Thursday, September 02, 2010

Poetry on Ramadan

I'm not a poet. Never was. However, I do appreciate good poetry. I just love the haunting poem "Because I could not stop for death" by Emily Dickinson(1830-1886) and also "Prospice" by Robert Browning (1812-89). I love the message and the depth of feeling in both of those poems and wish I could compose poetry like that. It is a real gift to able to express yourself so strongly through poetry. "Break, break, break" by Alfred Lord Tennyson is one other example of passionate poetry that I adore.

This Ramadan, Muslim matters ( kept a poetry writing competition. It was a treat to read all the different poems on the idea of Ramadan. It was a different experience and it really showed me how much people love Ramadan, cherish it and wait for its arrival. Normally, I read poetry on flowers, clouds, life, death and spirituality. But poetry about Ramadan is a rarity (at least I haven't come across many poems and raps about Ramadan apart from a few Nasheeds by famous singers). But I really loved the idea of poetry about Ramadan. Very touching and makes Ramadan all the more special.

Here is one poem I really liked in the competition. There were many more that I found equally amazing but I couldn't possibly put all of them on my blog :)

Welcome Ramadan

By: Syed Muneeb Shere

I wonder how you welcome Ramadan
Do you wait for it with open arms?
And when it comes, give it a welcome warm?
Or do you grumble and believe that harm
Is hunger to health or is thirst too hard?
And it fascinates me how you treat your fast
Do you wake up grumbling before dawn?
To eat a morsel, on your face a frown?
And then do you pray, with a sleepy brain
Your morning prayer, before the time is gone?

And do you sleep, through out the day?
Or does your fast get in your way
When you are told to do some work
Other than chatting, or gossiping, or play?
Does your fast stop when you lie?
Or does the fast pass as every normal day?
In entertainment, untruths and useless bray?
Is that how you treat Ramadan?

Or when fast is broken, do you eat your feed?
Without caring about those in need?
Is a day’s hunger not sufficient to make you heed
Or your heart yearns not towards a good deed?
Or does it not pain you, your every bad deed?
Is not Ramadan, enough to take lead?
Of your misguided selfish deeds?
Is that how you treat Ramadan?

And in the mosque, at the time of night
When is recited, the book of light
Do you spend the time in flight?
From your Lord and in useless fights?
Does not your conscience bite?
Your heart or is it too much still
To make you stir for the path which is right
Is that how you treat Ramadan?

Beware the month of forgiveness and mercy
Do you not take from the hell fright?
Or do you not wish to be pure and white
To rush towards your Lord and the guiding light?
Return before you reach the height
When time is over and your insight
Becomes frightfully clear and bright
O Man waste not your Ramadan

P.S. I did not put up this poem for its publicity but only because I really liked it. The competition is still on and you can vote for your favourite Ramadan poem on the website:

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