Poetry

2012 Autumn Edition of IWA Magazine

Jerusalem by Irving Karchmar

O Pilgrim, seek Me not
In the desert places
The ruined hills
The crumbling walls
Of ancient wailing

I am gone from
The city of violence
The streets of fear
The houses of anger
And sorrow

Look, look here!
O Pilgrim
On the Path of Love
Here is the City of David
The Temple of Solomon

Where the seeker dwells
I am
The soul’s delight
Jerusalem
Of the heart

>>>

 Listen and Come by Mahasin D. Shamsid-Deen

Do we really hear and heed the adhan

Wailing a call for all humanity

To come to prayer, to come to success

The solution for the world’s insanity

A signal and instruction to stop and reflect

cease classism, racism and nationalism too

Obey- answer the cry as we gather together

collectively submitting as instructed to do

We can stand insulting, assuming and dismissive

Of the ‘other’ one sincerely answering the call to come

Ignoring that we all have a unique history and experience

That Allah gave His servant for us to learn from

If we were to listen to the call and each other

Then each other we would come to really know

And with that understanding, appreciation and respect

and a genuine love for each other we would show

To listen – we hear, heed or pay attention

To come- we move toward, get near and arrive

To the shoulder of our brother or sister in Islam

Seeking the blessings of the jihad- of the strive

So if we were to ever really heed the call, the Adhan

That is meant to unify our soul and collective spirit

A call greater than anything else in the world

If we would just come, listen and hear it.

>>>

Copyright MY Lusankar (London)

Blossoming hope by Zeneefa Zaneer

He was born to shine

To shine among the signs
The signs of everything
That Allah had created for human being

He was chosen to be the one
The one to obey none
But the Creator Allah alone
The all merciful Ar-Rahman

A light, a light to lighten the world
A life, a life that made sacrifices being bold
I wish I was Born
When he was alive
He was the blossoming hope
Hope for every believing soul
I wish I was born
When he was alive
Muhammad rasoolullah
Messenger of Almighty Allah

He was sent to cure the hearts
The hearts that filled with sins
The sins which ruin the lives
Were to show how to strive

He was a kind generous man
A man never will be born
Born to heal the bleeding world
With the message of peace to all

A smile, a smile that healed the wounded hearts
A cry, a cry that begged mercy for others in lands
I wish I was Born
When he was alive
He was the blossoming hope
Hope for every believing soul
I wish I was born
When he was alive
Muhammad rasoolullah
messenger of almighty Allah

<End>

>>>

2012 Summer Edition of IWA Magazine

Poetry

IWA’s annual poetry competition began on 1 April 2012 with the final date for submissions on 30 April 2012. There are three categories and the IWA was pleased to announce the first place winners of each category:

IWA Member Category, Maryam Funmilayo

Adult Category, Nadia Elamin

Youth Category, Antora Rahman.

Below are their winning poems for you to enjoy!

IWA Member Category
Maryam Funmilayo, Taqwa: A Virtue I Yearn to Attain

Unattainable?

Impossible?

Unachievable?

Challenging?

Frustrating?

Can one attain taqwa in this complex, material-driven world of ours?

Where humans have lost the essence of their being?

A world in which killing, cheating, narcissism, and oppression exist.

The human race has lost respect and virtues in almost every facet of life.

Taqwa, where shall I find you? Where shall I begin to nurture you?

A study of our past Muslim heroes and heroines is a true proof

That taqwa is doable and without no doubt, very possible.

For they emerged successfully, hence, we must follow their calling.

A Muslim must strive to reach that level of taqwa, piety.

Aiming for excellence is different from targeting perfection.

For no single soul is perfect save the Creator of the helpless creatures.

When I contemplate in silence, all alone, with no distractions

When I take account of my deeds before I am taken account of

When I cry out my soul after erring and failing

I feel and sense the awe of His majestic sovereignty

I know for sure He hears me since He is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing.

I fear for His wrath yet hope for His undying love

Then, I know that taqwa is attainable, possible, and achievable

Taqwa is neither challenging nor frustrating.

Taqwa deserves its right place in my relationship with the Creator.

As long as I surrender and submit to the Lord of all worlds,

And worship no other but the only one deserved to be worshipped,

And strive to purify my intention no matter how small the deed is,

Then, I know that my baby steps towards taqwa are worth taking.

Adult Category
Nadia Elamin, Taqwa

Taqwa

by: Nadia Elamin

Truly, the most beautiful of gifts,

A mind deep in prayer,

With words in which belief can never shift –

In the newness of the midnight air

5Each breath, a promise, a wish, a healing,

A sign of everlasting devotion –

To break the ego of mankind so that he may bow and kneel,

With humble hands and feet in appreciation

Upon speaking the graceful words of His Oneness,

10 Remember each vow taken,

And take the time to taste piety’s sweetness

Contemplate the beauty of knowing of you will never be forsaken

In each instant there is light –

A chance to wash anew the beauty of Taqwa, of Piety

15In the early hours of twilight,

To glance upon this fleeting moment and understand what is beyond it isn’t it such beauty?

Youth Category
Antora Rahman, for The Circle of Piety (Taqwa)

The Circle of Piety (Taqwa)

Piety

A breathtaking term

That inspires the pious

Devoted

A precious term

That has the power to unite

Warm

A welcoming term

That bathes followers in a soft glow

Innocent

A pure and white term

That has a shimmery golden aura

Loving

A profound term

That exhilarates the beauty of life

Humane

A genuine term

That reaches out into gentle souls

Dutiful

A guiding term

That creates a reason for living

Loyal

A trustworthy term

That stays in one’s heart forever

Filial

A gossamer term

That nudges us back into the circle of piety

Poetry Buzz

Maryam FunmilayoA Quitter vs a Winner

                                    When I get discouraged and my future seems daunted

When I feel depressed and I do nothing but dawdle

When I feel dazed and assume everything is at a deadlock.

When I feel deficient because my faith is plunging down

A dekko at myself proves that I really feel disgusted

At times I feel dejected because I’m in a state of denial

When I am troubled by some negative “Dee” words with a feeling of despair,

Remind me, Ya Allaah! That a quitter does not win, and a winner does not quit.

When I feel delighted for my devotion to the deen

When I dedicate time for prayer in the twilights of the dusk

When I devote myself to gather decent deeds and virtues

Dhikr and dua do make my day so dear and dreamy.

Dignity, devoutness, and dedication I determine to achieve

When I demonstrate some positive “Dee” words by accepting the divine decree

When I remain in a calm demeanour and drink plenty of water

Remind me, Ya Allaah! That a quitter does not win, and a winner does not quit.

<End>

2012 Spring Editon of IWA Magazine

This edition we have two new original poems we are sure our poetry lovers will enjoy:  I Just Love Reading! by Maryam Funmilayo and Love is the Answer to Every Question – Irving Karchmar.

I Just Love Reading! by Maryam Funmilayo

 I love reading and value every minute of it.

I cherish reading and enjoy every second of it.

Reading is my hobby, my habit, and passion

Reading helps me relax my mind from distraction

I love good books that sharpen my intellect

Authored by talented writers that I really respect

Good books do not bore me, harm me nor ruin me

Instead, they nourish, nurture and fill me.

When I am grieving, I pick up a good book

After devouring it, I feel like I’m on a hook

Reading is like adding honey to my tea

It strengthens my body like that of a bee

A beneficial book is my ultimate soul food

Abandoning such book shows my ingratitude

Reading and good books must go hand in hand

To reach the level of scholars who are in high command

So, ask me about reading and I can write you a prose

Be ready for two tearful eyes and one sniffly nose

I love reading and value every moment of it

Without reading, I don’t think I’ll stay fit.

Love is the Answer to Every Question by Irving Karchmar

Love is the answer
to every question

An ocean emerging
from a drop

This you taught us, by your
every action, every word,

The revealed science
of the heart, the key

To every door that is
always unlocked

To serve the One,
serve all, you said,

Eat but a little,
Feed the soul instead

As long as life
remains, and then

The drop returns again
to the endless Ocean of

Love, of love, of love
Ya Pir! Ya Haqq!

December 10th, would have been the 85th birthday of Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh (12/10/1926 – 10/10/2008), the late and beloved Master of the Nimatullahi Sufi Order.  In his memory, this poem is dedicated.

 <end>

2011 Fall Edition of IWA Magazine

Can You Tell Meby Julie M. Hynek        

And the sun is still able to shine
But where, where is the light
And the songs of the birds can’t be heard
that’s for sure, can you tell me if things are alright

And the skies are filled up with air
But where, where can we breathe
And the sounds of the planes can be heard
that’s for sure, can you tell me why people are scared

And the streets are still tread upon
But where, where can we run
And the chants of the protests aren’t heard
that’s for sure, can you tell me if we have won

And the fields over-flowing with crops
But where does all the food go
And the cries from the hungry aren’t heard
that’s for sure, can you tell me when all this will stop

And the hearts and the minds are alive
But where, where is true faith
And the calls from the preachers are heard
that’s for sure, can you tell me who’s wrong and who’s right?

And the teachings from teachers are heard
that’s for sure, can you tell me who’s wrong and who’s right?

There is a time in everyone’s lifebyJulie M. Hynek

And that time is now
Where you uncover the bare soul inside
that’s all I’ll say for now

There comes a time in everyone’s life
And that time is here
Where the heart speaks in so many words
You almost try not to hear

Don’t look back and don’t ever backtrack
If your intention is good
Don’t hesitate,  put whatever at stake
When you’re sure you should

Don’t let that devil get hold of you
Stay on the safe side
God will only make you stronger
He knows, there’s nothing to hide

There comes a time in everyone’s life
And that time is now
This life isn’t worth the next one so live it
You just gotta know how

Isn’t the woman there my sister?    

© copyright 1998 Mahasin D. Shamsid-Deen  

 A young muslimah’s ‘lament’ of the current state of Islamic adab, and where she found solace.

Isn’t the woman there my sister?
in Islam, I mean to say
For I just took my Shahadah
at the masjid here today

Isn’t the woman there my sister?
I openly ask without any qualms
The one who just walked past me
Without offering me her salaams

Isn’t the woman there my sister?
Though she stands alone to pray
Each time I move to touch her shoulder
She takes a step and pulls away

Isn’t the woman there my sister?
The lady that is not of my race,
For both of us are Muslim women
With varied hues making up our face

Isn’t the woman there my sister?
Who laughed and made fun of me
And those other sisters of mine who listened
Doesn’t their silence make them also guilty

Isn’t the woman there my sister?
Who didn’t call me when I was sick
For she seems to only show concern
for those special sisters, in her own click

Isn’t the woman there my sister?
Who I invited for Iftar in my home
But unfortunately she did not make it
How I wish she had bothered to phone

Isn’t the woman there my sister?
Don’t we both love our religion – this Deen?
Then why am I sharing my lament
About her being uncaring, indifferent and mean?

Isn’t the woman there my sister?
Won’t she open up and try to treasure
The love I want and need to share with her
As we both seek Allah’s Merciful Pleasure

2011 Summer Ramadan Edition of IWA Magazine

 Ramadhan for you and me! by Zeneefa Zaneer

The black cloak decorated with

A thread of silver line

It added beauty

And reminded the proud history

Everyone screamed being joyful

The blessed month for you and me

Oh! It’s Ramadhan! Ramadhan!

The month prophet-hood was born

A month to increase good deeds with quality

A month for patience and for charity

A month to fast to know equality

For the sake of Allah Almighty

The devil is tied

Repentance accepted

Cry until tears flood

It will help you feel good

It is the holy month Ramadhan

The blessed month to increase your eeman

Happiness and joy for you and me

Love spreads all over the family

 >>>

 Forever Friends In Ramadan by Aminah Cooper

Quran and Sunnah

Forever Friends

Brought Together, Taken Apart

Truth Unites Them, Hate Divides Them

Forever Friends

Quran and Sunnah

Never Alone, Always Upright

True Companions

In Truth

This Month

Every Month

Quran and Sunnah

Beautiful Forever Friends

>>>

 THIRST by Aminah Cooper

Knowledge of Allah can quench the soul

Tests in this dunya will take their toll

But our love for this deen reaps benefits galore

Endless blessings for hearts kept pure

We drink in the essence of Quran Al Kareem

Jannatul Firdaus, a Muslim’s ultimate dream

Standing firm upon your beliefs and deeds

Not focusing on your wants and needs

Desires cast eerie shadows of despair

Swallow them whole, a better affair

Follow the Sunnah of our Beloved Nabiy

The Best example for the ummah is he

Ramadan brings with it blessings indeed

Coupled with that our tongues take heed

The hunger we feel this month surely ends

The heart’s true fulfillment while it mends

Love it, cherish it….truly we do

The Book of Allah, our guidance so true

No sun high above or creation comes first

Allah the Almighty….our reason to THIRST

>>>

2011 Spring Edition of IWA Magazine

A Cup Overflowing  © 2009 by Irving Karchmar

Love is a cup overflowing
Yet without bottom

How is this possible?
Where does all this joy come from?

Does love have no beginning,
No middle, no end?

Praise God! It must be so!
The cause and course of life

A treasure lent to spirit
His Light formed in earthen clay

The hidden meaning of
Every verse of every Holy Book

And the hidden name of God
On King Solomon’s ring,

That the Jinn, created by the
Fire of that Love, could not disobey

Bless us then with Love, O Lord!
As Thy Name is praised

Make of it our garment
Clothe us in Thy ways

That with each breath may flow
The prayer of all our days

And bless the ink and pen
That writes these words

The eyes that read them
And the heart that knows

Irving Karchmar has been a writer, editor and poet for many years, and a darvish of the Nimatullahi Sufi Order since 1992. He writes the popular Darvish blog, and is the author ofMaster of the Jinn: A Sufi Novel, which has been translated into nine languages. http://www.masterofthejinn.com and http://darvish.wordpress.com

2010 Winter Edition of IWA Magazine

 The Sun Does Not Rise, Neither Does It Set
© 2007 Irving Karchmar

The sun does not rise, neither does it set
Does the flame ever circle the moth?

The earth turns in beauty like a lover
Each dawn the sun bestows a kiss

At night the shy bride turns away
Beneath her star jeweled veil of rest

Each obedient to their course, and Lo!
“He makes the signs manifest.”

Keeping the night vigil the earth bows in prayer
Each degree of longitude a rak’at of prostration

To Him who holds the planets to their skies
The “Hidden Treasure” to the Sufi’s eyes

As Allah has ordained for all creation
Say the Prophets of every Book and nation.

Irving Karchmar has been a writer, editor and poet for many years, and a darvish of the Nimatullahi Sufi Order since 1992. He writes the popular Darvish blog, and is the author of Master of the Jinn: A Sufi Novel, which has been translated into nine languages. http://www.masterofthejinn.com and http://darvish.wordpress.com

 20 feet tall  – © 2010 Umm Juwayriyah

 Whatever it is that you dream

that you seek

that makes your heart beat soft melodies

so sweet

so deep

that the nocturnal dust fills your lungs and expands your chest

with desire and noble lust

you must speak it

you must take it

you must wrap it

you must shape it

you must step into it and wear it proudly

wear it righteously

you were born  connected to its greatness since the beginning of time and

it is your duty to manifest it

to breathe it

to live it

and not sit on your knees with your dreams

but stand as if u were 20 feet tall

and share it with all

Umm Juwayriyah is a twenty-something born Muslim woman of West Indian ancestry and a mother of two. She holds an Associate of Arts degree in Communications and she is currently completing her Bachelors degree at Bay Path College. She is a published poet, freelance writer, and the former assistant director of the Islamic Writers Alliance. Umm Juwayriyah is the published author of The Size of a Mustard Seed, the first urban Islamic fiction novel to be published in the English language. Contact Information: Email: ummjuwayriyah@gmail.com  website: www.authorummjuwayriyah.com Myspace: www.myspsace.com/veiled1 Urban Muslim Writers: www.islamicurbanwriter.bravehost.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/UmmJuwayriyah

 Listen and Come – © 2007 Mahasin D. Shamsid-Deen

We claim we hear and heed the adhan

Wailing a call for all humanity

To come to prayer, to come to success

The solution for the world’s insanity

***

A signal and instruction to stop the foolishness

Of classism, racism and nationalism too

And answer the cry to gather together

And collectively submit as instructed to do

***

We can stand insulting, assuming and dismissive

Of the Muslim who is answering the call to come

Ignoring that we all have a unique history and experience

That Allah gave us as to learn from

***

If we were to listen to the call and each other

Then each other we would come to really know

And with that understanding, appreciation and respect

and a genuine love for each other would show

***

To listen – we hear, heed or pay attention

To come- we move toward, get near and arrive

To the shoulder of our brother or sister in Islam

Seeking the blessings of the jihad of the strive

***

So if we were to ever really heed the call, the Adhan

That is meant to unify our soul and collective spirit

A call greater than anything else in the world

If we would just come, listen and hear it.

Mahasin D. Shamsid-Deen as a second generation American Muslimah, Mahasin began writing as soon as she could write and began entering and winning contests at the age of eight. Throughout high school and college she won numerous essay and short story awards for various writing techniques and entered a gifted writers program. Her professional writing has largely focused on technical journals, handbooks, educational papers, business reports, grants, pamphlets, brochures and some advertising publishing more than 100 writings. She began writing plays in high school and focused on poetry, short story, and essay and of course, theatrical plays. Her plays have won critical acclamation and have been translated and performed in America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Mahasin is married with three children and often serves as a guest speaker conducting educational workshops for organizations. Mahasin’s goals are to “Impact! Expand! Inspire!” www.islamictheatre.com

 In Loving Remembrance of Amatullah Al-Marwani (2005)

 A Smile  – © 2004 Amatullah Al-Marwani

 A smile of great breadth and warmth graces my face today.

With friends like this, who needs a vacation get-away?

**

I can bask in your humor, tan in the brilliance of your mirth.

I might dish it out, but you give it to me for all your worth!

**

When complain I do, venting often and out loud,

My words pass over, a floating, unbothered cloud.

 **

And when I try to storm, thunder and hail upon the land

You sit back and press the delete key with a steady hand.

 **

How can I get on top, beat this crowd of jackette be nimbles?

You’re stuck to me like glue, through all my quirks and quimbles.

 **

(‘Okay, that wasn’t a real word but give me some leeway

My fingers are racing faster than cars on the Indy speedway)

 **

And to close this little jaunt into my world of rhyme,

I’ll say this (can’t say it enough) again, one more time…

**

Though here we laugh, and cry, and spill out our beans

Having friends like all of you is wealth beyond my means.

**

And I’ll have to finish here because I’ve lost my rhyming touch.

:sigh: Being grown up and doing grown up stuff sure hurts much!

 **

But serving Allah, whether as Tulip or Pammie or Linda or Jane

Makes me thankful He took me away from the ordinary and plain.

**

The next time you smile, have one on me.

I’ll be smiling twice because you’re so darn fun-ny!

Amatullah Al-Marwani (penned herself The Mad Rhyming Woman) was one of the founding members of the IWA organization. She was married to Mohamed and the mother of a son, Zaahir and a daughter, Amirah. Sister Amatullah authored the Zaahir and the Camel children’s book series, wrote extensive poetry, created newsletters for her masjid and community, was a part-time librarian at an Islamic school, and served Allah with a heart full of love. She died April 29, 2005 from leukemia. I was honored to be her writing buddy for over four years and she was my dearest friend. For those she left behind her work is still a great pleasure to read and learn from.— Linda Delgado AKA Widad

August 2010 Edition of IWA Magazine

Umrah by Judy Nelson-Eldawy

Brothers that have yet to greet

Sisters who have yet to meet

From all around the world they come

In submission to the Only One.

Allah Akbar, Allah Akbar

Seven times around the Kabbah and between the mountains run

With praise and supplication heavy on our tongues

“Save us, Help us, Forgive our sins ! ”

Most Beneficent and Most Merciful One.

Allah Akbar, Allah Akbar

Neither high status or low

Or skin brown, black or white

Gives anyone preference in His Holy Sight

In the Harum of Allah, shoulder to shoulder we stand

Representatives of all races from far flung lands

Unified into one people all sharing one creed

We bow and we prostrate enacting Divine choreography.

Allah Akbar, Allah Akbar

There is no god but Allah. He has no wife and no son

We revere all the Prophets, Mohammed’s the last one

In hope and in fear and with prayerful praise

We seek Allah’s Shade on that terrible Last Day

We seek respite from the horrible punishment of the grave

We seek refuge from the horrendous Hellfire

Paradise and our Lord’s pleasure is to what we aspire.

Allah Akbar, Allah Akbar

May Allah have Mercy on us all.

© 2009 Judy Nelson-Eldawy All Rights Reserved

You Call Yourself a Poet
© Umm Junayd, 2007 All Rights Reserved

So you call yourself a poet
And what makes you think
That you can flaunt that title?

Is it
‘Cos of those
Long words
Strung-along words
Seven-letter words
Plucked
From your thesaurus?

Or those concepts
You throw
That are equivalent
To a food-fight?

Those abstract concepts
That are concrete.
Or
Those concrete notions
That leave
Everyone confused.

Excuse me
But did you say
You’re a poet?

I know
You know
That I knew
You’ve got
No clue
About the Haiku
While Ballads
Cause maladies
And Sonnets
Lose you.

So I tell you:
Stick with free verse.

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3 Responses to Poetry

  1. Fida Islaih says:

    I love the poems, great job and keep on writing!!

  2. Maryam says:

    As salaamu alaykum,

    The poem, “Isn’t the woman there my sister”? by Sr. Mahasin, speaks volume. I love the rhymes, and more importantly, it hit right home.

    The power of the written word is spontaneous, subhanaAllaah.

    Well done, Sis!

    Maryam F.

  3. Oliver says:

    The poem, “Isn’t the woman there my sister”? by Sr. Mahasin, speaks volume. I love the rhymes, and more importantly, it hit right home.
    +1

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