I EXHALE………. A POEM OF GRATITUDE

An exotic South African flower in the Capetown Botanical Gardens

GUEST WRITER’S CONTRIBUTION:

A Muslim Woman’s Poem in Praise of Allah on her graduation from Howard University, Washington, DC. 

I EXHALE

by Maryam Sharron Muhammad [Washington, DC]

Bismillah ar-rahman ar-rahim,

O Allah, I thank you for teaching me to cover my body

Not that it is unclean, or a temptation;

But because You taught me that no woman needs

To invite another woman to look down her dress

You have taught me to sew imaginatively

To wrap myself in the beautiful colors which You

Created in the Created world-

Silks from insects; blues from flowers; pinks from flowers

Lavenders; soft yellows; light golds from the earth;

Sometimes the strongest of reds

And shaped to lease the heart

You have taught me that no one who was raped

Proves anything by licking, styling or

Pulling down her clothes

Without Your constant protection, terrorists

will make me a whore

O Allah, You are rahman and rahim

The Mother of Mothers, You have

Taught me – strengthened me with tenderness

And patience

O Allah, I thank you for teaching me that the best

Human strives for humility before You,

It is You Who unifies hearts

It is You Who heard Elijah’s call in the wilderness

You heard Yahya when he baptized the Hopeful

In anticipation of the Messiah

It was You who strengthened Maryam

When the servants of the shaitan stripped off

Her son’s clothes

I know that somehow You protected Hajjah Betty

And Malik’s daughters and grandchildren

Though the shaitan directed unbelievers to put them

Under extreme pressure

I pray that in the fire, You were purifying Hajjah Betty’s soul

O Allah, You are Malik al-Mulk

The King of Kings, the Lord of Lords,

Asherah of Asherahs, Shahan Shah is only You

Negus Negusti, Tarkan, Mani of Manis, Rabbi of Rabbis,

In the whole universe only Allah rules

Kentake of Kentakes, Oba of Obas, Nzinga of Nzingas

O Allah, You Alone hold all of the Titles

Amunet/Amen has no face but Yours

You, O Allah, are the Blackest of Black,

The Reddest of Red, the Yellowest of Yellow,

the Whitest of White, the Brownest of Brown

No hue exists save by Your will

It is You, Father of Fathers who instructs the nations,

It is You who releases the slaves,

And casts down the flags

O Allah, Friend of Friends,

I thank you for the friends in my life

You inspire Black men to submission

To lordship, to rulership

You inspire all men to kindness, to humility,

To strength, to support

To stand tall and defend Islam

O Allah,

It is solely due to You

And I Praise you Praised One

Self-Sufficient,

Hearer of slander, Helper of helpers

Ansar of Ansar, Director of Nasr

Hearer of Hearers, Knower of Knowers,

Lover of Lovers, Protector of Protectors

O Allah,

The only Beloved,

Quench not

The love in my eyes,

The thirst in my heart

Steel my spine, Straighten my step

Teach me again and again that

Shaitan’s fall is not mine

I am impatient for You at every moment

I am in darkness without Your comfort

My soul is enraged when she hears not Your call

Submit me not to nations

Save me from the destruction of souls

I thank you, ar-rahman

For another day

In which I praise You

Again

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About Kaukab Siddique PhD

Professor of English, World Literature and Journalism at Lincoln University. Research specialization in Women and Islam

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