“Allah `azza wa…

“Allah `azza wa jall said: ‘Verily, from amongst My slaves is he whose faith cannot be rectified except by being inflicted with poverty, and were I to enrich him, it would surely corrupt him. Verily, from amongst My slaves is he whose faith cannot be rectified except by wealth and affluence, and were I to deprive him, it would surely corrupt him. Verily, from amongst My slaves is he whose faith cannot be rectified except by good health, and were I to make him sick, it would surely corrupt him. Verily, from amongst My slaves is he whose faith cannot be rectified except by disease and illness, and were I to make him healthy, it would surely corrupt him. Verily, from amongst My slaves is he who seeks worship by a certain act but I prevent that from him so that self-amazement does not enter his heart. Certainly, I run the affairs of My slaves by My Knowledge of what is in their hearts. Certainly, I am the All-Knower, All-Aware’.” [Tabarani]


Ya Allah, the love I feel for your slaves is nothing compared to the love I feel for You.

Allahu, Allahu Rabbee laa ushriku bihi shay’an.



The Walk

With hands clasped together, they walked;

Their shoes leaving deep prints in the mud.

Upon reaching a crossroads, they stopped,

And, between them, small white puffs of

breath gathered and scattered, like

regret which comes and goes as it pleases.

Above them, birds sang,

Reminding them that life, indeed,

does not depend on the severity of

their loss, not on their hearts’ painful

breaking, healing, and breaking again.

But for the moment, both were content

to drop the world, if for another gaze

in the other’s eyes,

Another moment of laughter, or a moment of love.

But neither had the heart to find Hope.

The reason for their parting suddenly

became unclear, unreal, impossible.

But to bring again the storm of questioning

was no longer something they could do.

They let go.

One more look back, and then another, and again

until each had gone from sight.

But with them walked the other’s Absence.

Absence, the silent emptiness left behind,

the delicate perfume left in a lover’s wake.

And with them Absence walked, a tireless presence;

relentless and stubborn in its demand for attention,

who walked until both had the strength to leave it behind.

Another companion joined. And this was Memory.

A strange fellow, who showed only the bright, iridescent facets

of love the two shared,

and often conveniently stood in front of the darkness, the blemishes.

But Memory grew and evolved with them, and matured

and eventually became a part of Love.

Love, the unseen, unheard companion

who had taken root inside their hearts.

And only when the time came, only when Absence

had been abandoned,

Only when Memory had infused with it (Love),

did Love reveal itself.

Bloomed within them like a whispered comfort,

a warmth against their frigid flesh,

And they knew that they had indeed loved each other well.

And within that comfort, a spark was lit

And this companion was Prayer.

And Prayer had come to find Hope.

Nesha Usmani

The Wear and Tear

Bismillahi Ar Rahmani Ar Rahim

I sat down and I had, in my head, visions of heart-aching beauty.

In which memories of the sum of the years folded themselves

into beautiful, delicate shapes.

They cleverly hid the sadness and misery.

I guess that’s what they mean by having those

rose-colored glasses.

Oh but, I realized today, both an icicle in the heart

and a fluttering of the soul,

that in taking you away

Allah answered my best prayer for you.

My best prayer!!!

One of the most difficult ones I’ve ever made.

Everything else…He grasped my hands tightly

and it was as though I heard it in my heart,


“No. But you can have this.

You can have this and smile when things go wrong

When things go wrong, and you are crying,

And everything is changing,

You will have this. And you will know

that I always do the best.”

What can I say, Allah?

Allah, what can I say except,

SubhanAllah, Alhamdulillah, Allahu Akbar.

I’ve cried until my eyes turned red,

The skin around them stinging.

Gratitude and sadness mingling with

each other.

Don’t lead me astray, Ya Rabb,

nor the ones whom I love.

You will take them from me, as You have in the past,

if it is Your will,

But do not lead us astray.

Above anything, I want Heaven.

A Home close to Your throne.

A forest of date palms,

A house of treasures.

An afternoon with a Prophet.

A hundred-year sleep.

The garden underneath my feet

Underneath which rivers flow.

The ever-youthful smiles of my parents,

And the eternal skies of Your blessings.

I would take any pain in this world

for the promise of Jannah.

My moment of truth revealed,

The wear and tear of my heart

healed with Your mercy.

Your Grace.

Your Will.

Forgive me, Ya Allah.

Allahumagh fir lee.

Allahumagh fir lee.

Allahumagh fir lee, Ya Rabb.



I feel the emptiness like a bloated fullness,

Its echoing vacancy a scream in the night.

I search my brain for an answer.

I am different.

Smaller and clearer, somehow.

All of those nights sweating over elliptical machines,

and choosing my food carefully.

Squeezing through the pain to get to a better place.

I am different and yet it is not for me.

Is it for you? Who is it for?

It feels like I am still waiting

and yet I’ve lost someone to wait for.

My clothes fall loose.

A comfortable fit where

the marks used to be.

And yet, you’re not there.

Weight and wait.

In losing both,

is a sadness I never expected.

Nesha Usmani

Strangely, Very Relevant

A Much Delayed Stream of Consciousness.

Every night,

A solid dream

Waking unrealities

I wish never became real to me

The inner apocalypse I ignore,

The mad madness of every madman that ever was mad,

Bottled inside of my throat,

Plays with the cords of my voice

A sad tune,

An evil smile

The irony is so spectacular…

The betrayal so profound

Sends shockwaves of hatred up into my brain,

Brought down by slow torture of gravity,

And into the shallow shores of my conscience

Ah, the betrayal…

The betrayal!

The convulsions throw me

With the memory of every gift I ever gave.

And every word I’ve ever said

The shame,

The humiliation,

Rape me

Rape my unabashed vow to never regret

Touch me, look…

Look! Where are the scars?

Where are they, the deepest wounds, and the horrendous gashes?

Hidden behind the placidity…perhaps

Taking sanctuary beneath the smile…

The pain, blessed with the gills to breathe in the abysmal pools

Of the darkness of my eyes…

So that it will remain there,

Breathe there, thrive there,

And I’ll let a star in sometimes…

I’ll let the star in to twinkle off the surface

I’ll make the pools reflect and shine and glow,

And you’ll think me happy

Perhaps never seeing the monstrous deformity

That lingers on, dwelling in the deep

Perhaps you’ll never see me again,

Only observe the weak projections

It will get better

Better it will get

Get better it will

Will it get better?





You will regret it

Regret it you will

Will you regret it?


I think so

But maybe,

You won’t.

Tragedy, Tragedy, Tragedy

Mumbles Shakespeare in his sleep,

His peaceful sleep, an arm around his mistress

“The Horror The Horror”

Chants Kurtz

Kurtz in the jungle…Kurtz in the bed,

Kurtz making his way to Hell

And his Intended floats in an infinite maze

Whilst Conrad sharpens his pencil to bleed some more…

Why don’t we all bleed some more of our lives, mop it up on paper,

Sell it to the world

I hope…

I hope it was worth it…the hypocrisy and the lies…

The glass promises thrown down the stairs and the shards shoved into a closet…

I hope it was all worth it,

I hope it was worth the breaking of our friendship…I hope it was worth sending it to Hell.

And I hope it was worth the shattering of red vitality,

I can’t even look at you,

I hope it was worth that too

Funny…it was easier when the wound was fresh

But… every divine being must have looked down upon me and frowned

When I began to miss the knife that bled me.

Nesha Usmani

Saturday, September 23, 2006

edited: October 29, 2012

Perfume in the Wind


Love is a swift and memorable guest,

though kind and handsome

He is perfume in the wind,

Leaves you by the open window,

searching for the scent.

It’s absence made crueler

with the memory it leaves,

And with every breath you are haunted,

Glancing at empty chairs

and cold beds,

And hope like a hungry flame

leaves you whispering on a faltering breath

the hollowed remains of a cherished name.


Nesha Usmani