The Pilgrim - Poem by Humera Sultana
The Pilgrim bids farewell
To family and friends, wealth and riches
Pomp and splendour, sets his pleasures asunder.
As he dons the pilgrim’s garb (Ihram)
He sees himself gathered in a burial shroud
A white winding sheet around his body wrapped
Lifeless, senseless, motionless and friendless
Only to be left with his deeds righteous.
The chant Labbaik Allahumma Labbaik
(O my Lord, here I am at Your service, here I am) .
Fans the flame of love burning in his heart.
A mad lover, he rushes in search of his beloved
Enraptured by the beatific vision of Kaaba
He circumambulates with the flow around the House of Allah.
Mad lover, bareheaded, bare shouldered, distressed and perplexed
Fear and hope singing and swinging in his breast
Kisses the corners and tugs at the hem of his beloved - Kaaba.
Cheeks wet with tears, heaves heart-burning sighs
Bitter tears of remorse soak the bristles of his attire
Parched lips kiss Al Hajr- Al Aswad; seamed with divine passion.
Brim-full with ardent love, reverence, hope and fear
He knocks at the door of the House of Allah
Seeking refuge in Him, await a response.
Spends every moment in obedience, repentance and hope
Practices patience to win His pleasure; gains proximity.
Drunk with the miracle of Zamzam- the elixir of his life
And intoxicated with divine felicity -Like a beggar, a mendicant
Seven times he jogs in the courtyard of the House of Allah
Safa to Marwa- Marwa to Safa, reliving the ritual of Hajar
Shaves his head in submission, humility and sincerity
Each and every thread of his raiment
A mute witness to his new-born purity
His garb (Ihram) undone- waits for an answer
To the knock at His door
Sooner or later
Now or forever.
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