Hope without Prayer,

a lonely, miserable thing.

Like a traveler without a map,

it wanders aimlessly.

But more than that, it suffers!

A deluded light it follows, like

breadcrumbs from the devil.

Stooped forward and hungry, it walks

with a bent spine and with round bulging eyes

it sees and yet is blind.

It spends its life searching in vain,

a hand stretched out like a beggar’s

for some fruit for its labor,

some answer for its pain.

But none is given except anger,

A deluge of bitterness;

an insidious acid rain.

For never did its hands curl upward

Never once took the Lord’s name,

No Prayer ever graced its ruined lips,

No humility, repentance, nor shame.

As death stretched open its hungry maw,

and revealed the glowing coals in its throat,

Realization, terror, understanding took hold, and

the shriveled body of misbegotten hope,

shook with regret, with shame

and curled its dying hands upward,

and prayed

as the embers fanned to flame.

Nesha Usmani

9 thoughts on “Hopeless

  1. Love this. The significance of prayer. I liked how you played with the imagery – the personification of hope (without prayer), an old decrepit who is defiantly abstaining to pray, only to bend a knee when finally hope is seemingly extinguished – a realisation that hope without prayer IS a type of death (also personified) – and the (bad) attitude that belies, surfaces.

    The ending is cleverly ambiguous. He is enraged and engulfed in his own pointless rage and/or he is sent to the hell-fire for his obstinacy.

    Wunderbar. MashaAllah.

    • Danke! Thank you! And Alhamdulillah for your understanding of it.
      As for the ending, Thought I thought of it, I did not exactly see it as the hope being engulfed by anger, but yes, it can be looked at it that way! But as for the writer’s point of view (me), I took the inspiration for the end from the fact that we will be shown where our akhira will be right before we die. So, Hope without Prayer sees the beginnings of a fire in death’s throat…and he repents, but the embers become a fire, and it’s too late.

      • Oh yes. I see what you mean. Three endings, then 🙂 (The three of them share in the realisation of being ‘too late’, I guess.)

        I also like in your comment how you referred to ‘the writer’s point of view’ – followed by ‘(me)’. as in ‘you’. But don’t worry, I know exactly why you did that.

        Split personality? (Lol, only kidding)

      • haha! I don’t know why I did that. I referred it as my point of view just because literature and poetry can be taken so many different ways without any of them being the “wrong way”. In fact, a person with more knowledge of Islam than I could read it and derive more from it than I could have, even though I wrote it!
        I’m rambling, now. Must go make some chai.

      • Keep writing sis. yours is an inspiration, mashaAllah.

        Don’t go rambling too long when going to make your chai – it is quite hazardous ambling out in the countryside – especially just for tea… 😉

    • Thank you! Rambling is a sign of genius. Or insanity. Though I find that most geniuses are insane. Mustn’t get too carried away. I might just be more than bit attention-deficit (if there is such a thing). Assalamu Alaikum, brother 🙂

      • Rambling across countryside, tea drinking geniuses are insane. But hey – that’s cool:-) wa alaikum as salaam sister (won’t bother you no more 🙂 )

      • Oh, now you’ve gone and made me feel bad. Please comment all you please! I enjoy hearing from my brothers and sisters! Just might be slower to reply. Little sister demands my presence in the kitchen.

  2. oh no that wasn’t supposed to happen. Apologies. I was attempting to ‘sign out’. That was why I put the smiley face there (those things never quite work!) No matter. I guess as a rule of thumb, when I get all ‘play-on-wordy’, assume I’m being light-hearted (for future reference). Ok, this is me, signing out 😉 adieu. ws

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s