Rabi Al Awwal, 2020

I could not visualise Rasul Allah with my mind

Rather my insight just thrived with the thought of Rasul Allah

I could not attune to Rasul Allah with my melodies

Rather my hearing improved with the tunes of Rasul Allah

I could not describe Rasul Allah perfectly with my prose

Rather my prose was perfected with the description of Rasul Allah

I could not send prayers and peace upon Rasul Allah

Rather the prayers and peace sent me to the shores of Rasul Allah…

“I could praise Muhammad (sws) with my words

Rather my words were made praiseworthy by Muhammad (sws)

(homage to Hazrat Hassan bin Thabit radi Allahu Anhu)

A Tribute To Rabi Al Awwal: The Story of the Trench

With a strike on the rock!

And the lights appeared!

And a smite on the block!

There’s no grief or fear!

In the fifth of the year

Deep in the Shawwal

Stirring hearts dug a trench

By the great Dhubab

Enemies far and near

Were conspiring high

To destroy the new faith

To observe it die

Outnumbered, facing death

Odds did not look good

But the hope did not die

And the Prophet stood

With a strike on the rock!

And the lights appeared!

And a smite on the block!

There’s no grief or fear!

Continue reading

Joe And His Technicoloured Servers

Dear Father,

I don’t have much time, my sentencing is in a few days, so I will cut to the chase. I am sorry for not speaking to you or Benjamin throughout all of this. I have sent him a separate note… But now that I’ve had some time to think, I want to tell you about recent events from my point of view; from the way I have experienced things; in contrast to the secondary tales from social media (like The Net- I have much to say about them later).

As you know, your son, my older brother, has been spreading the news that I was attacked by a wolf and that I may never return. The wolf of insanity. He has told you all that he tried to help me, but I was dragged away by this fiend.

Continue reading

Rihla 1997 and 1998: Paradigm Shifts in Nottingham and Fez

For me, a first year BA English Literature student at Kingston University in London, enclosed by quintessential Western atheism and hedonism; Bollywood bonanzas; Salafi, Sufi and Hizbut Tahrir skirmishes; Qadianis; Kozovo ‘Jihadis’; and Pakistani parental, tribal expectations; the prospect of the Rihla was rather intriguing and daunting.

Continue reading

WHAT IS ON THE MENU FOR SAHOOR?

WHAT IS ON THE MENU FOR SAHOOR?

Fried eggs sizzling, paratha from tandoor?

Buttered paratha in the shape of the full moon?

Paratha filled with succulent Aloo?

Now that would be so absolutely cool!

In Ramadan I just appreciate the food!

WHAT IS ON THE MENU FOR IFTAAR?

Biryani made with chicken and piyaar?

Mango milkshake, my wife is such a star!

Homemade samosa and pakora!

So spicy they would tantalise a Gora!

In Ramadan the food is best by far!

WHAT WILL BE MY WORSHIP FOR TARAWEE?

Speeding through rakats in such a hurry?

Coz I’m feeling bloated from the curry?

Head and heart pulsating in a flurry?

I need to sleep, Allah, I am so sorry!

In Ramadan, take your time, no need to worry!

WHAT WILL THEY GAIN TONIGHT?” The angels surveyed.

“Nice suhoor? So, they feel strong at day?”

“Light Iftar, so they feel light to pray?”

“Recite Quran, to clear the disarray?”

“Staying up to perform Qiyam Al Layl?”

“In Ramadan, the nafs can fade away…”

“There’s no fear or grief from these pure days…” 

Locked Down

One night as I sat

Shackled up by Facebook

The jitters from the Twitter

Filled my body and my face shook

The trap of the Whatsapp

Enwrapped my intentions

But a voice from beyond

Just arrested my attention

Sallahu ala Muhammad! Sallahu alayhi was sallam!

Locked down to the ground

Of the multiplicity

My heart was aground

A beleaguered city

Spellbound in the haze

Of my lusts’ euphoria

But the voice cleared away

The phantasmagoria

Sallahu ala Muhammad! Sallahu alayhi was sallam!

I arose with a heave

Enclosed by acedia

My head leaking facts

From the Wikipedia

My eyes bleeding tracks

From the social media

But the voice kindled me

I rejoiced with a fever

Sallahu ala Muhammad! Sallau alayhi wa sallam!

I strained to my door

To the ways of the speaker

My phone tingling

Making me feel weaker

My soul signalling

To awake like a seeker

The voice echoing

And the light shone brighter

Sallahu ala Muhammad! Sallahu alayhi wa sallam!

I followed the voice

In my mind’s metropolis

Approached by these hawkers

And hucksters and sophists

They plied me with gadgets

And pure luxuria

But the voice stirred me

Like the Queens of Nubia

Sallahu ala Muhammad! Sallahu alayhi was sallam!

Then beyond the display

Of my urban madness

A pistachio tree

I encountered with gladness

The limbs shivering

With the breezes of Oneness

The leaves whispering

Shimmering with abundance

Sallahu ala Muhammad! Sallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam!

The roots of the tree

Spoke to me in a dialect

The fruits of the tree

Was a map to redirect

“To find the essence

When you’re feeling remoteness

Recite this sentence

Tune in to the gnosis.”

Sallahu ala Muhammad! Sallahu Alayhi Was Sallam!

THANK YOU DEAR NHS!

There’s a group of heroes
Enough we can not stress
That deserve our gratitude
They’re in our NHS!

The doctors and the nurses
And the workers and the porters
They’re helping us negotiate
Covid’s choppy waters!

They’re working 12 hour shifts
They put our safety first
Without their stirling bravery
Our health would be much worse!

Despite the clear adversity
Despite the challenges
Despite the risks to their safety
Despite the ravages

These people just keep fighting on
With undying dedication
They are the darlings of the hour
The pride of all the nation!

Please make their lives more bearable
By staying safe at home
Stem the spread of Corona Virus
Don’t let them fight alone!

We pray that all the blessed staff
Of our great NHS
Manage to steer through this trauma
Without unending stress

And bless the souls who passed away
Whilst caring for patients
They are the martyrs of this war
Which has rumbled since the ancients

So every Thursday clap your hands
Stand by your front door
Say bravo to the NHS!
They serve the rich and the poor.

Sincerity: Inspired by Surah Ikhlas, Chapter 112, Al Quran

Pull your choler through the mud

Collar Beelzebub

Numb your Id

Benumb shrew blood

Succumb through and through to the One True Flood

Notes:

The intention of this piece is to highlight the absolute wonder and majesty of Surah Ikhlas vis a vis the limitations of human endeavour (ie- my own). I also love the sounds and aural qualities of Surah Ikhlas, and I guess I am trying to capture some of the sublime sounds of it within the English language.

Choler- formal- anger

Beelzebub- ancient synonym for the Devil

Id- from Freud’s theories about the subconscious- the Id refers to the hidden desires and obsessions within human consciousness

Shrew- refers to a rebellious personality

Wa La Nablu Wanna Kum

In appreciation of verse 155, Sura Baqarah, Al Quran Al Hakeem

I’d heard this verse

Many times before

But I fell in the world’s momentum  

And now I’m drawn,

Like a looping moth

To the light of

Wa La Nablu Wanna Kum

I’d heard this verse

So deep and terse

But I swayed in a sea of fevers

But now I am swept

Like a floating wreck

To the shores of

Wa la Nablu Wanna Kum

I’d heard this verse

With a heart immersed

In the dread of the world’s hysteria

But now the only thing to panic-buy

Is the key for

Wa la Nablu Wanna Kum

I’d heard this verse

In the Friday prayers

While my mind viewed conspiracy theories

But now the fake news

Needs to be rebuked

With the truth of

Wa la Nablu Wanna Kum

I’d heard this verse

In the universe

Of talks and the deen intensives

But now all the notes

And inspiring quotes

Need to act on

Wa la Nablu Wanna Kum

I’d heard this verse

When things were worse

For the poor folk mired in outbreaks

But now the vaccine

For my uncertainties

Is the pledge of

Wa la Nablu Wanna Kum