Mercy for Mankind
The following poem, written during the height of the controversy surrounding the Danish cartoons defaming the personality of Prophet Muhammad, won a special award at an international poetry contest conducted by the Islamic Writers’ Alliance (IWA) in the United States of America. The IWA held this contest to bring out the best aspects of the Prophet’s personality at a time when vituperous campaigns slandering the last Messenger of God are continually on the rise.
Of recent days, in myriad ways,
A million controversies
Have risen today: all in chorus for an image;
Even as in bygone days, in a bygone age.
Not anything new then,
In their message too,
They recall but time’s travesties.
Round and round a person they float.
A person unlike any time has witnessed.
Born within history’s darkest slot,
Redeemer of Man in God and the Angels;
Foe of the Demon in whom he is harassed.
Thus has Muhammad withstood time and its test;
Thus shall he remain way above the rest.
No matter then what his detractors say;
For that’s only where one in the Demon’s snares lay.
Shall the Muslims then worry about Muhammad’s name?
When God Himself has destined its eternal fame?
Won’t the Muslims then look into themselves instead?
And see how much of his purpose they’ve all but worsted!
Would that be the love that they profess for him?
Is that the meaning of this clamour for his sake, this unending din?
Will they not then see the Demon’s crooked Grin?
At this, his success in raising this contradiction!
Reminded then the Muslims must be,
That Muhammad did, indeed, cry of necessity:
‘If truly thee loveth God, then follow thou me,
For then would God grant His love to thee.’
Is then the love of God or the love of Muhammad the more,
For a believer’s faith to be washed ashore?
Away from the tribulations of the oceans of trial,
Away from the sea of fire prepared for those in denial.
And into the lap of the Bliss Supreme,
Into the bosom of the Paradise of Yore!
Nay! Verily then it must be the love of God,
Of which must come the love of Muhammad,
And of which must come the allegiance to Muhammad
And whence must proceed the obedience to Muhammad.
Muhammad – an angel he was not!
The pinnacle of creation – that was his lot!
For above the angels did his spirit soar,
Since in his Amaanah did he with patience forebear.
That from which God’s creation withdrew,
Whence Adam, our father, upon himself threw
The Trust of volition, and of free-will,
In the face of the Demon’s oath to instill
In us, of Adam, the disobedience to God’s Law
And to make of each a manifest renegade, an outlaw.
But overturn the Demon’s plot did Muhammad,
When time and time again he resisted;
Much in the pattern of the Prophets of Old,
Whose legacy he was repeatedly told.
Whose heritage was all but his inheritance –
The one thing that he held in the greatest reverence.
The legacy of Adam – our father – Noah, and Lot
Of Abraham, David, and Moses who were never in doubt.
And to Christ, the Messiah, too was he akin,
For Muhammad did claim for himself the status of their next of kin.
So how then do the ‘Christians’ go about in calm,
With their task of maligning him who meant no harm,
Neither to their hero in the Messiah, the Christ,
Nor to his mother, Mary, the upright.
Howbeit then that their scholars forgot,
That in Muhammad lay the vindication of Christ.
That in the Arabian Prophet was the confirmation of Moses,
The knowledge whereof is granted to whomsoever God chooses,
Even today in these times of the Neo-Jahiliyyah; of the losers.
Have they not known the Old Testament Prophecy?
Through Isaiah, the Prophet, who, through his book, did cry:
“The Book is given to him that is not learned, saying ‘Read!’
And he says: ‘I am not of the learned!’”
How else was Muhammad given the Qur’an, the Last Testament,
But by this very manner uttered by Isaiah in the Old Testament.
Even as it is writ large in the Bible today,
Complete and perfect in the prophecy’s every way.
Dante did try his hand in mocking Muhammad,
In his work; in his Divine Comedy that he composed.
For purposes more of belittling than of eulogizing
Muhammad’s Mi’raj, his ascent, his rising.
But he whom God has lifted, none, let alone Dante, bringeth down.
For who be the Dantes of the world, but those that ignorance in its ignominy crown.
What then of the Mi’raj, the rising?
Was it then of the body or of the soul?
Or was it in both, the body and the soul?
Was it not a representation,
Of the real goal of Man, his destination?
The heights of the heavens would be his,
As in the Mi’raj whence Muhammad’s sight ne’er did miss,
The heights above the angels, nigh unto the Throne;
The position of God’s vicegerent, the role of Man!
But from that height could he also fall,
As did our father in his first fall.
Though only after a descent can there be an ascent,
Came about thus the sinusoidal wave of the Crescent!
Would that, O God, we live in the crests of that wave!
Would that, dear Lord, we of ourselves pave,
The once paved out way of Thy messenger,
Who often times did ask us to remember
The Message Thine in Thy Holy Book,
Which we have all but forgotten, all but forsook!
What then that message, ye ask?
For ’tis no easy one that: its task.
Remember not then that Qur’anic verse?
That informs us of the Muslim’s role, to rehearse:
‘Thus have We made thee a nation moderate,
Perchance thee stand a witness unto mankind (considerate).
Even as the Messenger amidst thee did stand,
An eternal witness unto thee (unto every soul, every land).’
For he was, indeed, God’s lasting Mercy to Mankind. !