Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Najaf--By Sheikha A.--Pakistan and U.A.E.


Kufa’s compound has been descended
over by feathers of angels who once wore
your face over theirs to become one with
their Sardaar – my Master, I envision
your mehraab embedded with tear-drops
of a deep blood that was saved in a vial
for its subjects’ elevation; the arch where
you bowed your head for our liberation;
find her there – head pressed against
your silver-golden zareeh, lips pursed 
for the one she’d leave behind; find her
with lumps on her chest that grew out of
her yearning to see her beloved find
the heaven’s peace; find her and free her;
find her for me so I should never have to 
become the carer, the consoler or a lie of
an inexistent hope; send a miracle from
the cold, send the cure even if from deepest
ravines of a dead star, stay the beloved 
from her threats of disintegrating belief –  


Najaf : is the city in Iraq where Hazrat Ali's [as] shrine exists. It is the place where believers throng for worship and seek shifa [cure], answers, enlightenment and strength to battle tribulations. 

Sardaar : the word means Master. In this case, I refer to Maula Ali [as]. 

Mehraab : is a sanctuary basically but I refer to the arch - the place where Maula Ali [as] was slain by his enemy during worship - in sujood [prostration]. It is the second shrine in Kufa, another city in Iraq, where believers visit to offer respects.

Zareeh : is shrine - outward section - constructed around the actual grave. It is a latticed metal enclosure or mesh that people stand afore and offer respects. 


Sheikha A. is from Pakistan and U.A.E. and often finds herself in a world of oscillation that most of the times motivates her writing too. She maintains a (or tries to) blog on


  1. Sheikha,
    A great poem filled with a lot of words I did not know before. Thanks for the poem and the lesson.
    Your friend,
    David Fox

  2. Great Poem, Sheikha. I loved the feel of it and learnt new words. - Nalini Priyadarshni

  3. Your words evoke pathos, yet I think that you invite the reader to feel some optimism....

    1. you're right, Rick, it's like a prayer poem...

  4. I headed staright over to see your words in action! Well done Sheika. A pleasure to get to know your craft!

  5. Sheikha, an exquisite prayer. A masterful poem. I will read this one again and again. - Laura M Kaminski