Assalaamualaikum Brothers and Sisters!
First of all I am grateful for the invitation to contribute here on Grande Strategy, primarily with some of my poems, presently I am planning to post about one a week - we will see how it goes. Should you like my writings, you are of course very welcome to visit my website and read them all at your own pace - but I must tell you there are a lot of them now.
I do not write for my personal glorification and, whether you like what I have to say or not, I shall continue to do my best for the Ummah, pursuing my own personal Jihad (see poem no 25 This Is My Jihad).
There is a variety of subjects and there should be something for everybody except Zionists, neo-Cons and neo-Crusaders, although in truth they would do well to read them too!
I wrote the first 2 poems in 2005, nothing at all in 2006, expecting or maybe hoping that my 500-line The AXIS of EVIL would be a one-off effort, the first and the last - but NO! All the rest have been written since January 2007 and currently there are 128 poems totalling over 18,000 lines...
I officially became a Muslim in mid-November 2006 and wonder if there is a direct connection between that and my new-found creativity?
I shall probably never know.
What matters is that I am able to write and there seems to be no slowing down - al-hamdu-lillah.
Everything I write is in UK English.
You are invited to also read the new POEMS USER GUIDE, you will find it at the top of the page, clearly marked NEW (see also links below).
For my first post I thought it would be appropriate to introduce myself, so I have chosen poem no 32 My Journey to Islam.
My Journey to Islam
- finally on the straight path
Written mid August 2007 - (163 lines)
فمن يرد الله ان يهديه يشرح صدره للاسلام
If God intends to guide a man, He opens his bosom to Islam
My journey to Islam has indeed been long
But my boots are good and my legs are strong
My backpack has known both light and heavy loads
And wandering along all kinds of roads
Few were the places where I did not roam
At last I feel I have found the way home
It took a long time and I regret being late
But the once crooked path now appears to be straight
My starting point naturally can be found
In my fairly normal Scandinavian background
Although born in Copenhagen I grew up on a farm
In a small village and remember the charm
Spending much of my childhood playing in the woods
With my brothers - either Indians or little Robin Hoods
With secular parents and as an ethnic Dane
There was no encouragement to fill my brain
With religious matters, all that was to come
Much later but, looking back, I do see some
Signs of at least a beginning interest
In subjects which could probably best
Be generally labelled as spiritual
I tried briefly to embrace the usual
Silly things that young people tend to do
But felt not only awkward but out of place too
So was never fully accepted by the group
And instinctively avoided the endless loop
Of parties and alcohol and went against the flow
By failing the drugs-test: I always said NO!
That was not as easy as it may sound
But I did say NO and with that I found
A sense of pride and independence of mind
Whilst realising that I was of a different kind
I was drawn to Nature from very early on
When old enough to explore I was gone
And went to the mountains for the very first time
Aged around twenty, and from then on to climb
Was a new-found passion which steadily grew
It was all that I really wanted to do
And soon I was a competent mountaineer
Spending all my spare time year after year
Satisfying my urge to travel and my demands
For adventure in the mountains of many different lands
Having laboured and struggled for hours to get
To the summit you can finally relax and let
Your soul expand and your spirit fly!
On a windless day feel the silence of the sky!
The curvature of the Earth clearly spread
Out along the blue horizon ahead
And around you as far as the eye can see -
Just sit on a mountain-top and simply BE!
On lucky days hear the beat of your own heart!
All too soon the time comes to depart
Unless you came prepared with sleeping gear
So stay alert and with a bit of healthy fear
Retrace your steps with extra care
For with the goal attained this is where
Most accidents happen - on the way down
Was the end of many a climber of renown
I had retrained to computers and tried to combine
Assignments with travelling and it worked out fine
Spent a few years in Arabia, had the chance
To learn the language but sadly took the stance
It was only for the money and English was my tongue -
Can you believe the things we do when we are young?
Had I only learnt Arabic all those years ago
I could read the Quran today in the flow
And layers of meaning of the original -
I still have not acquired the necessary skill
But one day inshallah I hope I will...
After that I sold my house and bought a boat
And spent the next few years living afloat
Sailing offshore, just yourself the wind and sea
Out of sight of any land, finally free
Of petty interruptions, the king of your own realm
Your little mobile island responding to the helm!
Or peacefully at anchor in some deserted bay
Having finished the chores sit and watch the day
Turn first into evening and then into night
Sleeping outside under stars or moonlight
Feeling generally disillusioned with the West
And the plastic culture that I so detest
Tempting consumers from a very early age
Chasing shadows with no substance, I had to turn the page
And so I looked elsewhere and began to think
And search for answers and for a missing link
Between matter and spirit, between body and soul -
Something that could unite them and make me whole...
Wishing neither to criticise nor to be rude
But after investigating I had to conclude
That Christianity was for me in most respects
Not just found wanting but had major defects -
For more about that I would ask you to read
My poem Jesus Crisis and it should lead
You to understand what I mean when I say
That I always felt this would not be MY way
Neither did Buddhism nor Hinduism appeal
Sufficiently for me to consider them ideal -
The older I get the clearer that I am
And always was pre-programmed for Islam!
Travelling for many months in Muslim lands
I met Islam in action and began to understand
What a sensible and complete way of life it is
And without any resistance I realised that this
Was not only attractive but I had a strong
Feeling that this is where I always did belong
Of coming home or somehow having been here before -
From then on I wanted to learn more and more
I bought an English Quran and would read
And although I did find it interesting indeed
I could not connect in a meaningful way
Until out of the blue, suddenly one day
The book, or a part of it, came alive
When the words of chapter six verse one-two-five
Almost seemed to speak to me, that was the start
And since I began to practise that verse has been a part
Of every single prayer - may it remain so
Regardless where the rest of my journey may go
Once in Morocco at a market stall I heard
A beautiful recital and soon it occurred
To me that the Quran was floating in the air
Transfixed and listening, I simply stood there
Understanding only the occasional word
The player was decrepit, the sound was blurred
And the performer average, yet I did hear
The message itself and it was crystal clear
So direct and sincere, so pure and dignified -
The effect was so wonderful that I confess I cried...
In Istanbul the masjids took my breath away
And was inside at least one of them every day
The time I spent in Turkey I was able to learn
So much about that magic country - I shall return!
Little by little and one step at a time
It all fell into place and began to rhyme
And resonate with how I wanted to live
It all felt so natural and positive
I knew the direction I wanted to go
So made the shahada to let the world know
That there was now one Muslim more
Though I felt exactly the same as before
In truth the change was quite small because
I only became what I already was!
Having never prayed before I was almost afraid
But I need not have worried and before long I made
The wise decision to leave arrogance behind
To concentrate on how to focus my mind
Not yet an expert but it cannot be denied
It is therapeutic, peaceful and dignified
And without boasting I am happy to report
So far my tally is not one prayer short
Of what it should be, five times every day
But to be honest I also have to say
Due to worldly commitments not always on time
But Islam is pragmatic and that is not a crime
I ask myself often: why did it take so long
To heed my intuition which for years was so strong
Prompting and urging me towards Islam?
I simply do not know but hope that no harm
Was done by waiting until absolutely sure
That my reasons were good and sincere and pure
Islam is the way, not just for me but for us all
And some day soon inshallah YOU will hear the call
To prayer loud and clear from a minaret near you
May you not just hear it - but answer it too!
Copyright © 2007 - IBRAHEEM (O.E.H.Johansen) - All Rights Reserved
Here is the link to the original:
My Journey to Islam
Should you wish to comment, feel free to do so here but please ALSO comment directly after the poem on my website, thank you - I appreciate the reactions of my readers.
All poems and posts may be freely copied-distributed-printed if not for profit but please include the following copyright notice:
Used with permission and not for profit
Copyright © - IBRAHEEM (O.E.H.Johansen) - All Rights Reserved
Original can be found on www.IBRAHEEM.dk
Assalaamualaikum Brothers and Sisters!