About Novid Shaid

I am a Muslim writer and English teacher. I have written poetry, short stories, a play, and I am currently working on a novella. My subject matter and themes are related to Islam, Sufism, politics and also my job as a secondary school teacher. My work is copyrighted and any works published here may not used or copied without my prior consent. You can contact me via the "Contact Me" page, if you wish to use any these writings. I am keen to gain the notice of publishers and if any are interested in my writings, please contact me via the "Contact Me" page. Was salaam, Peace

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.

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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

COVID 19 BY NOVID 77

Dear COVID,

I’m NOVID

And I’m older by 42

I’ve seen the SARS

Mad Cow disease

And AIDS and Avian flu

Bird flu, Man-flu, Ebola

I’ve seen them on the news

And now you’re here, Corona crown

Pandemic so epically 

Epidemic of our media age

Behaving untypically

Scourge of men and stock markets

Endemic to the earth

A pulsing strain of pathogens

You’re spreading round your worth!

Soon you may encounter me

Coughing through NOVID then

Coasting through my veins and blood

We’d meet and start to blend

COVID could imbue NOVID

Then I would be your host

Conflated with an acronym

Not such a thing to boast!

Now name-calls in registers

Could make me squirm in shame

People may remember you

When they gaze at my name

I guess if I spread ill like you

They’ll see COVID in NOVID then

I guess if I harass the weak

COVID in NOVID then

Your name could blight me, permanently

No cheer would my name give

Thoughts of dire suffering

By saying just: NOVID

But if I learn the art of love

Like Tiresias transcend

If I spread verse and elegies

OVID in NOVID then!

But If I learn to weather storms

Like Ulysses and his men

If I ride waves of discontent

OVID in NOVID then!

So COVID 19 here you are

With NOVID 77

Perhaps there’s poetic justice

Perhaps there is a blessing

Perhaps through you I’ll know myself

And wash hands for 20 seconds!

By Novid Shaid

Intermandias

For Shelley

I met a traveller from a digital land

Who said: “Two vast and wireless screens and phones,

Stand in some memories. Near them, on discarded toilet rolls,

Spread out, a printed message lies, with fonts

So micro soft, and typefaces for command prompts,

Tell that its printer well that software read  

Which yet survive, stamped on these paper sheets,

The ink that stained them and lines that smudged

And on the strips of rolls, it can be read:

‘My name is Intermandias,

Look on my works, ye ancients, and despair!’

Nothing online remains. Round the decay

Of this obsolete tech, boundless and rich  

The lone and loving souls stretch far away.”

The Walls- Short Story

Adam and Hira had just turned twenty, when they realised, they were in prison. Now they could see four monumental walls topped with barbed wire to the north, south, east and west. Now they could make out the prison officer uniforms on men and women they had not noticed before. Now they could see other prisoners around them, looking and behaving much like themselves. Fear and anguish grew chains around their hands and ankles; the couple struggled to move as the realisation took hold of them; their breaths quickened and sweat trickled on their heads. How on earth did they not realise this before? Why were they prisoners? What had they done wrong? As far as they knew, they had lived an average life in an average town, following the law of the land, most of the time, and keeping out of trouble. Yet now they found themselves languishing behind towering walls and barbed wire.

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