Monday, December 28, 2009

In Praise of Imam Ali

Below are verses sung in qawalis praising Imam Ali r.a. If you can read the Persian written in English, you will notice the rhyme, rhythm, and alliteration in the verses.

"Haiderium Qalandram Mastam
Banda e Murtaza Ali Hastam
Peshwa e tamam Rindanam
Ke Sag e Koo e Sher e Yazdanam!"
By Lal Shahbaz Qalandar (Syed Usman Shah)   

Translation: "I am Haideri (relating to Haider, a second name for Ali ibn Abi Talib), Qalandar and Mast (intoxicated with inspiration)
I am a servant of Ali Murtaza
I am leader of all saints
Because I am a dog of the lane of "Allah's Lion" (referring to Ali Murtaza)"

Verses found in Qawwalis by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, I am not sure who penned them though (could be Amir Khusro). They have nice rhythm and alliteration as well. 

"Ali imaam-e-manasto manam Ghulaam-e-Ali
hazaar jaan-e-giraamii fidaa-e-naam-e-Ali"
Ali is the master of all, I am the slave of Ali 
thousands life are to be sacrificed for Ali.

Other famous verses are by Amir Khusro "Mun kunto Maula ..." based on the hadith "Whoever accepts me as his master, Ali is his master too". These are sung together sometimes with the verses mentioned above. 

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Requirement of Love

Another Muharram has come, but the mention of the Noble ones is made not once in the mosques of pious believers in North America.

Only few, the happy few, mention Karbala in their Friday sermons. Others willfully ignore the somber events, sidetracking them by claiming they were just another event in Islam's turbulent history. They carry onward, marching to the tune of Islam not knowing how much they owe to those they neglect: the masters of Ihsan, the grandsons of RasulAllah (peace be upon him).

Granted there is probably no ruling making it necessary that the young and old be reminded, even if briefly, of the significance of Karbala. But, is it not the wont of lovers to mention their beloved? And then I remember Habib Ali Jifri's speech.

From Habib Ali Jifri's speech:

Lovers say: "We spent our life long earnings to buy this ticket to visit Makkah and the Prophet"
They say: "No it is not one of the pillars of, rulings, conditions, obligations of Hajj to visit the Prophet"
Lovers say: "Who said our visit is a condition, or ruling of Hajj. It is the condition and obligation of Love. Something you do not understand"

History of Karbala

Found these two online books on the history of Karbala, from, written from a Sunni perspective. They are free to read.

History of Karbala by Abu Ammar

I must note that in History of Karbala by Abu Ammar, Mukthar Bin Abi Ubaid Sakfee is presented as a liar and misguided individual. I have heard Shaykh Ninowy in one of his lectures claim that Mukthar has been painted unfairly in history.

Tragedy of Karbala by Shaykh Abu Anees Muhammad Barkat Ali

From what I have read so far, I think the narration in this book is much more eloquent.

Insh'Allah I plan on posting information about the batttle that took place in Makkah between the people of Makkah and Yazid's minions.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Peace be upon him.

A fair skinned one by whose face rainclouds are sought,
A caretaker of the orphans and protector for the widows.
With him the clan of Hashim seek refuge from calamities,
For they possess in him immense favor and grace.
- Abu Talib's oft recited verse; memorized by Ali Ibn Abi Talib.

Individuals from the backwaters of Arabia had been transmuted by the Alchemist of hearts. The arrival of the Alchemist among them was an honor they had never expected, for they knew they were of no consequence. No craft had they developed; no science they knew. They were lost in their mundane existence of immorality, believing it to be the only reality. And now they had been blessed with a Mercy upon mankind. Such mercy; that if they were to count the blessings emanating from it they would not be able to count them. Mercy upon saints and sinners alike; mercy upon Gabriel the trusty of God.

Each day the Chosen One spent among the tribes of Arabia was a blessed day; each day brought with it a divine manifestation. The Light of the Heavens and the Earth shone brilliantly in the son of Abdul Muttalib. It dazzled and overwhelmed the most able perceivers; falsehood vanished just as night disappears upon the arrival of the Sun, and Truth revealed itself like parting clouds unveil the Sun.

Has any day when mortal was mourned
Equaled the mourning on the day Muhammad died?
-Hassan Ibn Thabit's verse

The day of parting and separation had to arrive; no preparation was sufficient, no time right for those absorbed in the Beloved. But, their Beloved chose to be with his Creator, to stand bewildered in His intimate presence beyond the Lote Tree. He chose Beauty and Beauty chose him. Yet, even in his parting from the world lay hidden a blessing for his community for he prepared the way forward for them.

The world was lost in the love of the Chosen One as it had been informed to Halima when she went looking for the young one: Do not worry - he is not lost to you! The whole world will be lost in him! Thus, the moths of the Chosen One, the ones completely lost in his love were distraught and broken hearted at the departing of him from the material world. Like his camel they too ran away from society into the empty desert to mourn their loss.

The nightingale of the Chosen One, freed by the truthful one, Bilal the melodious, sang no more. His grief was as deep as his love for him, it was unbearable and incurable. The only medicine was union. And, thus, in his deathbed when the world said  "O what sorrow!"; his ecstatic response was "O what joy! I shall meet Muhammad and his party"

To newcomers who asked of him, Ali, the Lion of God, would respond: we never saw, before him or after him, the like of him. This was description enough, for who could describe Beauty?

Peace and blessings be upon him, his family, and his companions.


Imam Al-Hasan

People of the House, God only desires to put away from you abomination and to cleanse you
- Quran 33:33

Say: ‘I do not ask of you any reward for it, except the affection for [my] kinsfolk.

- Quran 42:23

His grandfather, Abu Talib, protected the orphan Messenger; his father, Ali, supported the Chosen One. His mother, Al Batul, was the beloved daughter of the Messenger of God, the apple of his eye. Her concern for her father's well-being earned her the name Umm Abi-ha (the mother of her father). Such is the glorious lineage of Al-Hasan, the one whose childhood mount was the Messenger of God, and his most favorite friend too.

Moses's miracle was the separation of the seas; Imam Al-Hasan's was the merging of Islam's two seas. His aversion to bloodshed and suffering, his loving care for his grandfather's community, paved the way for peace and harmony in Islam's new society.  He is the leader of youth in 
Paradise. For his soul purified, a gift of his Creator, he is celebrated in Paradise.

Blinded by envy, his station some could not perceive. They worked mighty hard in increasing his suffering; yet, as always his response was a heart melting smile. His enemies, he would make devotees; for whose heart would not melt out of shame upon Al-Hasan's response?

Dignified and upright, he lived a life of chivalry; at death he forgave his enemy.  His last wish was to be put to rest next to his grandfather, and with this Aisha, the mother of true believers, was well pleased.

Alas! even at death the envious would not halt their venomous froth. Marwan the 
Moron, a title well deserved and hard earned, resisted attempts to put to rest the noble Al-Hasan.

How could one separate a part from the whole? How could one deny burial in paradise to one whose title is the Prince of Paradise?
Paradise aches for his attention; paradise itself desires Al-Hasan. 

- Khaadim

Miracles of Hazrat Abdul Qadir Jilani

Charles Henry Churchill has written his book, The Life of Abdel Kader, out of much respect and love for Abdel Kader Al Jazairi, and has not dismissed interesting stories as exaggeration or rumors that other Orientalists would have done. 

Charles Henry Churchill mentions three "karamat" of Abdul Qadir Jilani, which took place for the benefit of Mehi-ed-deen, saintly father of Abdel Kader Al Jazairi, while he was visiting Baghdad with his son. 

Before I narrate the events, I'd like to point out that Mehi-ed-deen paid a lot more attention to Abdel Kader, so much so that he was never left alone. He was always under the care of trustworthy servants, and was married at a very early age. The author writes "Thus, temptations were avoided which might have endangered the purity of his morals". Such treatment of certain individuals is not uncommon among the Awliya. Think of the special attention paid to Joseph by his father.

One year when Mehi-ed-deen decided to perform hajj, so many entreaties from his sons and retainers came that he decided to travel alone. Then unexpectedly an exception was made in favor of Abdel Kader. Fortunately, Abdel Kader's brothers seem to have loved him, and never caused any problems. Perhaps, they were aware that their youngest brother was destined for something great. 

Miracles when travelling to pay respects to Abdul Qadir Jilani:
Mehi-ed-deen once when returning, while eight days from Damascus, got separated from the caravan and lost his way. Suddenly a negro appeared by his side, offered to conduct him to the city. At the break of day he saw the minarets. He had arrived home. In a few hours, time and space had been annihilated!  

At another point, when desirous of buying a book, Mehi-ed-deen had no money. A stranger all at once, placed some coins in his hand, and disappeared. 

Mehi-ed-deen had a dream in Baghdad. An angelic being appeared to him, and putting a key into his hand, told him to hasten to Oran, Algeirs. On demanding what he was to do with the key, the spirit replied to him, "God will direct you". It is thought that this dream was an indication of Abdel Kader's career. 

It is apparent that Hazrat Abdul Qadir Al Jilani gave Abdel Kader Al Jazairi direction and spiritual support, and so it is no wonder that today he is considered the patron saint of Algeria. 

Abdul Qadir Al Jazairi was a descendant of the Prophet peace be upon him.  I must point out that in the book he is said to have belonged to the Hashim tribe (Banu Hashim, the clan of the Prophet peace be upon him). However, Wikipedia claims he belonged to a Berber tribe, Banu Ifran. Maybe, his family was allied with the Banu Ifran? 

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Remembrance of Shuhada-e-Karbala

Husayn is King, Husayn is Emperor.
Husayn is Religion, Preserver of Religion is Husayn.
He gave his head, but not his hand to Yazid.
Foundation of No god but God is Husayn.
- Khwaja Moind-ud-din Chisti r.a.

Strangely plain and colorful is the story of Harem,
Its beginning is Ismail, Husain the end.
- Iqbal

Sons of Ali

Sons of Ali, star like. When one leaves
Another rises to guide. And when
Religion demanded sacrifice;
Once again a son of Abraham
Walked towards death, content with
God's Will. He who rode on the Prophet's back,
Now rode to battle with dashing bravery.

Witnessing this the earth trembled and shook. 

Skies were in uproar; for this was no war! 
Manifestation of Love is Husayn. 
Substitue for Ishamel's life is Husayn.*1

At the place of pain and affliction the*2

Lion like Syeds gave their lives. One by
one the petals of Husayn were plucked;
Abbas, Ali Akbar and many others *3
Bled to death. Lambs of Fatima gave their
Lives for faith's sake. The neck that so often
The Messenger kissed, became the place
Where the dagger fell. His pure blood, life-
giving, watered Islam's evergreen Tree.

- Khaadim

"For, behold all this was indeed a trial, clear in itself. And we ransomed him with a tremendous sacrifice."
-37:106-107 Quran
2 Pain and affliction (Karb-o-Bala)
3 Abbas r.a. was the brother of Imam Husayn r.a. (son of Imam Ali r.a. from another lady, he married after Lady Fatima r.a. passed away), and Ali Akbar was the eldest son of Imam Husayn. The youngest son is known as Ali Asghar, he was six months old when he was martyred by an arrow from the Ummayad forces.

Visit here to listen to lectures, by prominent scholars, on the events of Karbala that took place in Muharram.

You can also read an article by Annemarie Schimmel, which is hyper linked in this post:
Poetry by Iqbal on Ahl-e-Bayt:

Spring's Gift

I envy the sand that met his feet
I’m jealous of honey he tasted sweet
Of birds that hovered above his head
Of spiders who spun their sacred web
To save him from his enemies
I envy clouds formed from the seas
That gave him cover from the heat
Of a sun whose light could not compete
With his, whose face did shine so bright
That all was clear in blinding night
I envy sightless trees that gazed
Upon his form completely dazed
Not knowing if the sun had risen
But felt themselves in unison
With those who prayed, and fasted too
Simply because he told them to
With truth and kindness, charity
From God who gave such clarity
His mercy comes in one He sent
To mold our hearts more heaven bent
I envy all there at his side
Who watched the turning of the tide
As truth prevailed and falsehood fled
And hope restored life to the dead
Men and Women through him found grace
To seek together God’s noble face
I envy the cup that gave him drink
His thoughts that helped us all to think
To be one thought that passed his mind
Inspiring him to act so kind
For me this world is not one jot
If I could simply be a thought
From him to God throughout the ages
As revelation came in stages
I pity all who think it odd
To hear him say there is one God
Or he was sent by God to men
To hone their spirits’ acumen
It’s pride that blinds us from the sight
That helps good men to see his light
He taught us all to be God’s slaves
And he will be the one who saves
Humanity from sinful pride
Muhammad has God on his side
So on this day be blessed and sing
For he was born to grace our Spring
With lilies, flowers, life’s rebirth
In a dome of green like his on earth

To be remembered, to be missed

"Socialize with people in such a manner that when you die, they should weep for you and as long as you live, they should long for your company."

- Imam Ali, may Allah ennoble his countenance 

To be missed, to be remembered
Fondly. Long after physical departure 
Is a sign of chivalrous character.

- Khaadim 

Friday, December 18, 2009

Finally we have found him!

As if my love for Google was not enough, it has increased manifold. I have found an English language book on Abdel Kader Al Jaizari. It is free to read and download!

Also, another book is available on, titled: Commander of the Faithful: The Life and Times of Emir Abd el-Kader (1808-1883).

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Pray upon the Prophet, and your Lord will solve it

"Sheikh Saleh al-Maghamsee, the Imam and Khateeb of Masjid Qubaa’ in Madinah, was asked about a personal story that occurred to him. When asked on live television by a caller, he gave the following account (see the original video in Arabic).

The Sheikh’s Story

In the Sheikh’s words:
Well, it’s a personal story, but I’ll tell it out of honor for him [the Sheikh who asked], and out of honor for your audience. It’s a very important point, that’s not connected to myself, but to the point of the story…I underwent open heart surgery. And the next day, I woke up from the surgery, and the stitching and everything had been completed. The doctors were passing by, those supervising patients in the intensive care unit. And this was immediately after my waking up from the anesthetic, after 24 hours from the operation.

The nurse in charge of me noticed a matter – something in the blood – so he informed the doctor on duty. So the doctor asked another doctor, and this other doctor asked a third doctor, until there were nearly 14 people, doctors and others in charge of patients, gathered.

They were baffled, they didn’t know what to do – all this while I was unaware. I mean, I could see their faces changing, their faces were fearful. The monitors were behind my head, behind the bed, and they were giving off unpleasant signals. I couldn’t see the signals, but I could see it in their faces.

So they called Doctor Adam, a successful Sudanese doctor, to come and see. He looked – and he’s a doctor, so he read the monitors in his way – and it became apparent to him that there was blood gathered on the heart after the operation.

He said to me, in these words, “Wallahi Sheikh Saleh, we need your consent to return you to the operation room to open your heart again. There’s blood collected on the heart that has to be removed.”

Of course, this news came to me like a bolt of lightening. But Allah guided me at the time to say – well, let me be clear. The first time, I had hope that the operation would be successful; but this time, fear had begun to enter me, so I said, let me say the shahada – 
Ashhadu an la illah illa Allah, wa ashhadu anna Muhamaddan Rasool Allah — and I signaled with my head that I consented.

So he had them detach the devices in the intensive care unit to prepare me, and he put on a mask, and they went to the operating room to prepare things.

At this instant – there was a Lebanese (female) nurse standing on my left, and Allah guided her to say – she said, “Saleh,”  “Sheikh,” she doesn’t really know, she said “Brother,” or “Oh Saleh,” or whatever she said – 
But she said – and listen to this: “Pray upon the Prophet, and it will be solved” (salli ‘ala an-Nabi, wa hiya tufraj). And so I said, instinctively, like anyone would, “Allahumma salli ‘ala Muhammadin wa ‘ala aali Muhammad,” like that exactly.

Wallahi, I said it, and all the blood came down, and the monitors began changing. The people there were anxious – what happened, what changed, what, what? The matter had changed. They called back Doctor Adam again, so he came. When he saw the monitor screen, and he saw the blood, he said, “Sheikh Saleh, what we wanted to do for you and rid you of, Allah has rid you of from above seven skies.”

Of course, now, the issue is not about Saleh. It’s an issue of this woman whom Allah guided to say what she said – and this is in confirmation of the saying of the Prophet
salla Allahahu alayhi wasallam to Ubayy, when Ubayy said, “Should I make all my du’aa [sending salam] for you?”, and the Prophet said: “Then your concerns will be taken care of.”**

So Allah took care of our concerns because we prayed upon the Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wasallam. But like I said, this has nothing to do with me, it has to do with the success Allah granted this woman in saying what she did, so that we shouldn’t think ill of Muslim women. I mean, whoever saw her appearance and her dress, might have thought this woman did not know Allah even as much as the blink of an eye. Even so, I’m the one known as the Imam and Khateeb at Qubaa’, and it didn’t occur to me to say this word. But she advised me. She said to me, “Listen,” with such gentleness and such sympathy, as if my situation saddened her, because here I was being returned to the operation when I was happy to have just left it. So she said, “Pray upon the Prophet, and your Lord will solve it.” She said it in her dialect, and I’m not adept at her dialect, but she said, “And your Lord will solve it.

And Allah jalla wa ‘ala solved it, alhamdulillah for His bounty."

This was forwarded to me. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Ibn Ata'illah on Affliction

He has afflicted you from every direction in order to pull you back to the Directionless.
Maulana Rumi

Ibn Ata'illah said:
You will perhaps find a benefit in distress which you have not been able to find in fasting nor in prayer; therefore when it descends upon you, defend yourself no longer and do not be concerned with searching for some remedy, lest you drive away the good which comes toward you freely, and give up your will entirely to your Lord; then you will see marvels. [p. 33]

You who are "poor" (fuqara), if you wish that your wind may prevail over all winds and all adversaries, then be constant in contemplating your Lord while He is trying you, for He will change your ignorance into knowledge, your weakness into strength, your helplessness into power, your poverty into wealth, your lowliness into glory, your loneliness into intimacy, your remoteness into nearness - or, in word, God, be He exalted, will cover over your qualities with His qualities, for He is generous and bestows immeasurable graces. [p. 40]

Excerpts taken from a scholars blog, unfortunately, I can't remember his name and blog. He had translated Ibn Ata'illah's pieces above. 

Monday, December 14, 2009

Tombstones of a Sahaba and Tabayeen?

In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Oh God, when you gather
all the people (those of old and those of later time)
to the appointed day (Meeqat)
make Hafs bin Umar one of the companions of Mohammad
Peace be upon him
God of the two worlds

Anyone have any information on this companion?

In the name of God,
Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Verily in
the messenger of Allah ye have a good
example for him who looketh
unto Allah and the Last Day
and remembereth Allah much. Oh God
keep Abdullah bin Mohammad
bin Abdullah bin Hassan
al-Hashmi among the youths
of Heaven - Amen

I think this tombstone may belong to a direct descendant of Imam Hasan. Imam Hasan had a son, Hasan Muthana who had one son: Abdullah, who had four sons -> Muhammad, Ibrahim, Idris (who went west to North Africa), and Sulaiman (who went east to Persia). The individual mentioned above could possibly be the son of Muhammad. Also, this tombstone is from the Fifth century hijra; thus, adding more substance to this claim.

NOTE: The details about Hasan Muthana's sons come from a Shia website. They in some cases have conflicting information on the number of sons/daughters etc. But, this info sounds reliable, as Idris did go to the West and was a Hasani. Interesting point to note, the author of the text claims to be a descendant from Sulaiman (who went to Persia). In contrast, as far as I know, most Idrisi Syeds are Sunnis in North Africa. As a Sunni, I am inclined to think that Syeds in Persia may have converted to Shia school due to the reign of Safavids. 

Allah knows best.

Destinations hail sincere seekers after Truth at the very outset

To soothe the sincere pain of distance and longing of some, read Wasif Ali Wasif:

"The search for Truth, for the Truth conscious, for the men of heart, for the Imam of the age, or for the intimate of mysteries, involves no geographical journey. There is a great difference between the voyages of Sindbad and the travels of the seeker after Truth. The ego should attain to a state of self-realization before it embarks on its journey toward Truth. The clearer the mirror of the heart, the easier for it to receive the flashes of Truth. Approach to Allah is though prostration, with your brow brought  low. Prostration is here below and connection on High. Divine blessings on the Prophet (SAW) are invoked here and accepted there. The first thing therefore is self-reformation, enabling yourself to know what the radiance of Truth really means. Abu Jahl sees the prophet (SAW) but cannot have access to him (SAW), whereas Uawys of Qaran has access to him (SAW) although he has never been near him (SAW) physically. Destinations hail sincere seekers after Truth at the very outset."

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Taken by Mercy

Allah addressing his sinless angels …
“Love’s affair is truly strange -
it’s thrown to them without a cause.
“You be happy in your sinlessness -
they have been taken by My Mercy."

Ahmad Sam'ani

The people of God, which is I, and which is you.

We shall see,
For certain we shall see,
the day that has been promised us,
on the tablet of eternity.

When these high mountains

of tyranny
will drift away like wisps of cotton.

And beneath our feet, the feet of the oppressed,

the earth will tremble.
Lightning crack above the heads of kings,
And thunder roar.
Yes, we will see that day.

When from the abode of God (Kab'a),

false idols will be driven out,
And we, the pure of heart,
long forbidden from the sacred place -
We, yes, we will be seated on those high cushions.
All thrones overturned.
Crowns trampled underfoot.

Remaining only the Name of God,

That which is absent, but present too,
That which is the spectacle, and also the beholder.
Then will rise the cry - I am the Truth (ana al haq)
That which is I,
And which is you.

And then will reign

The people of God,
Which is I,
And which is you.

Yes we shall see,

For certain we shall see,
We shall see.

By Faiz Ahmed Faiz (translation found here)

Faiz wrote this ghazal, which was later sung by Iqbal Bano under the regime of Zia ul Haq. This was a time when Faiz Ahmed Faiz was banned and imprisoned for criticizing the dictatorship, and also for his marxist/communist beliefs. Iqbal Bano showed courage in singing his verses; thus, indirectly attacking the dictatorship.
It has been said that Faiz Ahmed Faiz was not an atheist. See this:

Listen to Iqbal Bano.

Wasif Ali Wasif on Contentment, Self Pity

I came across this individual, Wasif Ali Wasif, on Chaiwala's blog.

Taken from:
"To sorrow over your lot, to have sympathy for yourself, to prove yourself pitiable among people, is no man with more that he can bear. Ailing and feeble spirits always complain whereas healthy souls give thanks. To criticize life is to criticize the Creator, and such criticism deprives on of faith."
"I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself"
D.H. Lawrence

Friday, December 11, 2009

"Oh God, how could that be. Such a powerful Chinaman!"

"Another time, the mosque in Qinzhou had two long, beautifully carved doors that were antiques from the Ming dynasty. The story engraved on the doors described the early Moslems' life. For generations, the Moslems cherished and cared for the doors. The Germans heard about the antique doors and were greedy for the cultural treasure. They came and unctuously offered to buy the doors. To avoid a conflict, the priest asked for 16,250 pounds of pure silver. "That's too much," said the Germans. "We will pay you half." That worried the priest because he did not want to be the Moslem who would sell the nation's treasure. He called a meeting in the mosque. Wang Ziping suggested to the rest, "We shall all stay in the mosque and guard it. The Germans can't take the doors from that many of us."
Hearing this, the Germans planned strategies too. They thought that if they could get rid of, or embarrass, Wang Ziping they might have a chance to take the doors. The conflict ended with another weight-lifting challenge. The Germans wheeled in two 250-pound stone weights connected by a thick bamboo bar. "We heard you practice kungfu in this mosque, and the 'Qianjin Wang' is a usual visitor," the Germans said to the priest and the crowd. We specially brought these weights that no one has been able to lift for eighty years. We want to ask Wang Ziping to lift them. Everyone knew what was going on and held their breath for Wang Ziping. Heavy weights on a bare bamboo bar without fixtures would slide, creating difficulty or accident. Wang Ziping recognized the German's trick as they taunted him.
Wang Ziping could not wait any longer and stated, "Chinese kungfu is rich and varied. Foreigner, don't you taunt us." The crowd shouted, "Good, show them your power!" By then, it was a fight for the nation's pride. Wang Ziping bowed to the crowd, flipped away and intentionally landed on his back right in front of the weights. Then he extended his arms over his head, two large hands grabbed the bamboo bar and quickly pulled up the stones. People cheered. He bent his arms, then tossed the weights away from him. Suddenly, he threw up his legs and caught the weights with his feet. He gestured, and six young men came out. One lay down across the bar, facing away from Wang Ziping and supported by the weights and Wang Ziping' hands. Three more young men then got on top of him and on top of each other. Two more then stood on the bamboo bar. They modeled Stone Luohan (stone Budda) and Phoenix Emerging Its Wings. To the sound of long-lasting applause, the Germans nodded and disappeared. The doors were saved."

Mighty Majesty

Dawn to dusk I read Frost, Baudelaire
Longfellow among others. Enjoyed verses,
Written with rhyme, meter, depth, and care;
Then came time to put them on a hearse.

Salut! Distinguished poets. Go your way.
I come home full circle, I find new life;
I jolted from deep slumber have fell prey
To words that cut sharp my heart like a knife.

"The hour draws nigh and the moon is rent asunder"
Sung inhuman voice; words of such majesty.
Weighty words break my back and I ponder
the Author of this creative beauty.

Verses of love bore by the beloved;
Messenger of love carefully delivered.


If interested in ghazal's, read this article, where I came across 54:1 of the Quran: "The hour draws nigh and the moon is rent asunder". 

Translation by Muhammad Asad:
"The Last Hour draws near, and the moon is split asunder!
But if they were to see a sign, they would turn aside and say, "An ever recurring delusion!"
Many translations exist, but none can ever do justice to Al Quran. As they often say, the Quran is "un-translatable". For a variety of translations visit