Nahnu Fee Rawdati & Poem: Shy Hemlocks Brash Niagaras


The song, Nahnu fee Rawdati, from the Diwan of Shaykh ibn al-Habib, raheemahullah, sung at a conference in Chicago in the year 2000. This is followed by the poem written the night before, and dedicated to Abd al-Hakim Murad, also a speaker then, here read but incompletely video’d.


for Abd al-Hakim Murad

Shy hemlocks brash Niagaras
natural things embraced with such articulate

we walk by streams hearing their gurgle as they

repeat the Creator’s Name over and over
cranes fly by in their rhapsodic formations

geese honking glory among the cloudless
molecules of the sky each molecule a

communications center where God’s manifest
decrees are sent from one noisy

interior to another
light rays zigzagging everywhere charting their

lateral and diagonal alchemical formulas
transforming uniform darkness into distinct

shades of the rainbow outlined by incantatory lights
a dervish divesting himself of his own plaintive shadows

as he walks down the road noticing even the lowliest
pebbles are hushedly singing not only to each

other but to the bare soles of his feet
each glance is a mouth each glance is an ear

emitting and taking in the most articulate designations
leading back by elegant grammar of each manifest thing

to the Unmanifest Source Who has spoken
each thing into being

flame tips with scarlet lips that
glow in the dark as they speak

windows that gaze onto landscapes of boundless joy
hills that actually sing as they frolic valleys that stretch out on their

quivering backs greening themselves and humming in the solemnly
throbbing sun

God One the Universe One in the
wise mathematics of this singular song

9/30/2000 (from Shaking the Quicksilver Pool)

Categories: Poems, The Prophet Muhammad (salallahu alayhi wa sallam), Spiritual Teachers, Love