Category: Poetry

25 Going On 16

At a glance, eyes meet, and

Within a few heart beats,

A plethora of emotion flood my veins,

Composing a mash-up of mixed feelings

That only snips of song can reveal glimpses:

“And sometimes you close your eyes

And see the place where you used to live

When you were young…”

The breeze changes direction

Because it left something behind turning

Back, brushing over my cheek,

Whistling a duet with the

Chirping crickets, enchanting me that

Another summer has come to an end.

The morning frigidness knocks at my bones,

Answered coyly by the sun’s rays,

Meandering into the melancholy of mid-morning

That blossoms into full blown afternoon heat

Wave.  It’s time to go.

And just as quickly as it bloomed, the day is over.

Heading home on a crowded bus full of

High School Chums, a few last laughs are packed up

For the evening shift, just before reaching my bus stop,

My stop,


The mp3 player skips ahead to the next song, stirring me from my reminiscence.

Every track reminds me of you:

“I’ve tried playin’ it cool,

But when I’m lookin’ at you

I can’t ever be brave,

‘Cause you make my heart race

Shot me out of the sky,

You’re my Kryptonite,

You keep making me weak,

Yeah, frozen and can’t breathe,

So, get out, get out, get out of my mind

And come on, come into my life…”

The night looms over me driving home from work after another evening shift.

High school feels like just yesterday.

In many ways, I’ve never left.

Physically grown, and matured, but my heart

Still daydreams, wanders,

Believes in fairytales, happily-ever-afters,

And places without






“Maybe I’m in the black, maybe I’m on my knees,

Maybe I’m in the gap between the two trapezes,

But my heart is beating and my pulses start

Cathedrals in my heart.

As we soar walls,

Every siren is a symphony

And every tear’s a waterfall,

Every teardrop is a waterfall…”

And when our eyes meet,

I momentarily forget the pain;

It’s as if I’m 16 all over again –

Juvenile hope and sincerity

Sprout from stolen glances, and

Enigmatic timidity.

I often ponder whether or not

It has been worthwhile to have completely

Abstained from all things romantic,

All for the sake of Modesty in Faith.

My hand has never known the grasp of another,

My heart a stranger to the revelry of companionship,

Lips never felt the tenderness of a kiss,

Soul never donned the cloak of commitment

And security of confidence in a

Significant other.

In comparison, these are not problems at all –

Not worth mentioning,


What else am I to imagine

When my own community makes

A Mirage out of

The pursuit of marriage?

Differences in race, culture, language, nationality,

Age, career, education, sub-philosophy –

Ephemeral, superficial, artificial, officially

Ignorant, and in complete opposition to Divine Law

That came down to make the Good easy

And the evils clear.

Instead, we trade Truth for falsehoods and prefer

Giving into our whims,

Lending Satan our ears, and

Living in Sin.

“Hello, hello, is anybody there?

Hello, hello, you hear me talk to you,

Hello, hello, does anybody care?

Hello, hello, just tell me if you do…”

And my Beloved Prophet Muhammad said, “I have been sent to beautify and perfect good character.”

Does good character merit any value to anyone anymore?

“He doesn’t look a thing like Jesus

But he talks like a gentleman,

Like you imagined

When you were young.

I said he doesn’t look a thing like Jesus,

He doesn’t look a thing like Jesus,

But more than you’ll ever know…”

Cool canary sky inhaled,

Raging orange fire out,

Crimson rain pouring from the heart

Through veins parched and impaled –

Like the emotions binding my chest,

Fall colours emerge in frenzy.

Rioting, they all seem to clash and protest.

But look again:

The colours are all

Subtle shades and hues of

The same thing –

Humanity –

That only those with true vision can


Beyond race, culture, nationality,

Beyond ego, pride, and diseased hearts,

There is only Love,


I lose myself by the view above:

Autumn night draws its veil,

A star-studded sky crowns me,

Jewels glimmering vibrantly

Crystal clear –

Contrary to the thoughts that

Cloud my heart and mind,

Raining, pouring, lighting and

Thunder inside…

“Take away the sensation inside

Bitter sweet migraine in my head

It’s like a throbbing tooth ache of the mind

I can’t take this feeling anymore.

Drain the pressure from the swelling,

This sensation’s overwhelming,

Give me a long kiss goodnight

And everything will be alright,

Tell me that I won’t feel the pain,

So give me Novacaine”

Hurt chains my heart from taking a step forward;

A slave to its past, indentured,

Shipwrecked, battered and bruised between

Complete confusion and the

Solace of your serene smile,

Anchored in the deep sea of your eyes,

Framed by dark tresses all carried by

A musing gait of folded arms at your back.

“When I see your face

There’s not a thing that I would change,

Cause you’re amazing

Just the way you are.

And when you smile,

The whole world stops and stares for a while,

Cause girl you’re amazing

Just the way you are…”

In all modesty, I’ll remain in your admiration.

I dedicate this mash-up to you.

You really don’t know that you’re Beautiful.

“Don’t need make-up, to cover up,

Being the way that you are is enough,

Everyone else in the room can see it,

Everyone else but you –

You don’t know you’re beautiful –

And that’s what makes you Beautiful.”

“And He gave you hearing, sight, intelligence, and affections that you may be grateful.” [16:78]

What Does Freedom Mean?

What does ‘freedom’ mean?

Does the eagle want to swim in the sea, restricted by the sky?

Does the fish want to dance on the wind; not enough river to explore?


Yet the sky is freedom for the bird but death for the fish.

The sea is wide for the fish but will engulf the bird.


We ask for freedom but freedom to do what?

We can only express our nature as it was created.


The prayer mat of the earth is freedom,

Freedom from slavery to other than the One,

Who offers a shoreless ocean of love to swim in

And a horizon that extends to the next life…


Yet we choose the prison

And call it ‘freedom’.




Lovers are veiled from the beauty of a full moon

Until they have their Beloved’s face and form to

Compare it to.

It comes to be that there is nothing more magical,

Nothing more majestic than the voice of

The Beloved calling their name.

And when they sleep they see him,

And by day they pray he will visit them by night

To bless them with his presence, with

Beautiful dreams of his radiant face and his regal countenance.

And so their lives become devoted to that which pleases him,

So that they may know his companionship in a later life

Because in this life they came too late to be enchanted by his physical light.

Cycles of the moon separate them, and yet they yearn for him.

The moon burns and blazes brightly like the Beloved’s legacy,

His path rightly-guided like the brilliance of the moon,

Like the brilliance of his blessed face—

A shining light gently guiding towards freedom;

Only upon true tawheed is there a chance.

The contingency of this tawheed is that of belief in Beloved

First stemming from a respectful reverence into

Full-blown, deeply-seeded love affair

With the shape of his generously granted smile is memorized and

Mesmerized is all there is.

He is all this world could ever dream to be,

And so he came to be – and was, and made way for us,

Made it clear that the path the tawheed is only through he, Beloved

Men who consumes waking thoughts in the dream world, too,

Like the moon, he testified to Truth, found and gifted an annihilation in complete submission, like the way he lived,

When “King” was a title within his reach,

Instead he reached for hearts, with his touch so real and deep,

He reached into centuries and destinies and is a Hearts to keep.

His legacy – his legacy burns in hearts,

Passionately blazes and lights the way

For those desiring the path.

He shines brighter than the moon,

The moon which rises and falls

In memory of lighting his face

He had wheat-coloured skin because he was wholesome.

Solid and secure, he was fashioned to become

The elegance that blessed man with etiquette.

Broad and beautifully built – a body that shined like silver,

A toothy, pearly white smile that his noble face was rarely seen without,

Fully fleshed fingers and feet, eyes and hair black like night.

Jabir said, I once saw Rasul Allah on the night of a full moon.  At times I looked at Rasul Allah, and at times at the moon, and I came to find that Rasul Allah was more handsome, more beautiful, more radiant than the moon.

He split the moon in two and was more beautiful than two moons could every be.

And so, you see, Lovers are veiled from the beauty of a full, glorious moon

Until they have Muhammad’s face and form to compare it to.

May we be from his lovers, ameen.

(C) Mona Haydar



Poem written by Shaykh Habib Salih al-Ja’fari al-Husayni (raheem Allah)

(Thank you for sharing this with me MA!)

My Lord, send blessings upon the Prophet

The best of people, and upon his family

In his beauty, in his majesty

In his perfection, in his speech

The best of people is Muhammad

Virtue is one of his bounties

My Lord has said:  A Mercy

To the creation was his sending

In the House of Bliss he now resides

And his coming to us is our Garden

So when I kiss the earth

Where his sandals used to step

And when will I see the gates of his grave

That is full of his gifts

And smell the perfume of the Beloved

And rest under his shade

And the cup of his drink is passed

From the fresh water of his buckets

If only he would visit me!

Even if just a glimpse of his image

Love from him has appeared

And likewise from his sons

And truly I do love him

For the goodness of his traits

There has never come anyone like Muhammad

Or a likeness of his likeness

On rocks his feet left prints

Yet in sand they did not sink

And he pointed at the full moon

So it split into two halves!

The tree trunk cried in longing

For his speeches, for his words

He protects the Land of Kinana

Like a lion among its cubs

God protects a visitor

Who walks between His mountains

Who walks to Him at speed

To be a winner on the Day of Recompense

God protects his heart

With light in all his states

And he stays always in His blessings

And He increases him in wealth

Then may blessings and peace descend

On the Prophet and his family

As long as al-Ja’fari sings

In praise, in words of truth

Oh Precious, Precious Messenger of God!


There’s hidden sweetness in the stomach’s emptiness.

We are lutes, no more, no less.


If the soundboxes stuffed full of anything, no music.

If the brain and the belly are burning clean with fasting,

Every moment a new song comes out of the fire.

The fog clears, and new energy makes you run

Up the steps in front of you.

Be emptier and cry like reed instruments cry.


Emptier, write secrets with the reed pen.

When you’re full of food and drink,

Satan sits where your spirit should,

An ugly metal statue in place of the Kaaba.

When you fast, good habits gather

Like friends who want to help.

Fasting is Solomon’s ring.


Don’t give in to some illusion and lose your power,

But even if you have, if you’ve lost all will and control,

They come back when you fast,

Like soldiers appearing out of the ground,

Pennants flying above them.


A table descends to your tents, Jesus’ table.

Expect to see it, when you fast,

This table spread with other food,

Better than the broth of cabbages.


~ Mawalan Jalal al-Din Rumi (from Divan-e-Shams-e-Tabriz)