Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

Three Upcoming Lectures in Cambridge, God-willing

January 31, 2012

Bismillah

1) Wednesday 1 February – The Libyan Revolution and its Future

Aref Ali Nayed in conversation with Edward Stourton

5.00 pm – 6:30 pm

Runcie Room, Faculty of Divinity, West Road, Cambridge CB3 9BS

Aref Ali Nayed is the Ambassador of Libya to the United Arab Emirates and was the Chief Operations Officer of the Libyan Stabilisation Team. In Cambridge as a Visiting Fellow with the Cambridge Inter-faith Programme, Dr Nayed is in conversation with the distinguished BBC print and broadcast journalist, Ed Stourton.

A reception, open to the audience, will follow the event.

This event is FREE but booking is essential: book now at libya.eventbrite.co.uk or call 01223 763 013.

In February 2011, Islamic scholar Aref Ali Nayed took part in demonstrations in Tripoli, where he was born. There, he witnessed first-hand the brutality of the Libyan regime against its own people. Together with other religious scholars, Nayed established the Network of Free Ulema. In their first press release, on 19th February, they wrote, “STOP THE MASS KILLINGS OF PEACEFUL DEMONSTRATORS IN LIBYA”. As the days progressed, their statements became more desperate, calling for international action, until on 2nd March, they called for the world to recognise Libya’s new Interim National Council and Government.

 Nayed was one of the first prominent Libyans to publically decry Gaddafi. He set up a Support Office for the Executive Team of the new National Transitional Council (NTC) in his Dubai premise, which worked around the clock towards the transition to NTC authority, working on matters which included humanitarian, financial, diplomatic, telecommunications and security issues.

In June, Nayed was appointed coordinator of the Tripoli Taskforce.  When Tripoli was liberated in late August 2011, the remit was broadened and he was made the lead coordinator of the Libya Stabilization Team.  Nayed’s team worked intensively and restored electricity, telecommunications, and water supply and fuel. In early August the NTC announced Nayed as the new Libyan Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates and he was given possession of the Libyan Consulate buildings in Dubai. He was the first ambassador to be officially appointed under the NTC.

Dr Aref Ali Nayed is a Libyan Islamic scholar, and Libyan Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates. He is also the founder and director of Kalam Research & Media, based in Tripoli, Libya and Dubai. Until the outbreak of the revolution in Libya he lectured on Islamic theology, logic, and spirituality at the restored Uthman Pasha Madrassa in Tripoli, and supervises graduate students at the Islamic Call College there.

Aref Nayed is also Senior Advisor to the Cambridge Inter-faith Programme, Fellow of the Royal Aal Al-Bayt Institute in Jordan, and was appointed to the Board of Advisers of the prestigious Templeton Foundation.

 

Cambridge Muslim College – Lecture Programme: Lent 2012                                                          

Cambridge Muslim College is pleased to announce its public lecture programme for the Lent Term 2012. The College welcomes distinguished speakers, each addressing a timely and scholarly topic.

Both lectures take place at the Runcie Room, Faculty of Divinity and will begin at 6.30 pm.

2) Wednesday 22nd February

The Islamic Garden: An Opportunity for ‘Bridge-Building’ Between Cultures

Emma Clark, Garden Designer and Senior Tutor, Prince’s School of Traditional Arts


3) Thursday 8th March

Images of People with (Mental) Disabilities in the Islamic Tradition

Mohammed Ghaly, Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies, Leiden University

Rumi – on fasting

December 24, 2009

There’s hidden sweetness in the stomach’s emptiness.
We are lutes, no more, no less.

If the soundboxes stuffed full of anything, no music.
If the brain and belly are burning clean with fasting,
Every moment a new song comes out of the fire.
The fog clears, and new energy makes you run
Up the steps in front of you.
Be emptier and cry like reed instruments, cry.
Emptier, write secrets with the reed pen.
When you’re full of food and drink,
Satan sits where your spirit should,
An ugly metal statue in place of the Ka’ba.
When you fast, good habits gather
Like friends who want to help.
Fasting is Solomon’s seal.

Don’t give into some illusion and lose your power,
But even if you have, if you’ve lost all will and control,
They come back when you fast,
Like soldiers appearing out of the ground,
Pennants flying above them.

A table descends to your tents, Jesus’ table.
Expect to see it, when you fast,
This table spread with other food,
Better than the broth of cabbages.

translated by R.A.

Imam Ghazzali’s Last Poem

December 24, 2009

Bismillah. With thanks to Ertan Karpazli for sending this to me. Anyone know who translated this, or can provide the original Arabic?

Say to my friends, when they look upon me dead,
Weeping for me and mourning me in sorrow,
Do not believe that this corpse you see is myself,
In the name of God, I tell you, it is not I,
I am a spirit, and this is naught but flesh,
It was my abode and my garment for a time.

I am a treasure, by a talisman kept hid,
Fashioned of dust, which served me as a shrine,
I am a pearl, which has left its shell deserted,
I am a bird, and this body was my cage
Whence I have now flown forth and it is left as a token
Praise to God, who hath now set me free
And prepared for me my place in the highest of the heaven.

Until today I was dead, though alive in your midst,
Now I live in truth, with the grave-clothes discarded.
Today I hold converse with the saints above,
With no veil between, I see God face to face.
I look upon “Loh-i-Mahfuz” and therein I read
Whatever was and is and all that is to be.

Let my house fall in ruins, lay my cage in the ground,
Cast away the talisman, it is a token, no more,
Lay aside my cloak, it was but my outer garment.
Place them all in the grave, let them be forgotten,
I have passed on my way and you are left behind
Your place of abode was no dwelling place for me.

Think not that death is death, nay, it is life,
A life that surpasses all we could dream of here,
While in this world, here we are granted sleep,
Death is but sleep, sleep that shall be prolonged
Be not frightened when death draweth night,
It is but the departure for this blessed home.

Think of the mercy and love of your Lord,
Give thanks for His Grace and come without fear.
What I am now, even so shall you be
For I know that you are even as I am
The souls of all men come forth from God
The bodies of all are compounded alike

Good and evil, alike it was ours
I give you now a message of good cheer
May God’s peace and joy for evermore be yours.

by Abū Ḥāmid Muḥammad al-Ghazālī (450-505 H/ 1058-1111 CE)

An Astronomical Aubade – Ibn Hani, Andalusian Poet

June 7, 2009

Magnificent composition by the author and fantastic translation by the late Prof. A.J. Arberry of Cambridge.

Astronomical Aubade – Ibn Hani

Islamic Astronomical Poetry (Powerpoint slides)

Poetry of Imam al-Shafi’i

June 7, 2009

A handful of poems from his famous and widely-available Diwan (Collection of Poems) …

Imam al-Shafi’i (150-202) was born in Mecca or Gaza, grew up in Mecca where he memorised the Koran and mastered Arabic and archery, all as a child.  He obtained a copy of the Muwatta’ of Imam Malik (93-179) from Medina and memorised it all (about 2,000 hadiths) in nine days flat.  He then went to Medina and became Imam Malik’s leading student.  He later studied with students of Imam Abu Hanifah (80-150) in Iraq and founded his own methodology in Hadith and Law.  His school of law later became one of the four main schools (madhhabs) of Sunni Islam.  He died and is buried in Fustat (in the suburbs of modern Cairo).

A master of the Qur’an, Arabic, Hadith and Law, he was also expert in archery, rhetoric and poetry.

Here are some of his poems: Poetry of Imam Shafii – 1

More here from another source: Poetry of Imam al-Shafi’i – 2

Hajj – The Journey of Love

June 7, 2009

An incomplete draft translation of the wonderful Qasidah Mimiyyah by Imam Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, with explanatory notes.  The translation has reached 133 of the 229 lines (abyat) of the original Arabic text, so there’s still some more to do, God-willing. The English rendering is not great poetry, but I’m simply trying to convey some of the meaning in this great Qasidah.

Hajj – The Journey of Love

Hajj – The Journey of Love (Arabic text)


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