Don’t talk to me

Don’t talk to me about the latest weapons deal between Saudi Arabia and the US worth billions of dollars. Talk to me about love

Don’t mention to me that the war in Syria has been going on for six years. Mention to me love

Don’t whisper to me that another brother’s blood has been spilled by the police to paint the pavements red on the streets of North America. Whisper to me love

Don’t shout out to me that you have lost your faith in humanity, that your hope is broken like a glass flower that has been dropped from the heavens. Shout out to me love

Don’t speak to me about how 56 billion animals are fed food each year by humans while millions of humans starve. Speak to me about love

Don’t engage me in a conversation about how money runs the world. Engage me in love

Don’t try to convert me to the way that your being perceives the mystery of existence. Convert me to love

Don’t yell out to me that 1 billion illiterate people can neither read this poem, nor write one of their own. Yell out to me love

Don’t ask me about my religion, my race, my language, my gender, my nationality. Ask me about love

عَرَبِيًّا

If I could write in Arabic, It would be like writing with the deepness of the ocean at the tip of the pen, with no barriers to hold back the crashing of the waves,
 
If I could write in Arabic, I might mention how God’s mercy nourishes the universe like a mother’s womb nourishes her infant, but in many fewer strokes of the paintbrush, because in Arabic, words do not stay imprisoned to one color, they encompass the entire rainbow, and they are free to fly to the horizon and back again,
 
If I could write in Arabic, I would write God-consciousness, and the word would be like the sun, while the meanings would be like its infinite rays of light: to protect, save, preserve, guard against evil,
 
If I could write in Arabic, I would write about my hopes and fears, dreams and tears, everything that I hold dear, all the things that to my heart are near, without censure, crystal clear,
 
If I could write in Arabic, I could truly express, all of the inspiration that I possess, nothing more, nothing less,
 
And, If in Arabic I could write, I would etch my prayer, onto the endless canvas of the night …

Poem for insomnia 

Je suis prisonnier de mon insomnie, j’ai était pris sans même que on me demande l’avis de mon âme, même la nuit dors mieux que moi,
‎وقد سجن الأرق بلدي لي، دون أن يطلب نفسي، حتى ليلة ينام أفضل مما كنت،
My insomnia has imprisoned me, without even asking my soul, even the night sleeps better than I,
Mina sömnlösa har tagit mig som fånge, utan att ens fråga min själ, även nätterna söver bättre än jag,
माई इन्साम्नीअ हंस इम्प्रिज़ॉंड में. विधाउट ईवेन आस्किंग माई सोल. ईवेन थे नाइट स्लीप्स बेटर धान I

How to change a love poem

To change a love poem, you do not need to change the words. The only thing that you need to change, is to whom the poem is being adressed. Where does this change occur, you might ask? In your imagination.
Imagine that “You keep my heartbeat alive with only the sweet fragrance of your memory” is intended for a man or a woman that one is in love with. But see how the effect of the words changes once your imagination tells you that these words are intended for God.
When the words are for the creation, they have one effect on the heart once we read them. When they are for the creator, the words create another effect upon our hearts.
This simple way of getting different feelings out of the same love poem only requires us to take a little trip inside of our imaginations.

Why I Love My Prophet (Peace be upon him)

He was sent as a mercy, for you, and for me, and for all of humankind,
His teachings of wisdom were like an endless river, soothing the hearts of all of those who followed behind,

The first to follow him were the women, and the orphans, and the poorest in society,
But they knew that through this man, their dreams of a better life would become a reality,

They knew that they would suffer, while walking by his side,
But as unity was the goal, they went along for the ride,

He taught that they should forgive, even if they were in pain,
To let go of hatred, so that love could remain,

He was the light, and God was the sun,
and he equally gave his compassion, to every single one,

He showed them how to pray, five times a day,
For verily, it is prayer that keeps darkness and evil, far, far away,

He would tell them to say “Assalamu Aleikum”, when they would meet one another,
May peace be upon you, now and forever,

A smile was a charity, he would tell,
So give your smiles to all, so that all may feel well,

Surrender to Allah, and do good to others,
The message of the Koran, simply knew no borders,

So powerful were his teachings, that they are still alive today,
Living within 1.6 Billion hearts, who all follow his way,

Only through the remembrance of Allah, do the hearts find rest,
This is what you have taught us, Oh you who were enlightened and blessed,

Because of your ultimate sacrifice, Islam continues to live,
And because of your shining example, we Muslims will continue to give,

This is why I love, my Prophet Muhammad,
So please join me in saying, may peace be upon him, 

Poem For Her Words

Dear fellow travellers 🙂

Today, after school, as I was fooling around on FB, I fell upon a post on Malala’s page. It was an open letter that she read out loud to the still kidnapped girls in Nigeria. First time that she speaks publicly since December, and so I am happy that she has broken her silence, even if hearing her read her letter is a very heavy and sad ordeal. One year later, and they are still gone, but one year later, and she still carries them with her.

So, these are the words that came to my mind once I had finished listening to her words.

“When she speaks, the whole world stops,
and even the stars stand still to listen,

But why?
Why does the universe pause, just to hear her words?

Because, just like light is in perfect submission,
to the glow of the sun,
she is in perfect submission,
to the will of Allah,

Like the light serves and loves all,
as a servant of the sun,
she too, serves and loves all,
as a servant of The Most Compassionate,

Like the light is at peace, knowing that it can only exist,
through the grace of the sun,
so too, is she at peace, knowing that she can only exist,
through the grace of The Source Of Peace,

Like the light carries, the mercy of the sun,
she carries, the mercy of The Most Merciful,

Like the light is at one with the sun,
she is at one, with God,

And so, this is why, when she speaks, the whole world stops,
and even the stars,
stand still,
to listen”

Poem For You

Just like I see light, when the glow of the candle appears before me,

When you appear before me, I see God

Just like I see gentle green, when my gaze meets a field of softest grass,

When my gaze meets yours, I see God

Just like I hear beauty, when the wind sings it’s song full of wisdom,

When I hear your voice, I see God

And just like I am with God, when I turn to him in prayer,

When I am with you, I am with love

Poem for Islam

While the leaf is busy leaving behind it’s deepest green and welcoming the colors of golden red, we pray

While the sun rises, once again sharing it’s infinite light, we pray

While the moon watches over us, it’s wisdom covering our souls, we pray

While the bombs fall, and flesh is torn again and again, we pray

While evil seems to never have an end, and darkness is all that we can see, we pray

While rainbows paint themselves all over our skies, we pray

While children laugh and share their joy with one another, with no worries about what tomorrow will bring, we pray

While life runs past us, never stopping to take us by the hand, we pray

And while death comes to take away all that we have ever known, we pray

For as God is eternal, so is our prayer

Amen

A Poem Without A Title

Hey y’all,

Recently, I have started writing poetry once again. Poetry comes and goes, and usually, at least for me, the “goes” are longer than the “comes.” But since at the moment I have some words that have found me, then I will share them with you. This poem has no name at the moment, but it is dedicated to everyone….

When your sadness is deep, covering your heart like the moon covers the sun, take comfort in knowing that deepness, is revealed to you,

When your pain is deep, cutting like a knife, be happy, for then you know, what deepness is,

When your suffering is deep, streaming down like tears, then look within, for deepness is there, giving you greetings of peace,

When your sorrow is deep, and you feel your soul slowly bleeding, do not grieve, for deepness is there, sharing all your sorrows with you,

When your loneliness is deep, and you feel like you will forever be alone, don’t despair, for deepness will always be, your constant companion,

When your sadness is deep, covering your heart like the moon covers the sun, take comfort in knowing that God, is revealed to you,

When your pain is deep, cutting like a knife, be happy, for then you know, what God is,

When your suffering is deep, streaming down like tears, then look within, for God is there, giving you greetings of peace

When your sorrow is deep, and you feel your soul slowly bleeding, do not grieve, for God is there, sharing all your sorrows with you,

When your loneliness is deep, and you feel like you will forever be alone, don’t despair, for God will always be, your constant companion,

Poem For Puja

I travelled alone throughout North-Western India in August, and while i was in Rajasthan, in the city of Pushkar, I met a young lady called Puja. In Hindi, Puja means both “prayer” and “worship.” Puja is 12, is a street kid and doesn’t go to school, but she has been blessed with pure musicality! Watching her play her drum was heavier than any concert I had ever seen back home. She Was rhythm. I saw her on several other occasions. One time she was walking around with a big plastic bag collecting garbage so that she could perhaps sell it if she found anything of value. It burned my heart to see that, but when reality hits that hard, you just have to go along with it, at least for the time being. Our conversation was limited, due to my poor Hindi and her poor English, but just being in her presence was enough. In my mind, she has come to encompass every aspect of India that I experienced, and that is happiness, joy, kindness, faith, and appreciation of simply living life. She, like India, became a real friend, and she, like India, became a diamond for me. Puja, the 12 year old girl, is India.

So, when i was invited to play at the Uppsala Guitar Festival in the Swedish town of Uppsala, to be the opening act for fellow guitarist Jennifer Batten, it hit me. This was a blessing, because now, i would be able to present my sister Puja through music, and to a large audience. So i got some words together, a short poem, and put them together into a song. Two hours before my “spot”, and we can literally call it a spot, because the festival organiser Klaus, a very nice man by the way, had told me “you get ten minutes and thats it”, i was sitting in the hotel, getting the song together and hoping that i would be able to get the message across to the audience. The festival itself took place in a very fancy and state of the art building. It was almost cleaner than a hospital and had these giant escalators that made no noise at all. Everything inside that building was in tip top shape. For lunch, there was an all you can eat buffet, many people in suits, and specialy designed silverware. As for the concert hall itself, it was one of perfection. The seats were very comfortable, the sound engineer’s equipment was as good as it could possibly get, the stage itself was in magnificent condition and the microphones that they had were some of the best in the world. Backstage, the stage crew had walkie talkies, there were screens that showed what was going on in the concert hall, and giant digital clocks that showed exactly what time it was. So, seeing all this, and after having taken it all in, i figured that this would be the perfect place to spread the message of “you can make a difference in children’s lives if you take that money that you would otherwise spend on a fancy car out of your pocket and send them to school for life instead.” (While volunteering  at a girls school, also in Pushkar, i was shocked at how little money it cost to send a girl to school for one year, and was so disheartened by the fact that one phone was the same price as sending a girl to school for three years!) I must also add that i had the suits that i had seen at lunchtime in mind when i thought this, not the actual audience, for i had not seen them yet. So, when I finally stepped out on stage, i looked out at the audience, and my eyes were telling me that there were at least 400 people out there. 400 people that i could take with me to that moment when i sat on the cracked sidewalk and listened to Puja play her drum, and play it so so very well. 400 people that i could take with me to that moment when Puja told me that she was 12, and had neither a mother, nor a father. 400 people that i could take with me to that moment when she smiled, and the whole world seemed to stand still, for this was the smile of a survivor, a smile that knew so much more about life than I ever would. 400 people that i could take with me to that moment when this child said goodbye to me and continued on her way, her and her drum, simply living life in this instant, not in the past, nor in the future, but firmly rooted in the present like a wise, ancient tree. 400 people that i could hopefully encourage to look past their own lives, and look into the lives of others. 400 people that i could send home with a seed, a seed that would bloom if they watered it with care, love, concern, affection, curiosity, and a willingness to reach out to a side of their humanity that does not have food for the day, a roof for the night, and education for their lives. 400 people that, if they were not aware of the harsh reality of their brothers and sisters also sharing this planet earth with them before stepping into the concert hall, would for sure be aware of it upon stepping out.

Our world is our home, of this I have no doubt, and so dont we always ask our guests when they come over to our homes the following questions? “Are you hungry? Do you want anything to drink? Shall i go and prepare your bed for the night?” We ask these things out of care for our guests, because we truly want them to feel comfortable in our homes, and we ask these things regardless of if the people are actually hungry or not. So dont we want the guests of our one common home, our world, to feel truly comfortable and taken care of, especially when they are hungry? We all care, deep inside! We all care, I believe this, and I know this! But in order for us to turn our care into action and service, we have to open our hearts to the sufferings of our brothers and sisters! We have to feel their pain, and we can’t be afraid to kick down the doors and smash the windows of our comfortable lives! I would like to tell you now, that our world is very hungry, and if you listen close enough, you will hear its stomache moan! Our world would very much like to have something to drink, and if you look close enough, you will be able to see its dry, cracked lips hoping for a cup of water, and to finish, if we have an extra bed, well then our world would love it if we went and prepared a bed for it to sleep in tonight.

I conclude by saying that, as people, it is our responsibilty to simply convey the message. No matter what your medium of expression may be, simply convey the message, and never, ever hesitate to do so. This is the true struggle, this is the true “Jihad”. 

– Here is the poem I wrote for her –

I remember you, Sister, you sat there, and played your drum for me, your rhythms flowed, and became steady earth, upon which i could rest my weary soul,
No Father, No Mother, No Brother, No Sister, so little food, so little water, only yesterdays rags, to cover the delicate brown of your skin, only yesterdays rags, to cover the sacred black of your hair, streaming down like tears, the purity of your gaze, suffering, without the slightest pain,
and then, you left, carrying your drum, your rhythms, safely resting inside your spirit, walking away, with your gift, the gift of music,
your shadow, following, deeper than a thousand nights,
walk on, oh beautiful princess, walk on, you are my steady earth, and i am the dust, along your path,
I remember you, India……

IMG_0044-1.PNG