An English Rendering of the Sira poem ‘Qurrat Al Absar fi Sirat al-Mushaffa’ al-Mukhtar’

In the early 2000’s I and a group of friends had the blessed opportunity to study with Sh. Ubbah Muhammad Faal. One  of the texts we studied with him was a poem in on the Prophetic biography titled: ‘Qurrat Al Absar fi Sirat al-Mushaffa’ al-Mukhtar’ written by Shaikh AbdulAziz ibn AbdulWahid Al Miknasi Al-Lamati. he lived circa 950. His death date is unknown but in his later life he retired to Medinah. Every day after Fajr, we would gather around the shaikh to read from this book; sometimes in the Masjid al-Nabawi and at other times in homes near by. In the afternoon while reviewing, I started experimenting with rendering the Arabic verse into an English poem. While going through some files on my harddrive today, I found this. I believe this was the only bit that I wrote electronically, the rest is somewhere in a notebook somewhere.

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An Enchanting Gaze at the Life of the Chosen Intercessor and His Days.

by Shaikh AbdulAziz ibn AbdulWahid Al Miknasi Al-Lamati

Rendered into English by Joe Bradford

All praise to due to Allah
Who through Ahmad surely guided
To the best course and law, Whom
he alone wills to be guided

Praise and then praise again
Lasting now until forever
Equivalent to his blessings
a count no one can endeavor!

Peace and blessings upon
In succession and in sequence
The greatest messenger sent
And the last of them in sequence

Upon the family and Companions
and everyone who follows
their pristine path, for as long as
stars do their orbits follow

Whereas you know the best of that
The diligent pursue
Is History of his story
Whose course we must ensue

So here I mention just a few
Words, do contemplate and ponder
And after this you’ll have no need
To search for more nor wander

“Delight” to all of those in search
And wish to him to gaze
A poem “Enchanting to the eyes”
That seek to read his days.

The pedigree and family tree
Of he who was much praised
I’ll mention here for you my dear
respect to him be paid

The Chosen one, his lineage
Until Adnan recorded
Consensus of this fact is known
to all who have reported

Muhammad son of abdullah
From shaibah known as Aamir
Then Haashim and mughirah
Qusayy the fourth grandfather

Kilab the son of murrah,
The fifth and sixth to know
Then Ka’b and then luayy
then Ghalib does come in tow

Fihr the son of Malik
Quraish they say was he
Yet most of those had mentioned
That Nadhr was to be

Kinanah then khuzaymah,
Mudrikah, Ilyas, ‘Amr
The latter of these three
Was also known as Mudhar

Nizaar, and then Ma’ad,
The twentieth conserved
Until Adnan his lineage
unanimously preserved

But after that not much
is known, How many a grandfather
Between adnan and ismail
Is counted as his father

Shaibah who dug the zamzam
well, His tribe did surely bother
And try to stop him from this act
he made an oath to Honor.

If he were to beget a son,
Not one but ten in number,
Then sacrifice he would
One of the very hefty number

Shawqi’s Animal Fables rendered into English

Ahmad_shawqyAhmed Shawqi, known as the “Prince of Poets” is one of the my favorites. In his diwan he features an entire section entitled “Animal Fables” in which he gives poignant lessons through the lives and interactions of animals. Having already translated his poem “The Animals and The Ark,” I was inspired by Prof. Mohamed Fadel‘s posting of another of Shawqi’s poems titled “The Fox Came Out One Day” to translate it into English as well.

“The Animals and The Ark” was posted on my now defunct blog Islamic Law, Etc. so I’ve reproduced that one here immediately after “The Fox Came Out One Day.” I am in no way trained in English poetry and its structure, so if I’ve made any mistakes please do point them out in the comments.

Enjoy.

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“The Fox Came Out One Day” by Ahmed Shawqi, rendered into English by Joe Bradford

1- The fox appeared in priestly garb,

with stride in step and hefty word

he cursed the shifty and began to pray.

2- Praise be to God, Goodwill to Man

O faithful atone your sins at hand,

And disavow avian desires lest ye stray.

3- Tell the Rooster to mount his perch, Read more

40 Hadith for Financial Success

When:

- Thursday, Jan. 29th @ 7pm
– Friday, Jan. 30th @ 7pm

Where:

Masjid al-Sabireen
610 Brand Lane,
Stafford, TX 77477

What:

What responsibilities do we have when earning? Is it wrong to earn and be wealthy? How should wealth affect our character? What plans should we make to invest and secure our family’s future? Scholars of Islam would regularly collect forty hadith on subjects pertinent to faith and practice. In this collection, we’ll present Prophetic answers to the previous questions. Other topics covered relate to debt, finance, spending, charity, and investment.

40hadith_poster_final_850

Is it OK for an Imam to have a salary?

Is it OK for an Imam to have a salary?

One of the more contentious issues to discuss these days is religious figures receiving any form of remuneration for their services, services that are focused on what are considered “religious services.” Religious services may be very broadly thought of as anything from teaching religion, issuing religious rulings (fatwa), leading prayers, conducting marriages, counseling, and other services. A common retort to any form of remuneration is that there is no precedent for paying for anything “religious” usually coupled with a quote from the hadith narrated by al-Tirmidhi that the Prophet said “Do not take a Mu’adhdhin who takes a reward for his adhan.”

This post will not delve into the contextualizing the above hadith and other related texts. Instead it will remedy the first claim, and that is “there is no precedent for remunerating religious employment.” To do this, I quote several authoritative works in each of the four schools, Read more

Solace – How To Offer Condolences

Another post resurrected from Islamic Law, Etc. with some added subtitles and editing.

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Solace

Every phonecall cuts like a knife.

When you’ve lost a loved one, the last thing you want to do is answer the phone or be around someone, but then again the one thing you want most is some normality, so you pick up the phone and open the door. Clarity of mind is something sought after, not something to be expected at this time. Some people call you not knowing, and wonder why or how you can be so despondent or stand-offish to them. Others would call and say with the sensitivity of a schizophrenic “Sorry for your loss, but hey you know what can I say…” Silence from some may be safe, but not sound in the hurting heart. There are though those that actually console, ask real questions, make dua, and most importantly let you know they are there for you. Not that they are in fact physically there, but the sentiment and the short visits are what counts.

Pain subsides in the cool words of condolences, Read more

Ten Tips for Muslims with Student Debt

mo_HGuest Post: Sh. Mohamed Hussein
Sh. Mohamed Hussein is a community leader in the greater DC metro area. 
A Hafiz of the Quran, he is also a graduate of the Islamic University of Medina in Hadith, George Mason University in Biology, and is a classically trained student of the Shafi’ school of Islamic law. Actively involved in youth outreach and community education, he currently serves as the youth director at Dar al Noor (MAV) in Manassas, Virginia. This article and the advice here hold a lot of weight due to Sh. Mohamed having both dealt with this issue personally and advised many of his siblings and peers on the subject matter.

 

Ten Tips for Muslims with Student Debt

As freshman commence their journeys, sophomores return for another year, juniors pray they can make it to senior year and seniors struggle with senioritis, it’s time for all of us to take a step back and learn so that gaining education doesn’t cost us the rest of our lives.

We must ask ourselves a few questions:

  • How do I avoid debt in general?
  • As a Muslim, how do you avoid incurring student loan debts?
  • Isn’t it too late? Shouldn’t I have been saving for the past 20 years?

These are all legitimate questions that we should genuinely be asking ourselves. For decades, Muslim students have been graduating and earning degrees from institutions of higher education and during this time they have witnessed the cost of education increase exponentially. Just speak to your parents. When they hear how much school is going to cost this upcoming year, they are baffled.

Read more