I believe this poem was written on Friday February 28, 2014
Today I talked to Allah this Friday morn,
Today I spoke to God, said my good du’as,
By God’s Will and Mercy, this is His response,
After reading the great Surat Al-Kahaf.
I write these lines –about one eighty of them,
Each line containing eleven syllables,
About the sweet memories that I still have
Of countries I’ve been to and places travelled.
First, I was born in Saudi, MashaAllah –
Saudi Arabia –the best country on earth.
I’ve performed Hajj many times, MashaAllah –
I’ve tons of memories here of joy and mirth.
In Riyadh, I have studied at many schools,
Have gone through many kinds of experiences,
Have met nice people from different countries,
Got along well despite our differences,
Joined in some public radio and T.V. shows,
Was in school clubs where I’d learn to speak on stage,
At school I was known for my creative skills
And for being among those who got high grades.
More sweet memories Allah wants me to write:
The funny looks I exchanged with my classmates
Of various colors, from colorful countries –
And with them the many games I used to play.
My Saudi friends complimenting my writing,
My British pal naming me ‘Bubblegum Girl’,
My teachers commending me on my artwork,
And soccer buddies scared when I’d have the ball –
The beautiful views of the Ka’bah far-off,
The wondrous moments of performing ‘Umrah,
The many lessons learned when performing Hajj –
Are among sweet memories MashaAllah!
Now quick mentions of more countries I’ve been to:
I remember Dad driving us, with his car,
On a group journey, with many ‘Pinoy friends’,
To Kuwait/Bahrain, exploring some tower.
I recall the times we’d wait at some airports,
In countries like Bangladesh, Greece and Oman,
And in the country where many look alike,
Where my Dad can blend in well –in cool Japan.
I remember the clowns who gave us balloons,
At some aquatic park, Sea World, in Hong Kong,
In the aquarium various creatures we’ve seen,
The tricks the whales and dolphins did without wrongs.
In Langkawi too I recall the visit
We paid to a park called ‘Underwater World’,
More sea creatures we’ve seen there, facts about them,
And cool aquatic stuff that were being sold.
In the capital city of Malaysia,
I recall the times we’ve been to the towers,
The visits to various parks, like Genting Park,
And the funny monkeys chasing my brothers.
And that time I took classes at a uni.
Where my Mother was invited to lecture,
How I got to know many Asian Muslims,
Meeting one of them in Makkah thereafter.
More memories on our trips to Malaysia:
Visiting one of the sultans’ huge palace,
The zoo, the bird park, and butterfly gardens,
And the pools where my loved ones loved to relax.
Now moving on to Singapore, I recall:
The visits to the zoo and night safari,
Various shopping malls, restaurants and hotels,
And Sentosa Island –with my family.
In Indonesia I recall our visit
To a Muslim School –I think we’ve been there twice,
I recall my brothers playing soccer there –
And how sitting with the V.I.P.’s was… nice.
At the masjid there, I recall admiring
How the students would get up early to pray
And then memorize Surahs from the Qur’an –
And how this school was unique in many ways.
Anyway, now moving on to Thailand, I
Recall visiting some kind of museum,
I recall how Thai Airways was so comfy,
How I liked their outfits and decorations.
More countries I’ve been to include Qatar… but
We’ve only stayed at the airport, honestly,
So another country I can mention is
One that is also near Saudi: U.A.E.
There we’ve been to Dubai and Abu Dhabi,
We went to a park, many photos we took,
Many malls we’ve been to, restaurants as well,
And at many interesting things we’ve looked.
I recall my parents meeting two friends there,
Who helped us go sight-seeing in the city,
We ate at a cool Japanese restaurant,
And then at a Mid-Eastern one, I believe.
Another place where my parents met two friends
Is in the busy, cool city of London.
With them we had a walk at a well-known park,
And dined with them at an Indian restaurant,
Where ‘tis funny how I still recall a teen’s
Grimace after eating a dish so spicy –
The walks we had around the wax museum,
And how I thought the cab ride was so nifty.
After that, we had some snacks –twin ice-cream cones,
With Time Out or Flakes chocolate at the top –
I recall more museums we’ve been to, there,
And waiting at the double-decker bus stops.
A bit near England is France –we’ve been there too,
There, in Paris, we have been to Disneyland –
We’ve also been to the one in the U.S.
Where English lang. we were glad to understand.
In the U.S. we’ve visited many parks,
Among them Knott’s Berry Farm, Walt Disney World,
J.K. Space Center, Universal Studios,
And other places forgotten to be told.
I do recall that time in Mississippi,
Where we rode a boat, went to an aquarium,
And that time we went to strange Mardi Gras World –
Where we saw many masks and parade customs.
Another place where we toured more museums
And towers is Egypt, where we saw ‘Fir’awn’ –
We’ve seen the pyramids and the so-called ‘Sphinx’,
Have seen many views in that Egyptian town –
I recall going up the Cairo Tower,
And the many times my bros would buy a ball –
Many balls they’d purchase and many they’d lose –
Many sweet memories I can still recall…
Like that ‘almost-one-month-vacation’ abroad
In a milk-producing country called Denmark,
We’ve stayed at the house of my Dad’s friend –‘tis strange
How I still recall his name: ‘Eric Emborg’.
I recall the times we rode on those buses
To malls and stores we would go for grocery –
Exchanging smiles with an Arab family
And the fun times we’ve had at Park Tivoli.
Many memories I have of our travels,
And fortunately, they’re too many to list –
I can gladly say that one’s joys in life could
Be among the many kinds of Allah’s tests.
So my answers to God’s tests are in these lines:
Alhamdulillah, Praise is for God alone,
I thank Allah for the good He’s given me,
I pray God makes Heaven my Eternal Home,
Near Him Allah and His Beloved Prophets,
I pray that by Allah’s Mercy I’m near Him –
For the tears I’ve shed for Allah’s sake, for my
Du’as –begging God to forgive all my sins.
My next answer is some advice to Muslims,
Dear Muslims who bow down to Allah only,
‘Tis foolish to look at the lives of others
Who foolishly care about sin and money.
When it comes to worldly things, see those below…
Look at those who can’t afford the things you have.
Look at those who can’t do the good things you do –
Pray for those who know not what ‘tis like to laugh.
When it comes to faith, look at those near Allah,
Strive to reach their level or do much better,
They’ve memorized the Qur’an, prayed many times,
Their goal is to succeed in the Hereafter.
When non-Muslim ‘friends’ come to you to show off
Their temporal pleasures and sad so-called ‘joys’,
Pity their low self-esteem, high ignorance,
If they don’t turn to God, in Hell they’ll enjoy…
They will enjoy regretting how they were lost
In their misguidance and in their daily sins,
They’ll enjoy attaining the sins of Muslims
While the Muslims enjoy God’s gifts in Heaven.
And my next answer to Allah’s tests is this:
Do not think that traveling in life is grand,
Don’t think that if Allah gave others a chance
To travel, Allah’s Love you misunderstand.
Allah gave things to some people as a test,
And prevented things from some –as a test too.
Good times and bad times are among Allah’s tests,
To see if your Faith/Iman is indeed True,
So that those who mistreat you collect your sins,
And if they’re Muslims, you collect their good deeds –
This is why all acts of oppression must be
Shunned, while in God Allah, we Muslims believe.
And did you know, dear Muslims, that all of us
Are travelers in this grand journey called ‘Life’?
To reach the wanted destination, Heaven,
Pack the right things, shun bad deeds that bring forth strife.
So Allahu Akbar wherever we are,
Our goal is to travel to Heaven only,
To be near God Allah, be amongst His friends,
Heaven by God’s Mercy is our destiny.