1 May 2013

A poem about the humanitarian convoy to Syria organised by SKT Welfare, that I took part in recently

*-----The Convoy-----*

The convoy is coming to town,

Full of smiles and laden with hope to replace the frowns.

Four wheels replace the four hooves that once traversed,

Ancient deserts, mouths parched with thirst.


Brothers and Sisters from distant nations,

Taking aid to serve the ailing patients.

From Felixstowe docks this dromedary arrives,

Fuel tank for humps, windscreen for eyes.


Rendezvous first at Beaconsfield services,

Ready to depart with CB transistors,

Dover docks is our first destination,

Full of hope and anticipation!


Arrive in Dunkirk in the dead of night,

The minaret of the masjid is a welcome sight,

Slumber in the great hall for a few hours of repose,

Wake up for Fajr, all lined up in rows.

With duas and Salaam we take once more to the roads,

Combats and jeans replace elegant thobes.


Diesel to quench our ambulances thirst,

Filled to the brim, release the brake and put her into first.

Proceed in formation through French rues,

As daylight brings with it wonderful views, Allah’s creation in all of its hues.


We pass through majestic Swiss mountains, set by Allah as pegs,

How could all this occur by chance?

A question for people of intellect this begs,

Harmony in nature for all to survey,

Day passes night and night passes day.


To Italy we proceed as our journey unfolds,

Preparing our currency for motorway tolls.

The smell of the sea greets us in the port of Ancona,

The ferry swallows the convoy like the whale swallowed Jonah.


Through zikr after salah, the Almighty did we praise,

To polish our hearts and remove our inner malaise.

The Burdah we chanted in praise of Rasullullah (pbuh),

Intrigued were the passengers, travelling from near and far.


To our cabins we retreat for much needed rest,

Ready in the morn to proceed on our quest.

From the sea onto land in Greece we have arrived,

With sunglasses and t-shirts, for sunnier climes we are attired.


Beauty abounds in every direction,

Open vistas, blues skies as far as the horizon.

Creation resplendent for all to see,

Cursed are those who do not believe.

Signs are there for all to ponder,

Faith is strengthened as hearts grow fonder.


Once more we stop to fill up our tanks,

As onlookers look at men lined up in ranks,

Praying salah, to Allah we give thanks.


As night falls, Greece we have crossed west to east,

At the Bulgarian border, once more do we meet.

Documents checked, we are waived swiftly onward,

To be part of this journey, we are truly honoured!


As Friday approaches, we reach Turkish soil,

For much needed sleep to our makeshift beds we recoil.

A new dawn brings with it a slight delay,

Whilst vehicles and aid are closely surveyed.


Beyond the perimeter a masjid can be seen,

For our ritual cleansing, in the courtyard we make our ablution,

Before praying Salat-ul-Juma in congregation.

The imam’s recitation is food for the soul,

Whilst the beauty of the masjid is a sight to behold!


Our duty to Allah having once been completed,

Cameras await, like heroes we are greeted!

Lenses trained from the back of a car,

Focused on ambulances that have come from afar.


Istanbul will be our next hop,

Our senses are ill-prepared for the shock!

As drivers weave recklessly in and out of lanes,

To take such risks one wonders what is gained?


In the ensuing melee the convoy is fragmented,

We wait on a side-road whilst assistance is requested.

The brief respite allows time for namaaz,

An island of calm in an ocean of cars.


Our helpers arrive and we continue with caution,

Diligently we proceed, this journey is an act of devotion.

A wonderful feast for us awaits,

Overwhelmed by the welcome, despite arriving late.


Words of solidarity are exchanged with our sister charity,

SKT Welfare is welcomed by Yardimeli.

Brother and Sisters sit making conversation,

The bond of Islam is not lost in translation.


A hotel bed is a welcome luxury,

As heads hit pillows we are rendered stress free.

Freshly bathed and clothed we continue after breakfast,

To Ankara with speed, proceed we must.


More press and interviews await on our arrival,

Later a sumptuous meal in a fortress on top of a hill.

Onward we march like an army of ants,

Like dervishes held in a mystical trance,

To Konya the city of the great Sufi Saint,

Maulana Rumi’s Maqaam awaits.


Fortunate are we to pay our respects,

Only here by their invitation one suspects.

Dawn is greeted by an orchestra of athans,

Refreshing it is to be in Muslim lands!


 To Adana we carry swiftly on,

For another press briefing in front of a throng,

Unaccustomed are we to a police escort,

With siren’s wailing, the local’s attention we caught!


Peace signs and flying flags are displayed,

A show of emotion as children smile and wave,

Touched are we by the welcome they gave,

The effort worthwhile if one life is saved.


No time to stop and take in the surroundings,

Move on we must to our next hotel lodgings,

The town of Reyhanli is our final destination,

Our efforts have almost reached culmination.


Dejected are we to hear our meeting with Sayyidi would not occur,

The presence of his Khalifa Shaykh Abu Muhammed, brings to our hearts succour,

A person who epitomises serenity and humbleness,

Dua’s and words of wisdom from Sayiddi they bring to us.


An unforgettable evening of Dhikr and recitation ensues,

With contentment and Sakina our hearts are infused,

Finally with our heartfelt respects we seek ijaza,

And retreat to our rooms for our final nights slumber.


The day has arrived to drive to the border,

Ambulances are cleaned and prepared before we deliver,

To our Syrian Brothers who keenly await,

Such a positive contribution to the dire situation they’ll make.


By late afternoon the paperwork finally complete,

The drivers impatiently awaiting their keys,

With shouts of Takbir and Allahu Akbar,

They pass into the blessed lands of As Shaam

As to Allah (swt) we pray for peace and calm.


Lifelong friends we have made and experiences we’ve had,

Pulling through all the good times and bad,

A miracle it is that we came so far,

With the dua’s of the Shuyukh and the Awliya,

 Thankful are we for the mercy of Allah (swt) and the protection of our beloved Rasullullah (pbuh).



A copy of the poem can be downloaded from here:

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