Poem: I Fell On My Knees

Indonesian woman prays beside a rice paddy.

Written By Eya

I fell on my knees
with a humble heart
seeking forgiveness
and much mercy

For I need him so
for guidance
to begin anew
and remain on the path

In my life and living
I want to change
old habits for happiness
and the love

I seek now and the afterlife
for then it will truly be blissfull
I am an example
of God’s love.

Poem: Build a Dream

Tree of dreams

Build a Dream

I have trudged through sands.
I have come with injured hands
to build a dream.

I’ve given it all to you
and worn ragged shoes.
I’ve grown lean.

I’m walking this path
out of the dark past
carrying child and faith.

I’m late on the scene –
but I am not done trying
to build a dream.


Wael Abdelgawad
January 26, 2015
Fresno, California

Don’t You Fall Now

Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes

“Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor —
Bare.
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s,
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
So boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps
‘Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now —
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.”

– Langston Hughes

Poem: You are One

Sunlight in the forest, sunlight on the trees

You Are One

The trees and shadows
are black and brown –
I’m afraid to turn around –
then I hear a sound
like a trumpet call,
ringing like the dawn,
orange and clean.
It’s the call of the One,
a perfect Quran,
revealed upon a man
and lights the world like a sun.
It shines on my skin
and warms my mind.
I stride through the trees
tall like a woodsman –
no fear now.
You call and I come,
O Allah, As-Salam,
You are the One.

Wael Abdelgawad
June 23, 2012

Poem: A House I’ve Never Seen

Beautiful farm painting

A House I’ve Never Seen

Shrugging off doubts.
Wistful for a house
I’ve only seen in dreams,
a green garden for my child,
a woman with kind eyes.
A Western sky
and a bell of brass.
A wall that evil cannot pass,
a patch of sunlight on the grass,
a place to live and laugh.

– Wael Abdelgawad, 12-31-2011

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: Why Do You Save Me?

Sun rays shining from behind the clouds

Why Do You Save Me?

Allah, why do You save me?
Why do You guide me gently,
and push me to the light?
Am I more in Your sight

than a walking shade?
Am I bright? Do You see
my coruscating heart?
Am I living my true life?

If not, then in which shining valley
does it lie?
In whose wide eyes,
in what hungry land?

Why did You draw me by the hand
from my prison bed?
What of the souls I have loved
who are lost, who have fled

to distant cities
or turned their heads
after speaking
of inexpressible sadness?

Those who have known me best
have betrayed me,
or I have betrayed them.
Is that the grief of Bani Adam?

Why do You pull me
from the pit,
casting light on me,
accepting my regret,

giving me dreams like comets,
or signposts
to a hidden shrine?
Dreams like hands in mine.

Why, Allah? Am I more
than I seem to myself?
Where did my soul reside
in the world before birth?

If souls are troops
collected together
then where is my unit,
where was my creche?

Who am I to them now?
Who am I to the Prophets,
to the angels sweeping the sky,
to my daughter

and those who will proceed?
Who am I to You, Al-Azeez,
who hold night and day;
and when will I find my way?

Wael Abdelgawad
12-15-2010

Poem: In the Mud

Pigeon and eagle

In the Mud

Is there a tragedy greater
than a bird without wings?

Yes. It is a winged bird
that is afraid to fly.
If it would only stretch its wings
it could spring into the air
like a wind. But it imagines
that it will fall
so in the mud it crawls
looking to the sky
like an afterlife.

Wael Abdelgawad
November 11, 2010

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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