From Sabina Ibrahim

Dear Rasulullah


Dear Rasulullah
They say you come to 
Gatherings in your praise
Were you there 
At the celebration of your birth
That balmy Rabiul Awal evening
The only one I have ever attended
If you were 
I had missed you
I had come alone
From the moment I walked through the door
To the time I put on my shoes to leave
My tongue wet with greetings of peace
To people from distant experiences
People I had not thought about
Here in nearness because of you
How you gather us O guiding light
Did you see the paper flowers on the wall
Bordered by tealights and starlights
The floor we made sujood on adorned with white petals
The room showered with love
A little touch of heaven
If you were 
I had missed you
Were you there 
When your little ummah
Recited the names of your lineage
From Adnan to Abdullah
In their little green floral dresses that swept past their little feet
Were you delighted by their little voices too
If you were
I had missed you
Were you there to see my tears
Drop in shame onto white petals
Staining it a deep grey
As I wiped them embarrassed before 
Those little angels
That I barely knew your 
Wives’ names
Were you there to hear 
The qasidahs and the burdah
Sung in reed voices
Not an iota of pride in themselves
But in you
Quietly longing for you
Were you also there when 
My heart was sometimes absent of you
And I think nothing of it
Never knowing why
Those empty years 
Were empty
Because I didn’t fill them 

With your deeds
I had missed you before
I had missed you then
I had missed you more in my life 
than someone who had only
embraced your deen 
yesterday
Forgive me O Rasulullah
Were you there when I embraced a guest speaker
Who struggled to share
What she thought was yours and Allah’s abandonment of her
When she questioned you
Her eyes burned hot tears as she spoke
Of shame, of guilt and self-blame
Yet she soldiered on
She was unveiling before us
Engulfing me with her courage
In a wave of humility
and envy
Because really, you did not leave her
Only kissed and blessed her
She fought through her tears
With her tale of annihilation
and rebirth
For the ummah
Your ummah
When I went over to hug her
I thought I was comforting traces 
of her battle scars
But really she was comforting me
Her arms so tight
As if to say
I got you
Did you witness that too 
Was that your burdah she placed over me
We were strangers 
Who exchanged gifts 
Cloaked in your love
We were closer than lovers
We were your beloveds
Are you here now
In this gathering
Of poet laureates scholars teachers
Luminaries and emissaries
If you are don’t let me miss you
Don’t let me miss you
Don’t let me miss you
Sallallahu Alaihi Wassalam

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