Ya Shaheed

I wrote the below words in dedication to my father (may God have mercy on his soul).  He passed away on August 11, 2019 due to cancer.

سبب نزول الآية ولا تحسبن الذين قتلوا

Ya Shaheed

Inna lillahi wa ina ilayhi la raji-oun.
To Allah (God) we belong and to him do we return.

O’ you who returned
your face glowed like the moon
as I kissed your forehead goodbye
I couldn’t speak, only weep

None I know suffered like you
nor loved his family like you
nor bore patience like you
nor forgave those who harmed him like you

May God guide me
to inherit your patience
and kindness

If I wasn’t stricken with grief
I would have also asked
you to pass on my greetings
to the deceased:
to my grandmothers
my grandfather
my aunt Maysara
my uncle Muwafa
to deceased friends
to the martyrs
and on my behalf
to kiss the hands of prophets

I would have also asked
that you never forget me and
one day be the first to greet me

for all your suffering
and great deeds
may you remain alive in your grave
cured, eternal
and embraced
and may God reward you as a martyr

May God have mercy on your soul, ya shaheed


Translation of “ya shaheed”: O’ martyr

الله يرحمك يا بابا و ينور قبرك و يجعل منزلتك منزل الشهداء و الصالحين
May Allah have mercy on your soul, Baba, and lighten your grave and have your status be that of the martyrs and the righteous.

There are five kinds of martyrs: One who dies of plague; one who dies of a disease of the stomach or intestines; one who drowns; one who is crushed in a collapsing building; and one who is martyred in the way of Allah.” – Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him)

Prophet Muhammad: “Whoever has three daughters whom he gives refuge to, provides for and shows mercy to, paradise is certainly guaranteed for him.
A man asked, “And (for) two, O Messenger of Allah?” He replied: “And also (for the one who has) two (daughters).”

I Choose To Believe

I Choose To Believe

I choose to believe.

I choose to believe despite your ideologies
despite your tyranny
despite your armies
despite your authority
despite your patriarchy
despite your genocides

I choose to believe because the One who created me had also created you
because the One who created me did not command tyranny
because the One who created me never made you a prophet
because the One who created me never deified you
because the One who created me never claimed to be you

you were never my creator
and you were never my god

we may appear to worship the same god
perhaps even share identities
but we were never the same

I belong to none
I worship none
my worship and actions belong only to God





my face is beauty’s reflection

my soul is a breath from God

my voice is a weapon

my heart is my guidance

my mind is my strength

my veil is a crown

my language is knowledge

my blood is sacred

know that my blood is no less sacred than yours

every last breath
every last cell
every drop of my blood
are holier than your laws
are holier than places of worship
are holier than your norms
are holier than scholars
they are holy simply because they exist

I am sacred because I exist

we are all sacred

just one part of me amounts to whole nations

 how you destroy so much sacredness!

Persecution of Prophets

“Persecution of Prophets”

why do
we only
speak of
the Israelites
as those
who murdered
their prophets?

we all descend
from nations
who murdered
their prophets

there was not
one prophet
sent that
did not
taste persecution

prophets were
sent to many nations

and after
the prophets
we continue
to persecute

just count
the graves
of revolutionaries
and truth-seekers,
had they
not tasted
the persecution
of prophets?

we speak
of persecution
as if we
are far
from it

yet we
ridicule and
persecute and
the activists
and the righteous
no less than
those who
persecuted the

-present-day humanity

Unholy Words


“Unholy Words”

we rise in
of unkind words
of unholy words
in the name
of God

are unkind words
merely unholy
when they
are spoken
by those
you label
as unworthy?

are unkind words
merely unholy
when such
words are
spoken about
your ethnicity?

do unholy words
merely become
sacred when
they are
spoken by
men of faith?

how can we
say ‘take no other gods’
yet we defend
words as zealously
and ferociously
as those
who defended idols
the idols of Mecca
the idols associated with God

-To non-black Muslims on anti-black racism

With or Without


A poem dedicated to women (womyn) worldwide who experience body policing, regardless what they choose to wear.

“With or Without”

I refuse
to conform
to your

the hijab
is neither
nor liberation

reduced to
a distraction

to distract
us from
the blood
we shed daily;
the blood
of the earth
and that
of our ancestors

what I wear
will not
pollute all
it touches

I wear
is not the
cause of
of nations

I wear
is not the
cause of

I wear
will never
be a
society’s salvation

and yet
all we can
argue is
what a woman
not for
the sake
of the woman
but for
the sake
of supremacy
and misogyny

women’s bodies
to rubbish laws
political debates

my body is
not your
to wage
your fears

I am not
a topic
a debate
a piece of flesh
to veil or unveil

I exist
or without
the hijab
for I am
to your




why speak
of past idolatry
when our
are men
who hide
behind privilege
or men
who hide
behind borders
or men
who hide
behind profit
or men
who wear
the face of God

are we
enlightened than
past idolaters?

for our idols
are men
who walk
among us,
they were not
born from
wood or stone.

if but
past idolaters
can see
our worship
can see
our denial

for our worship
of men
is far
more intense
far more
entrenched than
the worship
of idols
made from
wood or stone.