A blog by Sara Surani

I think of you during the day,

When the sun comes out and the children come out to play.

Their loud laughter reminds me of your tender whispers in my ear

The whispers I long to hear when I fall asleep at night.

I think of you during the evening,

When mother makes her ginger and cardamom spiced tea

The gentle aroma of spices brings back memories of a more innocent time

When I was young and would recite words in admiration for you.

Over and over and over again.

Until you were the only sensation on my lips.

And the only thought in my mind.

I think of you during the night.

I try to find you in the complicated configurations of the constellations,

And try to meet you amidst the darkness that surrounds me

My eyelids flutter as I drift into a slumber.

I yearn for just one look at your face.

I crave for just one touch on my face.

I ache for you like a mother aches for her unborn child.

Save me, save me from this passionless world.

It feels like time has stopped, but yet you keep going.

Stop going away from me, come closer.

Stop my aching and come to me.

Complete my desires.

Take me away.

Take me with you.

Give me life again. 

 

 

For this creative piece, I attempted to recreate my own version of avirahini poem, as presented in Ali Asani’s “The Bridegroom Prophet in Medieval Sindhi Poetry.” I wrote this poem from the perspective of a young, passionate woman who longs to be reconnected and reunited with her lover. In the poem, the metaphor of the day is used to symbolize how the woman is constantly reminded of her love for the Prophet during every waking moment of her life. Her love for Him consumes her and she craves a spiritual connection. The passionate image of a woman yearning for her lover embodies the concept of a soul yearning for unity with its creator. Although this poem is sensual in nature, it explores a deeper love for God and the Prophet. Moreover, it seeks to personify the human soul. This poem is used to exemplify a theme that is pervasive throughout the course—the theme of unconditional love for God and the Prophet. In this example, unconditional love for God and the Prophet is expressed through poetry and literature. This is a very common form of expression, especially in Sindhi and Punjabi regions and transcends to provide us with a broader understanding of defining Islam through devotional expressions. Personally, when I first read this poem, I was shocked. Reading about the Prophet in such a sensual context was alien to me–it was completely foreign. How can you talk about the holy Prophet as a bridegroom? Is that sacrilegious? The way I view the Prophet is very different from the way the poet views the Prophet. This comes to show how there are different ways a symbol can be interpreted in different cultural contexts. My astonished interpretation of the Prophet as a bridegroom highlights my notion of how I see the Prophet. This notion is conditioned by my culture and the context in which I usually interact with religious literature. As a result, these factors condition my reaction to the poem. Although reading this type of “sensual” poetry may be deemed controversial in current times, it is important to consider Stewart’s theory of translation and how different forms of devotional expression highlight the influence of changing societal norms and what is deemed “Islamic” and “un-Islamic.”

 

December 2nd, 2015 at 7:36 am