Thursday, June 10, 2010

Ode to Dad

Last Monday was my Dad's birthday. Had he been alive he would have turned sixty. There is so much emotion inside of me that I can not put it into words. His absence is deeply felt. I wonder what advice he would give me as I embark on my new life. Even though I am a grown man he could never see me as such. He would say that I knew you ever since you were in your mother's womb. And watched you fumble as a baby, make mistakes as a child, lash out as a teen. Is it any wonder why, after you have matured can I only find faults to fix? So true Abu I will only understand when I have kids of my own.

To honor my Dad I am reprinting a poem from one of his favorite poets. I get my literary appreciation from him. A book of Urdu Poems from Allama Iqbal always stood adorned on his bookshelf. The poet's inspiration was the Quran, the teachings of the prophet and the plight of the Muslim Ummah. He was instrumental in inspiring the masses to rise up against oppression and fight for their freedom. In the end his words helped find the nation of Pakistan. Aside from this I new very little about his poetry until a friend introduced me to a compelling piece. Although translated from the original Urdu its prose are still moving.

Talu-e-Islam

The fading glitter of stars is the signal of a bright dawn

The sun has risen from the horizon, the time of deep stupor is gone!

Life-blood has started flowing through the dead arteries of the East
This secret is incomprehensible to Sina and Farabi !

The storm of the West has made the Muslim into a real Muslim
Only the upheavals of the sea bring the pearl's beauty to its perfection

The Muslim is to be endowed again from the God's Court with
Turkoman's dignity, Indian's intellect, Arab's eloquence

If some slumber is lurking still in the flower buds
Strike the beat harder if the taste for music is lacking

Jump restlessly in the garden, in the nest, in bowers
It is impossible to deprive mercury of its restlessness

Why should the eye used to chaste things see coat of arms
When it is able to see the valor of the Ghazi's soul!

O God, light the candle of Longing in the tulip's heart
Make every speck of garden's dust a martyr searching for the Truth

The effect of spring showers exists in the Muslim's tears
Pearls are to be produced again in the ocean of Ibrahim

The Book of the Muslim nation is being organized again
This Hashimite Branch is going to blossom again!

The beloved of Shiraz has won the hearts of Tabriz and Kabul
The zephyr produces its fellow traveler from rose fragrance!

The avalanche of calamity over Uthmanis is not to be bereaved
As the dawn is produced after destruction of myriad's of stars!

Insight into the world is more difficult than the world's sovereignty
Insight is produced only when the heart melts into blood!

For thousands of years narcissus bemoans its lack of luster
The discerning person is produced in the garden with difficulty

Sing O Nightingale so that with your modulations
The falcon's heart in the pigeon's frail body be produced

Concealed within your heart is the secret of life
Relate to the Muslim the traditions of pathos of life

You are the potent hand and the word of the Eternal God
O imprudent one! Develop Faith as you have been overcome with doubts

The Muslim's destination is beyond the azure colored sky
You are the caravan the dust of whose trail are stars!

The house is ephemeral, the dweller is momentary, yours are the Beginning and the End
You are the Final Message of God and you are eternal!

Your life-blood adorns with myrtle the bride called tulip
Your origin is from Ibrahim, you are the world's architect!

Your nature is the custodian of all life's possibilities
So to say you are the touch-stone for world's hidden jewels!

From the material world to the Eternal world
You are the gift which the Holy Prophet took!

The history of the Muslim nation reveals the secret
That you are the protector of the nations of Asia

Learn again the lesson of Truth, Justice, and Bravery
You are to be entrusted with the world's leadership!

This alone is the creation's objective, this alone is Islam's secret
That there should be universal brotherhood, abundant love!

Breaking the idols of race and color merge into the millat
There should be neither Turanian, nor Iranian, nor Afghanian!

How long the companionship of garden's birds inside the garden's confines?
Your wings are capable of the flight of Quhistan's falcon!

In the world of existence full of doubts, the Muslim's Faith
Is like a beacon of light in the dark night of the wilderness

What could demolish the grandeur of Qaiaer and Kisra?
Nothing but Haider's prowess, Bu Dhar's faqr, Salman's truth

With what dignity did the free men of the millat march out?
The centuries-old prisoners are only watching the spectacle through door's crevices!

Stability of life in this world is bestowed by firm Faith
The Turanian has proved even longer lasting than the German

When Faith is created in this earthly ember
It itself creates wings and plumage of Jibril!

Neither swords nor plans are of any avail in slavery
Chains are cast away when taste for Faith is created

Can anyone assess the strength of his arms?
Destinies are changed by the Believer's mere glance!

Sainthood, sovereignty, the universality of material knowledge
What are all these except unraveling of the secrets of Faith!

It is however difficult to develop Ibrahim's vision
Greed creates subconscious images stealthily in the vision!

The ruled and ruler's discrimination is the bane of humanity
Beware, O oppressors the punishments of God for this are severe!

The essence of everything is the same, be it of dust or light
Sun's blood would drip by cutting the core of dust's speck

Firm Faith, constant struggle, Love, conquest of the universe
These are the swords for the brave men in the battle of life

What is expected from the brave? High disposition, sincere creed
Warm heart, immaculate vision and restless soul!

Those who had attacked like eagle emerged as wingless
The evening stars after diving into dusk's blood emerged shining!

Those accustomed to swimming under the sea were buried under the sea
Those who bored ocean waves dashes emerged as pearls!

Those who were proud of alchemy are like the way side dust
Those who humbly prostrated before God emerged as elixir makers!

Our slow-moving messenger has brought the message of life
Those who got electric messages emerged as uninformed!

The Haram has been disgraced by the priests short-sight
With what excellent insight the Tatar youth have come out!

Angels, the denizens of celestial world, were saying to the earth
These earthly men emerged more lively, more virulent, more splendid!

The men of Faith live in the world like the sun
Set here, come out there, set there, come out here!

The individual's Faith is the means of national renaissance
This is the force which shapes the nation's destiny!

You are the secret of Kun Fikon, be manifest to yourself
Become the knower of the secret of Khudi, become interpreter of God

Human greed has torn the human race into pieces
Be the declaration of fraternity, become the language of Love

This is Indian, that Khurasanian, this Afghanian, that Turanian is
O you disgraced by nationalism, jump out and become boundless

Your wings and plumage are polluted with race and color's dust
O Haram's bird flutter your wings before you become ready for flight

O imprudent one! Dive in Khudi , this is the secret of life
Relinquishing the narrow confines of time become eternal

In the battle of life acquire the nature of steel
In the Love's bed-chamber become soft like silk

Transcend mountains and deserts like a furious flood
If there be a garden in your path, become a melodious brook

The bounds of your Knowledge and Love are none
Melody sweeter than you in the Divine orchestra is none!

Humanity is still the helpless prey to imperialism
Outrageous that Man is the hunter of the human race!

The glitter of modern civilization dazzles the eye
But this is the luster of unreal jewels only!

The science which was the pride of the West's sages
Is the battle-sword in the blood-stained clutches of greed!

The magic of prudence cannot make stable
The civilization which is based on capitalism

Dynamism establishes life; bestows heaven as well as hell
This earthly creature in its nature is neither angelic nor infernal

Partake the nightingale's clamor, open the flower bud
As your person is the spring breeze for this garden

The spark of Love has again risen from the Asia's heart
The world is the parading ground of the satin-clad Tatars

Come, a purchaser has appeared for this frail soul
After a long time a caravan has arrived at our place

Come, O cup-bearer, the sad bird's music is coming from the bower
Spring has come, the beloved has come, as the beloved has come tranquillity has come!

The spring cloud has established its camp up hill and down dale
The sound of waterfalls from the mountain tops has come!

I have surrendered my life to you, O cup-bearer, you should also sing the future's songs
Because in rows after rows groups of singing birds have come!

Withdraw from the ascetics and fearlessly draw the wine cup
After long nightingale's song from this old branch has come!

Narrate to Lovers the traditions of Badr and Hunain's Master 35
His hidden meanings clear to my eyes have become!

The other branch of Khalil is greening up with our blood
In Love's market-place our currency full value has become

I am sprinkling tulip petals at the martyr's grave
As his blood favorable to our nation's sapling has become!

Come, so that we may sprinkle flowers and pour wine in cup
Rend asunder the sky's roof and establish a new foundation


UPDATE: Found a video in which a portion of this poem is being recited. Thought I add it to increase the blog's multimedianess

My father was an influential man, friendships forged during his time as a student leader continued on into adulthood and old age. Sacrifices he made for the sake of promoting the true message of Islam are countless. Upon hearing of his death there was an outpouring of grief in his native Pakistan. Hundreds attended his funeral prayers and many more prayed for his salvation.
It was an honor recieving a letter of condolence from his long time friend, now an Amir of a reformist political party. It is recreated here for the sake of prosterity;


In it he addresses me, expressing his shock at hearing my father's death. He offers a prayer for his salvation, relates a hadith. He instructs how children should continously offer prayers for their deceased parents in the hopes of God bestowing on them the gift of Paradise. He then goes on and says he plans on visiting my mother's house next time he is in Karachi (he did). And concludes by praying for my wellbeing. For that I thank him.

I too strive to live up to my father's example. Using God given abilities I try to bring the message of Islam to anyone who wishes to hear it. My work, my time online is all geared towards this. I've introduced a new Label dubbed "SadiSoft" all news worthy items related to my publishing label will be categorized as such. Again I hope I can be a source of enlightment, a beacon in troubled waters. I pray that I am worthy of God's pleasure and that my father is forgiven his sins so that he may enter paradise. Ameen.
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