The Weeping Man I Met Around The Kaaba

(Based on a man I met at the Hajj, 2005/1425)

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By Novid Shaid, 2011

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There was this personage

whom I met at the pilgrimage

whose holy tears I will never forget.

Profusely they were shed

falling without relenting

while we orbited the House of God.

Dressed in ihram,

the hajjis made tawaaf

like a flowing ring of light.

This moment had played

in my mind for nights and days

I marvelled at the possibilities.

What would I see?

How would I feel?

In the footsteps of Anbiya.

Would I feel free?

And sense the reality?

Would Allah accept my pilgrimage?

But when the moment arrived

to my complete surprise

I wasn’t moved as I hoped to be.

Instead I was dry

no tears touched my eyes,

I marched, whispering empty prayers.

Full of sheer grief,

how could I be so cheap!?

distracted and stonehearted!

My heavy heart

screamed out in alarm

I should be shedding bitter tears,

for my sins

here in the kernel,

my tears could win me heaven.

Then I looked

closely and shook

and saw a wondrous sight.

This man’s eyes

tears falling, brimming with light

sobbing as he made his rounds.

He didn’t stop

as he made tawaf

the tears soaked through his beard.

And my heart

shook and broke into parts

when confronted with such true feeling.

I was curious

to find out who he was

and why he cried for himself.

When I touched

his shoulder, he looked up

his eyes shone twinkling and luminous.

Then his reply

to my attempt to pry

left me bewildered, mystified.

He said, “I cry

with tears filling my eyes

I try but they just don’t stop.

Because I pray

for all Muslims on this special day

Allah save them from the fire and dismay.

Forgive their sins

and their shortcomings

admit them into Paradise.”

I stepped back

shocked and taken aback

were my ears hearing correctly?

This lonely man

not for his own demands

but for the sins of man he shed his tears.

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Notes:

Hajji- a Muslim who is in Makkah performing the pilgrimage (hajj)

ihram- the white cloth worn by hajji’s during the hajj and umrah

Kaaba- The house built by the Prophets Adam and Abraham in Mecca which is the focal point for the tawaaf and the direction of prayer for Muslim everywhere.

tawaaf- the ritual act of walking seven times around the Holy Kaaba

anbiya- plural noun, Prophets

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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

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