Here’s a collection of poems submitted by MVSLIM’s writer’s network with the theme Ramadan Memories in mind. We hope they make you feel as warm and comforted as they made us feel.
* * *
We Finally Meet Again
By Zamilooni | IG: @zamilooni__
‘Ramadan, thank you for your return, we finally meet again.
I greet you with a broken heart, and a grieving soul yet no one knows of this.
My affairs and my troubles I have kept private, truthfully, I have saved them to share with you.
Because every year you have saved me from my weaknesses, and you have shown me my true potential.
It is an honour to be greeted by you once again, my eyes soften and my heart trembles to know that you have once accompanied my Prophet Muhammed (SAW).
Ramadan, thank you for your return.’
By Nasima Khatun | IG: @nxsima
‘the words linger on your tongue
but your mind can’t make sense of what you wish to utter
your hands start to quiver
as you stare up at the heavens
and just like you
they open up and cry’
Ramadan as a Memory Bank
By Nihal Mubarak | IG: @nihal_writes
‘My mother recalls the Ramadans of her childhood
when she’d wake up in the middle of the night
to her father’s gentle call, a bowl of rice pudding
sitting on the window ledge, still steaming. She smiles
as she reminisces, and I marvel at the simplicity,
at this easy act of bonding. I picture my mother
sitting up in bed, sleepy-eyed and content,
reaching for the food my grandmother prepared
I compare the Ramadans I know to my mother’s past—
I think of hurried sips of water and cereal left in bowls,
uneaten. I think of the soundtrack of my father’s
frenzied warnings to stop eating, of the breakfast
table littered with date seeds and the ring stains
left from my parents’ cups of tea. I think of wiping
the sleep from my eyes and Baba leading us in prayer,
of making tasbeeh while the sky welcomed the sun
Ramadan was a house filled with chaos:
slamming doors and exclamations of protest,
my siblings and I groaning we weren’t hungry
and Mama coming back to our rooms, anyway,
determined to feed us. She made a pot of rice
pudding at night and left bowls of it in the fridge to cool
I liked to scrape the burnt edges of the pot with a spoon,
chasing sweetness. No one ate the rice pudding
except for my mother, and I wonder if she made it
because she craved the taste or because she longed for her father.
The house I live in now is quiet, the time for suhoor
uneventful. I wake up on my own with plenty of time
to finish the cereal in my bowl. I pray in the dark corner
of my room, reciting the verses Baba loved and sitting
on the prayer rug for long moments afterward
so I can track the sunlight through the blinds
In that moment, when the sun has risen and the world is still,
everything seems the same.’
Thicker than Blood
By Amrin Khalil | IG: @inaarapoetry
‘We wake, greeted by a moon, halfway out the door.
Her gift to us is the palm of Patience and being held by it
Mercy and all her open arms
Time and everything it multiplies
A forgiveness- on sale
A bounty- limitless- that calls us by our name.
All that our shoulders have carried lose meaning, lose weight.
Our faith so heavy, we can’t help but prostrate.
Our faith so easy, we can’t help but celebrate.
Devils outside- locked.
Devils inside- choked.
A discipline we never had the courage to say hello to
Now, our passenger.
The world continues to play the chaos game
But the believers step out, together.
That time of the year
When everyone you’re praying for
Is probably praying for you.
Disconnected from the world
But connected to Allah
And the rest of the Ummah.
A brotherhood formed by “la ilaha ilallah”
Differences abandoned outside Masjids and prayer rooms.
Bridges built between brothers.
We stand nights, side by side.
We may not know who they are
Or what language they speak
Yet an unrehearesed coordination from that starting takbeer.
Yet a tearfilled understanding between every ameen.
Salams and smiles say everything we want to mean.
And amidst the fresh hot samosas
And ice cold rooh afzas
I hope we remember to say
“Ya Rabb, Bless the hands that made them.”
Not just the hands in our own kicthens but also
The hands of the aunty across the street who sent you a heavy Tupperware.
The hands of a friend’s mother that time when you couldn’t go back home from uni.
The hands of the uncle who sells dates outside the masjid, even on the hot days.
he hands from the community center that held the iftar party.
Is there a greater symbolization for community than a tired and starving hand that feeds a mouth that is not its own because it makes the heart so full?
And I hope we remember to pray for the stomachs our hands could not feed.
Sometimes you may feel alone
“Not even water?”
Judgements may flood.
Child of Adam, my brother
Faith is thicker than blood.’
The Smoke, inspired by Surah Ad-Dukhan, 44th chapter
By Karim Leo | IG: @karimleopoetry
‘In bed with a sea of thoughts, during the waiting hours of the night. My direct finger trembling, the thought of Allah/ My mouth turns into a dying rainforest/ I watch my own heart get ripped out with shock, beauty & laughter. The fear of wanting more from life, within a small vicinity. I go downstairs and plunge into samosas, plantain, dates, strawberries refreshing salads, & beverages for iftar. Ya Allah forgive me, for the shadow, the smoke, & the scream, I have become.’
By Sarah Nizam | IG: @_.chaotic_academia._
‘The alarm rings loud deep into the night,
Despite the odd hour the house chimes to life,
Zayn brushes his teeth, Saima’s yawns slip away,
Suhoor is the most radiant part of their day.
During Fajr they raise their hands to the skies above,
Asking the Almighty for his mercy and love,
They fall asleep among duas and dreams sweet,
The prologue to a bustling day they will soon rise to meet.
During Zuhr they close their eyes, open their hearts, and pray,
For a better life, for a fruitful year, for a productive day,
The lunch hour goes by, biting is the heat,
But the Almighty’s love is more fulfilling a treat.
During Asr their heads are bowed, the hands spread again,
Asking for protection against thoughts dark and habits vain,
The lips that read Quran are now parched and dry,
But the Almighty’s mercy falls like raindrops from the sky.
The sun begins to set, bringing an end to their wait,
Zayn is good with lemonade, Saima brings out the dates,
The hearts sore with gratitude, happiness and peace,
As the first bite of the day reaches their lips.
In Maghrib their eyes shine, their lips sing praises,
Thanking Him for His mercy, righteousness and graces,
Contented is the body and satisfied is the soul,
Under His care they find themselves becoming whole.
In Isha and Taraweeh friends and neighbours unite,
The benevolence of Allah a shining beacon of light,
The hopeful duas and noble ayahs ring late into the night,
The minds purified, hearts cleansed and souls set right.
Until the alarm rings again deep into the night,
And despite the odd hour, the house chimes to life.’