Mr. Khalim Ali at his retirement program

A poem on Ramadan by the esteemed Khalim Ali retired Principal of Trinidad’s Warrenville TIA Primary school

I know you are at the gate,

For you are one , who’s never late;

You are either 29/30 in number,

A fact we’ll always remember…

Prior to your presence,

We’re in great suspense,

We scan the evening sky,

For the crescent on high,

For it’s the sign

Of Ramadan so fine;

Fact is, when ‘tis Shaban,

We can hardly wait for blessed Ramadan,

We practise fasts thats Sunnah,

As shown by the blessed Messenger

In preparation for the greater devotion,

The Ramadan fasts of compulsion.

Now you’re inside,

Laden with goodies, you cannot hide,

Your first third is filled with Rahmah,

Which is Mercy, straight from Allah;

Your second third is Taubah,

That is forgiveness, directly from the Creator,

And your last third

Is freedom from Jahannum,

That evil abode of the wicked, the stubborn.

Good deeds within your fold,

Are multiplied manifold,

Nawafil / optional deeds, raised to Sunnah,

A free gift from Almighty Allah,

Sunnah deeds raised to Fard,

Another favour, from Almighty God.

‘Twas also within your reign,

That the Quran came:

Shar ru Ramadan

Al la thi un zi la fi hil Quran

The Quran……

The Furqan,

Guidance for Insan!

Huda for mankind!

This same Quran, this Huda,

Introduced to a bedragged band,

In a backward, barbaric land,

Was chewed, swallowed and digested,

Then practised;

Resulted in a mighty, monumental transformation

Of an entire generation,

Nay, an entire nation.

A people steeped in ignorance and arrogance,

Were now the torchbearers of knowledge and tolerance;

Drunkenness and debauchery,

Were replaced by sobriety and piety,

Miserliness was replaced by generosity;

And the greatest change of all,

Among big and small,

Idolatry and paganism,

Were replaced by monotheism;

Yes, indeed, the true Creator

Was recognised as Allah,

And Muhammad, his Messenger

La illaha illahAllah

Muhammad ur Rasulullah

Today, we have the same Quran,

But it’s used as a charm,

It’s pulled out on a special occasion,

It’s beautiful as a decoration,

It’s recited for blessings

It’s true treasures lie hidden

This Quran…

Introduced during Ramadan,

Can lift us again,

Take us to glory again,

Bring peace and security,

Prosperity and stability

But we must approach it differently.

We must read and understand,

Then practise the plan,

See the transformation!

Experience the reformation!

As the blessings of the Quran,

Kick in…

Oh! Blessed Ramadan,

Long before dawn,

From our beds we are gone,

We partake of the Sehri

( Roti, dhalpuri, curry!)

Then we stay hungry,

Hungry and thirsty,

Till ‘tis time for Iftar.

So from dawn to dusk,

While our breath’s like musk,

Our words are pure,

Of that you can be sure!

For no lies do we utter,

No gossip do we murmur,

Ill speaking another, is out;

Not a curse can we shout;

Righteous deeds, words that are kind,

Among Believers, these you will find;

Now with the setting sun,

Our fast is done;

With a sip of water,

Or a morsel of …whatever,

We end this act of Ibadah

Done solely for the pleasure of Allah

And designed to increase our Taqwah.

Your nights, O Ramadan,

Contain a certain charm,

For after the Iftar,

There’s the Tarawih,

A special supererogatory Salah,

Practised by the Messenger,

Solely for the pleasure of Allah;

How can we forget,

The night of Power,

The night of grandeur

Known as Lailatul Qadr

So designed to raise one’s stature?

The Angels come down,

To country and town

Looking for worshipers,

Seeking the believers

Engaged in Ibadah,

Praising Almighty Allah,

For this one night,

If you get it right

Surpasses one thousand months;

And is yet another feature,

Of the generosity of the Master,

Allah, Subhana hu wa ta’ala.

So my brothers,

So my sisters,

Let not Ramadan go in vain

Endure the hunger

Bear the pain

For Ramadan is here once again!

Make not excuses not to fast,

Who knows, this Ramadan could be your last.   

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