Chasing Jannah

Laysal Ghareeb – the Stranger is Not…


A beautiful poem by Zaynul ‘Aabideen ‘Ali bin Hussain bin ‘Ali bin Abi Talib,

The stranger is not the stranger to Yemen or Syria
But the stranger is the stranger to the grave and the coffin
Verily the stranger has rights for his absence
Over the residents of the dwellings and homelands.
Don’t chase away the outlander in his state of unfamiliarity
For time is also chasing him with hardship and distress.
My travels are far and my provisions will not suffice me
My strength has weakened and death is calling unto me.

I still have sins which I know not of
Allah knows of them; those made in secret and in manifest.
How merciful has Allah been to me by giving me respite
And I have increased in sins but Allah has always shielded me
The hours of my days pass by without regret
No crying, no fear, no sadness.
I am the one who closes the doors with fatigue
on disobedience, and the Eye of Allah watches over me.

O’ that which was written in a moment of heedlessness
O’ the sorrow which remains in my heart is burning me.
Leave me to bewail myself and weep
and pass the time in sadness and remembrance.
Leave off your blaming of me O’ you who do so.
If you were but to know my situation you would have excused me.
Let me cry out tears that have no ending to them
for there will be no lesson that will set me free.

It is as though I am with that family, laying..
upon the mattress with their hands turning me over.
And they came to me with a doctor that he may cure me..
But of today I think not that medicine will benefit me.
My sufferings increased and death began to pull at me ..
from every vein, without ease or comfort.
My soul was then removed from me with a gurgle..
And my saliva became bitter at that point.

They then shut my eyes and left me…
after a long moment of despair,…. they hurried to the purchase of the shroud
And he who was dearest to me got up in a hurry..
To summon the person who was to wash me.
He said, “O’ my people we have attained a washer who is skillful, clever, bright and intelligent..”

So then one of the men came and removed my clothing..
He undressed me and denuded me…
They then placed me on top of a board
And the sound of water above me began to clean me
He poured the water on top of me and washed me..
Three times, before calling out to the people for the shroud..
They shrouded me in a sleeveless garment..
And my provisions became the embalmment in which they embalmed me.
They bore me towards my journey out of this world, oh how sorrowful!
Will be this journey for which I have no provisions to take along with me.

Upon their shoulders, they carried me, four….
Men, and behind me are those who come to bid me farewell.
They set me before the mihraab then turned away from me
Behind the Imam they went and he prayed on me then bade me farewell
They prayed over me a prayer consisting of neither Rukoo’ nor Sujood
Asking that Allah may have mercy upon me.

They lowered me into my grave slowly
And one of them came forward to place me in the Lahd.
He raised the garment from my face to gaze upon me
And the tears spilt from his eyes awashing me.
Then he stood, honoring me, firm and resolute
And lined the bricks on my body then left me.
And he said, “Throw the dirt upon him and reap
the great rewards from Ar-Rahman, The Most Gracious.”

In the darkness of the grave, no mother is there nor,
is there an affectionate father, or a brother to comfort me.
Alone….The only inhabitant of the grave, oh how sorrowful!
Am I on parting the world bearing no Deeds to provision me.
And a sight which beheld my eye struck terror into me.
From a place of terror it came and startled me..
Munkar and Nakeer, what shall I say to them?
The thought of them strikes terror into me, it causes me fear.

And they made me to sit and put forth their questions
I have none other than You now O Lord to deliver me!
So bestow upon me from your Mercy O Lord, how I hope in You!
For verily I am fettered in my sins, I am confined by them.
The relatives have divided my wealth amongst them after leaving me.
And my sins are now upon my back, burdening me.

My wife has taken another husband in my place
And she has appointed him as overseer over my wealth and my home.
She has made my children into servants to bid unto her needs
And my wealth has become to them a worthless means of enjoyment.
So let not this world and its adornments deceive you.
And look at its (evil) effects in your family and homeland.
And look at the one who collects the wealth of this dunya in abundance
Will he depart from this world bearing other than the death shroud and embalmment?

Take from the dunya that which suffices you and be contented with that
Even if you were to have naught but good health
O you who sow good, you will reap the fruit of your efforts.
O you who sow evil you will find yourselves overcome with grief.
O soul of mine, abstain from sinning and attain instead
deeds which are beautiful, for which Allah may be merciful towards me.
O soul of mine, Woe upon you! Turn towards your lord in repentance, and do that which is good
So that you will be recompensed after your death with that which is delightful.
Lastly sending prayers upon the chosen one, our leader (salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam)
All praise is unto Allah, may He fill our days and nights with that which is good,
with forgiveness with ehsaan and grace. (aameen)

Translated by Sister Amirah and Sister Mawadah

The nasheed can be listened to in Arabic at this link.

2 thoughts on “Laysal Ghareeb – the Stranger is Not…

  1. Very interesting, I appreciate your efforts in making this sound well.
    may Almighty Allah reward your good deeds, and may He forgive the evils ones.

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