impure repentance


You’re lacking,
if you think lip service offers you the escape,
if your repentance is marred with recurrence of the vice you want to abandon,
if you can’t regret having to regret.

How are you going to climb out of yourself,
that basal carnality,
oft repeating,
oft indulging,
gluttonously sinful,
consciously neglectful.

When will you topple its reign,
choke its life to within a breath,
and make it ever grateful,
aware of the frivolity it keeps dragging you into,
making regret your staple.

W.E.

skyward hand

sufi-beggar

Where is that beggar I used to see,
this street is lonely without his upward hand,
his smile, his well wishes,
blown away,
like a dervish in the sand.

My mock, my wit,
won’t avail, with time conspiring against me,
his prayer, his litany,
might be the only thing that avails me.

How oft we tread on hallow ground,
but aloof with our eyes towards the sky,
it’s not heaven were looking towards,
but the mountain of grandeur,
we’re so accustomed to tell ourselves lies.

Whilst there on the floor,
my beggar friend sits,
aware of all that is above him,
and I, in ignorance,
took him for a peasant,
without noticing he was a king.

Sufi literature is heavy with example,
with history of princes, kings and queens,
abandoning their position,
donning the garb of a beggar,
because they were afflicted with the unseen.

And here I am,
sound faculty of mind,
intellectualising all that I know,
when what I should have been doing,
is walking to divinity,
and like the dervish,
with wind and sand,
allow myself to be blown.

W.E.

There is a beggar who usually frequents a mosque I pray at. I never see him inside, always outside, waiting to ask someone for a dollar or two.

It’s usually at noon prayer that I find myself in the midst of hustle and bustle,
fleeing from the noise to the sanctuary of silence hidden in crevices of the city, in this little mosque, unknown to most of the outside world.

Perhaps, by the sincerity of the peaceful folk that frequent there, God has veiled it from preying eyes, and left it for crying eyes, and praying hearts, perhaps God has shrouded the hearts of the non-followers with veils of peace, or indifference but this iron barred solace, remains unscathed, in a time and place where it doesn’t belong.

He waits, he knows, he remembers the ones that place money in his palm.

My teachers always taught me, never to refuse the palm of a beggar, to assume it is God himself asking, perhaps through a medium, perhaps to test me, to see if I am really devoted to Him, to see if I truly believe ‘to Him I belong and to Him I return’, everything is in His dominion, all of wealth and all of poverty. All of it, His, and perhaps this is my litmus, the trial of me, the Jihad, that I must undertake against my wretched soul.

My teachers were never ones for small talk, they made sure they drove home the message with utter clarity and that it laid in a bath of conviction in my heart.

With this in mind, I’d always give this man something. He was always grateful.

I don’t know what overcame me, perhaps annoyance, perhaps arrogance, perhaps the devil in me, I don’t know but the last time I saw him, I grew annoyed, I pestered him when he approached me. I asked why he was lying to me. He told me a very tall tale as to why he needed money.

I dislike lying and grow agitated and extremely angry when lied to, and perhaps I used this as an excuse to justify my pestering him. I was never not going to give him something, but I pestered him and asked him why he was lying to me and that I would give him what he wanted if he just didn’t lie, Muslims are not meant to lie, it is considered of the utmost of major sins.

He kept saying ‘ok, ok, I’ve got schizophrenia, I’m here to see the doctor’. (it was a public holiday). I still didn’t believe him, nevertheless I gave as I usually do and as usual he was thankful and left as I went inside to pray.

It’s been a couple of weeks and I haven’t seen him at all. Today, I grew sad walking towards the mosque, wondering what happened to him. I grew annoyed with myself and anxious, I wanted to punch myself and as I thought of being a failure, at letting my fat ego get in the way, my bloated mind, my obese yapping heart, I felt bruised all over.

That feeling I got when I lost a fight I could have easily won. Lips busted, shins busted, knuckles making holding a spoon near impossible and a jaw you can only drink fluids through, I felt battered.

I hoped nothing had happened to him, and I wanted nothing more than to see his hand outstretched, his teeth broken and rotting through and to hear his Afghani accent, soft and inviting, like he was the one calling me to a banquet, into his home, the gesture of asking, a metaphor of God inviting, and there I was analysing the invitation card, forgetting I have been summoned to a meal with my creator.

I have never felt such shame, ever, and after all this, I wondered still yet, if perhaps I am just so conscious now of what had transpired and only wanted the soft cushion for myself, out of again another hidden trap within my ego, to assure myself that I was generous, like as if I own anything, like as if it is mine to give in the first place. Perhaps I just wanted to avoid the punishment I was ready to fledge myself with. I don’t know.

I do know, I still wish his hand was there, so I could place something in it without him even asking.

W.E.

seeing ahead

seeing-ahead
I know what is to come,
and the lack of fight in me,
makes me a coward.

How else can I stare,
with certainty in my heart,
at what has transpired ahead,
knowing well,
the said and unsaid,
and drag my self to the pace of indifference,
gaiting along,
baiting the futures song,
and still commit all this wrong.

We have the lore laid out in front of us,
the law above and around us,
and still we shy from our fate,
ignoring God,
but in our ego placing full trust.

We’re a special kind of stupid,
to be given all these gifts,
only to tear open the wrapping,
and spit in the face of the Giver.

W.E.

We is

emption-is

Emotion is;

The gentle tap,
of the heart on intellects door,
reminding it to stop with analysis,
and feel more.

The mind is;

Just a melting pot,
for all that you know to settle,
just a holding spot,
whilst the world tests your mettle.

The heart is;

Where whirlwinds of emotions,
go to confide,
where secrets are kept,
either come out, or hide.

The ego is;

Such a heavy burden,
and insidious reasoning,
only when subdued and slayed,
can come your awakening.

The body is;

Just a vessel, container,
a carrier for all,
whatever your size,
buried, whether grand or with shortfalls.

The soul is;

Innocent and free of,
all of the above,
pure and intact,
only attracted to love.

So where are you,
in your mind,
in your body,
in your heart and soul,
where is your ego,
are you parted or whole?

Do you even know,
whatever you trick yourself to believe,
will be denied when time comes,
and your soul replays, and your mind retrieves.

On that day, you’re mute,
tongue tied and can no longer lie,
that day that is coming to us like an arrow,
when we die, try as you may to deny.

Wesam El dahabi

i’m Arab, ten

im-arab10
i’m Arab, ten
Spray that at me with venom all you like,
Do you realise my ancestors are prophets?
Whatever lashes off your breath with vengeance,
 lands on my skin with silken embrace.
Wesam El dahabi

It utterly baffles me when white supremacists herald themselves as civilised,
as the benchmark for humans to rise to, in the name of Jesus, in the name of Moses, in the name of whatever religious figure they suppose and they forget,
Jesus, Moses, Muhammad, Abraham, Jacob, Soloman, Joseph, and every prophet that ever lived was of African to Middle Eastern decent.

Enough with your amnesia, enough with your cognitive dissonance and dissociation with reality.

I have firm conviction that people who think this way have serious cognitive abilities, bordering on mental health issues. Their spiritual states are a given, there is nothing Jesus like nor holy about them.

But to throw an insult at me like ‘hey Arab’, is the most laughable. You do realise the word Arab only exists in a negative framework in a mind that has been utterly shaped by empty media rhetoric, void of any meaningful and rightful association to negativity.  Calling me an Arab with intent to insults only affirms my conviction and love of my heritage.

Structural racism, selective amnesia, hate, prejudice and bigotry are not diseases and states that can be cured overnight, or ever, if someone is comfortable bathing in lies and misinformation.

In the words of a George Galloway in a recent debate, ‘The Iraqi’s were teaching the world Algebra when you (English) were sitting in forests painting your faces blue’.

If you’re that stupid and gullible to fall for media jargon, then it’s high time you wake up and realise the true worth of civilisations far more ancient than your infantile colonialist forefathers and their successors to present time will have you believe.

W.E.

Sons under the sun – France, Saudi, same, same

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the irony of course is not the women,
not the liberation, not the oppression,
nor the men policing them either,
but it’s the sand.

the connectedness of this dry and pale backdrop,
which I don’t know if the artist meant,
but I also don’t know if people realise.

Men, dry from the moisture of comprehension,
but wet behind the ears,
still oblivious to the idea,
that they don’t own other men,
especially other women.

and despite our outward appearance,
we haven’t evolved anywhere in the world,
secularist, fundamentalist,
dogmatic or pragmatic,
oh they love the words,
both pride themselves on arbitrary definitions.

what kind of wombs bore you,
i wonder if they deplore you,
would you police your mothers too,
would you still hold the same view?

if it were your mother that was dressed,
or undressed,
would you still feel the need to oppress?

I wonder,
what the world would look like if right from the start,
women were just left alone,
how much more would we as a civilisation,
have grown?

This arid backdrop is the wasteland of what we have become,
of two images of things that can’t be undone,
both burned into our retinas,
by women’s sons, under the sun.

W.E.

Art by Khalid Albaih
https://www.facebook.com/KhalidAlbaih

-Soof (wool)

tasbih

-soof (wool)

am I the caller or are you?
am I seeking light,
or are you illuminating my path?

I wish my fingers were worn
from this rosary I carry
but my hands are hard and callused
tis the heart that beats wear down

there is no more it can take of this glow
where the river of remembering you flows
where every lover and seeker goes
where they grow
where the knower, knows
and everything slows

and taken by the throes, of prose
of healing aloes
all comes to a close
where in desperate hope
we yearn to be one that He chose

where suddenly awash are woes
and secrets are disclosed
off to the market we go
to sell our adornments
and don the beggars clothes

so hand me those well worn
damp with fever
scent of a lover
patches of woollen throws
it is only a shell
for this piece of flesh
and of my other shell
in molten fire dispose

now take me Lord…
and of our vicinity
keep it ours
not a person of it to disclose

-W.E.