Praise

 

Remember, O, the day that he was seen

Advancing with his army that had been

So awesome it kept rival swords pristine,

Unused? Remember how he came to clean

God’s House of all the idols? Helmet’s sheen

Recall when, as he rode, he bowed. So glean

From his approach the etiquettes that mean,

“We fail to praise God as God should be praised.”

 

His name is “Ahmad” in the sky’s regime,

“Muhammad” to the mortals here. Prayers teem

With blessings round his name. He lived the dream

Of love. Each far-flung kingdom has a stream

By which the poet sings: “each era’s gleam—

Each lover’s blush—is from this man’s esteem.”

God drew him near in pureness so extreme

That all the veils of time and space were razed.

 

So near, he witnessed God by heart and gazed.

The Prophet Musa afterwards appraised

Our Prophet’s charge who, shy, went back and raised

The point with God. As prayers were reappraised

Repeatedly so God then kindly phased

Our prayers to forty, thirty, twenty, ten—

At five our Prophet shied from asking when

God, multiplying worth by ten, amazed.

 

“We fail to praise God as God should be praised,”

Our Prophet said that night he went past moon

And stars, and passed all prophets, too. As soon

As it began, this lovely, timeless tune,

Did it conclude. And life resumed, with noon

Siestas, weddings, battles, and that boon

Of bowing from the bows’ lengths. Praised is he

Who said we fail to praise God properly.

 

 

Zeshan Syed 2009 Toronto