The Sufi Years – Poems for Imam Ahmed Raza

On Peace

Long he stood that man of God
against darkness and his foes
Loving all and hating none
against him evil rose

Clothed in white with green turban
Passed on from human sight
His words live on to us this day
advising wrong from right

Come oh sinful man and hear
the words of the blest Imam
Take his lantern on your path

sheltering you from harm


For His Town

O small town of Bareilly
From your lit streets there came
A man of written promise
Who never wanted fame

The hopes and fears of mankind
were hidden in his breast
lifting us from coldness
to the heartbeat in his chest

Whispering words of Darood
gently in our ears
slowly calming fearful breaths
and eyes so full of tears

O my blessed Imam
I long to be with you
I read your words and realise
your message ever true

Gone from sight my Brother
You’re words are ‘ere alive
for surely man and message
no man can e’er divide.

On work and distractions


On Distraction

My ears are full of noise
like cymbals never cease
I’m wearied with their calling
they do not bring me peace

But a gentle sound is stirring
through all my noise and haste
a passive noise not angry
is welcome to my taste

I hear it gently calling
a voice does slowly flow
my eyes strain in the darkness
at its faint but lovely glow


An unfinished poem – 3am

Through the night of darkened sorrows
window panes but without light
I yearn for words of spoken kindness
to guide me through the lonely night

Then clear before me through the darkness
zikr beads I hear them move
a still small voice is gently stirring
bringing home the gentle truth

On Reading Kanzul Iman

O’er waiting tasbeh in hands I touch the beads
trying to feel connected and trying to bring some peace

O’er the sea of my rough mind a man does walk
and comes to me and tenderly begins to talk

Pointing eastwards smiling, a guiding post
long fingers guide me to a place I love the most

Suddenly I wake to find my worries ceased
Kanzul Iman upon my lap Im filled with peace



The Eyes of Ahmed Raza


Last night I dreamt they followed me

Like marbles set in sand

Such beauty words cannot describe

Of one led by Gods hand


Last night I dreamt my Master came

And held me in his arms

He took me to  Kaaba’s door

And sheltered me from harm


His eyes were brown, no, hazel, green,

And more with every smile,

With every step their colour changed

Again with every mile


As we reached dear Mecca’s gate,

His face was all aglow

Then I awoke to find his light

In books from long ago.

His Love, it shone across the valleys

Pierced the darkest nights like knives

Flowing streams of gentle rivers

Bathing all in peaceful light


His Love defeated every evil

Not by battle, sword or war

But by Darood gently spoken

Removed the badness from his shores


HIs Love was like a thousand roses

Springing Up in darling June

Perfumed by the sweetest heavens

Lighting up a thousand moons


His Love it rose upon the river

Rising on Ramganga’s banks

Like a star travailing night skies

At this place he gave God thanks.