When My Beloved was Called Amir!

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Amongst the countless tears I shed
Days and nights, bowing, my head

On the family of the pure
And the pain they had to endure

Most of those tears are shed in grief
In the graveyard of my handkerchief

But some tears are also shed in bliss
With their joy, discomfort they dismiss

The most joyous of those tears was shed
When raised was the arm of Ahmed !

The most fragrant tear is called ghadeer
When my beloved was called Amir !

When The Prophet, waited for people to gather
And raising Ali’s arm, his one and true Brother !

When both arms were raised, together in the skies
Believers witnessed with their own naked eyes

Man Kunto Mawla was said outloud!
The King chose his prince, in front of the crowd!

‘To whome I am a Master, his Master is Haider!’
‘The Father of Hasnain, The conqueror of Khayber !’

The only one worthy of my daughter’s perfection
Zahra’s only equal in every dimension

He is the father of Hassan whose face is shining
Whose smile is brighter than diamond sparkling

 He is the Father of Hussain whose faith is iron
Who stood up against tyrant, like roaring lion

He Is the Father of Abbas, The king of loyalty
He is the Father Zainab, the Queen of majesty

‘I delivered the message, upon which my fate was tied
Had i not succeeded, my risalah would have died’

‘I am leaving amongst you two tapestries of light
They will enlighten your existence, in the darkest of night

The Quran and my family, are both like a radiant flower
Visit their gardens, and  let the blessings shower !

Amongst the countless tears I shed
Day and nights, bowing, my head

The most joyous  of the tears I shed
When raised was the arm of Ahmed !

The most fragrant tear is called ghadeer
When my beloved was called Amir !

I read Rilke, I thought Rumi.

In my mind, I have often defined and sometimes reduced mystical poetry in its more lyrical form to sufi poems from the likes of Rumi, Hafez, Emre, Iqbal, and so on. Yet, after broadening the horizons of my literary readings, I realized that themes that were introduced, developped or expended in sufi poetry are very much universal, and are often shared by other faiths, and hence, by non muslim/sufi poets. If I had to choose a book that would best represent this similiraty between mystical poems written by non-sufi poets, I would definately choose ‘The Book of hours’ by Rainer Maria Rilke. And If I had just one poems to pick out of this book, it would be : ‘I Am Much Too Alone in This World, Yet Not Alone’ (shared below).

“I am too alone in the world, and yet not alone enough
to make every moment holy.
I am too tiny in this world, and not tiny enough
just to lie before you like a thing,
shrewd and secretive.
I want my own will, and I want simply to be with my will,
as it goes toward action;
and in those quiet, sometimes hardly moving times,
when something is coming near,
I want to be with those who know secret things
or else alone.
I want to be a mirror for your whole body,
and I never want to be blind, or to be too old
to hold up your heavy and swaying picture.
I want to unfold.
I don’t want to stay folded anywhere,
because where I am folded, there I am a lie.
and I want my grasp of things to be
true before you. I want to describe myself
like a painting that I looked at
closely for a long time,
like a saying that I finally understood,
like the pitcher I use every day,
like the face of my mother,
like a ship
that carried me
through the wildest storm of all.”

If I didnt know who had written this poem, I would have thought it to be a Coleman Barks translation of Rumi in english.

What Hussain means to me.

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When they asked, what Hussain meant to me,
I blinked, and closed my eyes a little longer
While getting accustomed to the darkness of the unknown
I opened them again and experienced certainty.

This. This is what Hussain means to me. The innate movement
Of my eyelids, whose blinking, became the heartbeat of my sight

For the love of Hussain is the only sun
Whose depth blinds me by its light
As much as its edges enlighten me with their rays

When they asked, what Hussain meant to me,
I lit a candle and sat next to it. I swaddled its flame
By enfolding it with my hands, and kept swaying
My fingers between gentle warmth and burning heat.

This. This is what Hussain means to me. The constant swaying
Of my hands, oscillating between Fire and light

For the love of Hussain is the only one
Whose sparkle sets the candle of my life alight as much as
Its fire consumes the finite thread of my existence

When they asked, what Hussain meant to me,
I lifted a reed stick and made it drink from the ocean of love
I then let it bleed on the petals of a dying rose
Whose colors came and left, without it blossoming

This. This is what Hussain means to me. The ink
Whose fragrance instils life to forever fading souls.

For the love of Hussain is the only one
Whose life itself is the melodious meaning of spring
As much as its sacrifice is the soothing silence of fall

When they asked, what Hussain meant to me
I made a jar with my hands and filled them with tears.
As some of them evaporated towards moving clouds and skies,
Some slipped through my fingers and became pillars on the ground.

This. This is what Hussain means to me. ‘The lightest of tears
Whose weight leave footsteps on the Ground they fall’

For the tears shed in the name of Hussain are the only ones
Whose utmost sincerity elevates one towards the seven skies
As much as they ground one’s faith with firmness on this earth.

This is what Hussain means to me.
This is what his love has done to me.

Film Review: ‘Muhammad, The Messenger of God’.

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Dazed. Overwhelmed. Amazed. These are all words I have read often in books but rarely used in my day-to-day life, and even more rarely in my writings. With time, I have become very sensitive and critical when analyzing experiences with high emotional content that trigger wonderment and fascination, as some of those experiences are solely based on feelings, while carrying very little reasoning and logic. Only once in a while do I find a rare gem, whose radiating shine manages to enlighten both my mind and heart in a compatible manner. Yesterday, after years of digging around in caves of religiously inspired artistic creativity, I found a rare diamond. A masterpiece of its own. A journey of the senses.

I could sense the excitement. Everyone was smiling and their hand gestures and body language were all giving away glimpses of their eagerness to meet their beloved Prophet. Prior to the screening, Majid Majidi was invited to give a small speech. Right after his polite salutations, the movie began. I thought reaching Montreal had brought my summer traveling to an end. But I soon realized that Majid Majidi had other plans for me. As soon as the movie started, I found my mind and soul silently leaving me and flying towards the Arabian Peninsula, in order to experience the light of the Prophet.

I am hesitant to reveal too much about the movie itself, as I am sure many readers reading this review are just as eager as I was to discover this epic movie on their own. Keeping in mind the fact that I also wouldn’t have necessarily liked reading a review divulging too much about the content, the twists and the plot of this movie, I will focus on the general impression that I got after watching the movie so that this review does not become a spoiler.

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The first thing you need to know about this movie is that it’s actually not a ‘typical’ movie. It is a unique sensory experience. Visually, auditorily, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. It is a journey in every sense of the word. This movie takes you in Majidi’s sleep where you end up sharing the colourful dream he is having about what the Prophet’s mercy means to him.

I don’t know whether it is my personality or my love for poetry and arts that have biased and channeled the way I perceived this film, but not once during the entire screening did I feel  that I was watching a movie per se. I felt as If I was sitting in a room, and someone was whispering a poem in my ears. It was as if I was walking in the desert and listening to the blowing wind carrying the fragrance of The Messenger’s mercy. I literally felt as if I was standing still over a mountain and appreciating the beauty of a valley symbolizing the Prophet’s beauty with an angel singing his praises whilst all other creations joined and chanted the one name unison: Muhammad! Ya Nabi! Ya Rasul! Ya Muhammad!

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While reading the very lyrical way in which I am referring to this movie, I am sure you might have understood that it’s very difficult for a follower of the Prophet and his family to be truly impartial about this movie. I am actually conscious of the fact that this review cannot possibly be objective. And how could it be? How can I expect myself to be impartial while hearing the one name that has continuously and constantly been the ultimate source of peace and salvation in my life? The personality, life and existence of the Prophet are so interweaved with my own that it would have been unreasonable for me to experience this movie without engaging and unleashing oceans of love that this man has filled my heart with.

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Interestingly, I wasn’t the only one who thought this movie invited the observer to enter a greater realm of artistic expression. This movie felt like a poem to me, but a friend came up to me and told me how he felt the movie was a beautiful painting in which every scene was a perfectly executed brush stroke filling the canvas of our imagination with colours of sincerity, spirituality and love.

Like any other movie, I am sure not everyone would have enjoyed it as much as I did, especially those expecting the movie to have been shot along the lines of ‘The Message’, which is a great movie for Muslims and non-Muslims alike who want to grasp the political and historical aspects of the Prophet’s life. I am sure some of the more pragmatic people seated in the cinema would have argued that, had they been given 40 million dollars to invest on a movie to be screened worldwide, they would have made sure to have a more informative movie at the expense of its artistic quotient. They would have preferred a movie showing events that have shaped the Prophet’s life and triggered the rise of Islam. In other words, a movie that would have generated more awareness than admiration in peoples mind, especially amongst non-Muslims viewers.

Although I understand this reasoning, I don’t hold that position, mainly because I don’t think it was the goal Majid Majidi had set for himself. I don’t think the idea behind this movie was to remake ‘The Message’ using better technology and marketing it for a greater audience. The philosophy behind Majidi’s ‘Muhammad’ was to take the observer’s hand and make him travel into the very core of the Prophet’s spirituality and realize what a beacon of light he had become for the people who had encountered him. And even though, this depiction is not the best way to properly inform a naïve and non-Muslim observer about the position of the Prophet in his time and the legacy he left behind, this movie will clearly succeed in making any viewer understand the god given, spiritual and mystical personality of the Prophet, which literally attracted people towards him. The taste that the movie leaves in everyone’s mind is that this personality was truly a blessing for the entire humanity.

This movie will certainly come as source of peace and tranquility for the Muslim Ummah and it will hopefully ‘soften’ the image depicted by the Western media about the Prophet being an aggressive and sometimes unkind person. Walking back home, a befitting couplet from one of my favorite ‘Manqabat’ by Agha Sarosh came to my mind. A couplet which depicts perfectly the source of mercy The Prophet has always been in my life:


Ek din jalti dhoop me jab cherdi naat e Rasool

Under a scorching sun, when I whispered praises of the Prophet

Rahmatoun ki har taraf aissi ghata chayi ke bas!

Winds of blessings started blowing, in a way that I had not seen before!


My last thoughts are directed towards Majid Majidi and his team who dedicated 7 years of their life for this herculean task, and have blessed us with this beautiful masterpiece. I sincerely encourage every one reading this review to watch the movie if they get the opportunity to. If you want to experience what it feels like to travel while remaining still, to fly while keeping your hands tied, or to dream having your eyes wide open, this movie is for you.

(Click here to watch the trailer in full HD)