Saturday, July 13, 2024

O Aqsa

I am not going to cry for you, O Aqsa
I am not going to shed tears like a coward
Of what use are my cries for you
Of what use are my tears for you, O Aqsa?

Though, you can call me a coward
You have every right to call me so,
But, you know I am not a coward, O Aqsa
I am merely utterly helpless
And I do not know how to get out of this rut
If you could tell me how, O Aqsa
I would defend you over my life, O Aqsa
I know, you are not in need of my sympathy
I know, you are not in need of my pity
But, I swear, my heart aches for you, O Aqsa
And my blood boils watching your children die
I do not want to shed tears like a coward, O Aqsa
But, I do not have control over my heart
I do not have control over the springs of my eyes
But, I am not going to cry for peace to the cowards
I am not going to plead for your relief, O Aqsa!
Of what use would be peace, without justice?
Of what use would be relief, without freedom?

I know, they cannot crush your spirit, O Aqsa
I know, they cannot bring you down, O Aqsa
But, what do I do with my feeble heart?
How do I console my troubled soul?

Who can win, waging war against you, O Aqsa,
Who can prevail over your indomitable spirit, O Aqsa
O Queen of the Believer’s heart
Who has the power to efface you from our hearts?
You are what your Creator made you, O Aqsa
You are among the most Sacred,
You are the abode of the Holy Prophets
And nobody can take that away from you, O Aqsa
You are the beloved of your Creator,
And Nobody can snatch that from you!

I hear you, O Aqsa,
I hear your dignified voice
I admire the honour in your stance
You are a model of poise and equanimity, O Aqsa
How well do you hold yourself together
Despite the chaos and destruction around you
How well do you hold on to Truth and Justice
Though the walls around you are crumbling

How beautiful are you in your pain, O Aqsa,
How graceful are you in chain, O Aqsa,
I know, these chains cannot hold you back
I know, these rains cannot bring you down,
But, I still feel for you, O Aqsa
My heart aches for you, O Aqsa
I have nothing to offer you my beloved,
I have nothing to show for my love,
Except that I pray for you,
Except that I cry for you,
But, of what use are my tears for you, O Aqsa
Of what use are my words of consolation
May you live forever, O Aqsa

– Shafaat Shahbandari

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