Past a night of Cimmerian gloom
In one early winter Twilight
Coming from myriad minarets of the city, I heard
One euphonious call;
“As salatu Khayrum minan nawm”
(Prayer is better than sleep).
Ah, the melodious invitation
That voice, enrapturing
Threw wide open the locked dormitory door
Defying the frozen ghostly winds
Tiptoeing; to escape the sight of my dormitory’s lady guard
I stepped out!
The cruel cold had spared no luxuriant foliage
To adorn that wind-swept corner of the courtyard
Where I rolled out my shimmery green prayer rug
Prettified by a floral vase
The environs hosted in reverential silence
The head that bowed down in adoration
Witness to a Slave’s submission to his Lord
Was the silence of the solitude
Hands outstretched; Lord! I seek no blessings
No prayers of supplication to utter
Nothing to chant in Arabic
I had known You hear your servant’s silent whisper, Don’t You?
As the vast stretches of earth await the sun’s radiant splendour
For their somberness to dispel
I saw some mysterious effulgence
Celebrate! Some bliss had descended to the woebegone
Verses of Kalima Shahada
Adorned the lips of the reciter
I became visible to myself, that day!