A New Spring

As-salamu `alaykum wa rahmatullah

A New Spring

We all like to begin and turn a new page,
We are souls with a passion, regardless of age.
A new spring will burst from a cold winter,
A new flame will arise from a burnt cinder.
Fresh winds and breeze move across the land,
Knocking on a window; decreed and planned.
Opportunities will crop up, so fulfill your destiny,
Don’t fear the new dawn, for tomorrow is a mystery.
Leave behind you a legacy, and much goodwill,
Knowing you’ve tried, and try you will.
When at the end of your tether, turn a new page,
Do not stagnate in life, do not stay in a cage.

The Real You

As-salamu `alaykum wa rahmatullah


And so it was.
To pass the mark, you were brought to the line.
To bear the pain, you were burnt with the flame.
To open your eyes, fireworks were set alight.
To awaken your mind, your body was shaken.
To drive away fear, beasts were set on your path.
And to increase your strength, burdens for you were doubled.

To teach you hope, you were thrown into a dark tunnel and a candle made to flicker at the end.
To teach you love, you were made to sacrifice.
And to teach you sacrifice, you were first given a bit of love.
To teach you true reliance, let down you were.
To teach you wisdom, foolishness met you first.
To teach you honesty, betrayed you had to be.
And to teach you loyalty, dilemmas came to corner you.

But then happiness reached out to you
And contentment met you halfway.
Tables turned and doors opened for you
And bravery came to grab your arm.
Angels were sent to protect you
And your voice of courage finally spoke to you.

Faith then soared with you on a new level
And pass the mark, you did.

See, to show you the world, the world had to meet you with all its faces.
And to teach you you, you were made to see the real you.

‘…It will come and go…’

As-salamu `alaykum wa rahmatullah

“People will live amongst people, for as long as they live,
For without doubt, fortune and goodness will come and go.
The best of people amongst others is a man who,
Upon his hands the needs of others are settled.
Never withhold your assistance from anyone,
As long as you are capable, for fortune tends to come and go.
And give thanks for the bounties of Allah,
If you are the one to settle the needs of others.
Indeed, people have died, and their virtues died too
And some have lived, but they are truly dead among the people.”

- Imam al-Shafi’i

al-Shafi’i: ‘…And in everything there is a Sign…’

As-salamu `alaykum wa rahmatullah

Some translated excerpts from the Diwan of Imam al-Shafi’i…

§-§

يا سميع الدعاء كن عند ظني *** واكفني مَن كفيتهُ الشَّر منّي
وأعنّي على رضاك وخِرْ لي *** في أموري وعافني واعفُ عني
O Hearer of supplications, fulfil my expectations,
And protect me from the evil of he whom You have power over.
And aid me in attaining Your Pleasure, and choose for me
In all my affairs, and grant me well-being, and forgive me.

§-§

يا من تعزز بالدنيا وزينتها *** الدهر يأتي على المبني والباني
ومن يكن عزه الدنيا وزينتها *** فعزه عن قليل زائل فاني
واعلم بأن كنوز الأرض من ذهب *** فاجعل كنوزك من بر وإيمان
O you who seeks glory and strength in this world and its glitter,
Know that time comes over every building and builder.
And whoever’s glory comes from this world and its glitter,
Then soon his glory will fade and will be no longer.
Know that the treasures of the earth lie in riches and gold,
So make your treasure lie in piety and faith.

§-§

لا تأس في الدنيا على فائت *** وعندك الإسلام والعافية
إن فات أمر كنت تسعى له *** ففيهما من فائت كافيه
Never be saddened by what you lose in this world,
When you have Islam and good health with you.
If you lose something that you were rushing towards,
Then the fact that you lost it is sufficient (as a lesson).

§-§

فيا عجبي كيف يعصى الإله *** أم كيف يجحـده الجاحـد
وللـه في كــل تحريكةٍ *** وتسكــينة أبــداً شاهد
وفي كـل شيء لـه آيـة *** تـدل على أنـه واحــد
How surprising that God can be disobeyed!
Or that the unbeliever can deny Him so
When there is a witness for God in every single thing
That moves about or is rested at peace.
And in everything there is truly a Sign
That shows He is indeed One (God).

§-§

إني صحبت أناسا ما لهم عدد *** وكنت أحسب أني قد ملأت يدي
لما بلوت أخلائي وجدتهم *** كالدهر في الغدر لم يبقوا علي أحد
إن غبت عنهم فشر الناس يشتمني *** وإن مرضت فخير الناس لم يعد
وإن رأوني بخير ساءهم فرحي *** وإن رأوني بشر سرهم نكدي
I have accompanied a countless number of people,
And I thought I had more than my share (of them),
But when I tested my friends I found that,
They were treacherous like Time which spares no-one.
If I were absent from them, the worst of them would insult me,
And if I fell ill, the best of them would not visit me.
And if they saw me in a good state, my delight hurt them,
And if they saw me in a bad state, my hardship delighted them.

§-§

قالوا يزورك أحمد وتزوره *** قلت الفصائل لا تفارق منزله
إن زارني فبفضله أو زرته *** فلفضله فالفضل في الحالين له
They said, ‘Ahmad (ibn Hanbal) visits you and you visit him!’
I said, ‘Virtue cannot be separated from his home!
If he visits me, then it’s because of his virtue, and if I visit him
Then it’s due to his virtue, so in both cases virtue belongs to him.’

A pain in the… tongue!

As-salamu `alaykum wa rahmatullah

One of al-Mutanabbi’s most peculiar lines of poetry is the one below:

ألمٌ ألَمَّ ألمْ أُلِمْ بِدَائِهِ *** إنْ انَّ آنٌ آنَ آنُ أَوَانه

If you look at it closely, you’ll see that each partial bayt is almost entirely composed of a single word… or so it seems!

This is what we get if we break it down for explanation:

ألمٌ – Pain
ألَمَّ – to hurt or surround in pain
ألمْ – not
أُلِمَّ – to know
بِدَائِهِ – its (cause of) illness

إنْ – If
انَّ – to cry or complain (of pain)
آنٌ – one who is in pain
آنَ – to arrive
آنُ – time
أَوَانه – its cure

So we get the following:

ألمٌ ألَمَّ ألمْ أُلِمَّ بِدَائِهِ *** إنْ انَّ آنٌ آنَ آنُ أَوَانه
“I have come to be surrounded by pain, the cause of which I do not know
If the one in pain cries out in agony, then the time for its cure has surely arrived.”

Phew! That was a bit of tongue-twister wasn’t it? A better suggestion of a translation is more than welcome; please write below in the comments section!