Poem: Let Me Be True

Lonely desert road

As-salamu alaykum. Islamic Sunrays was founded to express ideas of inspiration and hope in Islam. I try to tackle issues of personal responsibility, keeping faith in difficult times, understanding Allah as a compassionate and merciful God, realizing that all of our lives have value and meaning, and following our dreams.

It may seem at first that the following poem does not fit with these ideas. I think it does, but I’ll leave that to you readers to decide, and I will not prejudice you by trying to explain my concept of the poem’s meaning. Comments are always welcome and appreciated.

Let Me Be True

When it all comes down,
let me be true.
When seas thicken to brown,
and the world grows dim,
and love scatters
like ash on the wind,
and every man lies
to protect his skin:
let me be true to You Allah,
let me be true.

To the Messenger,
let me be near:
when in a dream I sat by him
against the beam of a wrecked ship,
he in a green turban, and a battle clashing…
we drank water, and breathed,
then he turned to me, and said,
“It’s not what you speak that matters
but what you do.”
To my heaven-blessed hero
let me be true.

To my love, let me be sincere.
I stand beneath a lamp
in a sphere of light
on a desert road. I don’t peer
into the night. I listen,
beard dewed with rain,
for the footsteps of her soul.
Let me lead her to Jannah
and fulfill the shepherd’s goal.
Let me soothe her sight,
carry her through storm,
and stand like a lion
as armies swarm on.

To my little daughter,
O Allah I implore you,
let me be forever true.
When she laughs and exclaims,
“You’re so strong, Baba!”…
When I speak God’s name
and she listens solemnly,
when she leaps and believes
that I’ll save her…
To her nature and her dreams,
let me be true.

To myself – the greatest dare –
let me be real as earth.
Through the cinder heaps
and broken cities of the world
let me sweep, through black smoke,
eyes streaming, striding
like a bear. Let me hold on
to Book and pen, knife and drum,
true love as gun and guide.
Let me bow down on the roadside,
true to the Lord of the Dawn.

Let me rise, head up,
bloody and torn
but voicing truth
to the livid eyes of death,
and spreading peace
where only hate was found.
Dress me in taqwa.
Feed me dust and bone
and find me where sea meets stone
at the Western edge
when, finally, every secret is dredged,
and the world is used and done.

Wael Abdelgawad, 10-25-2010
Fresno, California

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Article by Wael

Wael Abdelgawad is an Egyptian-American living in Fresno, California. He is the founder of several Islamic websites, including Zawaj.com and IslamicAnswers.com, and also of various technology and travel websites. He is a writer and poet, and has been a web developer since 1997. This project, IslamicSunrays.com, is very dear to his heart, as it has allowed him to express ideas that have growing inside him for many years. Wael is divorced and has one lovely young daughter. He practices and teaches martial arts (somewhat obsessively), and loves Islamic books, science fiction, and vanilla fudge ice cream. Wael is an advocate for human rights and blogs about these issues at AbolishTorture.com. He is also a volunteer with the MyDeen Muslim youth organization in Fresno. Wael tagged this post with: , , , , , , Read 265 articles by
5 Comments Post a Comment
  1. María says:

    Assalamualaikom Wael,

    Everyday I´m more and more surprised with all the people that is arriving to my life through Suhaib´s web, I have no words to express the Beauty of your writings, and what surprised me the most is that we talk the same language, I´ve been writing two blogs in spanish, one of poems and the other one of thoughts and at the beginning I said more or less the same message you say here, I´m far from having all the Knowledge you have, but I´m learning a lot with all of you, you are being a strong inspiration in my life, I didn´t know why I was doing it, now I understand. I just see so many people around the world moved by the same energy almost using the same words, more or less with the same thoughts, and everything surrounded by lots of Love and Respect for the others.
    I love your poem and your writings. I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate to find you. I feel more peaceful now that I know that so many people is vibrating in tune with so much Love.
    God bless you and your daughter. Thank you for all your work.

  2. wael says:

    I just read this poem over again, a month after I completed it. This poem is so “me”, maybe more than anything I’ve ever written. If anyone wants to know who I am in my spinning and molten center, this is me. I worked on it for many days, and it expresses me down to my marrow. That’s the amazing thing about a poem, is that it can bring out and put words to deep feelings that course beneath the surface like ocean currents, feelings that would be otherwise inexpressible.

    • María says:

      Assalamualaikom,

      Your words express poetry again. Nice to listen to you once again. The day I read this poem I said to myself, now I can rest in peace, someone out there is in the same path I am, I felt such a relief because other people was without knowing it holding my hand, and giving me strength to keep going, your energy has traspassed oceans and continents, thank the Lord for all the people like you.
      My sky is being fulfilled lately for many shining stars, you are one of them already.
      Maybe one day I can say that about a poem I write, don´t feel that yet.
      Beslama Hermano.

  3. deadpoet says:

    your deep bro!

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