your love, from the streets, openly

by Aqeela Naqvi

for Shi’as in too many parts of the world, any type of public gathering is a risk. whether in mourning or in happiness, the constant threat of murder is employed in an effort to silence the remembrance of Prophet Muhammad and his family.

in an effort to erase the most beautiful piece of human history.

tactics of terror are put in place in the hopes that those who know and love these individuals will not only shy away from spreading stories of their message or speaking about their legacy… but will also hesitate, even when naming their children – knowing that a name that would reveal the depth of their love and affinity for the Prophet’s family might one day result in the stopping of a bus, a random ID check, and – for the namesakes of the Ahlulbayt – death before a firing squad.

manipulation and fear are utilized in the desperate hope that others might be kept from learning about the true representatives of the Divine on earth, mirrors of the Source of all perfection, figures who remind humanity of its unfathomable, yet strategically kept dormant, potential.

men and women: so kind, so gentle, so gracious in their regard for the sick, the needy, the widows, the orphans – and so bold, so daring, so courageous in their stands taken against tyrants and oppressors; so firm in their faith in One God and so unshakeable in their convictions in His message… that Muslim or not, religious or not, none who truly came to know them could help but to wonder at them.

such that in their lifetimes and after their deaths, there did not exist a single friend who did not love them, nor a single enemy who did not, at the very least, respect them.

how hard have the gravediggers of history toiled for these names to be forgotten? how long have the artisans of this grand façade plotted their schemes so the masses might remain distracted? might be kept from realizing exactly what greatness they have the capacity to be?

but as the centuries stand witness: has it ever been that torture, imprisonment, poison, beheadings, bombings, the very cutting of the tongues – was ever enough to prevent these lovers from continuing to sing out their praise?

has it ever been that killing us was ever enough?

has it ever been, that filling the streets with our blood was ever enough?

for from the lapping rivers of red,
did they not continue to hear,
crying out this refrain:

none but Muhammad, none but Ali,
none but Fatima, Hassan, Hussain…

oh my beloved,
beloved,
ahlulbayt

cowards,
would have us 
only admit to
your love
secretly—

warriors,
we will
shout it
from the streets
openly.

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