The Father of Dust [0]

Concealed under the dust that rare treasure
True his knighting as “The Father of Dust” became [1]

It is, that never had any restful sleep in this world
Afar the eyes and the sleep, afar the eyes and the comfort

He yearned for dying, though was not the Lord of death
Enemies, gravediggers found no armor except his body’s veil [2]

Without Its Edict no one enters the universe or departs [3]
Against this Being who can ever stop the passage of time

Even if the sun-disk borrowed underneath the ground
Behold! It shall arise again in orbit at the next dawn! [4]

Likeness of Ahmad the sun and his brothers the stars [5]
Enemies of stars deserve only stones and the rocks

[0] This poem is adaptation from Wesaal Shrazi’s Eulogies for Ahlel-Bayt or the household members of the Prophet MohammadPBUH. This poem was written about 300 years ago in Shiraz Iran. This poem was written as belated eulogy for the assassination of the Imam Ali the cousin of the Prophet. I have adapted this for the African AIDS victim who got no honorable burial or eulogies. I am sure that Commander of the Believers Imam Ali if he was alive would have commissioned me to write for these innocent silent people.

[1] The nickname “The Father of Dust” in Arabic Abu-Torab was given to Imam Ali, the subject of this poem. Stories tell that he was sleeping under a palm tree dusted up and Prophet jokingly called him that nickname. I am not sure about the origin. I thought it is a nice nickname for African AIDS victims who are sprawling in dust suffering from HIV affliction.

[2]  “Body’s veil” means, between the man and his enemies and later the gravediggers there was no armor except his body like a Hijab (veil) i.e. something thin and ineffective, indication of innocence.

[3] ‘It’ is the Creator.

[4] We think our loved ones dying are buried and gone, Wesaal narrates that like the sun-disk borrowed at dusk into the earth, like a body placed underneath the ground, at the next dawn or the afterlife shall resurrect again bright and ever-lustrous. Only the foolish think that these beautiful people dying from AIDS are forgotten by Allah. They are only forgotten by the wealthy in their comfortable homes, cushy jobs and arrogant amnesia, but the Creator shall raise them from their graves like suns arising at the dawn.

[5] ‘Ahmad’ is another name for the Prophet MohammadPUH which both are extracted from the root ‘Hamd’ meaning praiseworthy. People found the prophet crying in a graveyard. They asked him whom he is crying for? He replied “For my brothers”. People around him (companions) said but aren’t we your brothers, he replied, “My brothers are those who follow me though had never seen me”. In the original poem it was the word companions but I switched it to brothers since the AIDS victims did not see the Prophet.

© 2003-2002,  By Dara Shayda