punish or redeem

what good will it be
to punish
or to redeem
when it is hard
to forget

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You Live in my Prayer

Then there are poems which come to you in sleep’s stupor
This is one such poem
Forgive my impertinence…

You live in my prayer
So frequently I plead for you
That He knows your name
Better than any of His prophets’

You live in my prayer
In between late night whispers
Of oft-repeated verses

You live in my prayer
Through sacred chants
And in incense infused dreams

You live in my prayer
You seal my faith
On every path of belief

You live in my prayer
Life after life we shall meet
Even the separator hesitates before me

You live in my prayer
You live in my call to prayer
You live in my prostration

You live in my prayer
Blurring the distinction
Between who I pray to and who I pray for
You live in this idolatrous soul’s prayer

You live in my prayer…

(This is my most audacious poem as yet)

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The Spirit of a True Leader

It burns me that despite all the education we are exposed to and progress we have made, today we sorely lack decent leaders. One cannot lead a people they have no connection with. Connection is not formed by name, blood, fame or wealth but by empathy, decency and a sense of justice. I have said this before and will repeat here..

“If only leaders governed through action…”

“A leader is not elected, he is born”

Imam Ali, the cousin and son-in-law of Prophet Muhammad lived a simple and humble life even when he was the Caliph. His generosity knew no bounds and he treated people with dignity, honor, and kindness. His leadership values were to set an example rather than preach, he said:

“He who has appointed himself an Imam (ruler) of the people must begin by teaching himself before teaching others. His teaching of others must be first by setting an example rather than with his words, for he who begins by teaching and educating himself is more worthy of respect than he who teaches and educates others.”

As for his sense of justice, Imam Ali told his officials:

“Behave humbly with the people, keep yourself lenient, meet them with a big heart, and accord them equal treatment, so that the high should not expect injustices from you in their favor, and the low should not be despondent of your justice towards them.”

 Today I am re-posting these poems as a reminder of and a dedication to the spirit of a true leader.

in the hidden of the hiddens
there you will find him
in his full reality
denied by all
but a few
yet he helps all
if only they would ask

~ Ali, the helper of all ~
*

at the birth of religion
the foremost followers
were not preachers
but revolutionaries

~ Ali, the foremost ~
*

and the veil fiercely guards secrets
refusing even the light to reveal
unless it recognises
the name of her master

~ Ali, the knower of secrets ~
*


Read more about The Perfect Leader

More of Imam Ali’s sayings in my post No Ordinary Sermon

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hate never helps

hate never helps you forget
try indifference…

that which doesn’t kill you
only makes you…
wish you were dead

pain doesn’t always make you stronger
sometimes it turns you softer
so long as you stay away from bitter

roses are red
perhaps because they bled…?

tomorrow may never come
because this night seems not to end

when friends are tainted by love
neither love nor friendship survives

never write a letter poem when you are angry ~ Chinese Proverb

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He is not One

They tell me “Say He is One”
But I reply “He is not One, He is Zero”

He is not One
For one is divisible
Can you divide zero?

He is not One
For One has an end
And an origin
Zero is
Constant
Continuous
Eternal
Sourceless
All inclusive

And one day
Everything shall return to Zero

He is not One

(Dedicated to the storyteller who opened my eyes to this possibility)

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InshAllah

often misused,
the one word answer
that absolves me
of responsibility
is “InshAllah”

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fingerprints of my words

my words leave their fingerprints
indelible and uniquely mine
if you tried you would recognise me

only i write that way

i sing as i alliterate
pausing for the music, i question
what appears mundane

with precise, frugal phrases
you, well…
… get the point

my meek remarks
hide a rage suppressed
follow the pattern
the rhetoric hides irony

a subtle ending

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wiser than wisdom

though you may be wiser than wisdom
the moment you acknowledge it
you become more ignorant than ignorance

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rights and wrongs

maybe wrong and wrong
don’t make it right
just like black and black
can’t be white
but what of wrongs and rights
that are grey?

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stairway to heaven

the walking dead
found their way
the stairway to heaven
testimony that
even in death
you are in control
of your destiny

(you do not die in death)

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