Chameleon

Hey we are Muslims

Some of us got it all wrong

Don’t need to stick out like

Something out of this world

Just be phenomenal inside

and out and know our worth.

 

Come on, come on, come on,

Children pull out your books

Those grown pull out your pens

It was the very first creation

You were taught so let it teach you

once more and again.

Read the Quran, grow, let the compassionate love descend.

Allah is watching you do good.

 

Work in a factory

Teach at a university

No better thans, support your family

Contributing to society

Imam as a khateeb

Leads lit up like a gifted beacon from the

Source of Guidance

Only on Him is our reliance..

Seventeen

You’re just 17
You ain’t grown
But not so young
Wanna join
The cool kids
Be bold

And the others like to brag
Say that they got it bad
But you’re keeping it in
Afraid of unwanted attention

And sometimes for a little while
Any fool can see bright lights as the dawn of a new day
Darling, maybe you just need a little hope to light the way.

Feels like you’ve felt
Everything you can feel.
But as you stand on the tracks
Let me remind you to look back
Just as much as you
Search in front of you
For all the answers

Cause honey you’re just seventeen
Don’t forget Allah is  Al-Wadud, Al-Jabbar
Don’t forget, you have his love
No matter what, you can always go back to Him

You belong with the living
Until it’s truthfully your time
My love
Don’t let go
Wear your emotions on your sleeve.
But if you’re hurt
You need to reach out to Allah

He has your real home

Seems like help

Never came when you were begging
Never came when you were screaming, not even

When you were leaning
On the floor
But honey you’re just seventeen
Maybe it feels like you’ve felt
Everything you can feel
But don’t forget the ones you love
Don’t forget, you have their love

Use these pretty words
Let it go
Let it flow
Let it slowly glow into a sunrise
Don’t be selfish with those beautiful eyes
You see things, you realize
So don’t forget mi amor
Don’t pass by and pass on, my love

Too soon

Don’t forget mi amor

Don’t forget my love

Habeebatee, young one

Just too young to die

If you’re hurt, don’t make it worse

And let your heart burst
You need to reach out to Allah

He has your real home,

He has your real hope.

A Prayer for Beauty

O Allah,

I know you are beautiful and Love beauty

Make me beautiful

But never extravagant

Nor inappropriately attractive.

 

Dear God,

Make my posture firm,

Like my confidence

Emanating from within.

 

O Allah,

Make my stride

Flow with grace in every step,

Lower my heartbeat,

Dear Lord of the Worlds,

When I fail to lower my gaze.

 

Because I know I will from time to time,

And please do not hold me accountable

Over what I have no control over,

And remind me immediately, and I will repent.

 

Open my heart to face you honestly,

And sincerely say sorry

Opening it further to face myself

In healing,

In kindness,

And in the rectification of my heart.

My Little Heart Mender

To a little man I love.

I don’t like those t-shirts

The way that they look

They say that you’re a little heartbreaker

My dear boy,

I want to tell you something

I hope you’ll remember

When you’re older

When you meet that girl

 

Who ain’t got a big brother

Like you are

To protect her

To remind her she’s beautiful

And to your little sister

I hope you do

So you’ll be the best big brother

the world has ever seen

 

The little boy that you are now

Is the kind I hope you’ll grow up to be

 

Because my dear boy

You’re not a little heartbreaker

You’re a little heart mender

Your sweet toothy smile

Makes my world light up for miles

Like I don’t see anywhere else

But the sun

 

You’re a little heart mender

You bandage my cuts

And you kiss my invisible bruises

With your sweet tiny arms

Around my big girl neck

 

Oh my dear boy

I hope you’re never a heartbreaker

With your tiny scraped knees

And funny, good dreams

I hope you become

The little heart mender that you are

Oh you’re a little heart mender

 

You’re the little boy

The one little man

In my entire fam

Full of boys and men

You’re the one that can

Heal me

With your childish love

It’s like nothing else

I hope when you lose your innocence

You’ll replace it with wisdom

And kindness

And love

Knowing

Not every girl gets the love she deserves

 

And if she aches and starts to break

I hope you’ll be the one

With compassion,

To put her back together

But for now

Just keep being loving

 

My dear boy

Life will tell you something

About hurt

And who gets there first

But I don’t care

About the race

I care that you’ll stay with the

Kid who fell running.

 

The world will say that

You have to be tough

To be strong

But I don’t think that enough

Is said about love

Knowing you’re wanted

Making others feel safe

And loved

That is a strength

Of which I will try to give you

My dear boy

 

The pure little boy you are now,

Is the kind I hope you’ll grow up to be.

Artificial Education

How will we remember

At a time

When all that’s left

Is an education

To limit our intellect?

 

Remember the greatest minds

Of our generation,

And those that came before them,

How they often shaped them

Even after the day they were gone.

 

I miss obstacle races,

Children airing graces

Like princesses preparing

To lead as queens,

The boys play-fighting

But this time it’s not arm-wrestling

“Nah,”  the children laughed,

“We just play minecraft.

Horseplay?

Who even does that anymore?”

 

And scholars of our best generation

Prophets gave us leaders in the making,

Men and women

We can take pride in

If only by oral history.

Do you read it in the books

Or have they burned those too,

Along with comprehension?

 

This little boy doesn’t even know it

But the truth is,

He needs to put away the screens,

Pull out the easel

And tell us what he feels:

Not every child can find the words

No matter how much Mummy knows.

 

Back in time to the generation

The one of Muhammad

Sallallahu alaihi wassalam

Speaking of community

The one that makes me feel

That when I lift my eyes

I look around and realize

All eyes lowered in submission to a device

And that those who spoke

Those who knew

Seemed to be very few

 

Wisdom comes with time

Experience, a painful wound or two

So when that elder comes to you

They’ll ask for an update on your injury

Not ask about your most recent selfie

Like ‘friends’ who didn’t even look at you and see

 

We think it’s so easy

All you have to do

Is a detox

Can’t you see?

Put the phone aside

One day

Go and really live your life

But you’re hooked on dopamine

Don’t tell me you’ve never enjoyed a Trumpster meme

Man, those things are mean!

 

Seems like we’re already

on the road to alienation

From ourselves

From societal integration.

 

Are you not afraid

Of complete isolation

Don’t you see

We are not controlling

It is our gadgets doing the innovation

We did nothing but basic calculation

Copy-paste, a illusion of what’s true

Where is the one who inspired you?

 

What will the day look like,

Or has it already come,

When our eyes will grow so tired

By the screens our minds will be wired

A few of us tell everyone else

What we cannot see

Only it’s a distortion of all the imagery

 

We never toiled with it

Never made an effort toward it

Inadequacy making us wonder

What is that we’re missing here?

“Am I good enough?

My grades are good

I smile, make eye contact,

Buy a coffee for a colleague once a while

Don’t cheat or lie or steal,

But never ate a meal

Where I was satisfied

Never showed love

“Okay, fine, it was a text

But heart emojis are a big deal–

The larger ones  mean more too!

 

“I never let myself feel

Worked all day and late at night

Cause I know it will heal

Didn’t do it for myself

At least it helped someone else!

Right?

 

“Maybe one day it’ll be real

I’m scared

To let it clear

It’ll have to exit my heart first

Don’t blow-ups, crying,

Quiet reflection

Depression make it worse?”

 

She doubts

Well so did I

It makes no sense

But oh yes it does

When crying

As a child

They were trying

Holding her down

Like she was

Grown and violent

 

At four

“She was out of control,

What could she possibly feel,

A child whose fears were never real?”

But really it was legitimate

Just her mother’s love

Was what she needed to feel.

 

But how insane would she be

To say at 22

She forgot how to

Get her forehead on the floor

When she could hardly hold two thoughts

In a train like a stream

There was not a single drop

That she could track, really.

 

She knew of God

But couldn’t believe

If she never had a chance to breathe

Oxygen He Created

But these beliefs to her seemed outdated.

Can artificial intelligence

Help your heart to grieve,

Or allow for love’s soil to take a seed?

 

Think about it

It’s unnatural

It’s a cop-out

You said you forgot the

Wedding anniversary

Your calendar had a glitch.

Failed to start Ramadan

Cause your notification

never went off

But did you even go to

find out at the mosque?

Answered a question from your sister

About a gift she got for completing her last semester

But you used an app, not your heart

To pick something out

And now it’s not genuine

You didn’t give it with a smile

It showed up but the smile she got was Amazon’s

The list goes on…

 

Priorities keep conflicting

Life just keeps restricting

Maybe I’m just lecturing

I might just be a hypocrite

I’m writing this poem

On a phone

But one thing I know

Is I don’t feel so distracted anymore

I’m trying my hardest to be like how it was before

When a phone was not a plaything just yet.

 

60 years from now

An upheaval

What happened

To all our people

In this I am not optimistic

Even with this tool on which I write

I still criticize

 

Who’s afraid to have an uneducated opinion

For likes from big misused terminology,

Praise in comments?

See your face,

Look at my phone,

Remind me it’s the same person

She’s not so upfront as I

To say what’s really on her mind.

 

Mechanical human beings

I worry about what will happen

When we lose meaning, reason,

We praise teaching on gadgets

In a classroom full of children

Loud in their ears

Bright to their eyes

Over-stimulation of the mind

These gadgets

They paralyze the mind

Can’t get creative

If you’re taking in

But never releasing out

 

It’s 2019 today

Tomorrow comes

It’s not that far

What happens in 2080

Look these children turned 60

Can’t hear, can’t see

Their children even more 

Deaf and blind

Enslaved to their screens

Than the generation before them

Who can we blame

Except the ones who enable it

We ourselves are submerged in it.

 

The institution will beckon us in

We’ll pay good money to get inside

No gadgets they will say to their own families,

But watch us, and experiment away

Different treatments to hack away at the addiction

The patron

Struggling with the addiction

Now you see this is a problem

Before you could say it was a pill the man popped

And they decided outlaw the drug

Before you could it was the alcohol

So with alcoholics at home,

They locked away the vodka

Emptied the fridge of all the beer

But how do you outlaw a cell phone

How do you define unhealthy usage

How do you limit it

How do you keep away

When you use it when it’s needed

But can’t stop yourself when you go to it

Only because you want it

To search for human comfort

And believe you can’t live without it.

The Mountain I Climb

Maybe I’m not the person

Opportunity is looking for,

I came here

To prove something,

I came home.

 

Because love and responsibility

To me prevails,

Not because it was easy, no.

But because it was healing

It was necessary,

The action for the right reason

That moment told.

 

I’m almost there!

I can see the summit!

These mountains have been my home

For longer than what is bearable

But I’m almost there! I said,

I’m unstoppable,

But you know it

I was overconfident.

 

I paused for a moment

Out of exhaustion,

Because I needed that oxygen

But it took over,

And I realized what I had been

Keeping at bay

I couldn’t continue.

 

I couldn’t return to the bottom,

I had come too far

I never planned for this.

Perhaps for my first

I shouldn’t have chosen Everest

 

But I never planned for this

I only know what to do once I’m at the top

How do you get down when you’re already halfway there?

How can you want to

If that would mean it was all for nothing?

 

I hang to my rope,

Tightly, I really do

But I don’t know if it’s holding me together,

If this moment is building me, making me

Out of every experience into a better person,

Someone who can really make a difference,

Or if I am letting it break me.

 

Because pain will push you over the edge,

And you don’t always know

If you’ll be caught by a dove,

Or find out you had a parachute.

You have no idea that

When you get over that cliff,

If you’ll panic

And forget how to swim

Or remember and win the game of life.

If Broken, I Remain Chosen

I’ve thought about this a lot,
Regarding whether I better forfeit or not,
Truth is
I only fought as much as I did,
Until it was no longer convenient.
Wanna talk about believing,
That Allah would assist,
That I had what it took,
That what I needed was in front of me
But first I had to find it within me.

Today,
I have changed.
I ask how
And all I can think of are the most obvious
And the least,
That my mother taught me well,
My father leaving made me tough,
I am ready to handle nearly anything
But why it wasn’t clear
That before anyone was there to help me
It was Allah who would be
The one who would shelter me
I made a promise to him
It seems that I had just  forgotten.

It’s never too late
So if I died today
And I wonder about this now and again
Would I be ready?
I have to be kind because
Otherwise I’d be in despair
Would decide I’d never get there
But I see myself and
I’ve never been better
Ya Allah!
You alone see,
Even more than I,
That something inside me has changed.

I look in the mirror,
I think of my large, curious eyes
My tiny lips and flushed cheeks,
I think of what I have done
What I have given,
To the ones I love
To the ones I met in passing
Of the arguments with passion,
The art that came from intense emotion.

Conviction versus despair,
I’m here aren’t I?
The world seems darker than yesterday,
Am I not still alive?
They don’t believe in me anyway,
Am I not worth it?
If only because of opportunity
Despite calamity?
Am I not still capable
My senses are strong,
My heart still beats
A little faster maybe,
My lungs still breathe
Breaths falling short maybe.

I don’t believe in myself–
I believe in Allah!
I originated from his creation,
I believe in Allah
While I am weak
I am chosen
If only because this is the life I’ve been offered and chosen,

Humans are the best of creation

I am hopeful, I am Muslim
I am afraid to fall short, I am human.

I believe in my source of existence,
I believe that the devil,
And selfish, immoral desire require ,
I believe redirection of intention, and resistance,

And all I need to be successful

Is all I have already been given
And while my dreams
Are not in reach,
My prayer mat is closeby
My heart is within my chest,
My mind can focus
My soul is listening,
For hope, for opportunity to contribute some good,
I have water prepared to flow from tear ducts,
I have a Fitrah to purify from dents and giving up.

It’s over now..
I’m starting again!
I made a mistake,
Not as bad as last time,
I recognize, I change, I pay attention.
It’s over now,
It’s not what you think of me,
It’s who I want Allah to see,
He is All-Knowing, All-seeing.
Knows exactly what I feel

I’m starting again
The pain is returning
But although the wounds are deep
And when he said those things
I thought their effect had healed and
They were suddenly searing, painful
And I remembered now that the past really had been real
I need therapy to get out of here
If where I am won’t change
My heart cannot stay
My mind is not a yoyo for another to play.

I’m starting again
What he mentions is over
But those words may very well continue
But Allah Created what needed to be there
For Him I must continue
I am selfish by nature
And yet this I embrace
In the most beautiful way.

When I give,
It may only be for my own comfort
When I don’t defend myself,
Knowing I’ll just lash back at you
I don’t hold back to agree with you
Nor submit to abuse
I do it because it gives me a step further,
If I just keep my cool.
‘Cause when it comes to good deeds to save me,
And bad deeds to erase from me
I need them more than you,
Most likely
To get to Jannah.