Poem: The CriterionIn: General
‘And the Messenger will cry out: “Surely, my people treated this Qur’an as a forsaken thing!”’ (Qur’an: 25:30)
When from death, I rise
How will I face the Criterion,
The Standard that decides
Paradise or perdition
Felicity or fire
My eternity, wherein I will abide?
When I see the truth of the Qur’an in my life
Unloved, untapped, betrayed, denied
Will I wail and scream and weep,
Wracked by remorse, futile grief?
Or will my shame cut so deep
I cannot weep, nor speak, nor breathe?
O Divine Word, dearest friend, best of guides
If only I had truly valued you before I died!
As I drowned in the sea of temptation
Why did I not seek your anchor, salvation?!
I rarely opened your covers
So how could I discover
That all purpose, peace
Between your pages was concealed?
When I actually read a verse
Why was I too immersed
In worldly concerns
To connect with my Lord, converse?
Every time I looked
I saw an ancient book
Austere, dated, aloof
To be held, read
Kissed and re-shelved
Rather than loved and understood
Why did I not see the reality?
You were my soul’s life, vitality
You drew near, spoke to my heart
It was I who withdrew, drifted apart
Stone hearts melted, dry eyes flowed
But I was young, rash, with no time for my soul
I thought I’d seek you when I was old and bored
Not realising my heart would shrivel and die
Well before old age was nigh
Had I known what I do in death
Never would I have left you to my dusty shelf
With every fibre of my being
I would have imbibed, acquiesced
Radiated your light in every action and breath
I would have avoided the shame,
The unbearable, searing pain
Of rising from a dark grave,
Raising my eyes to the Lord I betrayed,
And seeing Him turn His Face away