I. Ascend Out of the Darkness II. One Body

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I.  Ascend Out of the Darkness

                                                                                                          By Nabila Uddin

 

Open up the news and listen to the words flashing through the headlines—

bomb, Muslim, terrorist, oppressed, extremist, depressed

 

The fingers point unjustly at the singers of peace

The ones the cops halt at random stops of life

The ones living a life of simplicity and humility

 

She proudly parades her hijab and modest clothing as confident as ever

But they say she needs a spray of the twenty-first century

 

He walks down the street with his beard and lowered gaze

But they say he needs to change his ways

 

She must be depressed and he must be oppressing her

This is what the ignorant says—ask him for proof and he has none to offer

 

The whispers swarm the blameless like bees near a beehive

And they hurt real bad—emotionally, physically, physiologically—name it what you like

It’s all the same to us, we candidly confess

 

  We pray that you understand that Islam is not violent nor a silent hell

  But that Islam has already liberated the Muslims a long, long time ago

                                          We’re not in need of pity or sympathy, we simply say

                                     We’re as free as the beautiful birds soaring through the sky

 

Have you not smelled the attar of the perfume seller?

Have you not seen the blooming flowers of early spring?

 

The so-called shariah law that you see is not really shariah at all

Shariah calls for an end to injustice and indecency—not a law to prevent independence

 

The so-called jihad movement that you see is not really jihad at all

Jihad calls for an end to aggression and transgression—not a movement to prevent expression

 

The so-called Muslim states that you see are not really Muslim states at all

The true Muslim states used to promote fair treatment and religious freedom for all

But today, we just see the complete opposite

 

The so-called “religious” Muslims that you see are not really Muslims at all

The true Muslims are the ones that call for an end to terrorism and tyranny

They do not throw around bombs or commit suicide in the name of God

All of this nonsense stems from culture and misunderstanding, not from Islam

Muslims believe in one God, the Forgiving, the Most Merciful—not the “desert god”

Muslims pray five times a day to purify themselves from wrongdoings

Muslims pay zakat, an annual almsgiving to ensure the welfare of the poor

Muslims fast during the month of Ramadan to exercise self-control

Muslims perform Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to connect with their spiritual side

 

 Muhammad, our teacher taught us to speak the truth

To honor our promises, to abstain from bloodshed, to avoid false witness, and to never slander chaste women

 

For this reason, people have risen against us and have persecuted us

To bring an end to our contentment

But Muslims will never back down

We will never bow down to baseless foolishness

 

Oh people, ascend out of the darkness and open your eyes to the lies

That dominate your understanding of Muslims

We are not terrorists or extremists

We are people, simply human beings!

 

 

II. One Body

 

Have you ever seen the way a mother guards her children from harm?

The same way Muslims guard one another from repression and humiliation

  It may seem crazy and even bizarre to some

But it’s the fruits of true love

 

The Muslims are one body

If one organ complains, the rest of the body develops a fever

The Muslims are no less than brothers or sisters

Our relationship with one another is even stronger than blood

Our eyes continue to flood with tears as we watch the puppeteers corrupt world affairs 

 

As Syria bleeds with pain, Muslims await for their gain

As Egypt is confronted with no aid, Muslims refuse to let them fade

As the Rohingyas are met with constant sorrow, Muslims pledge to bring them a better tomorrow

As Gaza disappears, Muslims let go of their fears and wait for a near victory

 

We pledge allegiance to the flag of justice and to the republic for which it stands

Under one single God, united with liberty and integrity for all

 

 

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