Friday, August 26, 2005

Saintly Places

Photo: Rihla participants gather in the mosque built over the spot where the companions of the Prophet (صلي الله عليه و سلم) pledged their allegiance to him (saw).© Fareena Alam. Please do not re-use without permission and proper credit.

I read this poem Saintly Places by Sidi Abdal Hayy Moore and it summed up my feelings about the Rihla experience. I don’t know how Sidi Abdal Hayy does it but he always amazes me with his saintly words.

- Ayaz Hyder

Saintly Places
by Daniel Abdal Hayy Moore

We need to stand in saintly places
the way our body needs food to not topple over

We need to go there and find nearness there
even just a rude rock-strewn place where something

saintly took place or is taking place
tombs in giant sepulchers or a rude

rock-strewn place you can feel under your
feet or at the base of the heart the

non-physical saintliness of a real person in whom
God was by that person’s pleasing pleased

and stand there in its crystal waters rushing
past our ears and bathing our limbs the way

careful mothers of all creatures bathe their young
in the same way really we need to

find and stand in saintly places in this world
or stand with saintly ones and

stand with them for a time or for all time
and once found not ever leave their sainted precincts

in time or out of time
but stand with them

in their saintly places or those
who have gone before whose places are still

palpably alive the way even other live places
are not but these places are refuges and

refueling places not known anywhere
else on earth or with any other practitioners

and to stand in the bounty of a saintly place is
indescribable but evident if not then

then now in its great effect and the continuous affect
it has on us to

stand just once or have stood for even a small time
in space

in saintly places


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