The Orphan’s Song For The Kaaba By Novid Shaid

The Orphan’s Song For The Kaaba By Novid Shaid

This narrative poem is based on famous Sufi tales about amazing acts of sacrifice and journeys on the way to Hajj.

The Orphan’s Song For The Kaaba

By Novid Shaid

When I was fresh, new, swaddling babe
My mother’s poor spirit flew away
And my father died of a deep malaise
My life was shaping for a terrible fate
But by a stroke of eternal grace
I was taken in by a travelling maid
Nourished with her milk, settled by her face
I remember her clear soothing refrains:

Labbayk Labbayk!
Allahumma Labbayk!
Labbayk Labbayk!
Allahumma Labbayk!
Labbayk Labbayk!
Allahumma Labbayk!
La Ilaha Illalah!

As I grew in strength and the years ran by
I lived with my mother through some terrible times
Trekking through the deserts, perilous and dry
Begging in the cities just to get by
Slaving, watched by cunning, covetous eyes
Searching for a bed under the cold sky
And while we roamed, struggling to survive
Still my mother sang, tears filling her eyes:

Labbayk Labbayk!
Allahumma Labbayk!
Labbayk Labbayk!
Allahumma Labbayk!
Labbayk Labbayk!
Allahumma Labbayk!
La Ilaha Illalah!

Then my life caved in when I was a youth
When my mother one day revealed the truth
She had been like a solid, comforting roof
But now I was lonely orphan in sooth
She said, “Listen my son, I made an oath
To the Lord of the Kaaba and angels’ hosts
That I would visit God’s Almighty house
Where the whole of the world gathers round and round
So I was heading for Makkah nearly out of town
When I heard your shaking, adorable growl
Wriggling on the ground, wrapped in a towel
My heart wept to hear your miserable howl!
There I choose to raise you as my own little babe
Though I yearned to bow in the Kaaba’s shade
Then I called on the Lord, don’t abandon me!
All my wealth I will give to thee
I’ll spend on this poor lonely baby,
But one day grant me the opportunity
To look upon Your House and sing with glee:

Labbayk Labbayk!
Allahumma Labbayk!
Labbayk Labbayk!
Allahumma Labbayk!
Labbayk Labbayk!
Allahumma Labbayk!
La Ilaha Illalah!”

I wiped my tears and I kissed her feet
Saying: “I will take you there on my own two feet!”
Down the winding roads, through the heaving streets
Mother on my back, in the blinding heat
We pushed through the lands in gradual degrees
And hid in ships along the pounding seas
Never were we harmed by men or disease
As we said these words like a whispering breeze

Labbayk Labbayk!
Allahumma Labbayk!
Labbayk Labbayk!
Allahumma Labbayk!
Labbayk Labbayk!
Allahumma Labbayk!
La Ilaha Illalah!”

After days and months, or even years!
Upon the horizon loomed Arabia
My poor old mother began to suffer
Our epic journey had exhausted her
But her eyes lit up with sheer wonder
“Take me my son to the Holy Kaaba!”
So we joined a group of dervish travellers
Pilgrims wrapped in white like glowing spectres
Reading tearful prayers to their Saviour
Treading down the path, chanting with fervour:

Labbayk Labbayk!
Allahumma Labbayk!
Labbayk Labbayk!
Allahumma Labbayk!
Labbayk Labbayk!
Allahumma Labbayk!
La Ilaha Illalah!”

The road dragged on but we marched with cheer
Until we approached the epicentre of our prayer
Past the thronging mass of devotees
Swelling and flowing like a human sea!
Mother grabbed my shoulder with a grip so tight
Then she told me that she had lost her sight
“My dear own son, my orphan boy!
Wipe away your tears! You can’t feel my joy!
I know my state doesn’t make any sense
But alas life is a test of our patience,
My heart is filled with serenity
The lights of My Lord have set me free,
Though the Kaaba’s veiled for me to see
Now instead I see the Lord is truly close to me,
But if you would like a smile to brighten my face,
Tell me what you see, describe the Kaaba’s grace.”

“Dear Mother it’s like the Sun heating up all space
And the people, the planets, orbiting with haste
It’s like the sky on a darkened night
And the pilgrim stars shining around it so bright
It’s like a magnet that our Lord has fixed
And humanity crowds and encircles it
It’s like the heart beating silently
And the blood flows around it eternally
It’s like mighty Saturn, darkened, flattened into a cube
And the ring of pilgrims beautify the view.
It’s the House of God, and He loves His guests,
And He answers all who make sincere requests,
How I wish dear mother, you could see it now,
For the sake of your honest, sincere vow.”

Though her eyes were blind, she looked into me
Saying: “My dear son, it is Allah’s decree,
My soul has drunk a cup which is forever filled
With the wine of love of our Lord’s pure Will.”
Her breaths gave up, she began to fade,
She would end her life in the Kaaba’s shade,
But before my mother’s spirit departed
She sang out those words, free and enchanted:

Labbayk Labbayk!
Allahumma Labbayk!
Labbayk Labbayk!
Allahumma Labbayk!
Labbayk Labbayk!
Allahumma Labbayk!
La Ilaha Illalah!

Dhul Hijja, 1432/2011


Labbayk Allahumma Labbayk La Ilaha Illalah- Arabic, Islamic prayers and formulas, meaning, I am at Your service, O Lord, There is no God but Allah.
These prayers are part of a longer prayer that Muslims say when they embarking on the pilgrimage and wearing their ihrams, white sheets which signify purity, repentance and rebirth.

Poem: Seeking Knowledge – Novid Shaid

Seeking Knowledge

By Novid Shaid, 1997

All knowledge worth seeking
is like a never-ending dining table
covered with wholesome food.
Some stand gobbling wantonly
Wanting everything at once
While others only nibble
Their taste buds hardly aroused.
Pray let us sit at the table
With attention to manners and grace
Then let us dine with peace and patience
So we can enjoy the full measure of the taste.

Poem: The Would-Be Sufi and the Would-be Salafi by Novid Shaid

The Would-Be Sufi and the Would-be Salafi

By Novid Shaid, 2011

Once there were two neighbours
who were locked in a rivalry,
for one was a would-be Sufi
and the other a would-be Salafi.

“You’re a man of shirk and innovation!”
argued the Salafi,
“You’re an arrogant man,” smiled the Sufi,
“You lack spirituality!”

“I yearn for past!” cried the Salafi,
“For the salaf us saliheen!”
“I yearn for the saints!” cried the Sufi,
“For the likes of Jilani!”

Whenever they passed on the pavement,
They would bicker like some angry bees!
“Where’s your daleel for Milad?” roared the Salafi.
“Where’s your ishq?” growled the pretentious Sufi.

“I’m the true follower of the Sunnah!”
“No! That title belongs to me!”
“You’re not invited to my popular halaqa!”
“And we don’t consort with ghair-muqallideen!”

It happened that one of their neighbours,
was a man of technology,
an eccentric, wild-haired scientist,
who had built a time machine.

So he thought he would conduct an experiment
To assess his time machine,
“I know, I’ll try it on the Sufi!
And his friend, the Salafi!”

After putting the idea to the Salafi,
He said: “this sound likes a bida’ to me!”
“Sound like you’re a wuss!” laughed the Sufi
“Where’s your faith in Allah’s decree!”

“No one calls me a wuss!” said the Salafi
“with this experiment, I agree!”
“If he’s doing it now,” said the Sufi,
“Then it’s definitely for me!”

So the scientist told them to listen
While he explained the intricacies,
“You have to explain your destination
Where’ll you go for your first journey.”

Then they both sat down in the contraption,
and strapped themselves in tightly
“To the time of Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal,
To Imam Hasan Al Basri.”

And they bickered as the gadget travelled
Through time and the galaxies,
“Imam Ahmad is the true Salafi!”
“None can compare to Hasan Al Basri!”

With a thud and a great explosion
they landed far from the seas,
in the dominion of the stern leader
Mamun son of Harun Al Rashid.

When they emerged from their aircraft
It was too hard to believe
That they had travelled through time and the universe
To the time of the Salaf Us Saliheen!

And lo and behold who stood there
With a book in his hands, peaceful, at ease
But no other than the almighty scholar,
Imam Ahmad of the Hanbalis!

“Welcome my friends from the future!”
And the Salafi was on his knees,
“I’m not worthy of this my master!
You are the true Salafi!”

“But this isn’t fair,” said the Sufi,
“What about Hasan Al Basri?”
“Oh, I loved to meet him,” said Imam Ahmad
“Let’s travel to him with speed.”

So they took Imam Ahmad with them
Further on back in some degrees,
Landing on the shores of the Tigris
Where they found, Hasan Al Basri.

“How wonderful!” said the Sufi.
“You are the Imam of the pure Sufis!”
Then the Sufi and Salafi starting bickering,
Who was the truest in their beliefs.

But Imam Ahmad and Hasan Al Basri
Of the travellers they took no heed,
Instead they looked at each other
In a state of eternal peace.

“I am Ahmad Ibn Hanbal”
“I am Hasan Al Basri”
“You are the greatest of the Salafis”
“You are the imam of the pure Sufis”.

“Let me learn from you my brother”
“No you’re greater in mastery!”
“I love you for the sake of Allah”
“You remind me of the saaliheen”.

Then in horror the travellers followed them
watching them speak so graciously
They loved each other like no other
This true Salafi and this true Sufi.

Suddenly, the travellers were excited
For the imams seemed to disagree
on a point of fiqh and aqueeda
it seemed they had different beliefs.

“Although we have our difference,”
“We’ll agree to disagree,”
“But I still love you for the sake of Allah!”
“May He unite us again by the Lote tree!”

The would-be Sufi grumbled,
Frowning sat the would-be Salafi,
For their amazing journey had ended
Rather disappointingly.

After they gave their salutations
To Imam Ahmad and Hasan Al Basri
They asked the machine to return,
Back to the 21st century.

When the machine reappeared with a rumble
the scientist jumped up with glee,
“did it work!?” he asked with wonder.
“yes, it did,” they both replied sadly.

And they went back to their houses,
shut their doors, this time rather quietly,
when they walked on to their different masaajid,
they avoided each other purposely.

From that day on something happened,
To the Salafi and Sufi,
Instead of bickering and fighting,
They offered salaams to each other rather meekly.

And they stopped labelling themselves with the titles
That they used before with such surety,
Because now they had learned the true meaning,
Of a true Salafi and a true Sufi.

If – Poem by Novid Shaid

By Novid Shaid

If you can unmask the masquerade
Of life and its illusions
then you have overcome, in truth,
all obstacles of existence.

If you can see the light of God
shimmering through every moment
there’s no-one that can equal you
in this entire existence.

If others sit wrapped in their minds
ensnared by their devices
and you sit free and face your Lord
you’ve triumphed over all existence.

If you can push aside the noise
of people and their distractions
and see your Lord through their demands
you’ve conquered all existence.

If you can find, when calamities
spin through your life like whirlwinds,
the pre-eternal light of God,
you’re a gem of this existence.

If you can find infinite stillness
when people around run riot
and find the One who truly lives
you’ve uncovered the secret of existence.

If you can face your death with peace
and recognize your frailty
then you become the triumphant one
of life and this existence.

If you can purge your heart of love
for fame and notoriety
and prefer to seek the light of God
you’re elevated over all existence.

If you can make your goals for Him
and act with true intentions
the world bends, bowing at your feet
you’re the master of existence.

If you can make your heart a slave
to Him, while others imagine
they’re masters of their own destinies,
he makes you King of all existence.

O Lord when this world overcomes
our minds and our motivations
make us discern Your Reality
encompassing all existence

And peace be on the messenger
and blessings without concession
who, if we ever meet him now,
would revive our whole existence.


BLISS – A Poem of Yearning – Shaykh Muhammad Adeyinka Mendes

BLISS – A Poem of Yearning – Shaykh Muhammad Adeyinka Mendes


Inspired by Shaykh Abu Bakr as-Somali al-Haddad’s commentary on the Poem of Healing by Imam al-Busayri, God be pleased with him, during the Mawlid of March 26, 2009 at Masjid al-Mu’minin in Clarkston, GA

“No perfume compares to the earth that holds his bones/What Paradise awaits the one who breathes its scent or kisses it!” – Imam al-Busayri


if i were the earth that envelops your form,

if i were the fire that kept you through winter warm,

if i were the cloud that gave you shade from the sun,

if i were the spring from which you washed for the One,

if i were the turban that your blessed hands had spun,

if i were the sandals that protected your feet,

my whole soul would sing and my bliss would be complete.

through Muhammad Adeyinka Mendes

© 2009, Adeyinka Mendes. All Rights Reserved.

Kun Kaatiman – Poem by Shaykh Ahmadou Bamba

Kun Kaatiman – Poem by Shaykh Ahmadou Bamba

In the name of God the Compassionate the Merciful

Prayers, Peace, and Blessing be upon the Prophet Muhammad.

This work of Cheikh Ahmadou Bamba M’Backe [May Allah be well pleased with him] is for anyone who wants to acquire knowledge and achieve a goal in this earthly life.

It is a poem that contains many useful things for the awakening of consciences. From the first to the last verse, he sums up all that we may face in this life.

It calls for humility, used to walk unnoticed, to escape the misery of the world.

It prevents it’s reader, in it’s recommendations, from doing harm or doing harm to their neighbor.

To realize the aim of this Qasida we must decisively discern its purpose and do anything that we can to encourage its success or hasten it’s loss.

Here we are reminded life is a brief passage on earth and we are not here to stay forever.

Kun Kaatiman is a poem of eight stanzas each murid (aspirant) must take into account, and take seriously in their progress towards Allah.

أعوذ بالله من الشيطان الرجيم

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Hide yourselves, you who search for knowledge, this will save you from trials and sorrows,

have determination, thus you will surpass your generation.

Do not grieve for the trials which come upon you,

be courageous, so that people believe you want for nothing.

For the Science is never granted to one who fears hunger,

GOD raises his servant who shows patience.

You who wish to acquire knowledge, review your studies constantly,

every time, my sympathy is with them.

You who seek knowledge, do not at the same time go after money,

for the Creator provides for the needs of those on the quest for knowledge.

Fear GOD and follow his religion which is ISLAM,

for he who disobeys GOD or does harm to others will never hold knowledge.

Keep yourself seperate from the opposite sex, young or old,

for approaching them will only lead you to contempt, disobedience, and destruction.

Do not sacrifice the hereafter for this world, O Son of Adam!

It is clear whoever trades light for darkness will regret it.

Note: Special thanks to Yusuf Fisher for sharing this on Facebook.

Poem: I’ve Returned To The Lord Of Honour and Might – Novid Shaid

I’ve Returned To The Lord Of Honour and Might

A message from a boy in heaven to his parents

by Novid Shaid, 2010

Dear Mother and Father, do not fret or fear,
For I’ve returned to the Lord of Honour and Might.

Although you’re yearning for me with each painful tear,
Know that I’ve returned to the Lord of Honour and Might.

For I’ve returned to the Lord of Honour and Might.
He gifted me to you but now He’s summoned me,
Back to the gardens with rivers of pure milk,
And fruits the like of which you have never seen.

Forgive me, my parents, for I crept away from you.
I left you, then you discovered me silent and cold.
That was just my shell, my spirits’ flown away,
Forgive me, I was summoned, and I just couldn’t delay,
I love you but I was summoned by my special Friend,
He has no beginning and He has no end,
His light shone through me and I saw heaven above,
I gazed at children like me dancing full of joy,
Receiving counsel from our Prophet Ibrahim,
Although I stopped and looked back at your world
I could not resist my Creator’s loving hold.
So dear parents there’s no use grieving until you are tired and old,
I skip with angels, and there never is a night,
For I’ve returned to the Lord of Honour and Might.

Dear Mother, fear not that I should ever go hungry!
My Lord is ever bounteous and wise.
Dear Mother fear not that I should ever come to harm,
I dance in gardens guarded by dazzling lights,
I play in fields where there never casts the night,
For I’ve returned to the Lord of Honour and Might.

Dear Mother, now I climb up the gates of Eden,
Fear not because up here I can never fall,
I have even seen the face of My Loving Lord,
And now I shall never fear and I shall never grieve.
I await you on a day when only Prophets can intercede,
On the day when many will be slipping
Fear not, for my prayers shall never let you fall,
I praise my Lord in circles drowned in light,
I’ve returned to the Lord of Honour and Might.

Dear Father fear not that I shall be neglected!
For now my teachers are the Prophets and the Saints,
One day I shall take you by the hand,
When the scales are lifting, while the people shiver and stand,
I shall grasp you, leading you ahead
Across the bridge which will fill humanity with dread,
I will take you to the gardens where there is no night,
I have returned to the Lord of Honour and Might.

Dear Mother and Father listen to my plea,
Don’t worry, you have not heard the last of me,
I’ll be expecting you in the afterlife,
Don’t let this world blind you by its lights,
Prepare yourself for a place where there is no night
For my Lord is no doubt your Lord too
And He will summon every last one of you,
So smile through your tears when you think of me
I’m dancing in the gardens where there never is a night
I have returned to the Lord of Honour and Might.

The Battlefield: The Tawba of a Muslim Teenager – Novid Shaid

The Battlefield: The Tawba of a Muslim Teenager

By Novid Shaid, 1997

I battle with myself
Face to face, punch for punch,
My future launches at me in front
And my past creeps up from behind.
I dodge the assault of late night party invitations,
And avoid the ambushing memories of early mistakes:
Phone numbers of girls.

I am training myself
Readjusting my senses,
Building my defences
To fight this relentless interior jihad
Slipping bullets of gluttony
And evading grenades of pride
They fire and explore around me
But I strive to keep my ground.

Before I was a pathetic refugee
Pitching tents in dunya, surrendering.
My body was conquered by the whispers of shaitan.
Battalions of lust seduced my tempted eyes
Fleets of laziness surrounded my rafts of discipline
Guerrillas of gluttony raided my rare Ramzans.

Ducking stones of anger
And parrying the arrows of desire
My past smacks me with a mighty blow
But I recover straight away.

How I have betrayed my heart!
Robbed it of Islam
Pillaged it of worship
Starved it of prayer
But engulfed it in the oil of haram.
My heart had been hard and dead
The stench of sin wreaked in my chest
Suffocating my heart
Encrusted in sins
An impervious rock.

But now the filth is softening!
Slowly the shell is weakening!
Now the sea of Islam is eroding away
The sticky rocks of dunya.
And my heart is breathing air again
Fresh and pure air it was born to breathe!

So I am left here, armed and ready
Standing alone on the battlefield
With the opposing armies of haram and shaitan
Itching to launch a strike.
But now it is I who attack!
Piercing their armour by praying
Bending their swords by repenting
Disarming their archers by reading the Quran
Crippling their cavalry by lowering my gaze.

This war will never end
My desires will never give in
They fire and explode around me
But I strive to keep my ground.

End Comment:

Please pray for all young Muslims and converts finding their way to the deen and Allah Most High.
And for those of us who have already made our tawbas, pray that Allah Most High keeps us on
the straight and narrow, and to keep up the fight against our true enemies!

Song: Behold – Novid Shaid

Song: Behold

By Novid Shaid, 2002

Behold with your heart!
His everlasting light,
Behold with your heart, behold!
Behold with your heart!
This overwhelming sight,
Behold with your heart, behold!

Beyond everything
Gazes the True King
Who fashioned all that we know
Peerless is His might
Endless His timeless light
Find Him through your heart, behold

Chorus: Behold with your heart! (…)

He lives without sleep
He reigns without fear
His throne is without a heir
He dwells in no place
No era, no space
His light glistens everywhere

Chorus: Behold with your heart! (…)

The skies and the stars
the lands and the seas
are nothing other than signs.
Each atom there is
signals His Unity
which encompasses everything

Chorus: Behold with your heart! (…)

Poem: A Prayer: The Promised Land – Novid Shaid

A Prayer: The Promised Land

By Novid Shaid, December, 2010

Oh Lord,
I cling on to the rocks of your sacred path,

knowing full well I have stumbled
and lost my footing
on the firm ground of certitude and witnessing.
Truly, I have slipped
and fallen into disarray
since You welcomed me into
the Promised Land
Of Your nearness and knowledge.
Forgive me my dear Lord,
For I lost my focus on the centre
the kernel,
the key to everything.
Something caught my eye,
A puppet show in the supermarket of this world,
masquerading as a worthy distraction.
And I followed it,
twisting through the blessed streets and paths,
Until I found myself,
beyond the safety of the city walls
clutching onto my shoulders,
with the mighty doors slamming in my face.
Then terrible winds thrust me in the direction of Hell;
And I suffered
feeling the remoteness from Your blessed space
exclusion from Your overflowing presence
which brings all created things into existence.
And now I struggle
hanging on to the rocks
which gives me some hope that all is not lost.
O Lord
I have truly faltered,
From resting in Your intimate home,
bathing in Your perspicacious pools
and picking the fruits of Divine secrets
in Your prodigious orchards,
I find myself coughing up
the sods and dirt,
clinging on to a solitary jutting rock of hope
while the gaping chasms of my emptiness and desires
await me for their feed.
My errors have been lamentable and gross
My ingratitude unforgivable
But now I call on Your Benevolence
Greater than all the Kings that ever ruled the land and sea
Help me up again O Lord,
Give me the strength
to climb up this godforsaken precipice.
And grant me
An opportunity
to make some recompense
to plead for Your forgiveness
make me a permanent resident, O Lord
A true patriot
An established citizen
Admit me once again, O Lord,
Into Your promised land
Where one truly understands Your Loving Grace,
Where one truly realises
that nothing in this whole universe, ever,
can compensate
for the infinitely intoxicating and sobering vision
of Your Face.