Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hajj/Islam - Competition for Best English Poetry


And proclaim to the people the Hajj [pilgrimage];
they will come to you on foot and on every lean camel;
they will come from every distant pass [Surah al-Hajj, 22:27]

Hajj – A Journey of Life

By road, by sea and by air the pilgrims arrive each year
With a searing passion to fulfil their life-long desire
The young and old of all colour, creed and nationality
The king and the vagrant before God in human equality
Devotees from every corner of the globe in religious unity
At the birthplace of Islam to perform the spiritual journey

In unadorned white cloth they journey to the valley of Mina
The streets of Mecca echoing with the chants of Talbiyyah
In this arid plain they remain amid prayers and meditation
Their night in ‘tent city’ is spent in hope and aspiration

Towards the zenith of this journey after dawn prayer
A sea of white flows towards the empty plain of Arafah
From noon to sunset, they stand in earnest devotion
Tears flowing with hands raised aloft in deep supplication

The loving pilgrims gather at the Mount of Mercy
Each heart devoted to humble supplication and entreaty
Immersed in recital of the Quran, salawaat and repentance
The Almighty’s mercy descends in infinite abundance

Spiritually cleansed and forgiven by the Merciful Allah
Feeling reborn, at sundown they leave for Muzdalifa
Under the desert sky they camp overnight feeling spiritual
Here they collect the pebbles for the stone throwing ritual

After dawn prayer –the pilgrims leave for Jamarat in Mina
To cast 7 pebbles at largest of pillars the Jamra Al- Aqabah
After this symbolic rejection of the Satan and temptation.
In complete obedience they prepare to offer an oblation

As a symbol of their deep love they sacrifice an animal
In total submission to Allah, a sheep, cow or camel
Then the symbolic shaving of the head or clipping the hair
After which they journey to be greeted by the Meccan air

With respect and humility they circumambulate the Kaaba,
7 times they cover the ground between Safah and Marwah
Now completely free from the state of sacred consecration
The next few nights are spent in Mina to stone the Satan

On leaving, the farewell circuit of the Kaaba is performed
Each heart weeping in sincere yearning for it to return.


Bismillahir-Rahmanir-Rahim بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

The Month of Hajj is soon to come

To Mecca the people will begin to run

Around the Kaaba they will make Tawaaf

Then, to Arafat they will be off

On Arafat the people will stand

Then the next day Eid Aludha will begin

In the Eid morning together we will pray

Then the rest of the day it is eat, run, and play

Now it is off to Moozdelifah where the pilgrims will stay

Their stop in this place is until the next day

The next place is Mina where the pilgrims will go

At this stop is the Jammrah and pebbles they’ll throw.

The tenth day of Hajj for the pilgrims is busy indeed

but for the rest of the Muslims it is the Eid.

The pilgrims are busy to Mecca they return

They have the hopes that all of these good deeds they will soon earn
One of these acts is sacrificing a sheep

Then they will trim their hair with still the hope of good deeds to reap

Again the pilgrims will make Tawaaf

Then running between Saffa and Marwa they will be off

On the 11th day of Hajj back to Mina they will go

For the next three days at the Jammrah they will throw.

The Hajj for the pilgrims is coming to an end

They are hoping that Allah accepted it all from where they began

There is one more thing that the pilgrims must make

It is seven more times around the Kaaba for Allah’s sake

Back to their lives the pilgrims return

Hoping Allah accepted all that they earned


" Guest Of The Beneficent "

Guest of the Beneficent
Is a bare-footed beggar
A poor thing invited by One Rich and Mighty
To answer the call of a lifetime,
a pledge made to God.
Guest of the Beneficent is a humble follower
Of a humble prophet, himself a follower
In the footsteps of his father Abraham,
For the first to make the call was Abraham
To this house of God and from him sprang
Prophets by the Beneficent blessed, chosen.
Guest of the Beneficent on the path
Of such a one blessed with modest walks
All pretense and ornaments shed
Eyes fixed heart trembling hands raised
A willing guest in tears drenched
The guest is a single entity in a sea of guests
Swimming in tears remorseful
For the flesh is weak and man given to haste
Guest of the Beneficent is humbled
By feelings of smallness felt
Insignificant he's for once lost
In an ocean of devotees
he looks towards the Lord
With heart longing for freedom
From a self to blunders given
Guests of the Beneficent are people
Pulled together by a Hand Powerful
Able to call whom He wills when He wills
These beggars by the Door of the Merciful
In tongues diverse cry
In sizes and hues various appear
But in unison they answer this Call sublime
Joyful in a union at last made they chant
To the beat of a Truth long desired
Hajj is a time of bonding
Beneath a sky open
The seeker learns and teaches
Equal are the guests of God
In attires easy and plain
Kings and penniless all Needy
Shoulder to shoulder before a King Mighty
This is a time of repentance
An occasion of release in an ocean of tears
From the attachments to sin and wrong-doing
To the bonds of fellowship, hearts healing
These days of consoling, delivery
And hope elevated
The guest of the Beneficent returns not home
But happy

By Safi Abdi


The Hajj - A Poem

The Hajj - The Journey
By Him whose House the loving pilgrims visit,
Responding with ihram at the appointed limit,
Uncovering their heads in total humility
Before One to Whom faces bow in servility.
They exclaim in the valleys, "We have responded to You -
All Praise is Yours, and Kingdom too!"
He invited and they answered, with love and pleasure;
When they called upon Him, nearer came the Divine treasure.
You see them on their mounts, hair dusty and dishevelled,
Yet never more content, never happier have they felt;
Leaving homelands and families due to holy yearning,
Unmoved are they by temptations of returning.
Through plains and valleys, from near and far,
Walking and riding, in submission to Allah.

At the Ka'bah
When they see His House - that magnificent sight
For which the hearts of all creatures are set alight -
It seems they've never felt tired before,
For their discomfort and hardship is no more.
Now the eye of the Lover drowns in its streams,
It sees through its tears the goal of its dreams;
Now for Allah, how many tears are issued,
Each one being followed by a multitude?
When the eye perceives the House, its darkness clears,
And from the sorrowful heart, pain disappears;
Vision cannot encompass this beautiful sight:
Each glance returns with greater delight!
No wonder at this, for when the Merciful preferred
The House for Himself, it became most honoured.
He clothed it in Majesty, a magnificent garment;
Embroidered it with Beauty, a wonderful ornament!
The hearts all love the House therefore,
Awed and humbled, in respect and honour.

Now to 'Arafat, hoping for Mercy and Forgiveness
From the One overflowing with Generosity and Kindness;
Now for Allah is that Magnificent Standing
Like, though lesser than, the Day of Reckoning.
The Irresistible draws near, His Majesty manifest,
Boasting to His angels, for He is the Mightiest,
"My slaves have come to Me so lovingly,
I'll be Generous and Merciful, willingly.
I have forgiven their sins, – to this you are witness –
Fulfilled their hopes, and showered them with goodness."
So joyous news! O people of that standing,
When sins are forgiven and Mercy is spreading;
How many slaves are set completely free?
Whilst others seek a cure, and heal will He.
Now Satan is never known to lose such face:
He's blameworthy, rejected, in utter disgrace.
For he sees a matter that enrage him must:
He flees, slaps his face and covers it in dust!
Such Forgiveness he never did see
As granted by the Lord, and such Mercy!
He built his edifice from every temptation available
Till he thought it was complete, unassailable;
Then Allah struck his building at its very foundation,
So it fell upon him, tumbling in devastation;
What worth has his structure, this evil ploy,
That he does build, and the Lord does destroy?

Muzdalifah & Mina
Now to Muzdalifah, to spend the night
In the Sacred Area, then Prayer at first light;
Now on to the Great Pillar, which they need
To stone at the time of the Prayer of 'Id;
Now to their tents for the sacrifice prepared,
Reviving the tradition of a Father revered.
If sacrificing themselves were Allah's demand,
They would respond, submitting to the command;
Just as they'd expose their necks in Jihad
To Allah's enemies, till these stream with blood;
They discipline themselves, presenting the head for a shave:
Bringing humility and happiness to the obedient slave.

The Tawaf of Ifadah/Ziyarah
So when they've removed those natural growths,
Completed their rites, and fulfilled their oaths,
He invites them again to visit His House:
What honour and welcome this visit allows!
By Allah, they visit it in so much splendour,
Receiving their rewards and plenty of honour;
There Allah bestows Grace, Favour and Kindness,
Showing Generosity, Mercy and Forgiveness.

Then they return to Mina, each to his tent,
Every minute wish is granted, and they are content;
They stay there a day, then another, then a third,
They're allowed to depart early, but to stay is preferred;
They stone the pillars daily after the sun's decline,
With a slogan of Takbir in the presence of the Divine!
If only you could see their standing there:
Palms outstretched, hoping for Mercy's share!
"O Lord! O Lord! Knowing as You do
That we hope for no-one, only You!
Then grant our wish, O You All-Knowing,
We pray for Your Mercy overflowing."

The Farewell Tawaf
When they've achieved at Mina all their gains,
Once more they fill the valleys and plains:
To the Ka'bah, the Sacred House, by the end of the day,
To circle it seven times, and then to Pray.
When departure nears and they are certain
That the bond of proximity is about to loosen,
There's only a last stand for a final farewell:
Now for Allah are the eyes that swell,
And for Allah are the heavy hearts that turn
Into cauldrons of desire where fire does burn;
And the passionate sighs whose heat so vigorous
Nearly melts the Lover, ecstatic, rapturous!
Now you see those bewildered, perplexed in the throng,
Whilst others chant their sorrowful song:
"I depart, but there remains for You my yearning,
My fire of grief is raging and burning;
I bid farewell, but longing pulls my reins -
My heart is encamped in Your eternal plains!"
No blame today for saying what you feel:
No blame for expressing what you used to conceal!

By: Imam Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah
Translated by: Usama Hasan



For Allah, my heart went there
Where I turn my face in Prayer

It's a duty, this I know
So to Makkah I did go

For Allaah I packed my gear
Then to His House I came near

For my journey I was ready
Allaah made me strong and steady

I walked around the Ka'bah wall
And teardrops from my eyes did fall

Yearning was I for this day
In Allaah's House to pray!

Truly my heart, Allaah brought
I thank Him for His support!

With His Mercy I arrived
Then home I went, purified!



Islam is the religion of tolerance,

Care, love and security
Islam is the religion of monotheism
Submitting to ALLAH, not the trinity
Believing all the books, the angels,
Messengers and Mohammad's (PBUH) identity

From Adam to Jesus, son of Mary
The woman an example of purity
Mohammad (PBUH) is the last messenger
Who completed the message for all humanity.


Hajj is about Allah

Hajj is about Allah
Hajj is not about you
Hajj is about Allah
Hajj is not about criticizing the group leaders
Hajj is not about arguing when there are transportation issues
Hajj is not about what it would be like if you were in charge
Hajj is about holding yourself still when plans seem to go awry
Hajj is about silence

Hajj is about Allah
Hajj is not about ridiculing others in your group
Hajj is not about mocking anyone you see
Hajj is not about your dislike of someone on His guest list
Hajj is about being patient with the old, the sick and the young
Hajj is about the charity of the smile, and of being helpful
Hajj is about Allah
Hajj is not about complaining when getting new foods
Hajj is not about whining when eating the same food day after day
Hajj is not about getting what you want
Hajj is about being grateful whether or not you get what you think you need

Hajj is about Allah
Hajj is not about talking on a cell phone while circling the Kaaba
Hajj is not about staying on the internet with friends or business
Hajj is about trusting and depending on Allah
Hajj is about talking to Him

Hajj is about Allah
Hajj is not about comfort and luxury
Hajj is not about shopping
Hajj is not about rest
Hajj is about making as many salats as you can in the Haram
Hajj is about reading Quran in airports and on busses
Hajj is about prayer and dhikr, day and night, wherever you are

Hajj is about Allah
Hajj is not about your importance in this life
Hajj is about your insignificance in the next life
Hajj is about contemplating death
Hajj is about contemplating the grave
Hajj is about contemplating the Day of Judgment
Hajj is about your tears of hope and fear

Hajj is not about you
Hajj is about Allah


Eid-ul-Adha and Hajj

We celebrate Eid-ul-Adha and the Hajj,
In which the rewards are much.

Eid-ul-Adha is a reminder of Ibrahim’s (PBUH) sacrifice,
Which shows us in how many ways Allah is nice.

We run between the mountains of Safa and Marwa,
Since it was done by Bibi Hajira.

Hajj is about equality,
Forget your own individuality.

Doing the rituals in a few days,
For cleaning your slate, this is one of the ways.

The reason for this Eid leads back to Ibrahim’s (PBUH) story,
But we must remember that only Allah deserves all glory.


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