2019 – Age 15-18 Years: Runner Up
Irfan Kanji (Age 15)
Theme – Who am I?
Judges’ comments: The poet writes a series of stanzas, using rhymes and half-rhymes very well in order to plead with Allah for forgiveness. A poem that has been crafted with care and a thoughtfulness that is sustained throughout.
A Sinner’s Humble Call to his Master
Ya Allah, without your aid we would fall,
You are Al-Aleem whose knowledge is beyond and above all.
I am calling to the being by whom we do dhikr every day
Yet turn away after we pray.
Our souls so wretched
So accept our plead for forgiveness.
We are but ants among billions
Who call to you in health and in sickness.
After repentance everyday
Straying from your path we choose.
Such are merely words that fly off our lips
Yet you are Ar-Rahman and to us you excuse.
Oh An-Noor! You bring the dark out into the light
But a blind eye we turn in spite.
Obey our desires we do instead
For us to regret once we are dead.
I beg of you: help me find my true identity
Like, mentioned in the Qur’an, the holy entities.
How do we transcend above the angels
Whilst we are continuously at fault in our daily exchanges?
Thousands of representatives on earth you have sent
Who, through the years, have come by and went.
Lessons we have extracted from their stories
Although our ignorance have made them mere history.
Oh As-Saboor, we are just insignificant slaves
Yet you treat us as if we are kings.
Our souls are tied in chains,
On our hands expensive rings.
The fruits of the Duniya fly our lives like paper kites,
Never used for the sake of our souls to enlight.
Charity is that deed that sits heavily like boulders
And places a great burden upon our shoulders.
So attached to this Duniya we stand;
Oblivious to the Akhira and your command.
Our minds bombarded with ideas so materialistic
When, in reality, our goals should be futuristic.
Such pessimistic thoughts peck at my brain
When hopeful I should be in the one who showers us with rain.
The worst of sin, to you, is despair,
When your signs, so apparent, should be so clear.
Closer to me than my jugular vein,
Though dismissing your orders, I don’t abstain.
My Taqwa is on a level far beneath the earth’s surface,
And never do I come to another man’s service.
With spools of suffering set in the east,
Hundreds of agonies on the news to which I feast,
Lifting a finger in response, I don’t even dare.
I earn my living and feel: why should I care?
Hadith al-Thaqlain famously proclaims:
Left behind are the Quran and the Holy Imams.
Such weighty things so weightless to me:
A man trapped by this world, hopelessly fighting to be free.
On my shelf, the Qur’an comfortably lays,
Waiting patiently for dust to collect and stay
Upon it, but on the Day of Qiyamah it will eventually call,
“This man deserves hell once and for all!”
I am shrouded in that darkness so powerful
That to the warmth of the sunlight I am no longer accessible.
On all fours, I prostrate to you, plead and pray:
Forgive my deeds and, from sin, help me turn away!