Poem: A Prayer for Today

Shaykh Zayed Mosque, Abu Dhabi

Shaykh Zayed Mosque, Abu Dhabi

By Wael Abdelgawad | IslamicSunrays.com

Today I say no prayers for myself.
As for my enemies, I wish them well
in the truest sense – well hearts
and minds, and a well of light.
Today, on this day of spring sunshine
and headlines full of death
– ISIS leaving heads on the roadside
and young Muslim leaders
gunned down in the USA –
it’s for the Ummah that I pray.
I pray for the Muslim people
to rediscover the merciful heart
of their deen; and to find their power,
science, architecture, art,
and the quiet joy of ‘ibadah
and Allah’s love.
Let them step into the century
free from tyranny, standing tall
with Islam as hope and call.
Let them drink from the bubbling spring
of the Quran.
Let them breathe.
Let them free themselves
and transform the world.

Poem: The Sorrows – by Sarah Saghir

Muslim woman praying in Indonesia.

Muslim woman praying beside a rice field in Indonesia.

   the sorrows
that borrow
the four chambers
of the heart
     shrivel
in the hour
 of Remembrance.

   the sins
that sit
on the shoulders
     tumble
to the floor
 where I'm bowing.

   the troubles
that scribble
over my vision,
     disperse
in the horizon
of Your Pleasure.

By Sarah Saghir
July 15, 2013

***

The Messenger of Allah said (peace be upon him): “When the worshiper gets up to perform the Salah, he comes with all his sins, placed over his shoulder. When he bows into Ruku’ or Sajdah, his sins fall down.” (Reported by Abu Nu‘aim)

Poem: Hear Those Who Call

Dove flying

 

Hear Those Who Call

O Allah, hear those who call:
the refugees, the small,
and those who cannot speak.
Hear them and help with blessings from above;
and for me…
give me love.

I know I’m weak.
A life that sometimes weighs
to others would be sweet.
Help the victims of war, and prisoners of speech:
feed them, care for their wounds…
and for me… bring a heart that beats.

For my people in Palestine,
in Syria, in Burma, I weep.
Give them freedom and a new day.
And if there’s one stray soul
searching for me, Ya Allah,
then show her the way.

If You think I’m arrogant,
then break me down.
Bring me low to praise You above.
And if You think it’s right,
if I’ve grown as You want me to grow,
if You look inside

and see a soul
sincere as a dove,
new and ready to be born…
then bring me love.

Wael Abdelgawad
September 9, 2012

Poem: This is Who I Am

Reaching for the light

By Amy Estrada

This is Who I Am

I can only come as I am to you, Allah
You’re not the only thing in my heart
But can’t I still give it, full of everything as it is, back to you?
You’re not the only thing on my mind
But can’t I still ask you to help me with my random, sinful thoughts?
I’m not perfect, and You even said You wouldn’t want this
You want those who can be forgiven
And I need forgiveness You see, because
I sometimes am fine with having more than just You in my life
I sometimes am fine with thinking things I shouldn’t
I sometimes am fine with skipping a prayer or two
I sometimes am fine with eating a haraam burger
I sometimes am fine with saying a bad word
This is who I am Allah, a girl who is sometimes fine with sin in my life
But I don’t forget You, everywhere I look I see You
And I’m just tired of being told to be someone else, just to come to You
I am who I am Allah, and while I am making my bad choices
I am also hating that people are being hurt
Whether it’s by me or someone else
I am hating that people are mistreating one another
Whether in the name of Islam or any other cause
Allah I am who I am, and I am someone who loves goodness
I love fairness and compassion
My favorite thing is to see people come into a blessing of any kind
And find their heart’s desire, to see them really find You
So this is who I am Allah, I am a contradiction
I am a lover of Your attributes even while I am rejecting them in my own life
By means of my own actions
I am messed up and hurt and scared, all while hopeful and trusting and strong
I cry that things don’t go my way, and I cry at the story of Muhammad (saws)
I argue for the fun of it, yet sometimes Your words take the fight right out of me
You are ultimate and real and deep and pricelessly complex
And I am whimsical, moody, emotional, nafsy and greedy
And all I want is to be able to come to You and be who I really am
While You make me who I was always meant to be.

Poem: A Gate Called Ar-Rayyaan

Happy valley path

A Gate Called Ar-Rayyaan

Allahumma, Ar-Rahman,
let me in through Ar-Rayyaan,
with my daughter hand in hand.
Or if not, then shake me loose
of all I’ve done;
brush the sins off me like dust
and show me the path
to Bab As-Salat.
Or Bab Al-Hajj, or Bab-As-Saum.
Let me come home,
let me come home to You.
Bab At-Tawbah, Bab Al-Jihad,
with my child, that’s all I ask,
and let all else vanish
beneath the waters, or be taken
by the wind.

Wael Abdelgawad
August 22, 2011

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: 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: 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!

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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