Posts

Monday Morning Haiku – Badr

 
 
 
 
 

The full moon called me from sleep
Face dripping water
Quietly chewing on dates

 
 
 
 
 


 

Monday Morning Haiku – Rahma

 
 
 

Snow resting on the branches
a reserve of mercy
washing my limbs for prayer

 
 
 
 
 


 

Monday Morning Haiku – Kawthar

 
 
 

When the forehead hits the mat
the still pool’s surface
breaks – waves lapping at the lip

 
 
 
 
 


 

Nasheed Hub: Ataynak Bil Faqr

Ataynak bil FaqrThe Nasheed Hub, an initiative of SeekersHub Global, aims to showcase the traditional Islamic art of nasheed, or Islamic devotional songs.ya talib al-fana

Ataynak Bil Faqr (We Have Come to You In Need)

Ataynak Bil Faqr is a classic nasheed that sung all over the Muslim world. It comes in the form of an intimate expression of need, and a comforting recognition that Allah is in control of everything.

The poem starts off by the author describing himself in a state of despair and poverty. In contrast, he knows that Allah is completely free of need, and is the Most Merciful and Generous.

We have come to you, enwrapped in poverty, O You who is always without need. And You are the one who has always been excellent in showing kindness.

He continues by describing his deep love for Allah, and that his wish to reach Allah overriding everything else in his life. He knows that “there is no one in richness like You, and in poverty there is no group like us.” He is determined to put all his trust in Allah, knowing that He has Divine control, while nobody else has power to change things. “If You’re with me in every state, than I have no need of carrying my provision. Because You are the Truly Real, so if only I could realise who I am!”

Click on the image below to scroll.

[pdf-embedder url=”http://seekershub.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/أتيناك-بالفقر-converted.pdf” title=”أتيناك بالفقر-converted”]

About Nasheed Hub

Throughout the decades and civilisations of Islam, the vocal tradition, sometimes known as nasheed or devotional songs, were penned as a way of celebrating and giving thanks to Allah for the message of Islam, as well as for the Messenger himself.nahnu fi rawda
These nasheeds were a way for people to turn towards their Lord in joyful celebration, rather than stringent routine. They were also tools to spread the message of Islam in a non-confrontational way. These nasheeds were able to reach out to those who were alienated or indifferent to the religion and the Muslim community, as well as to teach children who were too young for academic study.
These nasheeds originating from all corners of the Muslim world – from West Africa to Malaysia, from Turkey to Great Britian – mirror their own culture but all carry a common thread: love of Allah and His Messenger.
This series will explore the different nasheeds, penned by some of the great historical Muslim figures, poets, and scholars.


With gratitude to the Chicago Mawlid Committee.


 

Nasheed Hub: SallaAllahu Alayk Ya Nur

The Nasheed Hub, an initiative of SeekersHub Global, aims to showcase the traditional Islamic art of nasheed, or Islamic devotional songs.ya talib al-fanaSallaAllahu Alayk Ya Nur

Sallalahu Alayk Ya Nur

This poem sends praise and blessings upon the Prophet, using analogy and comparing him to light. It was written by Shaykh Ahmad al-Alawi, the leader of the Alawi spiritual path. He was born in Mustaghanem, a city in Algeria, and later migrated to Morocco. After many years of study, he returned to his hometown, teaching until his death in 1934.

He begins the poem by saying “May Allah send blessings upon you, O Light! O Light of every station!” By using the analogy of light, something everyone can easily relate to, the author is able to educate the reader about the Prophet’s significance to the religion of Islam, to the life of Muslims, and to his appearance in the world.

He goes on to compare him to “lamp, oil, and light,” that is to say, complete light without a dependency, a light that came tremendously, as a perfect balance. Everything in existence became manifest through him, in the most beautiful manner. He was created before anything else was, and will continue to exist eternally.

He finishes by affirming that the universe is filled with light because of the Prophet’s light, and that he has attained all virtues and praiseworthy traits.

Click on the image below to scroll.

[pdf-embedder url=”http://seekershub.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/صلى-الله-عليك-يا-نور-converted.pdf” title=”صلى الله عليك يا نور-converted”]About Nasheed Hub

Throughout the decades and civilisations of Islam, the vocal tradition, sometimes known as nasheed or devotional songs, were penned as a way of celebrating and giving thanks to Allah for the message of Islam, as well as for the Messenger himself.nahnu fi rawda
These nasheeds were a way for people to turn towards their Lord in joyful celebration, rather than stringent routine. They were also tools to spread the message of Islam in a non-confrontational way. These nasheeds were able to reach out to those who were alienated or indifferent to the religion and the Muslim community, as well as to teach children who were too young for academic study.
These nasheeds originating from all corners of the Muslim world – from West Africa to Malaysia, from Turkey to Great Britian – mirror their own culture but all carry a common thread: love of Allah and His Messenger.
This series will explore the different nasheeds, penned by some of the great historical Muslim figures, poets, and scholars.


 

Nasheed Hub: Qasidah Muhammadiya

The Nasheed Hub, an initiative of SeekersHub Global, aims to showcase the traditional Islamic art of nasheed, or Islamic devotional songs.

Qasidah Muhammadiya

Qasida Muhammadiya (The Muhammadan Ode) is a wonderful example of both linguistic eloquence and heartfelt love. It was written by Imam Busiri, the same poet who wrote the famous “Qasida Burda,” or the Poem of the Cloak. This poem is written in a very formal verse style that does not take away from the sincerity of the meaning.

Each verse praised the Prophet in a different way, in a very standardized way. Each verse begins with the name “Muhammad” and continues praising his various virtues. The word after the name, begins with the first letter of the Arabic letter. In the same way, the rest of the poem continues, first beginning with the blessed name of the Prophet, and then the next letter of the Arabic alphabet.Prophet Muhammad

Click the image below to scroll

[pdf-embedder url=”http://seekershub.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/qasidah-muhamadiya.pdf” title=”qasidah muhamadiya”]

 

About Nasheed Hub

Throughout the decades and civilizations of Islam, the vocal tradition, sometimes known as nasheed or devotional songs, were penned as a way of celebrating and giving thanks to Allah for the message of Islam, as well as for the Messenger himself.
These nasheeds were a way for people to turn towards their Lord in joyful celebration, rather than stringent routine. They were also tools to spread the message of Islam in a non-confrontational way. These nasheeds were able to reach out to those who were alienated or indifferent to the religion and the Muslim community, as well as to teach children who were too young for academic study.
These nasheeds originating from all corners of the Muslim world – from West Africa to Malaysia, from Turkey to Great Britian – mirror their own culture but all carry a common thread: love of Allah and His Messenger.
This series will explore the different nasheeds, penned by some of the great historical Muslim figures, poets, and scholars.

Resources for Seekers

Why the Prophet, Peace Be Upon Him, Condemned Poetry, by Yusuf Latif

The Prophet’s condemnation of poetry, blessings and peace be upon him, is often misunderstood. Yusuf Latif sheds some light on why.

The Mu‘allaqa (hanging poem) of the most famous pre-Islamic Arab Poet, Imru al-Qays, begins with the couplet:

Stop, let us weep, in remembrance of a beloved and her campsite
Here in the desert between al-Dukhul and Hawmal.

While it is praised for its beauty and eloquence it is also cited by Islamic scholars as an example of the errant nonsense that is rife in even the greatest poetry written by the pre-Islamic Arabs. One thing they make a point of is the fact that it would make no sense for two or more people, especially when those people are the pre-Islamic Arabs of the desert, to actually gather together to weep over one and the same woman whom they all love equally. It is more likely that blood would have been spilt.

This view takes into account not only human nature (the nature of jealousy) but also the virtues extolled by the tribal societies of the Arabian Peninsula. Of course, one way of engaging in battle over one and the same woman could take the form of poetic competition between rivals. And if that did not settle the matter, the spilling of blood would be the final recourse.

The Sense in Nonsense

With that in mind there is still actually a way in which to make some sense of these lines—namely as an image that plays precisely on the incongruity of rivals actually joining forces in order to extol the virtues of their object of desire together. That is to say, that the grounds of criticism cited above, as a weakness worthy of criticism, provide the impetus for and the strength of these very lines. The poem follows and extends a pattern of praise and glorification that was native to the Arabic poetry that reached its peak just prior to the coming of Islam.

For the poems written in pre-Islamic time were, after all, poems of praise. Their point is the glorification of someone or something, in this case, a woman. What greater glorification and praise can there be, than that rivals to the death would find common ground in weeping over the absence of the one whom they (both or all) find themselves besotted by? It is here at this precise point that pre-Islamic poetry reached the highest peak from which it toppled after the Revelation of the Qur’an.

From Nonsense to Sense

In the wake of the Revelation of the Qur’an, this height of poetic eloquence was shown up for what it is: empty. It became abundantly clear that the praise accorded to this actual or imaginary beloved of Imru al-Qays, and like tropes of Arabic poetry, overshot the mark by immense distances. Eloquence came to be seen as gross exaggeration. Not only that it also became clear that there is a Beloved to whom such praise is rightly addressed.

Not only that, this form of praise of the True Beloved still missed the mark, but not by being a gross exaggeration. Rather, it will always fall far short of the mark because the True Beloved, namely, Allah, is exalted beyond all human comprehension and hence exalted beyond any words a human being might fashion in order to express the Immense Majesty and Beauty of Allah Most High.

Here lies the wisdom of poetry that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) made a note of. It is recorded in Imam Tirmidhi’s Jami‘ and the Sunan of Ibn Majah that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said:

“There is wisdom in (some) poetry” (Tirmidhi’s wording).

Just as there is wisdom in some speech, for he also said (Allah bless him and give him peace):

“Poetry is in the same position as speech. The good in it is as the good in speech. The bad in it is as the bad in speech” (Al-Adab al-Mufrad).

What matters is not only how something is said but the content (and context). For it is known that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) condemned poetry, not for its form, but for its exaggerated content. He said:

“It is better that a man fill his belly with pus that ruins it than to fill (his mind) with poetry” (Sahih Muslim).

This shows that such praise as accorded by Imru al-Qays to a girl is falsehood, but when it or the like thereof is accorded to Allah Most High by a Muslim poet, even though it falls short of the object, cannot but be good.

Weeping Together Over One Beloved

It is ironic then to say that poetry in praise of Allah Most High after the advent of Islam never reached the heights reached by pre-Islamic poets. For what that really means is that it never reached the level of nonsense reached by the earlier poets (and hence the level of “greatness” accorded to them).

It means that Islamic poetry in sincere praise of Allah Most High can reach to the greatest of heights in art and eloquence and yet still fall short of doing justice to the object of praise, Allah, Exalted and Transcendent. And this is exactly as it should be.

And finally it means that the falsehood in the lines of Imru al-Qays noted by early scholars, i.e. that of two or more people gathering to glorify the Beloved has been made true for the Umma of His Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace).

[cwa id=’cta’]

When A Poet From Tipperary Tried To Outdo Al Busiri, By Novid Shaid

Once there was a poet

Who hailed from Tipperary

One day he said: “I know what I’ll do

I’ll be the new Busiri!

I am going to be the one and only

I am going to be a star

Muslims from all around will cheer

This is the new burda!

I’ll use a catchy rhythm

I’ll think of amazing rhymes

Similes and metaphors

It’ll be most sublime!

Then after I’ve completed it

I’ll have a special dream

The Prophet will come up to me

With a cloak from the unseen!

I’ll wake and there I’ll find it

Enwrapped around my chest

A miracle, a fine burda

At the holy Prophet’s behest!

Then people will come and read it

They’ll find it heavenly

The royalties will flow and flow

I’ll be an Islamic celebrity!”

 

So, he went and told his missus

She couldn’t help but deride

“You nincompoop!” She chided him

“Al Busiri was half-paralysed!”

“I don’t care!” Said the poet

“I’m gonna hit the big time

I’ll prove to you that I can write

The most scintillating rhyme!”

 

So, he went and sat on a wooden bench

Inside the local park

He mused: “right here amongst the trees

I will write with perfect art.”

But as he wrote, he struggled

Nothing was forthcoming

So he decided there to take a nap

Maybe a dream would inspire him.

As he was awakening

He felt something enshrouding him

Inside he said: “subhan Allah!

This must be from Him!”

He awoke with expectation

His ego feeling finer

But to his horror and disgust

He was wrapped in a great bin-liner!

“What on earth is this!” He raged

And suddenly he noticed

A bearded most singular man

He thought: “he must be homeless.”

The old man said: “I’m sorry

But I thought you needed that

I didn’t want you to be cold

Especially in this cold snap.”

“You cheeky sort!” Cried the poet

“Keep yourself to yourself!”

The old man gazed into his eyes

“I know what’s good for your health.”

“What are you blabbering on about

You bumbling, dithering looney!”

Growled the poet growing red and red

Like a bloated strawberry.

The old man said: “you need this burda

This burda around my heart.”

The poet stared at the man and cried:

“There’s no burda there you tart!”

“Aah!” sighed the man, glowing

“You have to look carefully

The cloak that I refer to

Is the cloak of sincerity.

Its thread is made of slavehood

The pattern spells out mercy

Then you have to weave it

With the needles of poverty

When you write and only write

For Blessed Mustafa

When you love and only love

For our One Maker Allah

You will see He works through you

You will see His Mustafa.”

The poet went home gloomy

But at home things weren’t much finer

His wife said: “here, I need some help!”

And she handed him a bin-liner!

 

[cwa id=’cta’]

Resources for seekers

Muhammad Ali – The Acts That Help When We Die, by Mostafa Azzam

There had been a time he was named Cassius Clay;
A time he was praising himself night and day.
“I’m the best in the world,” “So pretty,” he’d say.
And then in this world, he had risen so far;
Until he was granted his very own star.
With the famous of famous now put up on par.
But there was a problem with that kind of fame:
On the ground they would put the star with his name;
But now as the Prophet’s his name was the same.
So he said, on the ground the name should not lie;
Let the name of Muhammad be held way up high.
Yes, those are the acts that help when we die.
So now as his body is put in the ground,
And what’s gone around has come back around,
May mercy and peace be what he has found.
And may he be raised for his honoring of
The one who is mentioned in heavens above.
Yes, Lord elevate him…
for that reverence and love.
Lord, have mercy on the soul of our brother, Muhammad Ali, for the sake of the one he named himself after, the Prophet Muhammad, Allah bless and salute him.
Mostafa Azzam, 2016

AUDIO: The Ornamented Ladder into the Science of Logic

Al-AkhdariThe Ornamented Ladder into the Science of Logic (“Al-Sullam Al-Munawraq”) is a highly popular didactic poem by Imam ʻAbd al-Rahman al-Akhdari (1514 – 1546). Shaykh Ahmed Saad Al-Azhari, Founder and Director of the Ihsan Institute has made a full recording for students of knowledge who are striving to memorise this text.

The 144-line poem outlines the principles of Aristotelian logic and explains how logic could be used to support the Islamic creed (‘aqidah) and jurisprudence (fiqh). The work is studied across the Muslim world as a primer on logic and is often read in conjunction with al-Akhdari’s own prose commentary.

 

Resources for seekers: