From Nida Iftekaruddin

What’s in a Name?

A soul placed inside of me

This trust placed in my belly

Soon to come forth in my hands.

What do I call you?

How do I choose a name that means

Modesty and bravery–

All I want you to be?

I want you to be patient.

Like if an old lady calls you a liar

And other names that are rough

You’ll hold her hand with a smile

And help her carry her stuff.

I want you to be exciting.

Like one day when you’re tired

But your wife likes to run,

You’ll give in and you’ll race her

To see her light like the sun

I want you to be loving.

Like if you see a young boy

Crying because he’s all alone

You’d scoop him up, call him your son

Make your arms his new home.

I want you to be caring.

Like if you got a new minbar

And a tree started to cry

You’d move over a little

Just to stand by its side.

I want you to be attentive.

Like when someone speaks to you

You turn your body in his direction

Because nowadays it’s getting harder

Just to find someone who will listen.

I want you to be confident.

Like if haters mock your name

And say that you’re cowardly,

You respond calm and collected:

“Nah, they’re not talkin’ about me.”

I want you to be strong.

Like if a word revealed to a mountain

Would simply destroy it

You would carry the message

Because your heart could hold it.

I want you to be fearless.

Like when your haters

Threaten your life and call you a fraud,

You stand tall, look at their blade

And say, “I only fear God.”

I want you to be hopeful.

Like if they were to stone you

Until your shoes filled with blood,

You’d ask God to forgive them,

And hope they turn to His Love.

I want you to be merciful.

Like if one day your enemies

Come surrender at your feet,

Instead of throwing them in jail,

You set them all free.

I can give you a name

And pray for you to be like him

But the truth is

The sun, moon, and stars combined

Couldn’t even be like him.

He was the best of creation,

All of what was and will be

The birds sing his praises

And the fish in the sea

I want you to sing his praises

Again and again

So that one day when you meet him,

He’ll consider you a friend.

There’s no other name

That can mean all these at once

So I’ll call you Muhammad,

Named after the Chosen One.

May you follow his footsteps

In every way that you can,

And may God forgive you

For every way that you can’t.

Peace and endless blessings

On our master, our teacher, our prophet.

Peace and endless blessings

On Muhammad, our Beloved.

Peace and endless blessings

On him, his friends, and family

Sallu‘ala-Muhammad

Wa‘ala-aalihi-wasahbihi

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