Praying, by Moniza Alvi

25 September 2014

Another poem from Moniza Alvi’s At the Time of Partition, directly following on from ‘Seeking’, below – providing an internal complement to that poem’s portrayal of external action.

//

She would build her house
out of prayer,

walk through the doorway
open the window of prayer,

the solid home, the five-times-a-day
blessed regularity of prayer.

Athar had been dropped, wrenched
outside time,

but not beyond Allah’s benevolence.

Allah, omnipotent, all-knowing and just –
surely He would listen, He would hear.

*

Allaahumma Salli ala Sayyidina Muhammadin…
O Allah, bless our Muhammad…

Sunrise. Noon. Mid-afternoon. Sunset. Nightfall.
Sunrise. Noon. Mid-afternoon. Sunset. Nightfall.

In the campl, the lifeline was prayer.

*

She made her duas – her intimate prayers,
prayer after prayer:

In the name of Allah,
the most merciful, most compassionate…

Allah, where is my son?
Have pity on my son

I bow to you humbly
I ask for protection for my son

Allah, my son is missing
He isn’t well – in his mind

[Read in At the Time of Partition, published by Bloodaxe Books.]

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