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Rubaiyaat i-xix || Poems by Zeba Khan

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Rubaiyaat i-xix

i-
All Praise is for Allah
Who burdened me with pain
And bent my stiffened neck
Into sajda once again…

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ii-
The weight upon my shoulders
Pushed me closer to the floor
Facedown on the earth
I found refuge once more

***

iii-
All praise is to my Lord
Who permitted me to sin
I thank Him for repentance
And the love I found therein

***

iv-v
Let evil be abolished
I say we need it not
I do not need to burn myself
To know that fire’s hot

You say I cannot know
Unless I partake as well
I say I can know heaven
Without being first in hell

***
vi-vii (Ramadan)
I seek refuge in Allah
From evil and my self
Being this month same
And I alone to blame

Arms, legs, limbs
Arranged around a hole
And still the empty body
Not as hungry as the soul.

**

viii-
Faith need only whisper
Lips need barely part
The angels of your Lord
Write the longing of your heart

**

ix-
Place gently, my young worshipper
Your head upon the floor
God asks that you be humble
Not limb-weary and sore

x-
Kneel gracefully, young worshipper
For it is no less than art
And the motion of submission
Is a still and restful part

**

xi- (Infinity)
They told me to count my blessings
I told them I hadn’t the time
My body hadn’t the breath
My language hadn’t the words

**

xii-
My Lord gave nail and hammer and commanded man to build
Man put nail to his brother’s back and promptly drove it in
My Lord gave man the tool but He also gave the choice
How dare you blame my Lord for the evil of your sin!

***

xiii- (Regrets)
To think that I have wept for the fourteen hundred years
That have passed between the time of the Messenger and I
Yet spent my night in play while he in longing tears
Lord guide me by his piety before I too should die.

***

xiv-
If ever you should find me
In prayer, in tears, at night
Don’t ask me what’s wrong
For once, things might be right.

***

xv-

Seek seek seek, and man says ye shall find
But man for all his seeking has left his faith behind
Swiftly how he races now in philosophical discontent
Tightly how his eyes closed now to plain truths that his Lord has sent.

***
xvi-

Never in my prayers do I stand so sincere
As I do when in need, humbled and alone
Should I then be ungrateful that my Lord should put me here
That I should find direction through my wanting and my fear?

***
xvii-

The believer is not broken by sorrow
Any more than a mountain is leveled by wind
And neither are battered, but shaped
By the force of storms they would weather

***
xviii-

Fight the world if you have to
Even yourself if you must
Forgiveness is for the forgiving
And mercy belongs to the just.

***
xix-
How can I fault the world
For the turmoil that’s within it?
It’s all of what He said
And none of what He didn’t.

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Zeba Khan is the Director of Development for MuslimMatters.org and the producer of the newly launched Muslimmatters Podcast, as well as a writer, speaker, and disability awareness advocate. In addition to having a child with autism, she herself lives with Ehlers-Danlos Sydrome, Dysautonomia, Mast-Cell Activation Disorder, and a random assortment of acronyms that collectively translate to chronic illness and progressive disability.

17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. Mona

    August 14, 2010 at 6:40 AM

    Beautiful, really, really beautiful, mA! I hope this wins!

    • iMuslim

      August 14, 2010 at 11:30 AM

      It’s not an entry to the contest… rather, a reminder of the contest for our readers. =D

      • Mona

        August 14, 2010 at 2:38 PM

        i knoooowww, i read that bit later! :D
        still, a great poem! i could NEVER write like Abez.

        • abez

          August 14, 2010 at 7:53 PM

          Mona, stop embarrassing me or I’m not bringing you Hassan’s clothes back! :p

  2. Moona

    August 14, 2010 at 11:28 AM

    This is a fine masterpiece!

  3. Mahfara

    August 14, 2010 at 11:43 AM

    Subhanallah…so incredible.

  4. AsimG

    August 14, 2010 at 11:43 AM

    SubhanAllah,

    I don’t even want to write a poem after this. I’m like at the preschool level lol

    • abez

      August 14, 2010 at 12:10 PM

      Ok, that was NOT the intention of posting! Come on, get your creative juices flowing!

      Putting your Iman into a few lines of poetry is a wonderful thing for yourself as well as other people, because you can help inspire yourself as well as others. So please do write.

      It will be wonderful to read more contemporary Muslim poems, and I know that the other MM Associates are looking forward to an abundance of inspiring poems to share with the readers this Ramadan, InshaAllah.

      JazakAllahuKheiran!

  5. Hena

    August 14, 2010 at 6:05 PM

    Salaams Abez-

    LOOOVE them – a year worth of facebook statuses :)

    Inspiring

    Arms, legs, limbs
    Arranged around a hole
    And still the empty body
    Not as hungry as the soul

    May our souls hunger for thawab, as our bodies hunger for food and may we rush towards the chances to earn hasanat as we rush towards iftar. Ameen

    @ imuslim Does the topic have to be Ramadan or anything related to Islam?

    Readers, please encourage your kids and youth to send in their submissions as well.

    • iMuslim

      August 15, 2010 at 5:57 AM

      The theme is Ramadan: but consider that Ramadan represents some of the best acts of worship in Islam, the theme is quite wide. :)

    • sister

      July 10, 2011 at 8:16 PM

      :) that was my favorite part of the poem too!

      so many of us feed our bodys, till we cat eat anymore.
      we fail to realize that this body is temprary, and will one day decompose.
      but our soul will last forever, yet we starve our soul

      sister Abez you are very inspriational mashaAllah, i love you for that <3

  6. Z

    August 14, 2010 at 7:59 PM

    This is beautiful.

  7. sammerz

    August 14, 2010 at 9:37 PM

    Salaam alaikum ,

    Mashaallah! Been a fan of your work for so long and this was a beautiful reminder of why =) Ramadan Mubarak.

    Wa’salaam
    Sammer Z.

  8. Cub

    August 15, 2010 at 6:21 AM

    MashaAllah, this is amazing! Especially loved ix, x, xi, xiv :)

  9. Sana

    August 15, 2010 at 5:48 PM

    mashaAllah this was lovely…very inspiring

  10. Pingback: Abez sez Assalamualaikum! » Blog Archive » The enemy within

  11. Wael Abdelgawad

    September 16, 2020 at 11:07 PM

    So powerful and lovely, ma-sha-Allah. I could read a whole book of this, and probably read it many times. This one moved me to tears:

    If ever you should find me
    In prayer, in tears, at night
    Don’t ask me what’s wrong
    For once, things might be right.

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