Guest Blog

Part III – Ohbat Out of the Box

August 14, 2020
Words Fatema L.   
Header Credits Fatema A. (@cosmicweavers)

One poem a day is for ohbat my way

From 12 months so special, just 9 days

My preparations continue in so many ways

Formalities of work leave are already done

Search for a laundry for ironing has begun

Schedules with maids have been set

For salawat we’ve finalized on milk and chocolate

A diary to write has been ordered online

The search for a pen is going just fine

Along with the priceless sawaab we’ll earn

There will be so much more to learn

Whether it’s a slice of history or a fable that’s told

There is so much wisdom and insights to hold

My family and friends, just like me, they prepare

Poems written from bayaans everyday I share

When they read a piece of the waaz I’m sure

They’ll remember that Ashara is so deep and pure.

The tree stands tall, alive and well

Like the living world, the teachings tell

Countless leaves on it do thrive

Because of the tree, the leaf is alive

If the leaf falls down or is pulled out

Soon it is dead there is no doubt

It becomes a waste to be thrown away

Though for a day or two it may stay

But it’s freshness is short and it will soon dry

Won’t live very long however hard you try

Man in society is in a similar fate

Entwined together with the whole is his fate

Combined with it, he has a part to play

In isolation it is impossible to stay.

When mud is hard, it becomes a stone

Where only plants like cacti, can be grown

Animals hard, become then wild

Evolution true is for the mild

Soft mud evolves, when the shape of plant it take

Soft plants become animals, when food themselves they make

Obedience of animals to domestication will lead

To the higher being of humans, they become feed

Following by humans of angels pure

Will help them become true angels for sure

So if you wish to truly evolve

All your ego you must dissolve

And remember if an angel you wish to be

Humility within is the only key.

Iblis once wore an old man’s face

And came to speak to Mohammed at one place

You know what I do, to keep your people away

How much I tempt them, so they do not pray

First I whisper into their ear

There is still time left, have no fear

The task you are doing, you can continue

If you hurry a little, you’ll finish it too

If that doesn’t work, a human being I find

In a random conversation, your follower I bind

That the time for prayer may pass away

And I could be winner of the day

But still if your follower his prayer will start

I try to put insinuations within his heart

You haven’t prayed correctly, I plant a doubt

From the complex web woven, he can’t get out

If his prayer in between he breaks

You have no idea how happy it makes

I kiss his hands, his forehead too

Thinking on him again the same trick will do

If he still ignores me, I urge him to pray fast

So that his conversation with Almighty does not last

If along with Imam in the masjid he prays

I push him so forward or behind he stays

If he still hasn’t given in to a single of my pitch

To play with his fingers I give him an itch

From devils in disguise please keep me away

On time correctly, may I always pray.

Maula Ali farmed acres of land

Hasan, Hussain fed Muslims all

In the lanes of Kufa you could hear

Their invitation call

One day to Kufa masjid 

A poor traveller came

He saw Maula Ali eating food

Said -Share with me that same

Ali said this is the flour of jowar

Unable to swallow you might find

He said- I shall have what you have

I really do not mind

Ali offered him jowar flour he ate

But he could not gulp it down

Gave him water, told him to

Go within Kufa town

The traveller then asked him

‘Jowar flour is very cheap

Are you afraid of robbers 

That locked within you keep’

Ali said ‘my children in this box

Add sugar and ghee to gain

I keep it under lock and key

Cause I like to have it plain

Go to the men in Kufa 

Who serve food to all those there’

The traveller went, they called him in

And washed his hands with care

Tears welled in the travellers eyes

When this food he ate

Hasan Hussain saw and asked him why

Does your family lay in wait? 

We are blessed, we have enough

As much as you want you may take

I have no family, the traveller said

I cry for that dervish’s sake

In the Kufa mosque, with patched clothes,

On a straw mat sits a man

He eats only jowar flour,

Reach him food if you can

With tears rolling from their eyes

The Imams to the traveller said,

‘That dervish is our father, Ali

After the prophet who has led’

O ye followers of Ali

With his love in your heart

Know that that love is the key

To assure of heaven a part

From the countless lessons of Ali’s life

Of simplicity as we learn 

Prayers for me I simply ask

His blessings to always earn.

So close to an emperor once grew a slave

That the title of ‘vizier’, the emperor gave

The courtiers with this closeness with envy were filled

To poison the king’s ears against the slave they willed

Finding his weakness was now their aim

They called in a meeting, to disgrace and defame

One courtier said, his secret I know

In a house with a big lock, everyday I see him go

I assume from the emperor’s treasures he steals

Then within this house, he hides and seals

Let us all go to the emperor and complain

He will be caught and that will be our gain

They went to the emperor and told him of their mind

Unperturbed he said, Go within that house and find

All of them entered and searched about

The ground, walls, roofs, it didn’t leave any doubt

There was nothing in that house except an old hideskin coat

And an old pair of chappals, not worth any note

Ashamed, the courtiers told the emperor what they had seen

The vizier was called in private to ask, what they did mean

“That house has only a coat and footwear

Why then do you lock it with so much care??”

The vizier said- When to your palace I came

I had only these two things to my name

Only your kindness and grace have paved the way

That I stand in this elevated position today

The emperor said, These are ordinary things

Your visit to them daily, what reason brings??

He replied I see them every day

To keep pride and arrogance away

They serve to remind me from where I came

Of the abundance of your favours I don’t lose aim

Gratefulness then fills my heart

Humility becomes of me a part

These words did the emperor happy make

(Have the) wisdom of reality for every human to take.

Who swept this earth with her hair?

Ma Fatema, showed how much its care

From the dawn of ashura before dusk

This earth became more precious than musk


Every martys blood did it take

Every tear accepted in its wake

From the death of the groom that they tore

The limbs of Maula Abbas it bore


The blood from Ali akbars side

Hussains hands trying to stem its tide

That grief that the earth did save

And little Aliasgars grave


As Imam Hussain gave sajda that day

With his tears, flowing blood, he did pray

What fate of the earth that be must

That it turned into healing dust


Now the world over disease is rife

People everywhere suffer in strife

We pray that soon peace we may know

And as blessed pilgrims, to heal there we go


Maula Ali says – Oh ye people wise

When your mother gave you birth, the world heard your cries

Happy were people of your birth to learn

But when it’s time for you to return

May the world be crying that you are dead

And you be happy with the life you’ve led

To achieve this you must work through life

Keep a smiling face through hardship and strife

When all your organs work through life’s goals

Remember on death they are collected in your soul

Live an active life with his love in your heart

So that with a smile this world you depart.


Prophet Eesa once travelled

From one place to another

A worldly man joined him

“May we travel together?”


Along their journey when this man

Could not his hunger bear

He went inside a village

To bring back food to share


He bought four rotis, ate one

Thinking no one could see

The prophet smiled and enquired

He said, “There were only three”


When they shared the rest and went ahead

The prophet asked him, “May I know,

There were four rotis you had brought

Where did the fourth one go? “


This worldly man believed for sure

Forever he could hide

“There were only three, O companion”

Once again he lied


Along the way a roasted deer 

Awaited them at God’s will

The hungry travellers reached there

And they ate their fill


The deer was made alive again

A miracle witnessed with his eyes

But when asked about that roti one

He continued with his lies


 When the travellers walked ahead

They came to a flowing stream

The prophet held his hand, on water walked

God’s special blessing, not a dream


Then again the prophet smiled

And asked about that roti once more

But the man, now used to lies

Added one more to his score


As they went forward they saw

Four gold bricks lying near

The worldly man, tempted he said

“I wish to remain here”


The prophet explained, this place is wild

Come let us go ahead

But temptation and greed ruled now

And he refused to be led


Alone then in the jungle

Happy with the gold he’d got

3 robbers saw the worldly wealth

And killed him without a thought


One robber went to bring the food

And poisoned the other two’s share

The gold bricks now he wanted all 

For his companions he didn’t care


The two robbers remaining back

Made plans to kill their friend

And so then in a little while

All their lives did end


The worldly man, those robbers three

Oh what their love, what fear

Those golden bricks, so attractive then

Like a waste remained back here


Countless lessons here for the discerning eye

How many do you see?? 

How many do you take??


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