Wednesday, 31 October 2012

At the Gates

She is a traveler, backpack and all she
Needs is a window seat
Train riding smoothly and a book
Good enough to lose herself in

The same scene repeats every morning
She has money to spend and time to waste
She is the matron of the trees watching  them
Gracefully disrobe every fall with a blur
Of green to orange and eventually brown
Her feet up on the seat opposite
The decaf warms her palms
She shifts till she finds the little
Head shaped indent, her stamp on seat 32A

The cabin is empty save her and the conductor
Regardlessly he calls " Tickets please"
It is so easy ,to slip her hand into her left pocket
To rummage in her oversized abaya and-
He is standing, waiting, smiling as they do.
She has no ticket today.
And suddenly nothing else matters
She looks with the idle eyes of disbelief

I stand at the gates of paradise
I can see nobody but my own whimpering body
The raw nudity , the exposure , the judgment.
It is asked of me so my hand moves steadily
Placed so perfectly in this chest and yet
I never once did check , so sure of my foolish self
So evident that this superficial beating was just that
I stand amazed how could I let it be
That I stand at the gates of heaven
With no heart worthy of entry

The Day when neither wealth nor children shall profit, only he who comes before God with a sound heart
al-Shu'ara' 26: 88-9

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

The Eid Hangover

Strategic Eids involve abayas slipped off
Gently as the men leave for Jummah
It involves planning and precision
Close enough to escape upon their return
Sitting in such a way  that the view from the window
Is clear to you but not to them

Strategic Eids involve pulling back your scarf
From your chin so you can chew
This maneuver is only meant for the discrete
It is causally removing socks from a carrier bag
And slipping them on your once sandal ridden feet

Strategic eids are left palms faced down
So the red tint of henna is not revealed
It is forced smiles as you tug at the ends
Of your scarf and feign interest in the worn floor

I love my awkward eids.Al- hamdulilah

There are few things more harrowing
Than an after Eid hangover
It is that sickening feeling that
You lacked inhibitions last night
The one winged bird descends miserably
It is waking up on a sofa shoes on ,prayers missed-
No opportunity to eat beyond your fill
Blockbuster sermons still play
And you hope you'll vomit up last nights dead flesh
Still tired- all nighters of your pilgrimage
To London's after maghrib fitna

It is the day after Eid a celebration for muslims
A reward for all the submission with what
Two faced irony will you say al-hamdulilah

. Abu 'All Rowzbari has said,
"Fear and hope are like the two wings of a bird. If they are well balanced, the flight will be well balanced. But, If one is stunted, the Right would also be stunted. And, to be sure, if the two are lost, the bird will soon be in the throes of death."

Call out to Him with fear and hope.
Surat al-Araaf 7:56

... Nor backbite one another; would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would abhor it.
Qur'an 49:12

“Do not send out your cattle or your children when the sun sets until the blackness of the night descends, for indeed the Satans are sent forth when the Sun sets until the blackness of the night descends.”
Sahîh Muslim

Monday, 29 October 2012


“Waiting is painful. Forgetting is painful. But not knowing which to do is the worst kind of suffering.”

Time drains the blood from me
Who knew you could be lifeless but not quite dead?
These limbs are decaying within unfulfilled purposes
Known truly to but a few

My companionship is flawed due to
My own notion of morality
I am a child hoping somebody will cut
The rough corners off my life
I think that if you love me
You will take my burdens as your own
But these shoulders must feel the pain to live
I think that you will charge with steel armour
Into kingdoms unknown and fight the battle for me
I think that if you cared you'd talk to her
You'd find the words that I could never
The wisdom granted to your hands could rectify
The wrongs I have built up so sorrily

But I am wrong , twofold
You may still be the means but you
Cannot turn the hearts for
You are not God.
I have also come to realize that
On these rainy days you cannot sit
In my place and wait for her
And you can never forget the one you have not met.
This suffering is exclusively for me
These shoulders must fulfill their need
Because I was wrong.
And I forgive you for my lofty expectations
So my friend please, forgive me for them too.

Sunday, 28 October 2012


You destroy the things I love effortlessly,
With smirks and hands helping far too intimately
It is easy for you to talk to her for a few minutes too many
And your smiley faced emoticons say more than words ever could

It is simple for you to forget to call her
To forget promises made by the insignificant
Somehow you can't seem to remember why you loved her
As you spin her world between idle fingers poking
On facebook whenever it takes your fancy

It is quicker to dismiss her
Your generosity lets her keep all the
Emotional baggage trudged through the rain
Because it was so easy for you
So easy for the bile in you to spew
And your vile lying face destroys the things I love
And I am irate that after everything
The very mention of you has destroyed my poetry too

"He who swears by other than Allah, commits Kufr or Shirk."

"Do not come near Zina, for it is a shameful deed and an evil path."

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Text Messages

Part 1
All you ever needed was
One year and a poem
Our toils grow into characters
Insignificant when we find the
Bigger picture was never on the canvas

Our lives stretch beyond us
Our frames not quite blocking out the background
Why is it that the colors of your life find their way into mine
Like poorly washed paint brushes showing
Hints of a long gone artist

Part 2
I have tried to paint words onto your heart
My broad strokes lack finesse
The whitewash of night time prayers
Nothing worthy of a second coat
You bend your head to read
But it is jumbled and upside down

Who is this? You never remember
And I, never remind
Perhaps one day when I'm finished
When the colours have been supplied
Perhaps when this masterpiece has dried
You'll find my name 'I-tried' hidden in the corner
Perhaps when you've tired of
flicking the black ink, that is
Speckling your life

When a slave (a person) commits a sin (an evil deed) a black dot is dotted on his heart. Then if that person gives up that evil deed (sin), begs Allah to forgive him, and repents, then his heart is cleared (from that heart covering dot); but if he repeats the evil deed (sin), then that covering is increased till his heart is completely covered with it. And this is Ar-Ran that Allah mentioned (in the Quran),

“Nay! but on their hearts is the Ar-Ran (covering of evil deeds and sins) which they used to earn” (83:14)”

At-Tirmidhi, Vol 5 , Hadith No: 3334

Thursday, 25 October 2012


I tremble at my prayers
Grand nights and even grander dreams
My hope is such that it swells religiously
A porcelain cup collecting rain and tears just the same

It terrifies me that you have forgotten
To put the cup out tonight and that
Your collection is running dry
But I always have extra, enough
To fill your cup to the brim too

I fumble my lines because this
Bird's wings are clasped tight
So I press keys at midnight
Editing poetry on my phone
The difficulty gushes , winded
Do I dare press send

The best of nights,
Pink skies and blackness bright
I am assured the cup was filled
His mercy finding, woefully cupped
Hands that sought for you too
For you first
Your reply is unrecognized
Shards lodged in palms
And I, I am unable to comprehend
When will your heart perceive
The dryness , the thirst

“If you trust Allah completely, He will provide for you as He provides for the birds. In the morning they leave hungry and return full at the evening.”

There is at night an hour, no Muslim happens to be asking Allah any matter of this world or the Hereafter, except that he will be given it, and this (occurs) every night.'

'The best supplication is the supplication on the day of Arafat'.  
Tirmidhi and Malik

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Summer Eid

Eid is far too hot
For this Hijaabi in black socks

Conjuring memories of broken
Fans and men who indulge
Intoxicated by the spinning of hands
Drowning in their lost time,
As Zuhr slips off the edge
Of the sofa .
They've broken the remote.

I don't need pity  nor
Unintelligible lectures from the school of
Take it off they plead
I don't ask you to remove your clothing
in public spaces, So please don't ask me

Aunty, pleasant though your son may be
He is not my mehram ,is he?
That was back  in the day she says so flippantly
When cousins were  actually strangers

I am drowning too
In sweat and ignorance

...this day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion...
Surah Al-Maidah Verse 3

Forbidden to you are your mothers, daughters, sisters, paternal aunts, maternal aunts, brother’s daughters, sister’s daughters, your foster mothers who have given suckle to you, your foster sisters who have taken suckle with you, the mothers of your wives, the daughters of your wives whom you have brought up, the daughters of your wives with whom you have conjugal relations, and it is not sinful for you to marry their daughters (after having divorced them). Also forbidden to you are the wives of your sons who are from your loins, and it is unlawful for you to keep two real sisters as wives at one and the same time, though what has happened in the past is excepted, for Allah is indeed Forgiving, Merciful.
Surah Nisa

Tuesday, 23 October 2012


She is oranges and wide smiles all
Too sickly sweet for me and her
Vibrancy blinds theses eyes purposely
Because prodding beyond the surface
She weeps

Time has eroded her smile
Because everything is not as it seems
We are too preoccupied juggling
All the oranges in our life to see
The bitter white individuality

"those who give in times of both ease and hardship, those who control their rage and pardon other people - God loves the good-doers"
Quran 3:134

The Prophet Muhammad, Peace be upon him, said :
" Do not be people without minds of your own, saying that if others treat you well you will treat them well, and that if they do wrong you will do wrong. Instead, accustom yourselves to do good if people do good and not to do wrong if they do evil." 
Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 1325

Monday, 22 October 2012

Windows of Opportunity

The chemistry class window exposes
the sins of the outside
I have seen many a dodgy scene
Situated on a bench that looked innocent enough
Girls and guys with nowhere to hide find time and
Pseudo privacy amongst studies unachieved of
Examinations, answers unlearnt and those hands
That fumble will speak to the Mighty Questioner

We all know how the story goes ,
They see , they meet , they love for a time decreed
They break , everything, out of reach of
The paradise found beneath her feet
So heartbreak is just that, broken hearts scrawled
Across these open streets, where anything goes
Down paths leading anywhere but home

It is foggy today , I don't know why I
Always see these things but there is
Curly hair against the window
Need I say anymore

Windows of opportunity need to be
Run to and broken through with such
Force and clarity , that the glass of our reality
Shatters into untraceable pieces
Because the truth is in this life there are things
That need to be broken because they can never be fixed

“Stay with her(i.e your mother), for verily Paradise is beneath her feet.” 
Sunan An-Nasa'i, Book of Jihad, Number 3104, Sahih

Will you give up a relationship of 18 years for that of a few months
Omar Suleiman

'and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.
Surah Baqarah

Saturday, 20 October 2012

The Living Dead

Tell me something to make me smile,
I am sustained fully , the gravity of my indebtedness
Brings this forehead to the ground
And they say 'live a little' how about
A lot, Perhaps I don't want to live on Saturday nights
Perhaps I don't want to live on holidays and wedding nights
Night, nights, nights.
What ever happened to the day ?
Why can't I live when the sun shines , why must I die
Temporarily until the summer break
Momentous milestones come once in a while
Iman highs and iman lows , the instability of our souls
Is terrifying
They lie to me with photo-shopped smiles
trying to capture those infrequent not quite happy times
In wooden frames crucified against the walls
If from nine till five you suppress so heinously
The very fibre of your being to the background
Of your desktop, the chair didn't decide its life
So why us with man made goals that cannot define
Happiness, not achieved as we take the back seat
If this is what you call living
Then I grieve ,at the death,
Of hearts diseased

"Your smile for your brother is charity."
Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 3, Number 98

And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.

 "As for the one who disregards My message, he will have a miserable life, and we resurrect him, on the Day of Resurrection, blind."

Friday, 19 October 2012


The tables turn unexpectedly
I am guilty, ashamed of the sins
You commit so willingly

I have clogged this mind with lies
You pull at the strings I am tangled in
Till the knots stop the breathe,
I could pass out any minute
My body has decided it's easier that way

I am crying out for help and these bitter
Words of 'you've done enough' is not enough
My limbs contort , I don't want to feel anymore
I am crying dry tears, she's ripped the oomph from my ribs
I know that nobody can help  because she is sewn
Uniformly in and out of my life,
By the Lord of the Friday rain,
Through ways that this broken heart cannot ascertain
Give us peace-complete,and ease, of the mind and eyes again

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

100 Rainfalls

Tentative hands break the surface of this backstreet puddle
Realizing it's murky and really not that deep
I am a mass of tears collecting,
Being held together by thin wisps of
Nothingness, waiting for
Brief moments of peace because the free fall
The hurtle to the ground is silent, easy

Am I the rain or is the rain me?
This companionship spans like wet ink
Smudging the words of a familiar page
I don't remember much anymore just that
It rains when I try, it always rains...

I am reminded of you
In the way those spontaneous circles jump and fade
The way you jump in and out of my life strangely and
How I remember you most when the sun is shining
My vision bright, my vision dangerously clear

I try to absorb it all today
I realize our misunderstood friendship
As the water drips from the umbrella to my feet
To witness these rainfalls behind glass panes
Pains me back to dreams, to dreams
Of abayas glistening and mad smiles at the sky
But what good is emotion ,feeling in solidarity
I want to be a raindrop falling in unison, falling
With grand hopes of mercy and clean streets

Courtesy of the-not-so-anon Anon

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Medicine and Muslims

His office is adorned with certificates and recognitions, he calls from his leather backed chair . One by one he calls them his consultations are naturally confidential. It is the same routine, they tell him their symptoms and he listens patiently, nodding knowingly occasionally. The same distressed restless faces meet him every Monday morning. One though , stands out in particular...
" Have you noticed anything else?"
" No , no that's about it. It's been troubling me for quite some time though"
"I understand. Unfortunately, this a clear case of chronic neglection probably stemming from Cardiomyopathy.
"Oh I see. That doesn't sound good at all Doctor. What's going to happen to me?"
" No, please don't worry too much . It should be fine you'll need to take a regular dose of..."
"No , I refuse"
"What you refuse?"
"Yes , I refuse . I'll take as much or as little medication as I want whenever I want"
"What on earth ? Perhaps you'd like a glass of...
"Umm sorry. Why do you keep refusing everything I offer you "
" Look I'm not listening to you!"
"But Mr Abdullah your sitting in my office, its my job to help you"
" Your not even a real Doctor . I don't believe in you!"
" I think you need to calm down . These symptoms seem like a direct result of your illness . I mean if you'd just think through this logically. You called me a doctor less than five minutes ago , my qualifications are evident " He indicates to the frames on the wall " and I'm only prescribing medication that is proven to work. I really don't understand what the problem is ..."

Oh you who have attained to faith! Fasting is ordained for you as it was ordained for those before you, so that you might remain conscious of God
Al Baqarah 2:183

"are not My signs rehearsed to you but you treat them as falsehood”
Quran 23:105

”verily in this is a message for any that has a heart and understanding or who give ear and is a witness”
Quran 50:37

Monday, 15 October 2012

To Cool the Flames

Your sin has broken me
This tongue is filled with knots
Tighter and tighter blue in the face
Your commotion has woken this soul
To such a degree that I now lack
A body for these limbs flail randomly
I'm left muttering words of
'I don't know what to do'
I cannot compute the rulings
For the context is you ,you and your
Loud boisterous sins , these knuckles bleed
As I knock fervently on that door
Let me in , I plead let me in
I will wake one day to read headlines
Girl burns herself to death
They couldn't find remains of her
Internally combusted soul
That day I will note how
The scars on my knuckles don't fade

Sunday, 14 October 2012

The Cloak of Death

It is hard to write about death in a meaningful way
It is so intricately connected to us , interwoven
Into the state of our being that to find it we would
Have to unpick ourselves stitch by stitch watching as
The short threads of our lives fall to the ground
When our memories fade and are made vivid all the same
The moment when you can answer the final question
But there is no more time left , it is definite with grains
Of sand falling the hour glass of our life turned
It is clear to see the days pushing past each other
Through the narrow gap of now
Death comes to us all , asleep or awake
These hands tremble as I reassemble threads
Knotted, to clothe myself for
A day when we will all stand exposed

Ibn Abbas (radi Allahu anhu) narrated that the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said:
“When Allah drowned Firaun, he said (while drowning), ‘I believe that there is no God but He in whom the Children of Israil believe.’Jibreel said to me, ‘O Muhammad! If you could have seen me when I took the mud from the sea and shoved it into his mouth, fearing that the mercy of Allah might save him.’”

Fallen for a Hijaabi

Scarf piled high on the head  with a hint of neck
The lashes , the lips the detail unneeded
You've got a bee in your bonnet about this girl
You make haste to talk to her strengthened by
False justifications and assumptions made wrongly

She's not that religious
She was crying silently before dawn
For change, for forgiveness she is tired
Of living this way she searches out
The early hours before the darkness of her grave
She doesn't really know  and so
Wraps it the only way she has seen
She may not look the part but her heart
Is getting there slowly

I love her
You claim infatuation with her
Actions and her speech,
Everything about her is exactly what you seek
Only with her would your life be complete
Then why do you destroy her...
Will you rip her from her loftiness
Break the soul she trained in two
Will you respect her decisions or
Take as hostage her  tender heart
Do you lust or do you love ?
Your desires are a fire burning everything in their path
You are rubbing black ash against her face
You love the character which you tarnish
You love her grace , disgraced through your undue haste

You have fallen for a hijaabi
Through black and white you seek grey
Excuses made and rejected by the truth
You have fallen for a hijaabi
Will you in your haste, make her fall too?

Saturday, 13 October 2012


I have recorded the introduction , the plot line
Entangled in this story the bookmark dangles on the edge
Sometimes I think it won't end that the storyline is unwritten but
It isn't . I'm just waiting for the chance to read the ending .
I return to prayers for sneak previews when  the child within me tires of waiting
Because her face, her story jumps out to me .
I wrote that I was the protagonist but I'm just here to fill the space
Perhaps this sidelined character could say something profound could be in the A list scene
But no. It feels as though these cliffhangers are too real , that this interlude
Is giving time for the obscene to multiply . But, no. I trust the author to do justice
Who am I to question the progression having missed so many chapters
The final view has been envisioned by a most merciful scribe and if still I seek the intercession
To request with humble hands alternate endings then I must find the most responsive time
When my words in faith have made me tender and through your mercy I survive

Sad Poetry

I need sad poetry like other people
Need tea in the afternoon
It burns my tongue as I write
Leaving it numb which is good
As I talk far too much
And in hindsight my happiness seems
Unnatural and misplaced
Sad poetry brings me back down to reality
Where pain exists and this life of toil is it
And my sadness is a murky green stream
Black water glides quickly over stones and
Dead leaves are falling , trees are bare , exposed
There is beauty for those who seek it, such that
These verses fail to grip
For the view from this train is fast decaying
As we travel beyond our place
To where my poetry beckons to me
It is but a reminder of our sorrows
So that in tomorrow we may confide
The day, oh glorious day,
when that stream of  distress runs dry

Friday, 12 October 2012


There is a hook in the top drawer by the mirror,
Wrapped in off white thread and from its tail grows
An unfinished kufi crocheted.

I deliberated much on what to make him.
If he was a girl frilly frocks would look so cute
And for a time I settled on baby shoes but alas he did not have
Two left feet as the looping of this thread lacked the expertise.
A bib made lovingly with these hands would do but
I couldn't bear to have my labour of love dribbled on.

So I though about his gift like you would do a name,
Something he could live up to , that encourages with sweet whispers
Of I have hope in you.
This Kufi was meant to be a gift that was too big
For his wide eyed head to fit into.
This kufi was meant for him aged 22 standing in front of
The kabaah on the 27th night of Ramadan leading taraveeh.

The thing about dreams is they take you to places unexpected,
They are a culmination of thoughts, feelings, actions and raised palms
We hold onto them in the quiet moments because
The world and everything in it is beneath the decree
It is when we turn to God , hurt and bruised for things greater
Than you or I, There are times in life when we must clean these worn eyes
To see the world as it really is, it is then I wonder
For that little boy asleep in a hospital bed
And I will dream for him tonight.
Of kufis and tranquility.

That Boy

Did they train you to irritate me?
A couple of years being taught the art
Of rejecting a reasonable request ,
Special offer courses nobody took apart from you in
How to disrespect, the female population and religion in under five minutes.
Building up your strength in ignorance by resisting the urge to open a book
Anime watching marathons built up a sweat, wiped away
In a drunken haze, by the singing of foreign songs and the sound of excessive laughter

She said you used to be depressed, that you've been through a lot
And I believe her and I've cried and tried to pray for you
But now that we're together, she continues, he's happier.
It is at that moment the truth has been deformed , exaggeration
For a purpose shaped by these cleverly worded mis-truths
He would say that wouldn't he , he's not really going to say
That he's more depressed since he met you ,
Did nobody tell you the rules to this game
No wonder your losing everything as you play

He is the abrupt end to joyful Fridays
Like the anti-Christ he is curly haired tribulation.
The turn out was good this Jummah but I'm ashamed to say
I do not wait for her , there was a time with every turn of the handle
I  saw her walking through but those dreams are no longer
Because she is patting the hair on his head , I see
From the opposite side of this street which is readily
Becoming the bane of my life and I do not have it in me
To harbor this much hatred and disgust and cannot even fathom
To say anything to him except words I know he'll understand
'fix up if you call yourself a man'

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Forgetting People

How am I supposed to forget you
When I find you everywhere
Squeezed awkwardly between the lines of my poetry
Your number still saved on my phone with that picture of
A rainbow drawn skillfully from midnight conversations
That ended abruptly , for one reason or another
And I try as they say to move to a better place
So I sit on a rocking chair in this mansion in my mind
Sipping milk with some pseudo intellectualism I adopted
On this journey that no longer keeps me company.
There is a compost heap outside in the
Corner of the garden behind the Tulip tree.
Here sits that little bit of knowledge idly waiting
Burning up under the scrutinizing sun.
I look out of the window , it is lonely here.

You are scrawled  in reminders to meet up and
Messages saved in the drafts left unsent,
I find you in the way she speaks, weird connections
Hurt me, mayonnaise will never be the same
Get over it. I don't even know what I'm climbing
Are you the wall ? Or are you on the other side or left behind?
To inadvertently neglect you is something I cannot do willingly.

Reversible Friendship

I catch her in the rain ,blue scarfed walking alone,
It took 10 minutes to befriend her , for a  lifetime
I can say I knew the girl in blue ,just not her name.

It feels as if the speed by which we meet is slower than
The speed by which we depart . I remember a face of 6 years
Just about placing the features right.
Our departure came in strange ways , I watch as
the metaphorical train takes you oblivion and I
Open mouthed do not quite muster the strength to say goodbye

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Naseeha:One Liners

I want to tie the camels properly
My panic stricken hands fumble because I lack the rope
So I push the huge mass gently against the palm tree of another
Holding it there , hoping that when these hands move , it won't

God gave me this camel minus the rope.
Perhaps it is buried beneath these dunes of sin
I pray for the will to find it until then I pray for mercy
That I have done enough because as my hands move away
My trust in this here camel fades because ultimately it all belongs to God.

Misdirected Prayers

She screams in a blood ridden agony from the
Top step of the stairs, hunched , breath catching
In her mouth as the soul pounds from her chest.
"I'm going to die" she says so matter-of-factly
She cannot escape, as she awaits her blistering shell
Of a body to awake and her limbs cold and bloodless
Pump faith to keep her alive

The next day tears fall for somebody else
I prioritize the hurt, ignoring nights staring at ceilings
Remembering how much I wanted to get up and say goodbye.
No, I don't cry for her . My tears I reserve for another because I
Cannot comprehend both so I sit once they've left the building,
Crying as if its my job, as if I'm getting paid, as if it will change.

She was a bruised body whose pain cleansed her for eternity
The other is sin , sin that rots her innards as the heart bleeds internally
Her life will fall dismally into a grave squeezing forcefully so
I request to save the latter.
I plead, not because of her life but
Because her being alive may depend on it

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Personal Sins

The elaboration of pain brings little
In the way of ease, it systematizes and
Contextualizes actions into places
I wish I had never been

You are unanswered messages behind
A blank void of a screen and lost formalities
Ignoring a call which my throat was too weak
To verbalize properly

You are bodies too close together and
Music whose lyrics intoxicate into a sleep
The slumber keeping us from prayer
The slumber whose lucid dreams you seek
Yes, you are movies on replay while books
Lay unopened at the sandal-clad  feet
You are Japanese cartoons, pastime of the fools
No shyness in the truth , that your measly
Addictions are breaking you limb from limb
Perhaps you can look me in these two red, swollen eyes
And still clutch to those desires and whims
Your sin is so interconnected with you that you claim absurdly
That Quran is judging you , that sunnah is but a man and
The times have moved beyond a decree set for worldly eternity

I am ripping you stitch by stitch because this
Gnarly mutated limb is not your own and
I am screaming let go but you point accusingly
"Your hands are red"

My palms are filled with blood, sometimes
It feels that I am cupping the life you throw so readily
Watching it drop miserably , trying to return it,
To explain but you don't want to understand

I try to pray with these full hands ,
I know the answers are descending
But the stench of blood overwhelms
I am stained, confused, where do I even begin?

Saturday, 6 October 2012


It is 8:19 and the car stops briefly
A boy, 17, eyes grounded his breath
Heavy , uneasy. He is the
stereotypical stranger with hands
In the pockets of his hoodie and
A nervous bounce to his step
His rough shaven demeanor holds
As his right hand grips a cigarette

It is 1:40, the talk wraps up neatly
'Can you move forward please because
some people are waiting in this makeshift lobby'
They move and continue with formalities
And again he requests 'just a couple left'

It is at that moment I glimpse through
Partitions that serve to look good
The boy, I am sure, the latest of the late
Climbing over people to find a space
I am angry.

It is moments like this that hurt me.
His life is unchanged.
We hold opportunities and messages
To relate, but we fail
We take the practical and make it less so
And wonder why these souls reaching out
To this Friday clinic do not practice
When we left them without a script

Friday, 5 October 2012

The Second Jammat

We are self absorbed, so fixated on
Actions losing meaning slowly not
Comprehending messages yet trying
To strive for lives beyond our stride

I am a spectator ion watching  bonds
Forming between the unseen and man.
It is not silence but ease upon the hearts
Weighing heavily on feet that stand in line

This silent congregation is bizarre and
To witness 60 people-not one dares to speak
Well except the khateeb who instructs militarily with
Precision shooting hearts down into ruku
Concisely comes the truth

There are times in life when answers
Do not do justice to questions and it is
When heads reach the ground and the
Sound 'thudum' resonates perhaps
A delay between brothers and the sisters
Perhaps this Mexican wave of heads eludes me
But beyond the glass walls I heard 'thudum' indeed
So I believe that was the final heart beat before
A silence so complete
For verses broke the mountains and now
We fall in imitation for a promised elevation
My second jammat observation has taught me

Thursday, 4 October 2012


Stories spin rapidly into one another
We are distraught at the description but
The teller is laughing indifferently
She talks of dreams of black and
Screams at night time and fears that
Boil over and scald her as she recites
Verses to quench the pain
A bystander worries
'I will pray for you'
But quickly adds
'What is your name?'

I laugh a joyful laugh
It reminds me just the same
The time of pre-ramadan dates
Just before iftaar and I asked
Naming one by one
The sisters that I love
'Saliah' I say and pause
I don't know a Saliah but
Here she is in the middle of my prayers
If God is not stingy with what he grants
Then why should I be as I pray for all the Saliahs
of today the future and buried in history

Our prayers are nameless sometimes
They come from the pits of our being
Where the kind hearted masked hero
Is all we know but it is enough
So pray for the faceless souls
Who have painted broad strokes onto
The canvas of our life
So pray and wash the brushes
Complete the masterpiece
Before we die

Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said, "When a man makes another his brother he should ask him his name, his father's name and the stock from which he comes, for it binds friendship more closely."

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

It is Near

The Story of My Life Part III

It stopped raining once I was outside. So the umbrella sat idly in my oversized abaya pockets .I wasn't really planning on using it anyhow, unless, the non existent downpour was threating me with pneumonia.

The path to the gate was long and overcrowded and our conversation seemed to fill the space. It's strange how fulfilling a moment can be yet how quickly it can fade. I can't really recall what we were saying just that it felt comforting, easy to say, as if wind was blowing through our throats not making a sound as such but its presence still known.

It has been 4 months and counting since I've spoken to her, bar a salaam carried by a mutual friend, but then I guess that doesn't count. In my naivety I found ease in not hearing about her, like a child believing the world physically disappears if it closes its eyes. Though , these eyes were open to see progress, no touching ,as if it deserved a Nobel Prize , as if this achievement was unparalleled and perhaps it could have been but it was short lived in its nature.

This heart though it strives is not that of a martyr , nor someone particularly truthful or righteous for that matter . This heart types. I let it type, I give it time because it is reassuring to know that it is alive. At that moment that immense love , that 'I will always forgive you no matter what' attitude faded . I couldn't feel saddened that she is tumbling down dead ended paths. No, not even anger at what she had done. Just nothing. The kind of nothing that seeps and covers everything . It's like a blanket on the heart saying sleep and though it is easier that way and though the whole world says give up and walk away , I can't or rather I don't want to.

There is blessing in the lack of rain on this head.God has shown me how much I can love by restricting that gift . It's like donating blood, they pull back the syringe slowly and you wonder how much longer it will be prolonged.Then you realize how quickly the blood flows , how easily and readily our souls pour forth. So I wonder if this numbing is the removal of the syringe and the soreness of the skin beneath . I wonder how much benefit that outburst of my blood will bring . I do not think that I would let my heart type if I didn't witness the blood spill all that time ago.

O my Lord! Expand me my breast; Ease my task for me; And remove the impediment from my speech, so they may understand what I say
 Surah Ta-Ha; 20:25-28

Part I, Part II, To be forgiven

Blogs that Die

I guess, in my naivety that
I have found death within the screen
It is reading entries from 2008
And watching your comments waste away
I am connected to your writing and I see it all
From your point of view so
Breathtaking , revitalizing and  new
Yet cracked old advice though wise disappears
Because it is a shame that us human beings love
What we cannot have and our longing spreads
Thinly across the ground like ice and
My elephant steps crack the glass
Even I in my simplicity know that it is gone
But I wait in cold waters that perhaps the snow
Will fall on this head and numb it all with
One more stanza just because I seek it

"And Remind for verily a reminder benefits the believer"

Tuesday, 2 October 2012


You were not on a pedestal but
A whole 'nother level and our words
Have fallen short it seems
I have verbalized dreams wrongly. I am sorry.
You have the right to speak but please
I want to hear the heart because
No matter what the simplicity of that beat
Will always rise above the music we
have made for ears who listen unwillingly
So I hate the pompous shell but wait
That perhaps the tide shall reveal
The hidden pearl beneath

 Malik related to me from al-Walid ibn Abdullah ibn Sayyad that al-Muttalib ibn Abdullah ibn Hantab al-Makhzumi informed him that a man asked the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, "What is backbiting?" The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "It is to mention about a man what he does not want to hear." He said, "Messenger of Allah! Even if it is true?" The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "If you utter something false, then it is slander."  
Sahih Muslim

Centre of Attention

It surprises me the dishonesty of those who speak
About things they should have knowledge of but
Have none except the way to package the box

And us , I ask incredulous at how
We are all ears for words that multiply
The interest is running high to empty.
Her words are in abundance though ,few know,
They lack the very substance that
Could alter the listeners lives because I
Won't listen, My hands have tired of
Ripping the paper and pealing cello-tape
Like hidden meanings only to find
Hollow cardboard staring back at me
As if to say, At least this entertained you for a time

Monday, 1 October 2012

Loose Camels

We are waiting indefinitely for
Grandiose dreams to materialize
And for the plot line of our life to fall
Into places that burst beyond the frame
For the protagonist of this story is stuck
In the same chapter , line, sentence so
Afraid to dot the end of eras and begin anew
And though the voices loved call out again
They are drafts edited beyond recognition
Ambition fused the light bulbs above our heads
As minds deteriorate with the dust of this familiar place
Travelers beneath the tree beyond the need for shade

Yes, we wait indefinitely for change
To the banknotes, that these lazy hands never gave