Tenth Day Thoughts
A. A. Kamalov
Echoes reverberating, soulful takbeeraat
Straight from the Straits of Malacca
Reaching the seven heavens above in
Sanctified devotion. White-capped,
Black-capped, turbaned and scarved,
In solidarity with the blank-robed
Millions crowded in canvassed Mina
Seeking to be cleansed, like newborns.
Uttering strings of praises, prayers,
Everything under the powerful gaze
Of the Almighty Judge, All-Seeing,
Fearful, tearful, careful, one must be.
Yet close by, sinners and liars laughing
With arrogance, bathing fingers in
Copious fresh blood of innocents,
Striking down whilst saying “Salam!”
No joy; just death – despite the cradle of
Humanity’s proudest advancements,
Baghdad and Babylon: such a shame.
Has God forsaken us, you wonder?
He didn’t, of course! It’s a sort of
Wake-up call; a piercing scream to
Pick up the long-abandoned “Pen”
From which springs forth abundance –
Fountain of Knowledge: Wisdom, Divine
Enlightenment transforms barren lands
Into lush fields of olives and dates, so
All will enjoin in peace and justice,
This is probably my most Islamically-related poem I’ve written so far. I wrote this poem a few days after the holiday of Eid-ul-Adha, hence the title. I was pondering over the holy nature of the holiday, which coincides with Hajj, the major pilgrimage a Muslim would have to undertake once in their lifetime. At the same time, I feel a little saddened, since despite the religious and solemn nature of the holiday, I realise that not too far away from Mecca, many would have little to celebrate and rejoice while living in constant fear and bloodshed. My solution, and you could perhaps call it childish and naïve, is that if we all embrace education, both the religious and secular, we can achieve greater understanding, tolerance and peace instead of killing each other because of creed and ideologies.
I hope as readers you don’t mind me experimenting with religious themes such as this. There seems to be a lot of classic and popular poems out there which have deep Judeo-Christian references, but not as many portraying Islamic themes, at least in original English literature. I wish to contribute to this, since this is a very important part of my identity. However, it will not be my primary focus and I believe my style will keep evolving as I learn and experience new things in life.