I belong

broken_city

In the world with its walls, electric towers;

In a life with chasms, iron mountains tall;

In me, a burdened, old ‘king’ of Self1(ish) powers,

Cold,

Watch as I – the enstranger – slip and fall…

 

My mind2, which grapples for more control,

Is lost, has forgotten the (compass) point;

My heart though, yearns, and tries to understand

My soul3 – that unceasing, warm, enabling call –

Remembers, un-adaunt,

And en-lightens me to rise, to hope, to with-stand.

 

idyllic forest

I see open cities, many bridges;

Feel woodland springing through my veins;

I am a-flourish, willing to breathe fulfilment to ancient pledges4,

To toil, as I tread new ground toward our horizons.

I find the lover of peace smiling;

I find the Vicegerent5 of earth a-caring;

Find your primordial voice, phoenix soaring –

Forever calling,

The returning self to the Eternal King’s song6,

Singing: I belong.

Phoenix

allah caligraphy_by Fahdi

By Arif uz Zaman

March 2005

To read the PROBLEMATIC poem of this reply, please click on ‘Ache‘.

To understand what are Dialogue Poems, please click here.

1Nafs (the Self) – “There are two kinds of people, one are those whose Nafs have overcome them and led them to ruin because they yielded to them and obeyed their impulses. [This type is being referred to, in the poem, here.] The other kinds are those who have overcome their Nafs and made them obey their commands.” See www.abc.se for a brief discussion on Nafs.

2The word mind (aql, عقل) does not appear in the Holy Qur’an as a noun in the singular form. Rather, a derivative of which is used as a verb (aqala عَقَلَ ), meaning to tie, tighten, control, or restrict. See www.aljazeerah.info .

3‘Soul’ here equates with the Arabic word ‘roo’h’ (روح) which is also referred to as “spirit”: a translation of which is mentioned in many verses in the Holy Quran. “Humans received part of God’s spirit when He blew it in Adam. [See verses 5:110, 15: 29, 21: 91, and 66: 12]… We know that the spirit is a quality of God that He sends to the humans He has created in order to support, strengthen, and give life to them. Thus, humans have some of God’s spirit.” Quote from www.aljazeerah.info … Presumably the ‘roo’h’ is That entity which contains our ‘Will to Freedom’.

4“Truly, We did offer Al-Amanah (the trust or moral responsibility or honesty and all the duties which Allah has ordained) to the heavens and the earth, and the mountains, but they declined to bear it and were afraid of it (i.e. the weight of responsibility – afraid of Allah’s Torment if misused). But man bore it.” Quran (33:72).

5“Behold, thy Lord said to the angels: “I will create a vicegerent on earth.” “meaning ‘Mankind’. Quran (2:30).

6الذين اذا اصابتهم مصيبة قالوا انا لله وانا اليه راجعون “Who, when a misfortune overtakes them, say: ‘Surely we belong to God and to Him shall we return’.” Quran (2:156). Also, ‘Al Malik’, (one of the Ninety Nine Names of God) which means ‘the Majestic’ suggested by the ‘Eternal King’ is a reference to Allah – that is to say, God.

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4 Comments

Filed under Arif uz Zaman: Dialogue Poem, Arif uz Zaman: Poetry, Poetry

4 responses to “I belong

  1. Julie

    Very beautiful…

    Like

  2. maryamchahine

    “My soul3 – that unceasing, warm, enabling call –

    Remembers, un-adaunt,

    And en-lightens me to rise, to hope, to with-stand.

    I see open cities, many bridges;

    Feel woodland springing through my veins;

    I am a-flourish, willing to breathe fulfilment to ancient pledges4,”

    These are my favorite lines in the poem. The whole poem is beautiful but these lines had me rereading several times. Absolutely eloquent and meaningful. You are an excellent writer. Keep sharing your messages.

    Like

  3. Wow! Thank you for your great comment. It means a lot to me! As you may know – from writing yourself – when you’re so close to a poem, it becomes increasingly difficult to judge which parts others might find poignant. It’s fascinating to hear Your perspective. Jazakallah Khairan

    Like

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