If you hadn’t…

If you hadn’t made me strong my Lord,
I would not have been able to resist

If you hadn’t made me just my Lord,
I would not have been able to stand-up

If you hadn’t made me kind my Lord,
I would not have been patient

If you leave me for a moment my Lord,
I will be destroyed.

***
Copyright Joymanifest
Continue reading “If you hadn’t…”

Ramadan rhymes -2

Now adjusted to the fast
Yet tired, the body
has lost weight and is lite

Uncluttered body
Now able to see, what it is
to behold God, even a glimpse
caught through long nights of prayer

Ramadan nights
Are passing, over half are gone
But the soul is refreshed

Re-acquainted soul
With it’s pristine first state
filling with new energy
knowing again the meaning of life

Heart growing lite
Heart glowing light

Ramadan days are raining on this scorched earth.
***

The Quran soothes
It’s primordial rhythm resonates
With the atoms in my brain
As I sing and sing again
Sura after sura
caresses the tongue
calms the heartbeat
delights the ears

Hours spent reciting
Wash away all the doubting
In the grace of God Almighty
The one, the all powerful, the only
Why worry when
All you need is trust
that God will not
let you fall

No other Effector
Come, return to your Benefactor
To the One waiting Lord
The Overseeing Nourishing Lord
And His beloved
Messenger, our beloved too.
sent to teach,
An example,
A Mercy, to the worlds.

May my brothers and sisters be
Increasing in that certainty
which Ramadan is here to deliver
Rejoice, for now and forever
No need for sorrow
With faith, bright is every tomorrow
And today
Is a blessed gift

Precious these hours
Preparatory hours
To that time
When we return
To whence we came.
That glorious place of Peace

***

Ramadan rhymes

Simple rhymes to share this beautiful time of dawn…Assalamu alaikum warahmatullah

***

Subhahanallahi wabihamdihi
Words that fill the scales
Said my beloved prophet
Who I long to meet…inshAllah soon
It will be. On that great day
When my scale I fervently pray
Will be filled with
Subhahanallahi wabihamdihi

***

The stomach moans and groans
My senses are numbed with the pain
I count the hours until
My throat can feel the cool rain
Of water..truly
The barren earth is brought to life,
The sun sets and the call rings out
Come to prayer, come to salvation, come to success, come to joy
Come, come!
And so a day’s fast necessary to know what it means to be saved
And to know…
Give, give, to those who are waiting for your aid
A wandering soul finds rest
Taught by a merciful Lord
How to forget the self
For this brief twelfth of a year, to be sanctified.

***

The moon so soft, the faintest crescent
shyly peeps before descending
Oh so gently greets
This bounteous month
Heralding
A peaceful time of prayer and service
It is Ramadan, days resplendent
With God’s glorious kindness
and angels walking among us
Greet your neighbour and share
The time will pass quickly, beware
May it bring you opportunity to polish your heart
Clean your soul and refresh your spirit
May you once more, be whole

****

Peace to all my brothers and sisters this blessed month.

Our Beloved

There were many things I wanted to write of today. How glorious the sun was in this stunningly beautiful city I am very blessed to call home and then how peaceful to walk to my car with a dear colleague as it set, a long day’s work behind me. Was it hard to spend a Sunday at work? Yes (no false pretense here)! But then a satisfied peace to finish a project and a gladness knowing the blessing of having the time to spend in such mashaAllah. But I doubt the day would have been as peaceful and purposeful except for listening to a beautiful youtube video from a dear sister I ‘follow’. She was posting a give-away from her business to honour the prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) as this is the month of his birthday. The give-away was two CDs, one of which is the poem of Imam Busari, the ‘Burdah’. Famous in the Muslim world it celebrates the prophet in beautiful poetry and repeats many times the refrain translated

‘O my Lord send peace and blessings upon your beloved
The best and perfect of creation that you’ve created’

She mentioned a particular rendition of it, that by the Fez singers in Morocco and mashaAllah it was that beautiful feeling of sharing something precious, rather of being reminded of something precious by a dear one, when she spoke of the peace she felt in her heart listening to it. I then realized I had it all along with me and instead of the barrage of other music I listen to while I work (big lover of music here mashaAllah:) ), let me soothe my heart listening to this great work and drawing close to our beloved Muhammed today.
MashaAllah the entire day was good after that and what could have been a disastrous time after a very hard night before turned in to one of beauty.

As our beloved master taught us ‘God is beautiful, and He loves beauty’. That perhaps why, great music, like great art, beautiful surroundings, draw one closer to God.

Much more to say on that note, but before I go on too long, I wanted to share this poem, written a long time ago, close to or during one Ramadan. But perhaps apt to share now as it was inspired by listening to the Burdah of Imam Busari (raheemahullah). Also last night the moon was full and beautiful and I remembered the prayer of the prophet of God that he would say whenever beholding the moon, ‘O Moon, as thou dost worship Allah, so do I’. What immense love our prophet must have exhibited for Allah, and how immensely Allah did and does love Him back. This then perhaps the reason for the Quranic command upon the believer to send salutations upon the prophet. And so I thank my dear sister, so sharing her thoughts, Alhamdulillah the barakah has spread very far!

Here is the poem, it is written as one feels, a child by the Messenger, a wise and beautiful loving Guide. May we all be blessed to meet Him one day in peace. Allah Kareem!

O My Lord send peace and blessings on your Beloved

Maula ya salli wasallim Muhammed

‘O my Lord send peace and blessings upon your beloved
The best and perfect of creation that you’ve created’

Ramadan approaches and I remember my prophet,
More than ever, he walks with me
In front of me and I trot to keep up with his stride
So fast and steady, going to meet his enemy
Walking upon your work. O My Lord, send blessings on your beloved.

Ramadan is nigh and I remember my prophet
His hand is on my head, and all my pain has disappeared
I close my eyes and a great peace enters my heart
As his hand strokes my hair, I raise my eyes to his kind face
And everything is alright. O My Lord, send peace on your beloved.

Ramadan is here and I remember my prophet
He jokes and gently laughs, in breaks in the long night prayer
His feet swell as the hours pass and his beard becomes soaked with tears
I follow him in the prayer and stand with him. My soul in salaam
A great joy in worshiping Thee. O My Lord, elevate your beloved.

Elevate your beloved, my beloved Rasullullah. How I miss him.

Copyright 2011. JoyManifest’s Blog. F R Zahir.

And one rendering of the Burdah, a very short part of it, below. For your listening pleasure! 🙂

What happened to Poetry…

It’s been a few days since I last wrote. The post Ramadan blues have hit and taken a few days to re-adjust to not having the disciplined ways that brought such closeness to the God-head. I see now the other realm of blessing in having the 6 days of fasting in Shawwal such a strong advice. Indeed, fasting again in Shawwal would remind what Ramadan was all about. And would help cement the (hopefully) newly found better habits of Ramadan.

But Alhamdulillah, today, while baking some goodies to take to work tomorrow (sharing Eid spirit..yay!) I came across this gem of a short talk by Hamza Yusuf. Talking about the place of poetry. It reminded me of the love of literature born in those long gone days of schooling when a teenager. Sitting in those classroom open to the breeze from the Indian ocean and listening to teachers from an old school, spinster teachers who dedicated their life to being ‘our second mothers’…beautiful generous souls whose piety transcended religion, who loved God, and loved humanity and served endlessly. How blessed I was to be taught by them. To have known them. I guess growing up in an island forgotten by the world (yes, even despite desperately needing assistance to end a brutal civil war) had its advantages. I may be old fashioned, but I sure do thank God for my old fashioned education! My English literature teacher, in her seventies at the time, still wearing frocks as they wore in the 40s… who used to walk about the school premises and feed the cats milk in saucers.. My English literature teacher, who taught me to be compassionate to prostitutes through a Beatle’s song, who taught me to see the love of a civilization in the music of a guitar, who taught me to love truth and be courageous in fighting falsehood.. how blessed I was to have her. Stumbling across this talk reminded me of those days, reading Shakespeare, reading the Quran slowly everyday, pondering deeply. How much poetry there is in the Quran. How much truth. Indeed it is all truth. And real poetry speaks universal truths.

The written word is magical. And so God swears by the pen, by language, by reading.. in the first revealed words. ‘Iqra’! Read!

I had many wise things to say, but rather than bore you with pithy cliches, let me just link here the fabulous talk and hope you all get to watch it. Please do.

And I’ll copy one of my favourite poems of all time too 🙂

‘I had no time to hate, because
the grave would hinder me,
And life was not so ample I,
could finish enmity.

Nor had I time to love, but since
some industry must be
The little toil of love, I thought,
Was large enough for me’
– Emily Dickinson