Tuesday, January 11, 2011

British Muslim Song

A selection of Poems from the British Muslim Tradition


Basmala and Bib

When you eat chocolates, or strawberries and cream
When you eat sweeties, both pink ones and green
Say these four words that will keep your heart clean
Bismi Llahi Rahmani Rahim.

by Abdal Hakim Murad

Eid Dinner

O what a fine deed
You will do when you feed
A child that’s in need
On the first day of Eid

by Abdal Hakim Murad

Fingers that Pray

Here’s the mosque,
And here’s the 
Open the doors,
And here’s the 
Here’s the muezzin,
Climbing upstairs,
And here’s the imam,
Saying his prayers

by Abdal Hakim Murad

Maghrib Round

Oh, how lovely is the evening, is the evening,

The adhan is sweetly singing, sweetly singing,
Allah, Allah

by Abdal Hakim Murad

The Masjid Mouse

Oh have you seen the Masjid Mouse
That dwells in Merry Lane?
The cheeky, cheery Masjid Mouse
The runabout-while-laughing mouse
Who dances in the rain?

The Masjid Mouse he has a house
Inside a minaret,
Because his roof is high and dry
Above the rainclouds of the sky,
His home is never wet.

I saw him once upon a horse
That drew a handsome gig.
He wore a crown of golden gorse
And ate a pie with apple sauce
While cutting quite a jig.

One day the Masjid Mouse set sail
As master of a brig.
Backwards he’d sail in shine and gale
A silver spoon was his taffrail
His sail a surgeon’s wig.

The King and Queen were sorely vexed
To hear of all his capers.
His Majesty inquired, What next?
And found his soldiers quite perplexed.
The queen she had the vapours.

The Masjid Mouse he loves to sing
And play upon a drum.
With London mice, and mice of Tring
With mice of Paris and Peking
He’ll laugh and sing and hum.

But when the Masjid Mouse comes home,
One thing he’ll not delay,
For howsoever far he’ll roam
He has a place beneath the dome,
Where he will stand to pray

by Abdal Hakim Murad

Prayer Time

It’s time to pray, I tell Mama,
While she is brushing Teddy,
She seems so busy, but in fact,
She’s said her prayers already

by Abdal Hakim Murad

Ramadan is Coming

Ramadan is coming
I hope I don’t get fat,
He hasn’t really fasted
The one who gets like that.

by Abdal Hakim Murad

Cod Liver Oil

One shouldn’t complain — but why did God
put such a foul taste in the livers of cod?

You may reply (as my gym master would):
“If it doesn’t HURT, boy, it’s not doing you good!”

Well, I’ve sailed the Seven Seas and drunk albatross soup;
it was scrumptious compared to that cod liver gloop.

I shrank from each spoonful when I was small,
and time’s passing hasn’t improved it at all.

If the rest of the cod had a taste to match,
most fishermen would throw away all their catch,

while the bravest – or poorest – would haul their nets up,
and drown the cod’s taste, and their sorrows, in ketchup.

From Isle of Sheppey to Mississippi,
you wouldn’t find cod in a single “chippie”.

Yet the experts declare, and their word is official:
“If you want to be healthy, you have to take fish-oil.”

No good coddling myself. Let’s just swallow the stuff… –
Hey, I suddenly like it. I can’t get enough!

They’ve put orange flavour into it. Just see
what a difference that makes to a fuss-pot like me.

This life can be bitter, yet look at it right –
you’ll find ease follows hardship as day follows night.

So all praise to Allah, the Generous Giver,
Who holds great rewards for every good liver.

by Muhammad Isa Waley

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