Kazi Nazrul Islam
Peasant's Eid (Celebration) ! - Poem by Kazi Nazrul Islam
Belal! O Belal! The crescent (helal) shines in the western horizon!
Seeing what is going on, are you hiding in shame in some desert-grave's prison?
Look at those Peasants, bound for the prayer-venue, like the skeleton of a mummy,
Have you seen going toward the slaughter-house the little-fed cattle with sunken tummy?
They broke their fast with the sherbet made of tears,
Is your voice choking, Belal, giving the call for prayers?
Mortgaging the plates, bowls and water-jars, these wretcheds are marching toward the prayer-venue,
with heart broken and head with bandana of indebtedness, offering God's due is still on their life's menu.
Those whose lives are continuous fasting, and can't sleep due to hunger's pain
To visit these moribund Peasants today, has the auspicious Eid come again?
Crying for another droplet of milk, the baby that died in life's cruel descent,
Has the rib-bone of that baby appeared now as the beautiful crescent?
Piercing through screen of black shroud that is spread sky-wide,
The slice of the moon shines like that baby's tender lips' divide.
Peasant's Eid! He marches to the prayer venue for his baby's funeral,
The more he hears Takbir-chanting, his heart tears asunder with the rush from the adrenal.
The boy has died, the daughter is dying; at his door the flood of death keeps knocking,
while around Makkah and the mosques the band of Yazid keeps flocking.
Where is the Imam? Today, which sermon will he recite?
All around lie corpses; but even worse is in sight!
The wealthy people have gathered here with attires of golden laces
You are the Imam here? Are you then the leader of those privileged faces?
You have imbibed from the Koran, hadith, and fiqah, but ever in the mouth of these dead,
have you offered ambrosia, can you swear to that? At least, try - go ahead!
You have prayed, recited the Koran, you also fasted I know these good deeds are on the list,
Alas, just a parrot! Have you ever given them any hope, courage or strength in the least?
You have carried fruits, but never tasted the nectar - the wretched fruit-basket!
Pebbles never imbibe anything, while remaining a thousand years in the fountain-bed's casket..
Divine knowledge - what do you know about the Omnipotent Lord?
How can one be a believer who is never attached to life's power-cord?
Iman! Faith! You repeat day and night, but is Iman so easy?
In carrying the load of Satan, does ever a believer remain busy?
Listen liars! Those who are real believers in this world,
the power of their simple wish can shake and get the canvas of sky furled.
You simply chant the name of Allah, but never knew or understood Him,
those who themselves are blind, how can they show others the heavenly beam?
Those who themselves are chained, how can they bring to others liberation?
How can they deliver honey to others, when their own soul-hive is empty of life's vibration? .
Where is that true Imam, at the strike of whose feeble feet,
the power-fountain of Zamzam starts flowing forever to flood life's dry and barren street?
Those who are wimps themselves, having no strength or power,
it is sad that we have to listen to them giving sermons from the prayer-tower.
Those who would enliven and wake up these hapless destitutes in every nest,
where is that noble and inspiring leader who again will restore true Eid in its full zest?
He will bring back from the depth of space the smile of Eid's crescent - like a delightful regale,
the smile and joy that will never end, and it never would go pale or stale.
At the graveyard, full of corpse, I am waiting when will he arrive at this congregation?
Fast and breakfast, we will do together, then it will be Eid - really a celebration.
Poet's Notes about The Poem
[Weekly Krishak, Eid Issue, 1941]
Translation: Mohammad Omar Farooq
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