Category Archives: Habsiyya

Poems from Prison

Abdulaziz: Je Ne Me Plaindrai Pas


Je ne me plaindrai auprès de personne, ni
n’attendrai de pardon de quiconque à part Allah,
Alors aide-moi Seigneur.

Oh Seigneur, mon cœur est infecté de confusions.

Je ne me plaindrai auprès de personne à part Toi,
même si les mers se plaignaient de sècheresse.

Même si mon corps est soumis par les chaînes,
mon esprit flotte librement dans les cieux.

Prier Allah, Qui m’a doté de patience dans les
temps d’adversité, et de gratitude pour les
moments de joie.

Prier Allah, Qui a placé un jardin et un verger en
mon sein, afin qu’ils m’accompagnent toujours.

Prier Allah, Qui m’a doté de la foi, et fait de moi un

Prier Allah, Seigneur de l’Univers.

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Posted by on May 24, 2013 in Habsiyya, Poems by Abdulaziz


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Abdulaziz: I Shall Not Complain


I shall not complain to anyone or expect
grace from anyone
other than God, so help me God.

O Lord, my heart is plagued with troubles.

I shall not complain to anyone other than You, even if the seas
complain of dryness.

My spirit is free in the heavens, while my body is overpowered
by chains.

Praise God, who has granted me patience in times of adversity
and gratitude in times of gladness.

Praise God, who placed a garden and an orchard in my bosom,
so they will be with me always.

Praise God, who has granted me faith and made me a Muslim.

Praise God, Lord of the world.

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Posted by on May 24, 2013 in Habsiyya, Poems by Abdulaziz


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Fulan: In the Palace of Papers

Palace of Paper


44:18 ?/?/?

Por Mi Amor

In the Palace of Papers a 1’000 words are written, where they go are known to none. Least of all to those who write them. Those spying, prying eyes, ignorant of the eloquence they hope to understand are in their ever blissless blunderings imprisoned, while they, themselves hope to be like that which they have “imprisoned”.

Yet words are born in the captivity of minds and are bound and confined by the limitations of text and tongues incapable of freeing them; feelings — how can such things felt, be given form in the arc and curve of confining, contrived script when they were birthed in the vastless chambers of dreams and the void of hearts hewn and honed on Haqq.

So letters are written, and letters asking for letters are written, and upon the broken backs of tongue-twisted squash are they conveyed to courts where kings are at the beck of jesters on usurped thrones, and the lyres are played, plucked by the teeth of crooked minstrels.

So inept ignorant eyes, pry and pry awaiting a day when banners are affixed and ears are gifted for that which they heard. And words scribed, while much goes unsaid and deeds are earned with a pen mightier than any sword for plundering that worth more than gold…

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Posted by on May 20, 2013 in Habsiyya, Poems by Fulan


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Marcus Robertson (Abu Taubah): February 2013 (On The Inside)

Chapter One

As the prisoners file into the chapel, their eyes are scanning the congregation for possible friends and foes. Then, once deciding whether to go right or left, they rush off in their chosen direction to greet their associates from the other cell blocks Speaking in hushed tones, they pass on messages and news from loved ones in far away places. I’m standing in the heart of the chapel by the podium, greeting everyone as they come in.

“Come in brothers! You can sit anywhere you want. As-Salaamu ‘alaykum. Peace, Peace. Yeah maan, you can sit wherever you want. Don’t worry about it; we won’t get started until everybody finds a spot.”


In Prison, people come to religious service for different reasons. Sure, some come to pray and some come searching for the truth, but most come to see their people, or to get out of the cell for an hour or two.

It’s almost time. Everybody’s finally sitting down. Some half-facing each other, some leaning back and others on the edge of their seats: all whispering, smiling and enjoying each others company. Looking around I realize that I don’t know these guys from Aadam. I am a stranger here.

Out of the thirty or so men in this room, only about five of us are Muslims. And two of them are New Shahaadas. So where do I start with these men? They are quite aware of the nature of their crimes. But if you were to ask them, “How could you do such things?” They will explain that they have sold drugs to the most respected Preachers. And have seen too many “Church Ladies” turning tricks to pay their bills not to do such things. In their world, they are normal men trying to survive in a system that has little concern for them.

I recognize that they have seen a lot, but what I don’t know is what they understand about Islaam. Which leads me back to the question of: where do I start with these guys. Hmph, I’m getting a queasy feeling rolling about in my stomach. Steady, steady, it’s time to start, take a breath…

Rabbish-raH-Lee Sadree”
My Lord give me the right inspiration,” whispers out of my mouth.

wa Yas-sir-Lee amree
and make this easy for me…

waH-LuL ‘uQdataM MiL-Lisaanee…”
“and untie the knot in my tongue…”

Yaf-Qahoo QawLee.”
“so that they can relate to what I’m talking about.”

Then, raising my voice just above the friendly commotion, I say:

“Bis-millahir RaH-maanir Ra-Heem. My name is Wahshee and I’m going to be teaching the class today.”

Nothing. Most are not paying attention, caught up in conversations much more interesting. When a scattered few give me the, “Go ahead, you’re not interrupting us” nod. I feel a smile growing uncontrolled on my face. I can’t help it. Class is in session… and I love it.

I begin, “AL-Hamdulillah, Getting locked up is almost like dying… only better.”

The low rumble ceases. “Every man in this room knows what it feels like to get locked up right?”    Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on May 15, 2013 in Habsiyya, Prose by Marcus Robertson


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Voyage du Retour

Il commence sans freins,
Se termine par une capture sans fins,
ce voyage.

Allongé dans ma cellule les yeux ouverts,
avec une joie et des sourires feints,
Je vois ma liberté consumée, mon heure venue –
Les larmes font déborder le vase de ma peine;
Ma maison est une cage aux barreaux d’acier
où le faux devient vrai, où les rêves sont brisés,
les espoirs tabassés,
où d’un nouveau statut on se voit gratifié!

L’ironie de tout ça – la détention et le reste:
Etre si petit et se tenir si haut.
Des années de larmes, des journées de labeur,
il ne reste que la peur, au bon plaisir des tyrans.
Une ordination qui expirera sûrement
sans tarder.
Mais en attendant, cette farce on doit l’endurer

Maintenant que l’on a bien appris sa leçon:
Que “la patience est une vertu”
Et que la vertu est forgée de fer,
Alors la poésie est mise en mouvement
(peut-être même sera-t-elle appréciée).

Encore et encore sur le papier j’écris,
Sachant quoi mais jamais quand –
là où les rêves commencent et les cauchemars
s’achèvent –
Je rentrerai chez moi auprès de ceux que j’aime.

-Moazzam Begg, Former Guantanamo Detainee

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Homeward Bound

Begins this journey without reins,
Ends in capture without aims;
Now lying in the cell awake,
with merriment and smiles all fake:

Freedom is spent, time is up
Tears have rent my sorrow’s cup;
Home is a cage, and cage is steel,
Thus manifest reality’s unreal.

Dreams are shattered, hopes are battered,
Yet with new status one is flattered!
The irony of it – detention and all;
Be so small, stand so tall.

Years of tears and days of toil
Are now but fears and tyrant’s spoil;
Ordainment has surely come to pass,
But endure alone one must this farce.

Now ‘patience is virtue’ taught,
And virtue is of iron wrought;
So poetry is in motion set
(perhaps, with appreciation met)

Still the papers do I pen,
Knowing what, but never when
As dreams begin, and nightmares end
I’m homeward bound to beloved tend.

-Moazzam Begg, Former Guantanamo Detainee

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Fulan: What Days Have Passed

What Days Have Passed

44:10 ?/?/?


What days have passed when pen and paper were pined for. Days when volumes were scribed upon the walls of a fractured mind. Where shadow and light were one, and fancy and phantasms roamed the halls of a maddening maze, side by side and stride by stride with fact and fading reality.

What days have passed when hands rent hearts in want and desire, pacifying pain in the dreams of what were and could be.

What days have passed when sleep and wakefulness were known only in lexicons, and the borders of dreams were dissolved in the deluge of denial and dementia.

What days have passed when hands touched and eyes found faces, if even their own.

What days are yet to come when thoughts are given leave to be born and life be lived and scattered screaming scrawlings no longer are escape from one’s self but sojourn to one’s soul…

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Posted by on May 13, 2013 in Habsiyya, Poems by Fulan


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