The Rain In Medina Baye

An almighty, streaming, surging downpour enveloped Medina Baye, flowing onto the streets and roads, washing away the memories of past days. It showered through homes, upon the elderly, upon mothers and fathers, upon children, drenching them in a water that they could not see, and clearing the air, and refreshing the hearts…

Idris Wuld, with the troubles of the world resting on his shoulders, rushed by Medina Baye, on his way to meet an official of the municipality. A singular old man stood in his way, raising his hands in the air and rubbing his face, as if catching the rain. Idris halted.

“What is wrong with you, old man?” He asked unkindly, regarding the clear sky and shifting his shirt in the spring heat.

“Oh! the rain! The rain! It’s everywhere!” Cried the old man, once again, staring at the empty sky, and welcoming the air into his arms. Idris sighed with irritation and moved briskly ahead, “Crazy fool…” He muttered.

Two hours later, Wuld passed by Medina Baye again, a wide smile on his face; his eyes confident and contented. The meeting went splendidly, and his financial troubles had been taken of. And once again, the strange old man came into his path, shifting from side to side, raising his hands in the empty, stifling air, rubbing his palms on his eyes and cheeks, while the awesome, majestic minarets of Medina Baye, stood behind him, like tower giants watching them. Wuld stopped in his tracks.

“So, what is it with you and this rain old man? Have you gone mad?” He joked.

The old man lowered his hands and looked deeply and intensely into Wuld’s eyes. “You will understand the rain I allude to if you do this one thing…”

“And what is that?” Wuld smirked. “Go to Sayyida and say what needs to be said…” And he walked off.

Wuld stood frozen, as the minaret giants looked on. The old man had spoken the name of his wife, and of the thing which was hidden cancer in his soul: his pride. He understood immediately and rushed off.

At home, whilst the children played outside, and his wife was engaged in the labours of her life, suddenly, she dropped her work, for her husband, Idris stood before her; his eyes in a way she had never seen before for a long time. He spoke: “Sayyida, my wife, and the mother of my children…” She leaned against the washing machine, her fears growing- had he found another woman? Another woe upon the woe this man had given her. “What I mean to say, my wife, and I mean this, I have been a cold man to you, for a while, and you have been a good woman to me. Forgive me. Let me make amends. I will take you to see your mother and kin on the weekend…” His eyes were remorseful and true- she could see it… She could see the shame and discomfort in every trace of red in his eyes. Finally, he saw her, the way he used to see her before. And she collapsed in his arms, the tears not stopping, the pain leaking out into his frame, being replaced by warmth, and love, and cheer.

Later, Wuld, having lost track of time and place, since his revelation to his wife, wandered over to Medina Baye, and suddenly, without warning, water fell from the sky, enveloping the whole expanse, covering his head, and washing away the pride. He looked up, feeling the rain flow over his head and face. The old man appeared next to him. “I told you it was raining,” he said, as people walked by, regarding them whimsically, on this, the driest day of March so far….

The Destruction of Abu Jahl: The Battle of Badr

The Assyrian came down like a wolf on the fold… The Destruction of Sennacherib: Lord Byron

The hordes of Quraysh, like a dust storm, arose

And their cohorts were cursing and lining in rows

And the sheen of their spears like the candles that burn

In the idols of Makkah which stand taciturn

.

Like the palms in the desert when oases are fresh

The army stood furnished; for battle well-dressed

Like the grains in the desert which scatter and fall

That host in the noon light retreated forlorn

.

For the Angels of Justice, with three fighting winds

Of a thousand combatants, cruelty to rescind

And the eyes of these angels came down on Quraysh

Some stricken with horror and fear in disgrace

.

And woe to Walid and Shaybah and Utba

Vanquished by Ali, Ubaydah and Hamza

And there lay the pharaoh, the staunch Abu Jahl

Abdullah, the reader, beheaded him well

.

And there lay the pebbles, which flew at Quraysh

When Ahmed recited: impaired be their faces!

This army from Makkah quashed by the unseen

A thousand were crushed by three hundred thirteen

.

And the widow of Jahl; despaired and bewailed

And the idols of Makkah unsteady and frail

And the might of Quraysh; severed deep by the sword;

Had melted like sunset, by Mustafa’s Lord

.

Allahumma Salli wa sallim wa baarik alaiyhi wa alaa aalihi wa sahbihi wa sallim

Hamra The Jinn

Hamra the Jinn, the scourge of men and women in the night!

If you have been an evil one, she has you in her sights!

She wears a chador darker than a plummeting black hole

Her eyes are redder than the churning rocks and burning coals

Her fangs are sharper than the canine teeth within a wolf

Her nails are firmer than the claws of Grendel from Beowulf

Her face more mesmerising than the princesses of old

Her voice can pacify the weak, and terrify the trolls

She haunts the night, and sniffs the air for all the evil ones

The dealers and the pimps and all the violent, lazy bums

The nasty hags; the cold, conniving, calculating queens

The older ones who trap the young in incidents obscene

Hamra the Jinn; she always wins, no one can shirk her chase

The darkest soul cannot conceive she’s there before his face

From Kanadhar, to Zanzibar, to Cairo and Tehran

From London, Paris, Marrakesh, to Dakar and Amman

She rides the winds; she skims the seas; she roams the spinning earth

She lurks in all the corners where she finds the people worst

One day she lit upon a human trafficker from Prague

Who liked to beat the women he had hidden in his yard;

The cries of these afflicted souls echoed in Hamra’s ears

They drew her, like a tiger drawn by scent of grazing deer

She watched as this monstrosity tormented these women

And then she wrapped him in her chador for his ugly sins

She drained him drier than the hay that feeds the hungry horse

When Hamra had finished with him, he was a walking corpse

Another job, she heard the sobs from flats in Tel Aviv

A woman liked to burn her son to put herself at ease

And one night, after deceiving police, with gloating pride,

She went to bed, and turned to see Hamra was by her side

The eyes blood red filled her with dread; the woman lost her nerve

Confessing all her nastiness; a sentence she would serve

Another time an operator of the killer drones

Was sniggering because his bombs had wiped out mountain homes

And when he strolled the streets alone, deep in the folding night

He came upon her hungry eyes which pierced him with a fright

No sleep would cast upon his eyes except he saw her face

Digging into his inner core; his life had lost its taste

Hamra the jinn, she always wins, no one can shirk her chase

But when she sees a kind person, she gives a warm embrace

The wife-beaters, the child-beaters, now inwardly implore

For mercy from the sight of Hamra slipping through their doors

So, here’s a warning for us all, when we’re about to rage

On individuals weaker, or are vulnerable in age

Remember that the cries for help will summon Hamra’s eyes

To you she may remain unseen, although materialised

She’ll work on you; she’ll shadow you; she’ll make your living hell

So, think about this carefully and those with whom you dwell…

Hamra the Jinn, the scourge of men and women in the night!

If you have been an evil one, she has you in her sights!

The Eternal Marifah

Hayy! Hayy! The Marifah!

When the lights they reveal what you really are

Hayy! Hayy! The Marifah!

When the secrets are near but you’re searching far

Hayy! Hayy! The Marifah!

His Eternal Marifah!

.

Jon was a don and a superstar

Who was rich and revered and so popular,

But the worldly success it had left the scars

From the chars of the Mardi gras

.

So, he sought for a cure in the lands afar

For the emptiness from the caviar

But he ended up in a boulevard

On the coasts of Zanzibar

.

Serving on a stall, in the street bazaar

Stood a dervish youth from the isle Pemba

Jon was drawn to him with his heart’s radar

And he told him of his scars:

.

“I need some reprieve for my ailing heart

It is subsiding like a collapsar

All my luxuries they are avatars

Save me from my deep gula!”

.

The dervish arose like a rising shah

With a gleam in his mien like a shining star

And he spoke with a voice like a rare nectar

With his eyes, piercing pulsars:  

.              

“The cravings of life are an abattoir

Which slaughter the souls in a pink boudoir!

Only One can repair, with His Marifah!

Closer than your jugular!

.

“Hayy! Hayy! The Marifah!

When you bow to the One, it will soothe your scars

Hayy! Hayy! The Marifah!

When you’re close to the One who knows who you are

Hayy! Hayy! The Marifah!

His Eternal Marifah!”

.

“Hayy! Hayy! The Marifah!

When the lights they reveal what you really are

Hayy! Hayy! The Marifah!

When the secrets are near but you’re searching far

Hayy! Hayy! The Marifah!

His Eternal Marifah!”

Notes:

Hayy! Hayy!- Arabic- alive- a reference to the divine name: Al Hayy- The Living One- some recite the name to draw closer to Allah Most High

Marifah- Arabic- knowledge (of God- mystical closeness to the Divine Reality)

Gula- Latin- gluttony, greed- one of the seven deadly sins

The Mirror and the Dust

A wayward speck of dust settled on my mirror

A trifle, so it seemed, I left it untouched

Then some flecks piled on this particle

Engrossed in otherness, I left them to reside

But when I next regarded the reflection

I found it laden, littered, sullied and soiled

And whilst I strained to scrub it all aside

A glut of sludge plastered my looking glass

My mirror now became a breeding ground

For parasites casting a turbid mound

Then I wept a deluge of regret

It washed away the grunge and stinking mess

And light shone through the glass, which made me smile

But then a speck settled, after a while…

MACBETH ZUBAYR

Cash is king.

Witches artwork copyright of SChalabi

This short story is loosely based on the plot and characters of William Shakespeare’s, Macbeth.

Parental advisory- this story explores adult themes and contains horror.

    “Masha Allah Bro!”

    After bursting into Sarfraz’s room, Zubayr and Abbas marvelled at the sight before them. Sarfraz sat piously, white skullcap wrapped around his head, a guidebook to Muslim prayers in his hand.

    “I guess you won’t be coming out…” Zubayr began.

    Sarfraz looked up from his book. He was reading prayers the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said to ward off evil spirits and Satan himself. He now glanced at his friends’ immaculately presented, tight, designer jeans, polo tops and gelled hair: “Depends what you mean by out.”

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The Sun Rises

‘The night comes in / Like some cool river’ Richard Thompson

The Sun rises

In my grieving heart

And now the Light

Soothes all the pain

Feel the daylight

Embracing the grief

Of the world, which turn us insane

The Sun rises

And now my heart breathes

And the Love

Is all that I see

Deeper than blood

Which runs through the veins

And the fears fade into the Light

The Sun rises

Sheening all my dreams

With a gold

That glows eternally

Even if foes

From hidden angles

Besiege my heart

The Light shelters me

Peace eternal

And flowing blessings

On the one

The Sun of the hearts

And upon his

Blessed companions

And his kin

The bearers of the Light