Mashriq-o-maghrib

*

al Treilea sfetnic al lui

Iblis spune:

We have no reason to panic as long as

the spirit of imperialism is intact,

But, does anything match the mischief

of that shrewd Jew?

comentariu:

[referindu-se la Karl Marx, al treilea sfetnic se bucură că democrația nu este o amenințare pentru Imperiul lui Iblis; dar, este îngrijorat de ridicarea marxismului]

He is Moses (a) without the miracles and

Jesus (a) without the cross,

Though not a prophet,

he carries a book under his arm.

comentariu:

[aduce în discuție lucrarea Das Kapital a lui Karl Marx]

How can I explain the power of the

piercing vision of that infidel!

It is doomsday for the nations

of both the East and the West.

What will better manifest the

devastation of human nature?

The slaves have severed the ropes

of their masters’ tents.

comentariu:

[influențat de Karl Marx și filosofia lui, clasele muncitoare s-au revoltat împotriva stăpânilor tradiționali; al treilea sfetnic argumentează astfel că marxismul este cea mai mare provocare pentru Regimul Satanic]

al Patrulea sfetnic al lui

Iblis spune:

Look for its antidote in the palaces

of the great Roman empire.

We have revived the Caesar’s dream

in the progeny of Caesar.

comentariu:

[se referă la Benito Mussolini al Italiei și ideologia fascistă]

Who remains engulfed in the waves

of the Mediterranean?

‘At one moment, it grows like a giant pine and

at the next, it meekly wails like a rebab’.

comentariu:

[Rebab este un instrument asemănător cobzei]

al Treilea sfetnic al lui

Iblis spune:

I’m not satisfied with his farsightedness.

Who has so effectively exposed

the politics of Europe.

comentariu:

[al treilea sfetnic recunoaște puterea fascismului; această mișcare a dezvăluit antisemitismul ascuns în inimile și mințile așa-ziselor națiuni liberale europene. Ascensiunea rapidă a fascismului și vărsarea de sânge ce a urmat în Europa au demonstrat vulnerabilitatea tradițiilor liberale ale Occidentului; totuși, în același timp, el afirmă că nu este convins de capacitatea ideologiei lui Mussolini de a învinge marxismul pe termen lung]

*

Jawab-e-Shikwa

Allah’s Answer

Your prosperity

is as a community,

as is your decline,

your Prophet is one,

as is your religion and your faith.

The Ka’aba is one,

as is Allah and the Qur’an,

is it too much to ask

that the Muslims be one?

Here, you see factions

and there, you see castes.

In times like these,

is this the way of progress?

Who has abandoned

Our Prophet’s message?

The keeping of time

is the sum total of your days.

Whose eyes are filled

with foreign mores? Whose gaze

has turned away

from their forefathers’ ways?

Your hearts have lost passion;

your souls have no feeling.

What is left in you

of Muhammad’s teachings?

It is the poor

who make up the ranks at Our mosques.

It is the poor

who graciously bear the burden of fasts.

Only the poor

still praise Our Name.

It is they who stand

between Us and your shame.

Inebriated by your wealth,

you snub Us, but know this –

only the faith of the poor

keeps your fraternity breathing.

Your sermonizers

can no longer think clearly,

no more are minds ignited,

words no longer sear.

You only philosophize,

Ghazali stays unread.

The azan is called by rote,

without Bilal’s fervour.

Woe, the silent mosques,

devoid of the devout,

no longer filled with ranks

of the men of Hijaz.

The word is out –

the Muslims have all but gone.

We ask –

were they even there?

Your lifestyle ape the Nazarenes, your ways

are the ways of the Hindus,

Muslims like you

would put to shame the Jews.

You call yourselves

Sayyads and Mirzas and Afghans,

you call yourselves everything,

dare you call yourselves Musalman?

A Muslim’s speech

had forthrightness and truth,

his sense of justice

both unbiased and pure,

brave in adversity,

in personality, a colossus,

yet modest by nature.

Clear as tree sap.

self-effacement was his essence,

like the cup that empties

so that others may be filled.

With duty and submission,

twin jewels in his mirror,

like a razor slicing

through the veins of falsehood,

every Muslim relied

on the strength of his own arms.

While you fear death,

he only feared God, but

if a son learns nothing

from his father’s wisdom,

how can he stake a claim

to his father’s legacy?

Everyone is punch-drunk

with the wine of indulgence.

You call yourselves Muslim?

Are these your sacred ways?

You have not Ali’s spartan ideals,

nor Usman’s wealth. What then

is common between

your forebears and you? They,

who commanded respect

just for being Muslim; you,

who are spurned, have turned

away from the Qur’an?

They were kindness itself;

you squabble among yourselves;

they were all-forgiving; you,

no saints, find fault everywhere.

Everyone dreams extravagantly –

so you wish to scale the Pleiades,

but is there even one

born of you who can achieve this?

They sat on China’s throne,

all of Persia was theirs;

do you have that much in you,

or are you only so much hot air?

They lived with self-respect,

you have an appetite for destruction;

they would die for their brothers,

you would kill your own kin;

they lived by their deeds,

you blabber endlessly;

they had gardens to themselves,

while you scrounge for buds.

To this day the world

remembers their glory,

their deeds written deep

in the annals of time.

Your burst out the firmament

like shooting stars,

abandoned your nests,

took to the skies,

unscrupulous youth

you set your faith aside,

and like Brahmins

indulged in a passion for idols.

New times, new ways

freed you from every restraint,

out of the Ka’aba and into houses

of idolatry you went.

Quais may disdain

the desert’s solitude,

lose his taste for valley wine,

soak in city airs.

Crazy Quais, in and out

of passion’s embrace; why then

should Laila not lift her veil,

and show her face?

If there is no one to complain

against brutality, no one to take issue

against repression, and love is set free,

why then should modesty be restrained?

These are the days of lightning,

every haystack set aflame –

nothing, desert or garden,

is free from its bloom.

The old ways are only fuel

to this new fire, even

the Prophet’s all-embracing cloak

could be consumed.

Yet, if today

Abraham’s faith were to be reborn,

this very fire

could nourish a new garden.

O Gardener!

Do not be concerned

about its barrenness, its branches

will soon glisten with galaxies of buds.

The garden will soon

be rid of weeds, and blossom

with flowers hued

in martyrs’ blood.

Look! The eastern skies

are all singed with red,

isn’t this a presentiment

of the rising sun?

There are some in the garden

who reap what they sow,

others weep, for the harvest

has left nothing to show.

So many remain evergreen,

many are left threadbare,

so many wait beneath the earth

for their turn to grow.

Islam’s tree is one such,

tended with care,

its flourishing

the yield of years of nurture.

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