Posts tagged “najaf

whispered lessons from the dust of Najaf

Posted on August 24, 2016

is there any heartache for which i can lay out my heart that you do not already know, my Lord? is there any grief for which i can weep that you do not already know, my Lord? is there any separation wrought wound for which i can cry out in pain that you do not already know, my Lord?   (so then, how can any of these remain, when i know that you know, O Lord?)

the clock is chiming

Posted on July 17, 2016

the clock is chiming, marking the hour of separation and i am caught in a slow moving apart, a heavy gaze, a drinking in with the thirst of one dying the angles of your face, the wrinkles of your eyes, holding your cloth, breathing in the remnants of scent of the only person i have ever loved. the clock is chiming, marking the hour of separation and i am backing away, each footstep the crushing weight of mountains. “with each of my first steps, i was closer, now closer, now the closest to you in this world that i had ever been… and with my final ones, i am now farther, farther, farther from you than i wish to ever be…” the clock is…

the dust of the king

Posted on June 26, 2016

21 ramadhan 1436 | najaf, iraq it is shortly after Fajr prayers, the early morning of the day you were killed. i am standing, leaning against blue tiles in an archway of your haram, head resting against cool marble, tears falling like drops of burning oil upon my skin. glancing across the courtyard, it is impossible to see the crimson tide of carpets beneath the sea of lovers dressed in black – one person inseparable from the other as they move in unison, the steady ripple of inky waves in the blackness of a desert night. ‘haydar… haydar…’ the rhythm of hands echoes to the words of an Arab lamentation. like the steady beat of drums, each hand falls upon the chest – like the strike…

the tenderness of your name

Posted on June 24, 2016

“why is it that words like these seem dull and cold? is it because there is no word tender enough to be your name?” Asadullah. Haydar. Ali.   what i am most grateful to my parents for – after Allah the Most Merciful, and Muhammad the mercy to mankind, for teaching me the name: Ali ibn Abi Talib. for mixing wilayat with my flesh and blood. i remember being embraced by the warm winds of Najaf, this prayer for them leaping from my chest – thank you, for being my first teachers of this love. thank you, because without wilayat – without the gate of Ali – how would  i have reached the city of Muhammad? without the city of Muhammad, how would i…

be with me

Posted on November 14, 2015

“Be with me always—take any form…only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! Oh, God! it is unutterable! I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul!”   i am caught in the snares of your love i am drowning in the oceans of your memory i am gasping for breath on cliffs in the depths of a winter’s night screaming out your name   i am fumbling with the wreckage of my heart, sinews and veins trailing between my fingers my bruised knees slipping on rivers of tears and blood   please, do not leave me in the care of my self (12:53) do not abandon me to the wolves that howl inside hungering to tear me apart   do not desert me now, in my hour…

would that i were with you

Posted on November 1, 2015

there is a certain emptiness of the heart that is only filled by standing at the gate to your harram, ya Ali. would that i were of the lucky ones who are standing there now – stepping forward with heavy, yearning steps; hands on their aching, restless hearts; heads lowered in salute to you; eyes transfixed on one point: the door that leads to you. would that i was not where i am, but rather thousands of miles across desert and sea. entering your vicinity, feeling the warm winds of Najaf whip gently across my skin. would that i were holding firm to the door to your courtyard, kissing its solid wood, trailing my fingers across each wall (for to lovers, even walls and…