Qalb

The Qalb is that which qallibs

The very nature of the word tells us that it turns

on its face as it turns on its heel

 

It turns so much in a day,

a month, a year-

that i wonder if it ever gets dizzy

from all the turning

it does

 

When I am happy it flutters

When I am sad it aches

When I am nostalgic it hurts

When I am angry it pounds

like a prisoner in a cage of bones

When I am anxious it feels like it is not there

there is a void;

a hollowness

an abyss

of uncertainty

of what has gone wrong.

 

Often when that happens

I’m reluctant to ask

what’s wrong this time

because I am afraid of the answer

 

that i already know

but am too proud to admit 

 

my heart is a little too indecisive

yet i mostly rely on it to make decisions

they call it instinct or gut feeling

although it has nothing to do with the gut per se-

it is the heart that turns and churns

that the entire body becomes affected by its turning

the gut,

the fingers,

the pupils,

the temples,

even the feet.

 

my heart turns a whole 180 degrees

at the mention of a convincing word-

of please, and i beg you, and you’ll look good in this, and that and you can pray later, asr is not until an hour.

in a split second

in the time it takes to bat an eyelid

or less than that

it turns its back on You.

***

 

I am a woman

and my heart gives a little too much

they say it can be taken, stolen and broken,

but despite how much it gives, it also takes

the bullets, spear wounds and cuts

from the very people that 

have vowed to protect it

 

how much more can the heart take?

how much longer can it hold-

before it explodes into a million pieces

and becomes unrepairable

but until then it remains 

the toughest organ i have

in my body

 

Though in the back of my mind I ought to ask

ya muqallibal quloob

thabbit qalbee 3ala deenik

I bite my tongue

from uttering them

lest it changes what i want

what I desire

lest what I desire clashes

with what my Lord has in store for me

 

how easily do I forget

that the One that turns the Hearts

also turns the hearts of everyone else

and not just mine

 

so

why

am

I

so

insecure?

 

if He can make me want something

He can also make that something want me too

 

I forget

that the one that is in charge of my life

is not me

 

I forget

that

rather than following

its whims and desires

I should be giving it what it needs-

and what it needs is 

whatever that is best for it.

***

 

Be still,

my wavering heart.

Be still while your Lord chooses for you

Be still while your Qadr unfolds under your nose

Be still even whilst you are being squeezed to your limits

Be still even whilst the sharpness of words from the child you bore pierce through you

Be still even whilst an intruder enters without an invitation and makes himself at home,

Stand your ground and defend your fortress 

Be still and waver no more

although /that/ is in your nature.

 

It’s like telling the river not to flow

and the sun not to shine

 

The Qalb is that which qallibs

The very nature of the word tells us that it turns

on its face as it turns on its heel

 

It turns so much in a day,

a month, a year-

that i wonder if it ever gets dizzy

from all the turning

it does

 

One day it is full of spots of sins

The next day I’m scrubbing it clean

One day it drives me worried-sick

and the next day it’s as peaceful as the gentle waves on the shore on a Sunday afternoon.

 

That is why I’m not asking it

to go against its course

I’m only asking it to turn

towards You.

 

[Performed at Twins of Faith 2017, Kuala Lumpur]

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3 thoughts on “Qalb

  1. Pingback: Towards You | Monologues In My Head

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