Arts & Culture

The Miracle Of Pain

Now, you can listen to Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore's poems from his own voice. Moore has been writing poetry since 1964. Although he stopped writing for ten years after becoming a Muslim in 1970 he resumed writing poetry in 1980 and has published many books since. 

The Miracle Of Pain



With blisters the size of Brazil

and headaches the size of Manhattan -

why is spiritual pursuit so associated with

        physical pain?

Abd al-Qadir Jilani used to

tie his hair to a nail on the wall to

snap his head back if he dozed off

         reading Qur'an.

Christian mystics endure endless permutations of

      difficulty, including spontaneously

           bleeding from the

wounds of Christ.

Sitting in Buddhist meditation on puffy black cushions

      crosslegged for hours to

focus the mind nearly

    drove me up the wall I was facing.

Birth is no picnic. Death often

   less so. Life in between: a

tough love event.

Yet it all brings us to God.

These blisters on feet around

   Ka'ba marble

around and around,

the headache that comes from

    odd short hours of

  sleep in order to

wake up the heart before Allah in the

last watches of the night -

      the abode of lovers -

is the price to pay for ma'rifa*

as all creatures of this earth must

crack open the shells on acorns or mussels to get

    the meat, the

earth splits apart revealing

  deep fissures of ruby, whole

generations drown and later generations

      come - a

tear of joy forms in the eye of one

  who sees The One Who



*ma'rifa = Recognition of the Divine Reality.


Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore is a Muslim poet who has published many poetry books and organized poetry reading festivals. Born in 1940 in Oakland, California his first book of poems was published in 1964. He became a Muslim in 1970 and travelled extensively around Europe and North Africa. Although he stopped writing for ten years he continues writing Islamic and spiritual poetry.



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