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October 30, 2004

Untitled Poem

 

I had actually posted this way back in the blurty.com days. While re-reading some of my old posts on blurty, I came across this poem that I think might be of benefit given that these are the middle 10 days of Ramadan–the days of forgiveness.

 

I saw my sins like the fires of Kisrah
Unyielding, growing, and seeming to live forever
But then I saw Your forgiveness to be like the Tigris and Euphrates
And the fires were quenched leaving only steam in their wake

Then I saw my sins like the midday sun
Scorching the parched desert of my barren soul
But then I saw Your forgiveness to be like a Syrian cloud
Lending its shade as it did to Bahîra’s visitor

Then I saw my sins like the monsoon clouds
Ominous, foreboding with their contents
But then I saw Your forgiveness to be like the breath of Isrâfîl
Scattering the clouds as men are scattered in the earth

Then I saw my sins like the Night of Deliverance
Full of death with its Stygian blackness
But then I saw Your forgiveness to be the Day of Deliverance
The night had led to the holy light of dawn

Then I saw my sins like a snake
Coiled and threatening those who would but see it
But then I saw Your forgiveness to be like the Indian mongoose
And the snake fled, gone forever to from whence it came

Then I saw my sins like the winters of Siberia
Lacking life with no hope in their perpetual twilight
But then I saw Your forgiveness to be like an Andalusian spring
And there were green buds on the dead branches of my spirit

Then I saw my sins like a dangerous rapid
Chaotic, with no safety for the one inside
But then I saw Your forgiveness to be like the waterfall’s end
Surely, all rapids end in the calmness of reflecting pools

Then I saw my sins like the hooting of a widowed owl
Miserable and unfortunate are the listeners!
But then I saw Your forgiveness to be like the song of the bulbul
Melodious, and how blessed are the favored listeners!

Then I saw my sins like the fleeting winds
Lacking purpose, going every such way
But then I saw Your forgiveness to be like a Western zephyr
Guiding me to a peaceful shore

Then I saw my sins like the spring hurricane
Destroying without purpose, leaving misery in its wake
But then I saw Your forgiveness to be like the hurricane’s eye
And Your calmness protected my inner soul

Then I saw my sins like the sun-dried gourd
Detestable to the palate of even the wayward soul
But then I saw Your forgiveness to be like clarified honey
And I felt no more bitterness after tasting Your sweetness

Then I saw my sins like the thrown rocks of Tâ’if
And the last vestiges of my humanity bled
But then I saw Your forgiveness to be like Jabal al-Tûr
And I witnessed the rocks glancing off the mountain into the wastes of futility

Then I saw my sins like the pain of Bilâl
Even the soul of the observer wretched at witnessing such agony
But then I saw Your forgiveness to be a hidden panacea
And the pain I once felt made me appreciate the Physician’s cure

Then I saw my sins like a bottomless ocean
And I sank, waiting to drown and reach the bottom
But then I saw Your forgiveness to be like a bed of pearls
And I remarked: Is this my ocean’s bottom?

O ye who would reproach me!
Understand then that my sinfulness has a purpose
For if I were not to sin
Then who would the Forgiver forgive?

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3 Comments
  1. Anonymous permalink

    I’m only giving you eprops cuz I liiiiike it!
    Im not giving you eprops cuz youre entry is good cuz i didnt read it.
    I would give you two but i’m a miser.

  2. Why are your posts being recycled?

  3. Mashallah, the poem is beautiful. You’ve tapped into Islamic history, geography, and other diverse subjects to express something quite simple – the believer’s need for the forgiveness of Allah. The artist in me does not like to see works remain untitled. If I may suggest a title, perhaps the refrain, “I saw my sins” would be appropriate.

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