I Am From...

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim

Last year one of my homework assignments was to write an "I Am From" poem noting some elements that have helped shape the person that I am. It was an interesting though challenging endeavour as I wasn't sure which aspects to include and which to exclude.

Given that the poem was available for my classmates and professors to read, I think it served its purpose. Nevertheless, while I appreciate some parts of it, I think it fails at getting to the heart of reflecting on one's history. This poem speaks about the outward (in an unbalanced way) despite my reality being inward. Perhaps one of these days I should attempt a re-write wherein the outward and inward meet.

I invite you to try writing something about yourself. And if there is anyone exceptional enough to appreciate the privilege of reading your words, then do share them. Perhaps you'll find it a fruitful and insightful activity.

Alhamdulillah 'ala kulli haal.


I Am From...

I am from the thundering of Mosi-o-tunya,
guavas, and mangoes.
I am from burglar bars, guard dogs,
and monkeys stealing snacks.
I am from the cradle of basket weavers,
live bait, and creative knickknacks.

I am from the sweat of my parents
whose sacrifices are my comfort.
I am from a dinner table set for eleven,
discussions until twelve,
and "give me a chocolate bar, and we'll call it even."

I am from the heat of childhood games.
I am from the coolness of calm tempers.
I am from the heights of stamped passports.
I am from the depths of spiritual awareness.

I am from the melody of unstoppable giggles
and the sensations of milk and cake.
I am from the selfless counsel of elders and teachers
who evidence threads of wisdom in all that they've sewn.
I am from weekend barbeques, powdered Tang,
and a face much like my own.

I am from three date fruits and a sip of water,
and I am from a smile.
I am from the tranquil echoes of the muathin
calling to servitude five times a day.
I am from the footsteps of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.
I am from his legacy.
I am from his way.
[Insha'Allah wa ameen!]

October 5, 2009

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"Do you think that you will enter the Paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They encountered suffering and adversity and were so shaken in spirit that even the Apostle and those of faith who were with him cried: 'When (will come) the help of God?' Ah! Verily the help of God is (always) near!" [2:214]



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"Be mindful of God, and God will protect you. Be mindful of God, and you will find Him in front of you. If you ask, ask of God. If you seek help, seek help of God. Know that if the whole world were to gather together to benefit you with anything, it would benefit you only with something that God had already prescribed for you. And if the whole world were to gather together to harm you, it would harm you only with something that God has already prescribed for you. The pens have been lifted and the ink has dried."
--Prophet Muhammad [peace be upon him]