Thasbeeh Beads

The low rumbling of

a prayer I don’t quite understand,

The soft, half-hearted chant of

‘Ameen’ through sleepy lips

and drooping eyelids;

This house has all the workings

and trimmings of

a perfect Muslim family.


The values instilled in us for generations

will refuse to be revoked

or doubted or looked at curiously.

Surer than the sky being blue

and oceans being salty;

Surer than my grandfather’s tongue

leaving whiplash on

the cheek of a Questioner;

Beyond rationality or logic,

There is one rule that stands tall;

Against the weathering of time

Against change and aging,

One rule;

And that is the One belief, One faith,

The One God.


Within these walls,

religion was held in higher regard

than just being a decent human being.

The dictation of empathy and understanding,

of unity, trust and love were soon forgotten.

Overridden for the need of

Thasbeeh beads and praying Tahajjud.


It seemed the more ‘religious’ they got,

The more distant we grew.


“Is he a Muslim?” was prioritised over “Does he make you feel beautiful?”

“Did you pray?” over “have you eaten?”

“Does she cover?” over “how much will she love you?”

I was always at a loss for words

when the very thing that Islam preached

was constantly forgotten for

this odd need to do what was ‘right’.

Peace always came second place to Prayer.


I won’t blame this Religion;

Islam is a beautiful faith.

It’s just that,

my family,

they didn’t age gracefully,

they aged in fear,

and fear turns Believers

into really shitty human beings.


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