Introducing This Year’s MSA Theme!

We’ve added a page (see the tab “MSA Theme 2012-2013″ above on our blog’s home page) dedicated to explaining this year’s MSA theme and updating you on relevant theme-events that will be held throughout the year by different MSA committees, inshAllah. Check it out and bookmark the page to stay up-to-date!

EMPOWERING OUR COMMUNITY THROUGH ARTS, IDEAS & CULTURE

Ramadan Posts: “Awaiting My Return”

As we experience the first days of the month of Ramadan, we welcome submissions from community members looking to showcase their creative works and their reflections. The following is one of our creative submissions, a poem by Aliza Hirani.

“awaiting my return”

waiting for my forehead to press against the smooth velvet like it once did five times

subhana rabbi al ala subhana rabbi al ala subhana rabbi al ala

hands firm on the ground not wanting to let go knowing it’s my last time

eyelashes bat across on the Kabaah to and fro

so intricately designed that my eyes yearn to be there everytime

catching every tear drop after every heavy sigh

after every istaghfar my heart so desperately pines

for forgiveness from The Only One who defines

my worth.

waiting for me before I wake up

ready for me before I go to bed

and three more times in between

yet I do not come

my sajjadah awaits my return and all i can think is

inshAllah in due time.

Poem: To Houla

Poem by Askia Nasir Bilal

To Houla, 5/2012

Due to the graphic violence alluded to in this poem, readers should exercise discretion.

here’s to the hundred still

white shrouded Someones

 

First, in neat lines on the tiled floor

Like a picket fence made to fall for the offense of standing

 

White quiet neat lines on the tiled floor

stretching out like the skeletal remains

of an ugly Truth unearthed

stark naked unavoidable

 

such order in the aftermath of

point blank execution of

bloodying of depriving of trampling of heavy gun butting and combat boot caving in of paper thin things toting of dark foreboding omens of

gasoline dousing and casually tossing the match and closing one eye   Cyclops

and squeezing and releasing and squeezing and releasing and squeezing  and squeezing and squeezing and squeezing

until the last gasp is emptied out of

and stretching and stretching until the coming apart of the last thread and

the defiling of all things sacrosanct that make human beings stand on two legs and speak and dream and hope

 

such quiet order in neat white rows

as the aftermath of such things

escapes the senses.

 

Next, You all white shrouded hundred still,

filled the freshly dug grave

as one

You are a river of milk

moving          still

 

Blow a kiss to the shell You’ve shed

Rest assured

If the world didn’t want You

You didn’t die

but acquired the attire of Higher States

The author blogs at askianasirbilal.wordpress.com.

for the people of the land of the sun (just recompense)

a few words next to nothing for our brothers and sisters.

May Allah be with them and grant them steadfastness and relief from oppression.

————————–

I bled this lead poem

from a third eye

from the dark side of an eclipsed solar disc

knowing it would shine again because an eclipse cannot last

i bled this lead poem
and scribbled on the walls of the 69th cell in permanent red ink
like the author of the Algerian National Anthem before he escaped
and this was hurled and heard like mangled pieces of invisible shrapnel
but it ain’t just recompense

I don’t consider this just recompense
for brethren picking through mounds of rubble that used to be a home before missiles hit
in search of a baby sister
while the world watched did nothing for reasons that don’t make sense to me
hidden in plain view by
Mr. Sinister behind the podium standing at the center of his winter solstice
trying to steal the sun from its land
telling the world with the forked thing between his jaws that he is not the maestro of a crazed Coliseum
with the forked thing between his jaws with a taste of blood for his own people

oh people of the land of the sun
an eclipse don’t last forever

I don’t consider this just recompense
because stories were distorted by the headlines to help fit them on one line to speed across the bottom of television screens
in order to make room for some photoshopped face celebrity latest break-up story
to appease devastated attention spans and boost ratings
in order to feed hypnotic conditions

so by the time I caught ear of it

the victims were somehow the villains
and the sky wasn’t falling
and the one who’d sold the fangs to the fox in the first place was made to be the hero

What could be just recompense
for children missing for months
seized by shadows and
when they finally were sent home -the fingernails extracted from their fingers
came home wiser to the ways of the world than old men
came home with the lights in their eyes dimmed like
flashlights on the verge of burning out
and the worst of their wounds from
invisible shrapnel that hit them and they bled lead poems
that no one would ever see or hear

how could this bear witness
for one man from the land of the sun
that lay dying from shrapnel
who witnessed the event
of an unknown man in white– bright as the winter sun he had to squint
descending on him with glad tidings
that the eclipse would end
and the sun would shine again
and prophecy cannot be undone
enough to make that witness that lay dying smile

the witnesses of the witness testify he was squinting
like one staring into the eye of the sun
and he was smiling.

oh people of the land of the sun
an eclipse cannot last forever.

© askia nasir bilal 2012

For more pieces like this, check out Askia’s blog.

Caves

By: Hussein Sheikh-Aden

Pondering in seclusion was a man,
who would receive wahi from the One.
He was given a Divine command.
Told to ‘Read!'; but decided to run.

Muhammad(saws), leapt from the cave.
Escaped the darkness; headed home.
Ran to his wife; asked her to save,
him from what he was shown.

He trembled in her embrace.
Told her, his innermost fears.
“A man like you, He shall not disgrace.”
Wisdom from all her years.

The Prophet(saws) gained strength
and accepted God’s call.
To spread the Truth,
of ‘La Illaha Ill Allah’.

Stood up big and tall,
in the face of his society.
Like an unwavering brick wall.
Preaching modesty, piety.

At first unsure and afraid.
Ultimately he accomplished his task.
We know of the sacrifices he made.
Nonetheless, I have a point to ask.

Don’t we all have a role to fill?
For all of us, He has a specific plan.
We could be an instrument of God’s will.

The Prophet(saws) is the highest of examples.
The greatest that can possibly be achieved.
Yet, we can draw parallels.
More than at first perceived.

At first we may not know our role,
our way in this big Universe.
This may put worry in our soul.
But trust in Him, as described in this verse:

Allah – there is no deity except Him. And upon Allah let the believers rely. — (Quran 64:13)

So we may first be confused, bewildered.
But always put your trust in and rely on Him.
And our aspirations will never be hindered.

Like a pious Muslim, we should all attempt to behave.
Putting the Prophet(saws) as our model.
Because in reality, our colleges and offices…
…may be our cave.