Give your Father a gift of verse as a sign of your appreciation this Father’s Day. Poetry books are fitting gifts to mark special occasions, and Lote Tree Press has a wonderful selection of publications of inspiring verse by Muslim poets.
“In this sublime book Iljas Baker gives us a glimpse - in poetic form - of his spiritual journey through Buddhism, the spiritual exercise of Subud, and Islam. Many of the poems use Chinese and Japanese poetical forms, especially Haiku, Haibun and Tanka, but express somewhat uniquely an Islamic rather than a Buddhist worldview. The presence of some examples of the world-famous calligrapher Haji Noor Deen's Chinese interpretations of Islamic calligraphy adds a beautiful and complementary graphic element to the subtle marriage of East Asian literary forms and Islamic spirit to be found in this book.
Iljas's poems and poetic artistry demonstrate the universality of Truth which, being Absolute, can and must manifest in every culture and in every art form, and both penetrate and embrace human life from the most mundane to the most exalted.”
-Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, Founder and President of Cordoba House
These dazzling, deep and daring poems provide calm respite from the madness of modern life and demonstrate how desire to connect with the Creator and understand His creation and our place in it can enliven and change us, moment by moment, poem by poem.
— Professor Joel Hayward, author of Splitting the Moon
This collection of the poems of Idris Mears reveals him to be an authentic and important voice of this time. Their spare and sculpted lines display moments of breathtaking natural beauty, of discovery of the truly extraordinary in the humdrum ordinariness of everyday life, of profound insight and deep spiritual yearning, of seeking out the elusive interface between the timeless and the caught in time, and above all in transmitting an intense luminosity that is all too rare an attribute of any writing of this era.
— Shaykh AbdalHaqq Bewley, author of The Natural Form of Man
Follow in the illuminated steps of the Prophet ﷺ with a poem for our times in the seerah tradition, relating and reflecting upon stages in the history of the Prophet Muhammad's ﷺ journey. Light Steps is written in the style of a devotional, narrative ballad with a rhyme scheme set in a four line quatrain, and explores elements of the Prophet's life as a meditation on his light-filled message and character.
Light Steps: A Poem on the Seerah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is a spiritually nourishing reflection on the life of the Messenger ﷺ, his noble character traits and his light-filled message. It is an ideal gift for Eid, graduation or for new converts.
A KALEIDOSCOPE OF STORIES – Muslim Voices in Contemporary Poetry brings together the myriad voices of eighty Muslim poets from diverse backgrounds to powerfully articulate what it means to be Muslim in the modern world. It provides a platform for Muslim voices to be heard speaking about their experiences in their own words, and offers an antidote to the stereotyped, one-dimensional portrayal of Muslims we see so often in the media. The anthology gives the reader a glimpse of the thoughts, hopes and challenges of those who see the world through two or more cultural lenses, and provides an authentically Muslim space for the expression of our spiritual, social and personal lives. It brings together the verses of multi-generational voices exploring themes including love and loss, identity and belonging and Islamic spirituality.
An immersive photo poetry journal taking the reader through the spiritual and religious landscape of Morocco, known as the land of saints. Dziedzic succeeds in transporting us to a sacred realm through the meditative jewel-like verse, anecdotes and photos in the pages of this book.
The perennial human journey is the path of remembrance; the path of recalling creation’s origins and of seeing the Divine root in all things. The Sufis of Morocco cultivate this attitude through dhikr, spiritual practices inculcating perpetual God-consciousness. For this reason, Morocco has become known as balad al-awliyāʾ, the land of saints.
This collection of poetry, prose, and photography offers gleams of light and beauty from the balad al-awliyāʾ. Symphonies of Theophanies: Moroccan Meditations invites the reader to short meditations, a personal dhikr, through inspiration from the traditions of Moroccan Sufism, a shimmering mine of spiritual wisdom. In each instant lies the seeds of transcendence - a hidden theophany and a secret heartsong yearning for the heavens. This collection is a symphony of such moments, such heartsongs.
The Well at the Desert's Heart - Verses of Healing offers a trove of insights in verses of remarkable beauty and perception that emerge through the depths of grief and heights of love into a wider appreciation of life.
Alone, wraithlike, I walk through this landscape,
With the ghost of a child for company.
I follow him, walking in his footsteps,
He is leading me back, back to the place,
Where my soul first woke to the world's beauty,
When the limitless sky and I were one.
This book explores the soul's moments of deep anguish and grief, finding a way through the greatest losses while processing difficult emotions.
In Bowland's evocative descriptions of being out in the fenland landscape of Cambridgeshire, meditative and reflective words act as a healing balm finding a wholeness in the natural world -
Encouraging us to examine our sense of identity, and advising 'To this moment surrender your story', this collection promotes integration on an individual and collective level, a rejection of othering, and a deeper connection to ourselves, to one another, to nature and to God. Drawing on Sufi mysticism and informed by an anti-war stance, it presents a healing vision of oneness, and conveys the essential message in our polarised world that 'No 'identity' needs to self-defend'.
Exploring the dynamics of growing up in a working class family in a northern town, Nabila Jameel takes us on a journey through life in England, coloured with visits to Pakistan. From this Street to the Moon is a feast for the senses, filled with sumptuous details and mesmerising descriptions of everyday activities, evoking both raw and tender moments.
In her verses the reader can almost smell the roti as it is freshly made over an open fire, or feel they are standing on the roadside as ‘A Vespa stutters past/ and then a rikshaw, heavy with loud women.’
From a child’s eyes we are able to feel the joy and freedom of bathing in the back yard - ‘We sat towel wrapped in the sun and shivered/ while droplets fell onto our flip flops./ Smiles were bigger than our house’, and sense the fatigue of her hard-working parents when her father ‘comes home tired/ hands the crispy wage packet to mum/ eats in haste and falls asleep as if he’s drugged.’
In her unflinching social commentary Jameel explores the harsh realities of society: poverty, abuse and misogyny. Racism and identity are explored through the discomfort of being a foreigner in an ancestral homeland while facing both overt and subtle racial abuse in the UK.
Whether describing the process of starching a shalwar kameez, buying tins of baked beans in a bazaar in Hayatabad, or highlighting uncomfortable social and cultural undercurrents, Jameel’s words are vivid and evocative, taking us on a journey with her as we travel through prominent milestones in life, experiencing the highs and lows, while navigating between two cultures. Grief and loss are intertwined with and explored through culture and spirituality.
Soukeyna Osei-Bonsu explores themes of African diaspora, identity and faith as a Black Muslim through her compelling verse, in a poetic tapestry woven between London and Ghana.
This is a book which excavates identity and self-knowledge, a journey from the spiritual realm which also attempts to stitch whole the frayed fibres of diasporic belonging. The areas explored range from Africa to spiritual awakening taking the reader on a journey to self.
Soukeyna Osei-Bonsu's verse evokes the beauty of the earthly and spiritual realms of human experience, navigating a poetic course from London to Ghana through themes of belonging and faith.
Her poems dance at the intersection between the mundane and the sacred, weaving the everyday through with perceptions of the eternal, the ancient and the evanescent.