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The Common Light

March 20th, 2014

This poem is a manifestation of the possibility of a common light, which could be attained when truth is perceived and understood with a small “t” and not a capital one “T”. In describing the truth, I intend to describe islam, and in that, I am pointing to islam with a small i and not a capital one. This understanding eliminates a superior ownership to truth and allows for a wider platform where it can be relative and subjective and still be worthwhile and true. In the light of that, we can see how throughout our course we have engaged in several moments with islam as an inclusive way of life rather than a dominating inclusive religion. I believe this can be attained particularly by removing the materialistic incentives that have been highly associated with Islam and other religions, such as the concept of heaven and hell, a shrine, the 72 virgins, the rivers of wine…etc. And as it is mentioned in narrations: “One day Rabia was seen running with fire in one hand and water in the other. They asked her why she was doing this and where she was going. She replied, “I am running to light a fire in Heaven and to pour water on the flames of Hell, so that both veils to the Face disappear forever.”

An inclusive islam is an experience that can be found within and not outside of oneself, for it is a human experience and we are all humans, daughters and sons of time, living in the moment, and forming our own interpretations and narratives, his story, her story, and mine.

This poem can be understood as an extension to the cultural studies approach, which emphasizes Donna Haraway’s Situated Knowledges, a concept I also argue for in a sense that our experiences should be credited and found truthful even when they don’t comply with the majority. In an attempt to symbolize this, I begin by stating that the human heart, which encompass the experiences, stories, and understandings are larger than the earths and skies. However, in my conclusion, I signal the human call, that is found in a light, and this light is mutual, and to those who walk in the darkness of the tunnel, it could seem impossible, but to those who look inwards in that darkness, it will shine bright.


If the earths and skies did not fit God

The human heart has always had

In every breath, I am a “daughter of time”

Of God’s glory

And of the human story

Of his story, her story, and mine


In life

A quest for love

Don’t you worry

A language delivered to you in the womb

Not at all tough

One, which requires no words

A state of mind, an open heart

A blossom in the hand


Let there be no halal or haram

Neither hell nor heavens

Look inside, for these elements are within

Not outside of you

In every depth

Through every human

You’ll find a clue


Only when we burn heaven and turn off the fire in hell

Will we be able to do good deeds without awaited benefits

For what is better than to love for the loved

To give, for the needy

To rescue, for the drowned

And to be a messenger of God on the ground

To let go of the virgins

To dry your body from the pools of wine

To believe in God

Without a spell, a verse, or a shrine


Nothing and all, a human call

Let the body stir along a single drumming pattern

With the lights of this temple

The candles in your church

And the lanterns in my mosque

A source of light

The end of the tunnel lies out of sight

So look inwards and it will shine bright

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