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Ramadan 2010: MM Poetry Contest | Semifinalists, Day 1

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Day 1 | Day 2Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | The Finals

Update 31/8/10: Voting for poems published on Day 1 closes today! Cast your vote now if you still haven’t!

Update 1/9/1o: Voting for poems published on Day 1 has now CLOSED.

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The entries are in, the judges have had a great time reading them and now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for – the first collection of shortlisted poems is being published! Really, this may sound cliche but the entries were all so nice that we had a very hard time deciding whom to put through to the semifinalists. May Allah accept the efforts of all the contestants, and also accept our efforts to be impartial, to make sure the hard work is duly rewarded!

So here’s how it’s going to be:
1) We’re going to publish four shortlisted poems a day, for the next five days, insha’Allah – starting today.
2) Each day, you, the public, vote for the poem that you like best out of the four published.
3) The poems with the most votes from each day will go on to the final round, where a second poll will decide the winner and runners up.

Simple, eh?

As beautiful as the poems all are, and we are indeed experiencing the Holy month of Ramadan, the spirit of the competition can be pretty overwhelming. That’s why here’s a simple reminder to keep it clean, and wholesome, healthy competitiveness that adds to the fun but does not hurt anyone in anyway. :)

Without further ado, here’s the first four poems for your pleasurable reading. (I’d recommend grabbing a cuppa tea after Iftaar and really enjoying them!)

Please don’t forget to vote!

__________________________________________________________________________

A Journey to Ramadan
By: Simeitsa Stamoulas (Maryam Noor Stamoulas)

A Month of Mercy
is upon us.
And I remembered back
when I was young
about how I felt being able
to fast the whole month.
I thought, “How wonderful!
All the reward is in my grasp!”
I realized I should
plan for this blessed month.
So, I went in my room.
And I wrote a list.

I wrote,
I will pray my soul to rest.
I will fast with strength greater
than the one who wrestles men
down.
My remembrance will
only be of Allah.
And can’t forget the coming Eid
outfits…

I just kept on thinking how
I can just soak up this month
of reward.
And as I wrote, my father
entered my room.
“Oh Baba! I am preparing my
list for Ramadan. Come see
what I have written.”
My father examined every detail.
And when he looked up he smiled
then said, “Ya bunayyati (O my daughter),
these are all great things you have listed,
but I think you are missing something.”
I said, “Missing something? What do
you mean?”
He stopped for a while,
and asked me to come with him.

My father took my hand.
And we traveled into the city.
It is not something I experienced often.
And I observed the status of its condition.
I saw walks of life with no homes.
Children in rags that had seen better days
on some other child that had thrown them away.
I saw a dinner plate between a mother
and her four starve stricken children.
A plate only consisting of two
decomposed dates found
and split into four halves.

And then we stopped.
I looked at my father with tears saying,
“Where are we Baba?”
He held me close and wiped my trickles.
“Bunayatti, when I saw your list indeed I was
pleased, but Ramadan is not only
about you or I. It is about the people
around you who need you the most.
It is a second chance. It’s a reminder to mankind
that forgiveness is near.
It’s about self reflection, and unity.”

From then on I learned that Ramadan
was not about how many prayers I did.
The clothes I bought.
Or even the strength that
I had to fast.
It wasn’t what was sitting on the dinner
table, but who was sitting around it.
It was about us all gathering together
and crying out, “Ya Rabbana!
Your Mercy is as the river flows.
And Your Bounty has no limits!
Make this the month of great
treasures for them!”

It was the peace on their faces
after telling reciting the verse to them
“Verily, with every difficulty there is relief”(94:6).
It was Allah letting them know
He had never forgotten them
Nor had He left them not
even for a blink of an eye.

I say to you,
Ya ayyuhal Mu’minun(O you Believers)!
Don’t be missing something this Ramadan.

__________________________________________________________________________

By His Side

By: Sadiyah Faruk

I could pray
A thousand prayers
And fast
A thousand days
But none of that
Could compare
To that little boy
Standing there
Who had nothing,
To hold
Nowhere to go
But faith in Allah
To carry him home
There came a time
Called Ramadan
When I realized
That through every time
Faith was always
On his mind
And this little boy
Had a power
Greater than any
I could ever find
For Allah was always
By his side

_________________________________________________________________________

Remembrance
By: Yacoob M

Remember the One
Who knows all that you do

Who hears all that you say,
and knows that which you do not say

Who knows all that you see,
and that which you avert your vision from

Who is aware of all that is concealed from the world,
everything hidden within – that no one else knows of:
everything you feel,
your most private of thoughts,
your most demanding of desires,
your greatest of ambitions,
your dearest of hopes

Remember the One
Who brought you into existence
Who asks so little from you,
yet gives so much to you:
all that you have of goodness,
and all you’ve been spared of difficulty

Remember the One
Who is always with you,
Who loves for you to ask of Him,
Who listens to your pleas,
Who guides your heart to that which is best for you

Remember the One
Who is always ready to forgive your transgressions,
if you would only ask with sincerity,
and leave your mistakes in the past,
resolving to make your future better

Remember the One
Who gives strength to endure hardship,
Commitment to fight your hardest of battles,
Success to those who strive to gain His pleasure

Remember the One
Whose words you often hear,
Whose Guidance you’re often reminded of,
Whose Mercy and Love is beyond all human comprehension

Remember the One
Who has prepared for you
an abode of such beauty and pleasure,
such that no human mind has conceived of it,
no eye has envisioned it,
no sense has ever experienced it

Remember the One
Who has put you in this world,
and to Whom you will be returned

And when you see Him on that,
the most important day of your life,
may all your remembrance have served you well

__________________________________________________________________________

We are the Heirs

By: Mariam Arif

How beautiful the scent it brings,
A wave of calmness, an air of peace,
Our hearts are driven to the King of kings,
Our chances of paradise will increase.

It’s time to read His mighty words,
A single letter is ten times more,
I crave the prize, I reap rewards,
I need that heaven we all adore.

Refraining from food and drink is one,
To refrain from sin is greater still,
To teach us patience, to discipline,
Let’s see who has the greatest will.

And don’t forget Al-Qadr night,
When souls seek guidance and purify,
The winners pray and long recite,
For they were chosen by the All-High.

I raise my hands and close my eyes,
May God accept our fast and prayers,
By the end of this I want the prize,
Which God has promised, we are the heirs.

_________________________________________________________________________

[polldaddy poll=3686722]

Enjoyed Day 1? There’s more! Check out: Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | The Finals

Links will activate as each day arrives!

Keep supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah

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Ameera is a final-year medical student and blogger based in Karachi, Pakistan. Having been born and raised in Tabuk, Saudi Arabia, her approach towards her Deen has always been rooted in a basic understanding from authentic sources, which was further polished during a three-year weekend course at Al Huda Institute. Her interests, though, seem to know no bounds and range from a passion for the culinary arts and travelling, as well as following current affairs and global happenings. She feels being able to be part of MuslimMatters is one of the major blessings of Allah(swt) upon her, for it has given her a chance to learn and grow. She also maintains her personal blog at http://duskanddawn.wordpress.com.

36 Comments

36 Comments

  1. Amad

    August 29, 2010 at 12:51 AM

    Mashallah, these are awesome entries!

  2. Sayf

    August 29, 2010 at 1:42 AM

    Ditto to Amads post, this is excellent work guys mashallah.

  3. Megan

    August 29, 2010 at 3:38 AM

    I just wanted to say jazakum Allahu Khairan to Muslim Matters for putting the poetry contest together, and to those who worked hard and put forth their submissions. It’s been very uplifting to read, alhamdulellah.

  4. Saad

    August 29, 2010 at 6:29 AM

    Subhanallah… this contest now seems like a great idea….
    I was ‘foolish’ and ‘lazy’ not to participate in it :(
    I now see how broad the topic can get.. I had some stuff prepared too….
    But I thought there would some ‘strong competition’ too… and it would be pretty tough to even qualify… Given my non-English background and the participating multitudes…

    …SIGH…. “If only I had done so” :(

    • iMuslim

      August 29, 2010 at 7:19 AM

      Don’t worry… We will try to make such contests an annual event, insha’Allah. Though maybe not just poetry. Our first contest was short story, now poetry… perhaps video or photography next year? :)

      • UmmZayn

        August 29, 2010 at 2:01 PM

        We should have one for Hajj stories too!! Insha Allah

    • iMuslim

      August 29, 2010 at 7:22 AM

      Also, if you, or anyone else reading, have any poetry you’d like to share throughout the year, feel free to email the arts department at MM, as we may publish it on the regular Arts column: art[@]muslimmatters.org

  5. ummMaryam

    August 29, 2010 at 6:58 AM

    Remembrance by Yaqub M !

    Many reminders, great style mashaAllah. the conclusion, a great tie in to the whole theme repeated thru out

    • iMuslim

      August 29, 2010 at 7:11 AM

      I hope you voted on the poll too. ;)

  6. Pingback: Ramadan 2010: MM Poetry Contest [Cash prizes!] | MuslimMatters.org

  7. Alveina

    August 29, 2010 at 8:41 AM

    MarshAllah beautiful thought provoking poems and very inspiring.
    Well done to all participants.

  8. NaimaD

    August 29, 2010 at 9:50 AM

    Masha Allah! The first Poem by sr. Maryam was very much an inspiration May Allah reward her for the excellent reminder. The other poems were great as well! Job well done ^_^

  9. Ameera

    August 29, 2010 at 11:28 AM

    I’m super glad this is being appreciated so well by the readers! It really is a treat to read these poems – keep coming back daily for the other semifinalists! :)

  10. shiney

    August 29, 2010 at 11:57 AM

    Masha’allah, such wonderful poems! i really had a hard time voting. May Allah (SWT) bless all of you for your efforts and reward you in the best way. Ameen.

  11. UmmZayn

    August 29, 2010 at 2:03 PM

    Masha Allah the poems were all beautiful; may Allah SWT reward the writers abundantly and help us to internalize the lessons and put them into practice, Ameen

    I love the MM contests, how about one for Hajj stories when its Hajj time!

  12. Son of Adam

    August 29, 2010 at 7:11 PM

    Remeber the one
    The King of Kings
    For it is He who raised us
    As Heirs to His Kingdom (Earth)

    The last two poems(“Remeberance” & “We are the Heirs”)
    Have great content and artistic style. Mashallah

    • Daughter of Hawwa

      August 30, 2010 at 12:33 AM

      I agree, those two have the most uniqueness in their poems along with stylistic abilities. I voted for “Remembrance” because it reminded me of Allah and I’m grateful for that. If it doesn’t win then I hope “We are the Heirs” does, insha’Allah.

  13. elham

    August 29, 2010 at 7:44 PM

    MashAllah,they are all great,but ”Remembrance” is for me:

    ” Remember the One
    Who brought you into existence
    Who asks so little from you,
    yet gives so much to you:
    all that you have of goodness,
    and all you’ve been spared of difficulty”

    May Allah accept our duas,Ameen

  14. Pingback: Ramadan 2010: MM Poetry Contest | Semifinalists, Day 2 | MuslimMatters.org

  15. Maryam

    August 30, 2010 at 3:55 AM

    Assalam alaykom!

    How long will the entries last for voting?

    • iMuslim

      August 30, 2010 at 7:55 AM

      Wa ‘alaykum salam

      We were thinking of giving each group’s poll three days, to allow time for word to spread. It’s not a concrete number though. Trying to gauge public’s reaction, whilst remaining fair to each entrant, insha’Allah.

      • Maryam

        August 30, 2010 at 12:53 PM

        Are you picking winners from each day or is it the ones with the highest score/percent?

        • iMuslim

          August 30, 2010 at 3:28 PM

          The one with the highest number of votes from each semi-finalists group (i.e., Day 1, Day 2, etc) will go through to the finals, insha’Allah.

  16. Pingback: Ramadan 2010: MM Poetry Contest | Semifinalists, Day 3 | MuslimMatters.org

  17. Hena

    August 31, 2010 at 1:59 AM

    MashaAllah- I have a soft spot for first one because it reminds me of my father but they are all of great calibre. May Allah reward your efforts.

  18. sara

    August 31, 2010 at 8:57 AM

    ربنا يوفقكم جميعا ورمضان كريم علي كل المسلمين

  19. amjad baig

    September 1, 2010 at 12:28 AM

    Masha Allaha,
    Its awesone

  20. Pingback: Ramadan 2010: MM Poetry Contest | Semifinalists, Day 4 | MuslimMatters.org

  21. Ayah

    September 1, 2010 at 5:02 AM

    wow,mashallah!!..the first poem is great=)

  22. Taqwa

    September 1, 2010 at 12:50 PM

    Good job..

    The poems are amazing..

    Masha’ Allah

    good luck

  23. Pingback: Ramadan 2010: MM Poetry Contest | Semifinalists, Day 5 | MuslimMatters.org

  24. Aminah Hassen

    September 2, 2010 at 9:31 PM

    salaam alaikum wr wb, i can’t see day 5’s poems … am getting error reading … looking forward to reading the last poems …

  25. Pingback: MM Ramadan 2010 Poetry Contest: The Finals | MuslimMatters.org

  26. Hafsa

    January 21, 2011 at 11:26 PM

    mashallah..i just read them..i really love the first poem “a journey to ramadan”..

  27. Pingback: Ramadhan Package « Bintsultan

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