An Ode to the Christchurch Victims

it is ‘asr in summer and the streets

are brimming with crowds.

my heart finds refuge in a mosque

in east London. i slip into

my prayer garment and disappear 

into the prayer room, joining

a lady beside me who smiles

and asks if she could borrow 

my scarf. i say sure. i sit a little 

longer after prayer to take in 

the air of serenity. 

it is spring, and a gust of cold wind

sweeps my skin. i buy tickets 

for the 8am train. shuttle past cities

till it is zuhr in Busan and my feet 

leads me to a mosque. the looming 

minaret, a familiar edifice. 

a sign of peace. a lady 

welcomes me with a smile that 

reaches her eyes as she 

briefly looks up from her qur’an.

it is fajr in a sleepy corner in France.

freezing from the biting morning air,

desperate for shelter. tucked amidst 

a mess of shops is a door with a sign

scrawled in arabic letters. three knocks

and a brother opens with a ‘salaam’,

saving us from the chill, embracing 

travelers with open arms. 

it is maghrib going to isha’, in the city

that never sleeps. i pace my way

to the Haram, breathing in the gentle 

breeze. in this space, 

every colour, every nation

comes together. i am 

in complete calm. released.

it is friday prayers. March 15th. 

a trickle of congregation 

streaming in; disconnected,

disarmed, unguarded,

in a mosque

at ease. 

suddenly three shots. 

loud muffled sounds.

ambush.

come in-

bullets.

here-

anger.

listen-

terror.

please-

“hello, brother-“

two shots.

silence.

peace.

see, a thousand gunshots

cannot deafen the daily call 

to prayer. a massacre

cannot weaken the hearts

of an army of soldiers; brothers 

and sisters. this earth is our home. 

this earth is our mosque. these mosques 

are our home. when raided 

and destroyed, we rebuild

our foundation. we strengthen 

our scaffolds. we fortify our walls. 

we open our doors. standing in line

undefeated, we take the bullet 

for each other. but never, will we 

ever, take the gun to pull the trigger. 

for our religion teaches forgiveness.

submission. peace. so may peace 

be upon you. may peace forever be

with you. may an ocean of peace always flow 

within you and may light break through 

a crevice in your heart.

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “An Ode to the Christchurch Victims

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s