Sunday, 11 December 2011

Al Ameen

(by an admirer of Islam, J.P. [a good chance that this is John Yehya-en-Nasr Parkinson])

Who is this who comes from Hira?
Not in stately pomp or pride,
But a great free son of Nature,
Lion-souled and eagle-eyed?

Who is this before whose presence
Idols tumble to the sod,
As he cries out "Allah[u] Akbar,"
No! There is no God but God?

Wandering o'er the solemn desert
He has wondered, like a child,
Not as yet too proud to wonder,
At the Sun and Star, and Wild.

Oh thou Moon! Who made thy brightness?
Stars, who hung you there on high?
Answer! so my soul may worship --
I must worship, or I die.

Then there fell the brooding silence
That precedes the thunder roll,
And the old Arabian whirlwind
Called another Arab soul.

He has stood and seen Mount Hira
To the awful Presence nod,
He has heard from cloud and lightning --
No, there is no God but God.

Call you this man an "Imposter"?
He was called "The Faithful," when
A boy he wandered o'er the desert,
By the wild-eyed Arab men.

He was always called "The Faithful":
Truth he knew was Allah's breath;
But the Lie went darkly gnashing
Through the corridors of Death.

He was fierce! -- Yes, fierce at falsehood:
Fierce at hideous bits of wood
Which the Koreish taught the people
Made the sun and solitude.

But his heart was also gentle,
And affection's graceful palm,
Waving in his tropic spirit,
To the weary brought a balm.

"Precepts?" -- "Have on each compassion,"
"Lead the stranger to your door,"
"In your dealings keep up justice,"
"Give a tenth unto the poor."

Yet ambitious? Yes, ambitious,
While he heard the strong and sweet
Aiden voices sing, to trample
Conquered Hell beneath his feet.

Islam? Yes, "submit to Heaven."
Prophet? To the World thou art;
What are Prophets but the Trumpets
Blown by God to stir the heart?

And the great heart of the desert
Stirred unto the solemn strain,
Rolling from the Mount of Hira,
Over Error's troubled plain.

And two hundred dusky millions
Honour still "El Ameen's" rod,
Daily chanting "Allah[u] Akbar,"
Know -- there is no God but God.

Call him, then, no more "Imposter!"
Mecca is the choral Gate,
Where till Zion's moon shall take them
Nations in the Morning wait.

(Islamic Review, November 1915, pp.584-5.)

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