Al-Tariq – the night visitor

Assalamu alaikum, peace be with you!

This was written a few days ago and I think inspired by the wonder that is looking at the stars. It is always beguiling to me, amazing, stupendous, incredible…that the light that touches my retina from each star left that star millions of light years ago. I often wonder how those self same stars I am casting my sight upon are at the moment I am looking at them. One chapter or sura of the Quran is called al-Taariq’. ‘taariq’ is translated as ‘the night visitor’. There are various interpretations on what that really means, but one I really love is that it is the light from the stars. More commonly it is considered to mean ‘the evening star’ or ‘venus’. However, it is a beautiful word (a popular name for Boys too in the Muslim world) and has several layers of meaning. What is it about the light of stars that draws us closer to home? Coming from the extraterrestrial, it seems to pierce through our bodies and journey deep to where our soul lies inside, to remind us…perhaps of where we are heading to…

 

Al- Tariq

 

My home calls me
In whispered breath that escapes
When a blade of grass is bent
By some unknowing child’s caressing hand
Eager to pick a dandelion flower
And blow those petals away
On the arms of a waiting wind

My home calls me
In tears that lace my lower eyelid
Not strong enough to flow and wet
A cheek bathed in soft moonlight
As I stare at distant planets
Visible as drops of piercing light
Retina welcomes this transcendent visitor

My home calls me
In that knowing gleam in the eye
Of the lone stork that came to sit
On the very tip of the weeping willow
By the shores of a small hidden pond
In a park by the ocean where
I went to walk to soothe my aching heart

My home calls me
And O my Lord, you are my only witness
How gloriously rich to have
My home’s master
be my constant Guide and closest Confidant
It eases this parting and I am joyful
Knowing I would not be here except You willed it so

Ah, but my home calls me
And its call cannot be drowned out but
By the mirthful chatter of tedious yet necessary
fleeting pleasure. So happy then are days
Balanced between summer joys and winter suns
Happy to live and living not forget
That happier home to which I am every day
Drawing closer.

 

***

Copyright Joymanifest 2013

 

Ramadan nights

Ramadan nights are penseive
Waiting for the angels to arrive
Bearers of glad tidings
To souls who never lost hope in the promise of their Lord.

Ramadan nights are peaceful
With a peace beyond man’s realm
Descends a greater good
To tranquil the wayward ego and
souls then in grateful joy.

Ramadan nights. Oh what will I do
My Lord if I have to live past them
Grant me then
The witness of another Ramadan
Let the hours between be as if an inconsequential moment.

***
Joymanifest (c)

Between two books of signs

 

Between the two books

 

Ayaat*, signs, envelope me

Stars and planets, earth and sky

Every drop of water in every great river

Flowing to meet the sea

Every cell in every body

Pulsating to some internal decree

DNA is a wonder

Mathematical modeling encoding life

Music, numbers in motion

All bound by the time-space continuum

All knowledge spiraling upward, upward

Like some unrelenting stream

Taking the disciple to an eternal ocean

Of oneness, one to one

You to your Creator

Me to the same

You and me and all that exists and ever did exist

All to Allah

Transcending time.

So these signs in the book

Rain from the sky

Verdant tree, bury your head in the ground

To stand tall. Sujood*

Roots connected to the earth

Your Lord will teach you.

Between two books of signs

The one you hold in your hand, you recite, you read, you revere

The other all around you, birds and trees, mountains and seas

All within you, your every cell and sinew, proclaim

God is one, God is one, God is one

You are a living proof, you cannot escape

One day I will join you, our streams joining to one ocean

Before the Creator, realization

Signs brought to final fruition

 

Image

***

Copyright Joymanifest 2013

 

*ayaath = plural of ‘ayah’, meaning a sign. see below

*sujood = arabic word meaning ‘prostration’. The pose within the prayer, when we put our forehead to the ground. We say the slave is closest to the Lord during this pose in the prayer. We also believe that all of creation, whether animate or inanimate is in a constant state of worship to God. Not to be fluffy, rather theologians say this as all of creation is obeying natural laws; of physics, chemistry etc. and to obey these laws is to be in a state of worship. Some scholars say that trees manifest their constant worship simply by the way they exist..likening their root system to the human brain synapses…the roots buried in the ground are the trees in ‘sujood’ :). So then when your head is in the ground, is when you find most peace. Muslim theologians go on to say that as mankind has free-will, man is given the choice of whether to worship or not..whether to be in tune with the signs or not…and when he is in tune, he finds complete peace (as he is fulfilling his purpose) and if not, finds discord in his soul.

 

This poem is inspired in part by the arabic word for the verses in the Quran, each verse is called an ‘ayah’ which literally means a ‘sign’, and the commonly used English translation ‘verse’ is really a misnomer. However it was likely used as it is easier for people to understand ‘verses’ in a book rather than ‘signs’ making up a book :). Peace to you all, Assalamu alaikum

Moons outshine stars

Moons outshine stars

And the sun outshines them all

I stay awake at night

and in the days am bathed

by light upon light

in the night, am enveloped

with cool breezes of mercy

 

Closeness with my Beloved

fills my heart and all other pales

as it should

for ‘truth stands clear from error

and whoever has grasped the handhold of God

knows that it will never break’

– Copyright Joymanifest.com (C) 2013

***

A little verse I wanted to share, there is truly no tranquility except the tranquility of knowing one’s Lord and being at one with THE ONE. The last lines are derived from one of the most celebrated verses in the holy Quran given below. Thought I’d post it up. May it lighten your day and bring you closer to the source.

Peace to all. Assalamu alaikum

2:256
Yusuf Ali Interpretation

Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things.

 
Quran (2:256)