AhlulBayt News Agency

source : ABNA
Friday

2 September 2022

2:23:24 PM
1302672

Elected of Tehran International Festival of Ritual Poetry in English:

Many people in West want to express their feelings towards Imam Hussain (a.s.) in English poetry

Miss Nihal Valji, a poet living in London, in a conversation with the Ahl al-Bayt news agency, said that today, the British Shia artistic community tries to express its love for Imam Hussain (a.s.) through poetry. She said: There are many poets who regularly write poems in English for Imam Hussain (a.s.) and describing the incident of Ashura, and this community of poets is growing and increasing.

AhlulBayt News Agency: Miss Nihal Valji, a poet living in London, in a conversation with the Ahl al-Bayt news agency, said that today, the British Shia artistic community tries to express its love for Imam Hussain (a.s.) through poetry. She said: There are many poets who regularly write poems in English for Imam Hussain (a.s.) and describing the incident of Ashura, and this community of poets is growing and increasing.

Miss Valji, whose poem titled Karbala today was chosen as the selected poem of the International Festival of Religious Poetry in Tehran, considered writing poems in English (instead of translating Persian and Arabic poems) to be a necessity and said: In Western countries, due to the distance that Caught between Shiites and their mother tongues, many people want to express their feelings towards Imam Hussain (peace be upon him) through poetry and in English.

Expressing his satisfaction with the opportunity that was given to him at the 7th General Assembly of the AhlulBayt World Assembly to read his poetry, he said: providing such opportunities can help the growth of English ritual poetry.

The text of the poem read by Miss Nihal Valji in English at the 7th General Assembly of the AhlulBayt World Assembly is as follow:

Karbala Today

Eyes glistening, blood-shot and sore

Heart-broken, soft and forlorn

Chest beaten, red and raw

Feet, heavy, as I walk to the door.

I stop; take in my surroundings once more

Candles flickering, black drapes on the walls

Dimmed lights, banners, flags galore,

Ambience sombre, gathered to mourn.

Enraptured, relentless, like moth to a flame, drawn

Every Ashura, the grief is reborn

Every Ashura, we lament until dawn

Weeping, wailing, in sorrow adorned.

We gather to remember, to grieve, to pray

The dark night consecrated by the lover's wail

Rushing to the mosques like swarms of bees

Drawn to the sweet sacrifice of Hussain’s legacy

Never tired of the pain, internally we burn

As we remember, for our Master we yearn.


Fellow mourners bid me farewell and I sigh and shut my car door,

But, something simmers inside, my soul screams for more

Shrouded in sadness – is this all it’s about?

Ceremonial ardour – I may be devout

But achieving his mission? Am I held to account?

Or do I limit my perception, unable to transcend, to surmount?


Another year, another Moharram has passed us by

I shout “Labbayk ya Hussain!”, but heeding his call – how hard do I try?

Am I just in love with Hussain’s name on my tongue?

Content with traditions to which I’ve so tightly clung

Not delving deeper into his sacrifice for me:

For the continuity of Islam, he stood against Yazid’s army.

Hussain taught patience, steadfastness and virtue

Never bow to oppression but to your faith stand true

Famished gaunt children – Yemen – we’ve seen on the news

Occupied Palestine, settlements, the Zionist ruse

Saudi, Bahrain, Pakistan – violence on the rise

Our brethren are suffering, for their love they’re chastised

Hussain’s call for help is being echoed today

Silent, resonant, unanswered, we have yet to obey

How many Abbas’s will charge to their death

Unwavering, selfless, right until their last breath

His love for his brother caused him to abstain

Thirst unquenched, refusing to drink before Hussain

How many Zaynabs who symbolize strength and nobility

Eloquent, defiant, yet leading with humility

Endowed with steadfastness and fortitude

Seeing beauty in Allah’s will, filled with gratitude


Still, how many times my salah do I disfavour?

The arrows rained down yet his companions did not waver

Instilling the importance of salah but I continue to delay

Captive to worldly endeavours, how long will I stumble this way

Prioritizing the dunya, to my living Imam’s dismay

Yet year upon year, I commemorate

Walking miles to those blessed domes we gravitate

But maybe it’s time that I start to look within

Allow my soul its revolution to begin

His inspiration dormant as I submit to my whims


At last, let the lantern of his guidance set me free

From the shackles of my negligence as I embark on this new journey

To embody the action, mind and spirit of a true Hussaini


I pray for guidance and resilience to stand firm to my pledge

Of allegiance to my Master, for whom so long I have alleged

Love and devotion that now must translate to action

Not be misled by false altruism and benefaction

May I never again utter “Labbayk ya Hussain” lightly

Over the centuries, his example has shone brightly

Woe upon me, my eyes were averted,

A creature of habit, around my duties I skirted

May my love truly soar to the heights he deserves

For his cause, may I strive to lovingly serve

For generations to come, his principles may we preserve,

May I finally embark on the ark of Hussain’s salvation

Using his teachings as my compass to my final destination.

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