‘sabran jameelan’

It has been too long since I last wrote. I have been traveling, resting, absorbing, healing, wondering….Alhamdulillah! Being quiet as I try to come to grasp with life’s changes. Allah knows best and in this I have peace, and again, this too by the grace of the Almighty. Here is a poem written some time ago that a beautiful encounter with a kindred spirit this evening has prompted me to find and now to post. May you enjoy it! Love and peace to all.

Note: ‘sabran jameelan’ is an arabic phrase appearing in the Quran many times. ‘sabr’ means patience and ‘jameel’ is beautiful. As with many arabic words, the meaning is deeper than this especially when put together in the form of ‘sabran jameelan’. Though meaning a beautiful peace it is in an action form, meaning it is not a passive thing to achieve this or have this beautiful peace, but rather an active state requiring toil but completely at peace in beauty and a quiet state. It was the reply of the prophet Jacob when he was told by his other sons that they had lost his beloved son Joseph while out playing. The prophet Jacob knew the brothers were not telling the truth about the wolf having devoured Joseph story but did not say that. This story given in the 12th chapter of the Quran (chapter called ‘yusuf’, the arabic of ‘joseph’) is detailed, beautiful, profoud and the narrative differs in many ways so that Quranic form of it is unique. Anyways that long note was not meant to be so long, but I hope it helped. The phrase is found in other places in the Quran as well.

Sabran Jameelan

I find it hard to write in the old way, holding my pen
Dripped ink staining my cuticles
Pausing to think and write again and write again and think
While dipping my tip in to the ink pot to rejuvenate it.
It dried up while I was thinking.

But oh I need to, need to connect.
Can I in this modernity find the me that was
In my past, a simpler world, a truer me
Is that me yet.

Now music must play so I can hear myself think
And the soft patter of keys pressed is oddly comforting
The world is hard. Sabran jameelan. Sabran jameelan
In my old pen, I would write it in Arabic
And the formation of the curves of that majestic script soothing
Bringing closer the immensity
Of sabran jameelan.

Write in your soul, write everyday and no matter
What medium.
No matter what medium.

Sabran jameelan. It will end soon.

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