From Abdullah Javed Ali

Letter

How does one convey their Salaams upon You when words fail to come out?

Before You, all thoughts, utterances and deeds stand still out of reverence and shyness.

How I wish that a day comes in which I am allowed to enter upon Your nearness, from there my heart will speak in a language that is beyond expression, that is beyond comprehension that is only understood by You, the Beloved.

Your blessed Seerah is an endless ocean of refuge, mercy and love. How I wish to be drowned in it, for anyone who loses themselves in Your Seerah will always be safe.

From Aisha Hikima Spencer

The Pain Pearl

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim

Weary woman, a black woman tired of all the pain

Broken hearted and with broken dreams, not daring to dream again

Shown a vision, a clear journey with Sibt-al-Husain ﷺ

A magnificent lesson, a deep talk, never to go un-acclaimed

She fell into a slumber, a deep sleep and was taken by the hand

“Aisha follow along! Let’s go!”

“Ok, Rasul Allah” ﷺ

Then inside a castle she was taken by the Light of all Beauties ﷺ

Side by side upstairs and lofts to the fountain of all his ﷺ duties


Weary woman, a black woman was made to recline in his ﷺ presence

Granted a seat at his ﷺ dinner table and given sweet dishes, she replied with calm countenance

Then he ﷺ requested his staff of angels, of infinite virtue, “Bring the next dish. Lay it before us now”

He ﷺ summoned her to eat, “Take”

But oh bitter, most bitter it looked. Not pleasing to her at all.

So she frowned.

He said “Eat”, but she refused.

So he ﷺ stood up and started to walk away

In fright she took a small piece saying “By Allah” and then his Honor ﷺ smiled

He ﷺ summoned her to follow along, but his ﷺ adornment by then had changed

Now beset with jewels and a black cloak, he ﷺ continued to show her around

“I want to show you a special place” he ﷺ said

“This is where I treat my ummah, especially those half dead”

She stood by the door of a room and watched him ﷺ comfort a bratty child.

To her the most recalcitrant gripper ever one could allow

“Be at peace! Be at peace!” His Honor ﷺ consoled this child.  

But she ranted and screamed at him ﷺ, a thorough gripper avowed.

Finally he ﷺ rose from his bowing and smiled.

“Aisha come here. It is your turn. Take this child!”

The weary woman screeched, “Don’t leave me alone with her! She’s wild.”

Then Rasul Allah ﷺ looked deeply, a thousand years into her eyes and said

“She is your heart. Tell her about Allah”

Then she knew she was the one more than half dead.

The weary woman knelt down saying “By Allah”

Consoling the child “Don’t cry. Everything is going to be alright”


Alhamdulilah, the passing of time has found this woman sound.

Alhamdulilah, the passing of time, through the gift of his Majesty ﷺ has left her never beguiled.

No work she seeks, no path she takes except to stay with the living

But she longs for one more chance to accompany Sibt-al-Husain ﷺ and watch the generosity of his ﷺ giving

She would offer him ﷺ the highest praise and thank him for bringing her heart back to the living

He made her work light as a feather, so she only has to thank Allah

He treated her heart in his hospital and made her a patient of Al-Mustafa ﷺ

Only Allah can repay him ﷺ and only Allah will be able

So subhanallah for the one who released the stallion from it’s stable!

Love Eternal,

Aisha

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

From Claudia Azizah Seise

Dearest beloved Prophet, Father of my spiritual heart.
May Allah shower peace and blessings on You.

I bear witness that there is no god except Allah and that You are His final Prophet.
Whenever I look at the sun, I am reminded of our most merciful Creator and of You. You brought the light of Islam. With Your message, You brought us from darknesses into the light. Making You the sun of my life, Allah took me out of layers of darkness.
Whenever I look at the moon, I am reminded of our most loving Creator and of You. You are the glowing hope in the darknesses that still surround me. You are the cooling calmness of my unsteady soul. Whenever I look at the moon, I am reminded of Allah’s miracle He gave to You. The splitting of the moon in Your homeland – desert.
Whenever I witness Allah sending rain to earth, I am reminded of our most merciful
Creator, who created the heaven and the earth and everything in between. And I am reminded of You, oh my Prophet. Your message is the rain on my soul, the rain on my heart, the rain on my mind.
The rain of your words cleanses me, refreshes me, motivates me.

Dearest beloved Prophet. May Allah raise You to the most honorable position.

Every tree I pass by, my heart reminds me of our most merciful Creator, Who has blessed us with an amazing abundance of plants. And my heart reminds me of You, oh father of my spiritual heart. You were sent as a mercy to all the worlds. Your were the kindest to all creatures. You showed utmost kindness, gentleness and mercy to a tree trunk.
Whenever I see a mountain, I am reminded of Allah, Who created the mountains as pecks to give stability to this world. And my heart reminds me of You, oh Father of my spiritual heart. How you received the first revelation on mount Hira. How mount Uhud trembled under You. How You refused the riches and gold as big as mount Uhud. And how you sought refuge in a cave in mount Thawr. Learning your words is my flight to the cave of knowledge. Reading your life story is my flight to the cave of love for you.

Dearest beloved Prophet. May Allah shower peace and blessings on you.

Every time I look at my children. Every time I worry about their future. Every time I ask Allah to make them good Muslims.
I remember You, oh dearest Prophet.
I remember Your supplications to Allah: “Ummati, Ummati. Your worries for us.

Oh most beloved Prophet. We ask for your intercession.

I bear witness that there is nothing and nobody worthy of worship except Allah. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His Slave and final Messenger.
Ya Allah, bestow the best and purest of blessings on our Prophet and send eternal peace upon him.

Dearest Prophet, please accept me as your spiritual daughter.

From Leila Anwar

I find myself walking slowly down the beautiful street, with the smell of the sea in the air. Step by step. The heat is interrupted by a mild breeze, allowing me to inhale and get some air into my lungs. My lungs hurt, because my heart beats so fast and strong, and yet I don’t know why. I just know – I have to keep going.
It’s a long street, and there is no one to be seen, but I can clearly hear the happy voices of people. “Just go, go!” – an unfamiliar voice is telling me, from the depth of my being. I make my steps fast, faster, I am almost running! Unknown buildings, street signs, where am I?!
Gazing towards the sky makes me calmer, as I think to myself: “I am under Allah’s sky, nothing else matters.” I am running now, my heart going wild. The street gets darker, the buildings somber, I can’t see the palm trees any more… I close my eyes, to kill the fear. I am still running.
Suddenly I feel the cold marble under my feet. I am still afraid to open my eyes, walking forward, slowing down. A powerful, beautiful scent takes over all my senses. I know it, it’s familiar. Like the scent of someone I love, someone so dear. What is it, who is it..?! Is it my grandmother and her love, or my dad’s hand in my hair..? My grandfather’s kiss on my forehead..? The safety of my husband’s hug? My children’s hands around my neck..? No, its even more beloved, closer! I still keep my eyes closed, I am afraid the scent will disappear!
I hear that voice again: “Your Allah is with you, open your eyes! You have arrived!” My eyes open and are frozen at the sight. My feet are no longer obeying and I fall down on the white marble. I don’t feel or hear my heart. Am I breathing? I don’t know and I don’t want to know! The world has stopped! I came to Rasulullah!
Ah, beautiful green dome! My best, best friend! My beloved! My teacher and my role model! Is this really possible, is this really your scent?! Is this your city, your masjid? Yes, my blossoming, singing soul is telling me, yes! There is no harm that didn’t run away because of your scent! There is no sorrow that didn’t fade, running away scared of your being! There is
no joy but this!
How many times have I asked, begged to come to you… To ask you to forgive me, offering my weakness as an apology… To thank you for coming to my dreams, for showing me your blessed face and allowing me to kiss your hand… You, the greatest happiness of my life. Aba al Qasim, who opened the door to Allah…my Allah. You, who have thought me everything good I know; you – beauty and mercy to everything, even to me ya Rasulallah… I came to you, at last.


The voice cuts my praise: “Go back!”

The white marble is gone. The green dome, the scent. All gone. In front of my eyes lies only the walls of my room, in Bosnia. Far from him. I look down and find my hand, peaceful and hopeless, resting in adab on my burning heart:
Allahumma salli wa sallim ‘ala habibi wa rasuli Muhammad!

From Jamal Mohammed

LETTER TO MY BELOVED (s.s.)

I wish I could be in Madina,

And kiss the footprints where you walked.

I wish I was the sun’s rays,

That touched your beautiful face.

I wish I was the wind,

That blew through your hair.

I wish I was the rain,

That drenched your body.

I wish I was the water,

You used to make Wudhu.

I wish I was the food,

That you chewed and swallowed.

I wish I was the cloud,

That gave you shade from the heat.

I wish I was the camel,

On whose back you sat.

I wish I was the bird,

That flew over your head.

I wish I had eyes,

That focused on your beauty.

I wish to be under your green dome,

And beg for your intercession.

I wish to meet you at Kauthar,

And sip from your sweet hands.

I wish to be in your city,

And breathe the same air as you did.

I wish I was the Buraaq,

That carried you to Allah.

I wish I could learn to love you,

Like Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali (r.a.).

I wish I could be like Hassan and Husain (r.a.)

And Bilal (r.a.) who called you to prayer.

I wish for the support of Khadija (r.a.)

To hold firm to my Imaan and build my Deen.

I wish to hear you recite Quran,

So Allah’s words could come alive and touch me.

I wish ALL Muslims could learn to love you, Not just to be  obedient, but shed tears for you And sacrifice everything to meet you.

I wish…..

Ameen


From Wajiha Khalil

Every time your name
Beloved Sweet Muhammad ﷺ
enters the corridors of my heart
orchards of pure citrus bloom
and fountains of rose water
pour refreshment between the inner
chambers that were once empty rooms
echos of the eternal home sing their melodies
a secret sacred sound between us
ornamented with a delightful
bliss of emerald green and ruby treasure
as I glide upon the softened path
cosmic logic is restored
the windows open unto new landscapes
as the chandeliers of your heaven
glow and
illuminate their lights
in the darkest corners of
my bruised and broken heart
I am completely restored with love
by your sweet name
my Beloved Sweet Muhammad ﷺ
~ Wajiha Khalil
Brooklyn NY

From Abdul Aziz Suraqah

For how long will I sit and yearn, for how long will I wait?

For how long will I pray and sing, how much longer in this state?

For days and nights your name’s on my lips, flowing with my every breath

Waiting for your visit, sublime, with relief for my distress.

But each morn I awake visionless, another day without sight

And each night I drift, yearning to gaze lovingly at your Light.

If sins blind the eye of the heart, then visionless shall I remain

But if your mercy encompasses all, then your vision shall I attain.

What’s to offer of precious gifts from one so deprived as me?

What’s to present to you that’s not from your generosity?

From you and to you, and even still you kindly accept

Such is your grace and beauty, so please show your blessed face.

Lacerated, shattered, blackened from shameless sins

But you’re the mender, you’re the doctor, you’re the medicine!

Gaze upon us, O Taha, with glances that mend and heal

Saturate us with your Light, that through you we see real as real.

O best of those who circled the ancient House of the Divine

O Chief of Prophets, Messengers, Saints, and all of creation combined.

They say, ‘Do this,’ ‘Read that,’—as if they’re tricks to lure you in; 

Pray I shall, but with knowledge that you choose the where and when.

Secretly I hope that with this ode you will appear

In my dreams with your healing gaze, but the veiling I still fear.

But delay is not denial, so with the begging I shall endure

And when you appear I shall stand humbly, hoping for your cure.

If beholding you is reserved for those with eyes of purity

What hope is there for us, bereft of your gazes and security?

But if your vision, sublime and holy, reaches the sinful who yearn

Then rejoice we must—but due to your grace, not from what we earn!

Far be it for you to leave those who ask for your largess 

Empty-handed, denied, deprived of your gentle caress.

A gaze and a touch, a smile and a prayer, removing all that ails

From souls sullen and tarnished, that without you are destined to fail.

Vessels of prayer, longing, and yearning—us Allah has made

Receive us, O Mustafa, and escort us to your loving shade

How fortunate your Companion Ubay, on whose chest your hand

Struck with love, removing his doubt, for Allah, Sublime and Grand.

O Taha, we ask of you, imploring from the depths of our souls

To gaze upon us with mercy, for our sins have taken a toll.

May Allah, your Lord and Master, sent on you eternally

Plentiful prayers and peace abiding, on you and your Family.

Your noble Folk and House whom you called the Saving Ark

And upon your Companions, the stars of guidance, who illuminate the dark.


From Fadiyah Mian

A Love Story

You ask me why I love this man? Listen carefully and you shall understand He had a softness in his walk In which the earth caressed his every step Each step he took was padded as though he silently walked the earth His sweet fragrance lingered where ever he walked So sweet of a scent which no perfume could match His smile was contagious and his message was complete So few words yet meanings so deep Everything so perfect and created with the utmost care The finest blend from a lineage so pure A light radiating from the earth upon his birth A buzz in the air that our Beloved has come Stars drawing near to catch a glance So near that one feared they would fall onto earth He was a companion to all Every rock, tree, and person big or small A freer of slaves and hope to the poor A friend to the orphan which made them feel loved once more His glow surrounding him in every direction A night light standing in prayer
At hours which few had dared An hour of mercy and forgiveness buzzing through the air Tears dripped and wetted his beard Not for him but for us Worry which kept him up all night Not in fear but with great care He worried for everyone a fair share I close my eyes and fall to sleep Thinking of thoughts until we meet Hoping to catch some glimpses in my dreams I lay down and the last words to my Habib Is ‘Assalaamu Alayka ya Rasoolullah’ Allahumma Sali ‘Alla sayyidina Muhammad

1st Place Winner Ali Hussain

A Letter to the Beloved
I remember when I first stood by your side,
outside an ornamented grille,
that surrounded your peaceful quarters,
and which gains its beauty from you.
You greeted me, yes, with a breeze.
What can I say, was it cold? Yes!
Was it warm? Yes. How can both be?
Well, like the perplexity of your beauty,
Which dumbfounds beauty itself,
anything, next to you, becomes nothing
and everything at the same time.
And you sent along a fragrance with that breeze,
how could you not?
When you are generosity itself.
You know better than me,
how long I had been waiting,
counting the moments,
and imagining you.
You gave me everything,
in a simple breeze with fragrance.
When I write these days,

I receive you from you in words.
But now that I’m asked to address you,
the lure and allure of love
wants to separate speech and address,
speaker from his dress,
and lover from beloved.
But love insists to ‘be loved’ with you,
you are not simply the destination of my words,
you are their spirit,
you are their origin,
you are the ink,
you are the inspiration.
Sometimes,
I seek to mention your name,
incessantly with nothing else.
In those moments,
I am not the only one,
who annihilates in you,
but language, time and meaning
become ecstatically drawn to you,
and withdrawn from themselves.
Other times,
I wish to be silent,
only to hear you speak to me
through the beauty and forms
of all things.
In those special instances,
you are more present.
I may not hear your name outside,
but I feel the reverberations
of the letters of your name,
in the forms, both inside and outside.

I pray that this letter melts away

in the ocean of those letters that belong to you!