“Woe to the Rebels!” (ويل لكم يا شباب الخوارج)


Ukiyo-e of the Battle of Kawanakajima by Utagawa Kuniyoshi

You dreamt of days of cavaliers upon
heaving chargers, lances levelled, swords drawn,

ripping through ranks of worthy foes arrayed;
martyrdom’s price would not go left unpaid.

But you’re no knight, the bit’s between your teeth;
corrupted hands you placed your reins beneath.

They grip and rip and tell you where to turn
and spur you headlong into what you’ll earn.

But you have a choice, a gift you’ve abused
along with all of God’s words you’ve misused.

So, better to be the lifeless cold steel,
not to account for the blood it will spill,

than the owner of the hand raising high
that tarnished blade that’s brought my ummah’s night.

So woe to you, O heedless foolish young!
The martyrs are the ones you kill – their ranks you’ll never be among!



Sultan Ahmet Camii – Istanbul, Turkey

Never was left unquenched the thirsty intellect,
nor was the hungry soul ever left in neglect,
which travelled by whatever means to those precincts –
Kufa, Matureed, and Nasaf – in light bedecked.

That feast o’er which the rich and poor alike parley,
placed upon the dastarkhan of Osmanlı beys,
spread far and wide, was folded up and trampled on
while its attendants watched and let it fade away.