POETRY: Call at the Twilight

Past a night of Cimmerian gloom
In one early winter Twilight
Coming from myriad minarets of the city, I heard
One euphonious call;

Ishrat Hassan
Ishrat Hassan

“As salatu Khayrum minan nawm
 (Prayer is better than sleep).
Ah, the melodious invitation
That voice, enrapturing
Threw wide open the locked dormitory door

Defying the frozen ghostly winds
Tiptoeing; to escape the sight of my dormitory’s lady guard
I stepped out!

The cruel cold had spared no luxuriant foliage
To adorn that wind-swept corner of the courtyard
Where I rolled out my shimmery green prayer rug
Prettified by a floral vase

The environs hosted in reverential silence
The head that bowed down in adoration
Witness to a Slave’s submission to his Lord
Was the silence of the solitude

Hands outstretched; Lord! I seek no blessings
No prayers of supplication to utter
Nothing to chant in Arabic
I had known You hear your servant’s silent whisper, Don’t You?

As the vast stretches of earth await the sun’s radiant splendour
For their somberness to dispel
I saw some mysterious effulgence

Celebrate! Some bliss had descended to the woebegone
Verses of Kalima Shahada
Adorned the lips of the reciter
I became visible to myself, that day!

About Bibi Ishrat Hassan

Bibi Ishrat Hassan (class of 2014) is a postgraduate student in the Department of Political Science. She can be reached via email at: [email protected].

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