Poetry Monday – In the Arms of Midnight, by Jafar Alam

February 27, 2012

Chocolate girl

Your hair looks

Don’t give up on tomorrow
It’s already praisin’

You aint a regular
Earth dweller

Sweet heart
There’s only one caste system…
That’s the human race

And Karma

She’s a trip

She’s got their names
In her book

You deserve a love
That makes you a priority
Not an option hun

Don’t run away from your problems
Lest you start avoiding mirrors

Chocolate girl
You’re the realist fairytale

Don’t try explaining yourself
To them

How you explain sunshine
To a blind man?

You are the joy of the world


So act like it


Don’t be some fools
Baby mama

Boilin’ milk over a stove
With lost dreams

These boys
These days

They be fallin’ in love
Without love

Don’t be so consumed
With the world around you
That you neglect the world
Within you

Start your journey

If they ask for you
Tell em

They can find you
Waiting in the dimple of the moon
In the arms of midnight

To the whistle

Of the wind

– Jafar Alam, from Almond Eyes Hears the Dove’s Cries which is also available as an Ebook HERE.

The Old Man, His Grandson, and Reading the Qur’an

February 23, 2012

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

An old American Muslim lived on a farm in the mountains of eastern Kentucky with his young grandson. Each morning Grandpa was up early sitting at the kitchen table reading his Qur’an.

His grandson wanted to be just like him and tried to imitate him in every way he could. One day the grandson asked, “Grandpa! I try to read the Qur’an just like you but I don’t understand it, and what I do understand, I forget as soon as I close the book. What good does reading the Qur’an do?”

The Grandfather quietly turned from putting coal in the stove and replied, “Take this coal basket down to the river and bring me back a basket of water.” (A coal basket is also called a scuttle, which is just a metal basket for carrying coal, with holes in the sides and bottom so the coal dust can be shaken out before it is carried.) The boy did as he was told, but all the water leaked out before he got back to the house.

The grandfather laughed and said, “You’ll have to move a little faster next time,” and sent him back to the river with the basket to try again. This time the boy ran faster, but again the basket was empty before he returned home.

Out of breath, he told his grandfather that it was impossible to carry water in a basket with holes, and he went to get a regular bucket instead. The old man said, “I don’t want a regular bucket of water; I want a coal basket of water. You’re just not trying hard enough,” and he went out the door to watch the boy try again.

At this point, the boy knew it was impossible, but he wanted to show his grandfather that even if he ran as fast as he could, the water would leak out before he got back to the house. The boy again dipped the basket into river and ran hard, but when he reached his grandfather the basket was again empty.

Out of breath, he said, “See Grandpa, it’s useless!”

“So you think it is useless?” The old man said, “Look at the basket.” The boy looked at the basket and for the first time realized that the coal basket was indeed different. It had been transformed from a dirty old coal basket and was now clean, inside and out.

“Son, that’s what happens when you read the Qur’an. You might not understand or remember everything, but when you read it, you will over time be changed, inside and out. That is the work of Allah in our lives.”

 “And We sent down the Qur`an as a healer and a mercy for those who believe…”    – Al-Isra’ 17:82

Ya Haqq!

Attaining Focus in Prayer

February 20, 2012

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Once a scholar was asked, “How do you attain focus in prayer?”

He answered: “I attain focus in prayer by standing up straight, greeting Allah, and imagining that the Kaa’ba is between my eyes and the path beneath my legs; that paradise is to my right, hell is to my left, the angel of death is standing behind me, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, is observing my prayer, and by believing that this is the last prayer I will ever say before I die.

– Source unknown


Ya Haqq!

The Canticle of Creation

February 16, 2012

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

The “Canticle of Creation” is a song of praise written by St Francis of Assisi as he approached death. Francis calls out to all of creation, and since God is the source of all being, all creatures are brothers and sisters to one another and everything is deserving of love and respect. Francis saw God in everything. He looked upon the earth with humility and with an open and grateful heart, aware of the divine goodness in all things. May we all learn to follow his example.


Be praised Good Lord for Brother Sun

who brings us each new day.

Be praised for Sister Moon: white

beauty bright and fair, with wandering

stars she moves through the night.

Be praised my Lord for Brother Wind,

for air and clouds and the skies of every season.

Be praised for Sister Water: humble,

helpful, precious, pure; she cleanses

us in rivers and renews us in rain.

Be praised my Lord for Brother fire:

he purifies and enlightens us.

Be praised my Lord for Mother Earth:

abundant source, all life sustaining;

she feeds us bread and fruit and gives us flowers.

Be praised my Lord for the gift of life;

for changing dusk and dawn; for touch

and scent and song.

Be praised my Lord for those who

pardon one another for love of Thee,

and endure sickness and tribulation.

Blessed are they who shall endure it in

peace, for they shall be crowned by Thee.

Be praised Good Lord for sister Death

who welcomes us in loving embrace.

Be praised my Lord for all Your

creation serving You joyfully.


Ya Haqq!

“Hate no one…”

February 12, 2012

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

“Hate no one, no matter how much they’ve wronged you. Live humbly, no matter how wealthy you become. Think positively, no matter how hard life is. Give much, even if you’ve been given little. Keep in touch with the ones who have forgotten you, and forgive who has wronged you, and do not stop praying for the best for those you love.”

– Ali bin Abi Talib (RA)

Ya Haqq!


February 7, 2012
The Path

Like the silver trail of the snail
I found the path you had made for me
I almost missed it in my urgency
thought its thread of light a chimera
… But it was my vision that was narrow
allowing only a glimpse of what could be
Unlike the trail of a snail the way broadens
its sparkle unfolding into a blanket of magic
I foresee it widening until there is no trail
and everywhere I walk will be with you.

 – Paddy Noble

Milad Un-Nabi – The Birthday of the Prophet (pbuh) 2012

February 2, 2012

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

“You have indeed in the Messenger of God a beautiful pattern of conduct for anyone whose hope is God and the Final Day.” (Al-Ahzab 33:21).

Alhamdulillah! This is Rabi a-Awwal, by the Lunar calendar the month of the blessed birthday (Milad Un-Nabi) of the Prophet Muhammad (the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

According to Sunni scholars, the Prophet’s birthday is observed on 12th Rabi al-Awwal, which falls this year on Saturday, February 4, 2012, and 17th Rabi al-Awwal (February 9th this year) according to Shia scholars.

Since the best historical estimate is that the Prophet (pbuh) was born in March or April of 570 CE, he would be  1442 years old this year.

It is celebrated as a time to read the Qur’an, fast, pray, and remember the life, teachings, and example of the Prophet (pbuh) with good deeds.

When praising the Prophet (pbuh), we are warned, however, not to exaggerate in his praise. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Do not overpraise me as Christians overpraised Jesus, son of Mary. Say [when referring to me], ‘Servant of Allah and His messenger.’

Servant of Allah and His messenger!

Surely that is a title that needs no embellishment. And so, may Allah bless you all, gentle readers, and guide you on the straight path of love, compassion, mercy, generosity, and kindness.  Amin!

The Names of the Prophet (pbuh)

In the same way that Muhammad(un) rasul Allah (Muhammad is the Messenger of God) follows La Ilaha ill Allah, the names of the Prophet (pbuh) flow from those of God and are a ladder that leads to Him. The Prophet (pbuh) has even been honored by God by having some of the Divine Names such as Ta Ha and Nur also bestowed upon him. The chanting of the litanies of the names of the Prophet (pbuh) is an important practice in Sufism and on a more external level in the everyday activity of many pious Muslims.

Not only is the Prophet (pbuh) called Muhammad, the most praised one, but he is also Ahmad, the most praiseworthy of those who praise God. He is Wahid, the unique one; Mahi, the annihilator of darkness and ignorance; and Aqib, the last of the prophets. He is Tahir, the pure and clean one; Tayyib, he who possesses beauty and fragrance; and Sayyid, prince and master of the universe. He is, of course, Rasul, messenger, but also Rasul al-Rahmah, the messenger of mercy; and Khatim al rusul, the seal of prophets. He is Abd Allahl, the perfect servant of God, but also Habib Allah, the beloved of God; and Safi Allah, the one chosen by God. He is both Nasir, the victorious helper of men, and Mansur, the one who is made triumphant in this world.

The Prophet (pbuh) is Muhyi, the vivifier of the dead hearts of men, and Munji, he who delivers man from sin. He is Nur, light, as well as Siraj, the torch that illuminates the path in man’s life; Misbah, the lamp that contains the light of faith, and Huda, the guide to God and paradise. He is Dhu quwwah, the possessor of strength; Dhu hurmah, possessor of sacred reverence; and Dhu makanah, the possessor of integrity. He is both Amin, trustworthy, and Sadiq, truthful. He is Miftah, or key to paradise, and Miftah al-rahmah, the key to God’s mercy. The love of the Prophet (pbuh) is in fact both a sign of the love of God and the gate to that Mercy from which the very substance of the universe was created.

– From Islamic Spirituality, edited by Seyyed Hossein Nasr

Ya Haqq!

Note:  For a list of Major Events in the Life of the Prophet (pbuh), click HERE.