Poem: If I Were a Middle-Aged Angel

Sunlight shining through trees onto a forest path

By Wael Abdelgawad | IslamicSunrays.com

If I were a middle-aged angel
wearing holy hi-tops and shining with light
placing every foot right
my hands never shaking
never having to recline the seat in the car
and close my eyes, just sit there
breathing, my heart quaking,
trying to figure out what to do next,
how to fix the wreck that is my life –
then I wouldn’t need the light
of the Most High. I wouldn’t need
to fall to my knees and pray,
always for someone else first –
my father, daughter, Syria –
then for myself, for true love twice,
the illusion of security –
knowing it’s an illusion I still crave it –
and for Paradise.

– April 27, 2017
Fresno, California

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

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: 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

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