'm good with all this goodness every year Though half the good I pay for I don't use But that should never bother me my dear And here's three dollars so the man don't lose The shredded children dangling from a pole Less hideous than our collective soul
You look at yourself and you find The pain is just too much to bear It's shattered your body and mind And pounded you into despair Your words don't come out as they used to Your thoughts are not formed as you like But know each contender you lose to Is bracing you for the big fight Recline on the truth that all things All come from a singular source Each joy and each grief that life brings Is for you intended of course So give your attention to Him Who's turned His attention on you And fill up your heart to the brim With patience-infused gratitude There's comfort for you in your tears So cry up a bountiful stream And soon you will see your boat nears The sands on the shores of a dream Then life as it must be will be More real than you've ever seen And in a lush meadow you'll see Her waiting to meet you - your queen Salawaat helps the meadow stay green.
I wonder at this huddle of sparrows in our lilac bush It’s ten degrees below but that does not deter their spirit They puff their coats up proudly till they look like mud- streaked snowballs Like Gazan hearts in a cold world
Spare me your chivalry If it means you’ll hold a door open for the lady behind you Only to ogle her as she walks in Spare me your chivalry If it means you’ll help an elder cross the street But only when it doesn’t dent your schedule or go unnoticed Spare me your chivalry If it means you won’t hit a man when he’s down in a brawl But will cheer the cowardly slaughter of fleeing innocents Spare me your chivalry If it means you will let your friend have the last word, well, Only to go home and give your family hell All that chivalrous behavior we exhibit We barter it for attention: To be known To be seen Seen by others but more dangerously By ourselves For nothing is more delicious than worshipping That handsome idol of the self Moulded with the clay we selected so carefully From the river banks of our toadying consciousness Glistening from generous coatings Of the “it feels good to be good” glaze It does feel good to be good And that’s alright But it’s fickle: You see, when we change and grow The idol morphs and scales There is no telling what we’ll change into Yet the idol prevails Let’s turn to the constant deity Who Ever Was Who Ever Will Be If we can serve to ONLY be seen By the One our eyes cannot see Then that may be The truest brand of chivalry Then hang the axe around the neck Of your idol, saying: He did it
his ummah is one body respiring shukr perspiring sabr each part heals that the body may thrive till it reaches its qabr so khalid when you are wracked with a trial turn to your Lord and repent and when you see your brother wracked with a trial turn to your Lord and repent
The nature of something Promised to you Is: it's given to you as a gift It's reserved for you Well-preserved for you That its transfer to you may be swift And the giver ensures That the gift they are giving Is pure and pristine and intact Untainted by blood Or the cries of the living To whom it was given in fact I guess what I'm trying to say with these words is: Rockets and bullets and gases and booms Of phosphorous white that melts aways skins And bulldozing babies inside sacred wombs And gunning down kids seeking shelter in bins Are proof that the gift you are killing to get Was promised to humans more worthy than you
For me Everything is for me Nothing is for him or her Or them It’s all for me The sunrise The sunset The rain The drained cup The laughter The anger The tears The cuss words The breath of a baby warming her father’s neck The cold The heat The accident that occurred on my street Or the seven car pile-up three seas away If I know of it It is for me And me alone So when a video makes its rounds Plinking into my notifications Showing a Palestinian man Make his ablution in the freshly fallen water Welled into the worn canvas top of his tent That is for me For me to see And see again For me to ponder For me to feel the salty waves Of helplessness wash over me Then recede Like the shadow of the ‘asr prayer He chased And reached For me
They keep telling us it started on October 7th But a quick search on google reveals It started later Exactly 53 days later On November 29th 1947 That’s when the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 181 The Partition Resolution You see, they had tried something like this out A few month earlier In British India’s hell And found that it all went Swimmingly well So nothing haphazard here as Iqbal noted There’s more to it than oranges, honey and dates (We’re back to dates) It’s men who think they’re carving out fates With fire and shrapnel of considerable mass Oblivious to the reckoning awaiting them At the hands of very particular angels When that cosmic inversion comes to pass Then all will see: What is, is not What is not, is
“It’s HIS ummah, not yours.”
I’ve heard Shaykh Amin say this more than a few times in recent talks. It holds greater meaning the more we think about it. Some thoughts follow:
Avoid reducing “his ummah” to the actions of its individual members. A scratch on the thumb does not distract from a heart that beats strongly, even working to heal that very scratch.
The ummah is more than the sum of Muslims walking the earth at any given time. It includes every soul that has uttered the kalimah with faith after the prophethood of Muhammad SallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Most significantly the anbiya, the shuhadaa, the siddiqeen, the saaliheen – those we know of and those we don’t know of. They pray for the ummah in their places of rest.
The ummah has as its members the awliyaa (those here and those who have changed their address). As for those still here, the world turns by their dhikr, and angelic wrath is stayed by their dhikr.
The ummah includes the men and women whose taubah is cause for the throne-bearers to beseech Allah for their forgiveness.
The ummah includes the scholars from the time of the companions of the Rasul all the way to the students struggling in their quest for more knowledge. They are the inheritors of the last and final Messenger.
The oral tradition is the greatest gift the ummah gives its individual members. Along with that comes the idea that while we may ask ourselves what we can do for the ummah – HIS ummah – we may each actually benefit more from asking the question: how can I benefit from HIS ummah?
So let’s ask the question. And let’s seek the answer. A great paradox lies in the nature of our attachment to his ummah, in realizing that the less worthy we think ourselves of being a part of his ummah, the more worthy we become of it.
And Allah knows best.