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From Allah to Allah


I read the devil once

and recently it came back to me:

In envy of the new favourite of heaven

did he rail. ‘This man of clay’, he said,

‘whom us the more to spite his Maker raised’

so it is, he continued,

‘with spite is spite repaid’.

Of late I too have railed

At His having created me

So as to set me to a test;

A test I asked nothing of,

A test I desired not to sit,

So rail I did.

I cried and I shouted

I disobeyed wantonly

And had I the tongue of Iqbal

I too would have complained eloquently

So that my plaint could have reached heaven’s gate

And the gatekeeper of Eden have recognised

That I too was the man thrown out of paradise;

Yet fall as I did both then and now

I was filled with krodh in Nanak’s river of fire;

Herein I burned and spite is all I felt

At He who cannot be destroyed

Who sits in judgement over His creation

Whom He creates to fulfil His attribution

With whom I felt I had lost all connection;

So the devil desire grew

To rebel, to decry and to desecrate

While the sheep bleat on, god is great god is great.

But as the moon over took the sun

And as the stars adorned the sky

And as the breeze changed the dunes

I heard my soul speak out to me;

‘oh you who are so discontent,

Listen to the rhythm of the night

Let not your lament deafen your heart

Nor your pride obscure your sight;

See the fire fight against the darkness

Hear the sound of your own breathing

Feel the warm sand between your fingers

Remember that all of this is not in vein’

Then from afar I heard His words

Upon which I opened my eyes

‘Which of His favours,’ he said melodiously

‘will ye then deny?’

In regretfulness I next descended

Whereupon I heard him say

‘(He is) Lord of the two easts

and Lord of the two wests’;

Fell I then in humbleness

‘For whither shall I run from thee?’

The veil was lifting before my mind

And as the beauty of the night

Gave rise to the lingering orange of dawn

I sought forgiveness and with joy

Let the sun wash over me

And with its rays

Felt once more

The light of eeman lighten my heart,

And as I made footprints in the sand

I remembered,

I read the devil once

Only now it seems of no importance.

About Ahmed Ali


  1. Fatima Barkatulla

    Jazak Allahu Khairan

    Very real. Only someone who had experienced this could have written about it and described it so accurately.

  2. Masterpiece!
    Nothing more I can say than great mashaAllah!I like the way the lines keep you hooked, waiting for the next.

  3. splendid!
    Assalam-alaykum, MashaAllah! I really enjoyed reading this..perhaps we have a Muslim baird? JazakAllahu khayrun and can we look forward to some more? U should write loads more and send them to a publisher…It would be an excellent form of dawah to have some ‘proper’ Islamic English poetry. May Allah continue to inspire u and increase your skills. Ameen


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