Poem: In Generosity, Be Like a River

Rushing river and wild flowers

In generosity and helping others, be like a river
In compassion and grace, be like the sun
In concealing other’s faults, be like the night
In anger and fury, be as if you have died
In modesty and humility, be like the earth
In tolerance, be like the sea
And either appear as you are, or be as you appear

Received from oral tradition of Rumi, paraphrased by Kabir Helminski.

Poem: Fill it With Al-Fatihah

Beach foam

Fill it With Al-Fatihah

Wounded brother, sister in belief:
pour out your cup of hurt and grief
and fill it with lavender leaf.
Fill it with sunlight seed
and the moon’s reedy laugh.
Fill it with the history of grass,
and the joy of breath.
Fill it with hope
and the poetry of God.

Fill it with Quran
and the moment before dawn.
Fill it with Allah’s soul-saving light,
and the power of His love
expressing in your life.
Fill it with dhikr like gold,
and Prophetic stories
that were old
a thousand years ago.

Fill your cup with beach foam
and the smell of baking bread;
with the mark of prayer
impressed upon your head;
with lemon drop soup
and the comfort of your bed.
Fill it with gratitude
for His gifts from above.
Fill your cup, and laugh,
for you are loved.


Wael Abdelgawad

April 14, 2011

Poem By a Reader: As the Seasons Change

Fall Leaves

Sister Wafa submitted the following poem:

As the Seasons Change

As the seasons change
The leaves turn yellow, orange and brown
eventually falling
the trees are looking bare now
The sky is grey
Winter has arrived outside my door
The most merciful the great is protecting me from it all.
My heart is filled with warmth from his grace upon me.
You are the one and the only that will make the seasons change within my heart.

– Wafa

Poem: Everything to Gain

Sunlight illuminating the clouds

 

Everything to Gain

I open to you like a door
on a spring morning.
Your voice is a sun song.
Your words are water and earth.
I hold your heart like a newborn.
I hang on
because I have everything to gain.

Wael Abdelgawad
3-27-2011

Poem: Lead Into Gold

Beautiful sunrise and hot air balloons

Lead Into Gold

Allah, giver of peace:
Your love has transformed me
like an alchemist’s dream
of lead into gold.
I was old, bent under the weight
of years of confusion,
but now I stand straight, far-seeing,
light on my feet and gleaming,
golden like a lion’s pelt,
a sunrise in my eyes.

– Wael Abdelgawad

Poem: Where My Heart Beats

Snow fall on a maple tree

 

Where My Heart Beats

You are the rich soil
from which life grows.
You are the morning snow
on a maple tree.
Your soul glitters before me
like the sun on the sea.
Your name is a kiss,
your voice an embrace.
There is no place for me
in this bewildering life
but in your arms.
There is no corona
more captivating than your eyes.
Where your feet walk,
I find my smile.
Where your head rests,
that is my bed.
Where your hands touch and flutter,
that is where my heart beats,
and if I lived a thousand years
still I would love you
like the evening tide,
immense and ripe with life.

Wael Abdelgawad
Fresno, California
February 15th, 2011

Poem: A Peace That Sings

Dandelions blowing in the wind

A Peace That Sings

By Shireen

My soul breathes a breath it has never quite taken before
So crisp, so clean, so pure
And a giddy little grin will peak upon my lips
For no particular reason, just a peace within sings so deep
And though the meaning of life’s lesson is upon me now
I can’t help but feel that I know nothing of anything, but to God I remain, to God I bow
Time and time again we search, we befriend but in the end there are things that remain questionable
Should a friend really be so textable?
Really, is there nothing else to do other then keep us entertained
Twitter,or Facebook, Blackberry or Iphone, Google and Amazon E books
It’s all the same really, friends too many
One or two may know me
But never have they given me this feeling I feel
This ease, this lightness upon my chest, this gushing goodness of “man, God is Indeed The Best!”
Why? some may ask. Wasn’t that a test?
Yes, but a test is only a question mark away from a reward
Will you submit to that which you cannot control? Or will your choice be hard, and dramatic turmoil?
I resolve with, I need not fight if I have the angels fighting for me
I will not wander blindly when I have light making a way clearly
I will not speak ill of what’s meant to be, when I have the All Knowing watching over me
I will not be among the ungrateful, before I become alone just me and me
My life is a breath of fresh air for which I pray lasts until I return home
Though fears I have, it’s not something any human can console
For words don’t come when I try to speak it, just thoughts and only God Knows the Meanings
So I stop here, Praising the All Knowing, The All Wise
Hoping for the best, fearing my weaknesses and begging for success!

Poem: Unbroken

White rhinoceros and baby

Unbroken

This won’t break me
or even knock me down.
I remember El Reno,
thick brown stone
and layers of cages,
a thousand men
in various stages
of hidden rages
and nothing past the wire
but wind and grass;
and I lived through that
with ten knuckles and a laugh.

Do I look crazy?
That’s okay.
Keep the games you play
and clear my way.
Break me? Come on now.
Drop a mountain
and I bust through stone.
I’m a pile of smile and bone
and when you see that light
in my eyes
you’d better step for your life.

Try, go on.
It’ll be fun.
Come with your Black Hand
and sideshow man.
Come with your entourage,
your knives and guns,
lies and history redone.
Grind my love
beneath your heel – I’ll reel it out
like blast wire,
and you’ll catch fire.

Betray me and I bleed
but that’s no test –
I fight bloody with the best.
So baby, I have to laugh.
Sorry if that lets you down
but I’m not wearing a frown
cause I’ve got Laa ilaha il-Allah
and as I look around
every glory
reflects the glory of the One,
and I stand unbroken
in the sun.

Wael Abdelgawad
January 17, 2011

Poem: I Choose to Follow Him

Sunshine over a golden lake

The following poem is written by sister María M, a very recent convert to Islam. She lives in Spain.

I Choose to Follow Him

I choose to follow Him,
despite others opinion,
despite others judgment,
despite others whispering,
despite others look,..

I choose to follow Him,
surrendering to His Love,
claiming for His Forgiveness,
asking for His Compasion,
enjoying His Grace,…

I choose to follow Him,
falling to my knees,
puting my eyes down,
living His Word as
the air I breath,
being His Blessings
the blood in my veins,…

I choose to follow Him,
thanking for every step I take,
greeting everyone I meet,
conscious of my ignorance,
trying to be my best,…

I choose to follow Him
knowing that…
It was His choice not mine
that I choose to follow Him.

– María M, January 2 2011

Mighty Mighty Muslims

Huge sunrays in a blue sky

By Wael Abdelgawad | IslamicSunrays.com

There’s a children’s song that I learned as a teenager, at the Muslim Youth Camp. It’s called, “Mighty Mighty Muslims”, and it’s just a little ditty, more of a travelling song than anything else:

We are the Muslims,
the mighty mighty Muslims,
everywhere we go
people want to know
who we are,
who we are,
so we tell them,
so we tell them,
We are the Muslims (and repeat).

By the way, some Muslims apparently chanted this at New York City’s annual Muslim Day Parade, and some non-Muslim observers took offense, as they found it to be supremacist or exclusive in some way. That’s nonsense. Chanting it at a NYC parade may not have been the brightest idea in the current climate of growing bigotry; but I never thought of this as anything but a children’s song, a way of helping kids to feel good and positive about their faith in an environment that is often discriminatory against it. It’s not about being better than anyone else or putting anyone else down.

The fact is that everywhere we go (if we are dressed in traditional Islamic garb like kufi caps or hijab) people do take notice. Sometimes they stare, sometimes ask questions about our faith, and sometimes cast insults. This song is a way of saying to kids, hey, it’s okay if people notice you, andyou have nothing to be ashamed of. Be proud and strong in your faith.

Who would have thought a little children’s song could become a political issue? SubhanAllah, things have gotten ridiculous these days. May Allah guide them.

Did you learn this song as a child? I’m curious how well known it is.

I decided to expand it just a little to turn it into a teaching song for Salma (my daughter) and other Muslim children. Here’s my expanded version:

Bismillah we say
when we start the day
and everywhere we go
people want to know
who we are, who we are,
so we tell them, so we tell them,
We are the Muslims,
mighty mighty Muslims,
no matter where we’re from
we say salamu alaykum,
we pray in the night
and at the morning light.

If anyone is desperate to know the tune, I could record it and put it on here. But be warned, I’m no singer. Maybe someone else could take it and make something really catchy out of it.

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