Monday, 5 April 2010

Oh Al-Andalus....

Assalamualaikum wr wbt,

Just want to share a beautiful poem by the ex-Rector of UIA, Prof. Kamal Hassan. This poem was dedicated to Sir Iqbal, the late Pakistan's poet. This poem will deeply touch those of you who have been to Andalusia... .and perhaps, will make us think...I first read this poem in 2003 when I joined UIA...

ps : I can imagine standing on the hills myself and reading the poem...

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O Iqbal!

The spring of 2002 beckoned my soul and body:

to witness the Muslim remains of Alhambra,

Cordoba and Sevilla,

To retrace your noble steps and feel the

vibrations of your ecstasy,

to feast my aging vision on the haunting

grandeur of Alhambra and

relish the matchless beauty of

the Moorish art…

I glided through the cold ruins, searching for

the secrets of the humiliating

downfall of Al-Andalus

The flowing fountains of Jannatul-Arif

(Generalife) continue to narrate the

melancholy of Muslim follies…

How they succumbed to the same diseases

which brought down the mighty

Roman empire.

They wrote all over Al-Andalus La Ghaliba

Illa’LLah (There is no vanquisher except


But they began to worship the

mata’ad-dunya (pleasures of the world),

and traded their souls for gold, glory, women

and wine,

only to end like stray donkeys, kicked around by

the boots of Ferdinand and Isabella.

Today, pigeons nestle and make love in the ruins,

and their droppings strewn all over the walls,

Western tourists pour out of buses and planes,

frolicking in romance, obliterating all pain,

while Muslim architectural glory continues to boost

the coffers of Catholic Spain.

I stood, O Iqbal,

On the hill of Alhambra, “ a stranger, gazing at

things gone by, dreams of another age.”

O Iqbal!

Don’t turn in grave if I tell you

that the Muslim world is the champion

today in corruption and illiteracy.

Or, that our rulers are among the smartest in deceiving

the masses,

Having mastered the art form of Machiavelli’s Prince.

Or, that some of our elites

are the greatest drinkers of the wine,

Intoxicated, they try to sell cheap

version of their stores,

Beguiling the local youth as they deconstruct

the blessed Zam-Zam to make it taste like beer and wine,

And succeeding in making the young worship celebrities

as divine.

Or that the Muslim Malay community

excels in fitnah memfitnah,

pouring the poison of hatred

where love once stood.

O Iqbal!

Where is the mahabbah, the rahmah

that forges the bonds of love and salam?

Where is the hidayah that destroy insincerity,

hypocrisy and greed?

Where is the taqwa that

imbues thought and action with righteousness?

Can the Khayru Ummatin ever emerge

from robots, rubbles and bubbles?

by Prof. Muhammad Kamal Hassan (ex-Rector IIUM)

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