About Islam

What does Islam mean to you?” people ask


Islam is an Arabic word that shares the same root (slm) with the words “salam” and “Istislam” Where “salam” means: peace, and “Istislam” means: submission. Therefore, Islam means: achieving peace through submission to God Islam consequently is nothing but total devotion and utter surrender to the will of the Beloved.

When we love our Creator deeply, we are in a state of constant adoration, our will becomes nothing but His will and our desire will be identical to His desire. Hence, the essence of our faith is that mankind can achieve peace by knowing and bonding with the All-Loving Creator; for souls can only find tranquillity, happiness, and contentment by being in a state of constant awareness and remembrance of the Most Loving through which intimate closeness and true peace can be achieved.

Everything observable in our world is in a permanent state of submission, they cannot break the laws of our Beloved Creator; unlike us humans (maybe there are other intelligent life forms in other parts of the universe that we are not aware of).

We are blessed with the gift of freewill. When we, out of own freewill, choose to surrender to the laws of God, we experience the ever lasting joy of tranquillity, inner peace and harmony within ourselves, with our fellow humans, with the universe around us and with our Beloved.

But what are the laws of God? These laws are found deep down in the innermost of our souls, they are known to us intrinsically, we are created to know them inherently, to recognize them by our “fitrah” or inner nature. We can also discover them by observing and studying ourselves and the universe around us, which we call the visual book of signs.

At the core of these laws, and as in the case of the universe lies BALANCE, which translate in our human terminology as JUSTICE. The rest are also easy to identify, it’s in the yearning for perfection in our most intimate imprint, and it’s longing for idealism, excellence, morality, goodness and compassion from the depth of our souls. Even though we had this inner knowledge, God still did not leave us to our own devices with no guidance.

Many prophets, messengers and inspired teachers came to remind and to give glad tidings for those who embrace the truth and those who desire goodness. Every single one of them came with the utterly simple yet superbly comprehensive message: believe in God and be Good (i.e. follow the inner law) All knowledge is available to all, transparent, clear, organic, effortless, open, and natural.

There is no secrecy, no occultism, no darkness, no hidden knowledge, no privileged few, no murkiness or deception, no shadowy characters, no obscure concealed information, no hierarchy, no ones are more enlightened than others. This is the simple yet profound message of Islam (submission that leads to peace) that ALL the prophets adhered to. The differences that we observe between the followers of those good people are all man-made interpretation, which could sometimes misunderstand, overlook, and add flawed human construal to the original simple message.

We as Muslims see absolutely no difference between the essence of all the messages nor we differentiate between the messengers. They are all brothers and their message is ONE. The Arabic word for God is: Allah. This word is unique in its characteristics; it has no plural, it is not a feminine or a masculine (unlike all Arabic nouns). It reflects perfectly the Islamic perception of God, who is not personified in a human form, God the Unique, the One, and the matchless. When we refer to God with “He” or “His”, it’s not that we perceive God as a male for God has no gender; it’s simply because of linguistic requirements.

All nouns are referred to either as a male or female in Arabic, there is no neutral, the general rule is that things that come in multiples are depicted in a feminine form (such as eye, ear, hand, foot) and things that we don’t have in pairs we use the masculine to describe ( nose, mouth, chin) Hence, God being Unique, we use the masculine to refer to Him.


This faith we embrace is that of Love and pure goodness; it is summed up by the words “allatheena amanou waamilou essalehat”; those who believe and do good deeds. Love of the Creator and all creation is the hub of that faith; aspiring and striving to live by the highest moral attributes that belongs to the Most Perfect and exists in its Ultimate Excellence in the Most Loving Creator.

This message leads to inner and outer peace through following the fitra (innate nature) that has been implanted inside each and every one of us. This embossed intrinsic yet veiled knowledge is where all our morality stems from.

This subtle awareness is precisely what leads us to long for, love, mimic and impersonate the example of God’s perfect and beautiful attributes.

The all Merciful (Ar-Rahman)

The Most Merciful (Ar-Raheem)

The Most Gracious (Al-Hafi)

The Most Friendly Most Kind (al-Rafeeq)

The Most Compassionate (al-Shafeeq)

The All-Loving (al-Wadoud)

The All-Gentle (al-Ra’uof)

The Most Tender (al-Hannan)

The Beneficent (al-Muhsin)

The All-Subtle (Al-Lateef)

The All- Good (Al-Barr)

The Enricher (Al-Mughnî)

The Ever-Giving (Al-Wahhab)

The Benefactor (Al-Mannan)

The Magnanimous (Al-Jawâd)

The Light (An-Nur)

The Guide (Al-Hadi)

The Ever-Truthful (As-Sâdiq)

The Secure (Al-Ameen)

The Faithful (Al-Wafî)

The Guarantor (Al-Kafeel)

The Praiseworthy (Al-Hameed)

The Guardian (Al-Wakeel)

The One Who Suffices (Al-Kâfî)

The Timelessly Eternal (Al-Qadeem)

The Pre-Eternal (Al-Azalî)

The Post-Eternal (Al-Abadî)

The Abiding (Al-Bâqî)

The Everlasting (Ad-Dâ’im)

The Constant (As-Sarmadî)

The Safe-guarder (Al-Muhaymin)

The Ever-Forgiving (Al-Ghaffar)

The All-Pardoning (Al-Afuw)

The All-Forbearing (Al-Haleem)

The Most Patient (As-Sabour)

The All-Perfect (As-Subbuh)

The Utterly Pure (Al-Qudus)

The Perfect Peace (As-Salam)

The Pure (At-Tahir)

The Magnificent (Al-Adheem)

The Majestic (Al-Jaleel)

The Most Beautiful (Al-Jameel)

The Most Generous (Al-Kareem)

The First (Al-Awal)

The Last (Al-Akher)

The Outward (Az-Zahir)

The Inward (Al-Batin)

The Trust-worthy (Al-Mu’min)

The Most Faithful (Al-Wafi)

The Just (Al-Adl)

The Equitable (AL-Muqsit)

The Judge (Al-Hakam)

The Ever-Thankful (Ash-Shakour)

The Unique (Al-Waheed)

The Unequalled (Al-Fard)

The Originator with beauty (Al-Badee)

The Creator (Al-Khaliq)

The Ever-Truthful (As-Sadiq)

The Ever-Sure (Al-Mateen)

The Lord of Majesty and Generosity (Dhû’l-Jalâl wa’l-Ikrâm)

The more we live by, and the deeper we acquire of these attributes the more joy and delight our souls could experience and contain, and the more people recognize and appreciate. The more hope for our world to attain peace and justice for all.

Whether we recognize it or not, this engraved undeviating yearning for God is what leads us to pursue every good sublime principal and ideal there is. It is the real drive behind our desire for perfection and the longing towards pure goodness and excellence. And this is what’s meant by the concept that we are created in the image of God; not as mistakenly understood in the physical sense.

That is why whoever strive for, and live by these high morals are much closer to the Most Loving than they can ever imagine even if they deny it; yet those who act evil in the name of religion yet claim to be religious are much further away. No man or woman dies before their time; the duration of each life span is precisely determined by the All Knowing Creator.

Death is tragic only if we leave unprepared and unaware. Here, I would like to end with a short affirmation: Praise be to God, Most Compassionate, Most Kind. I bear witness that there is no divinity but the One God (Allah in Arabic), the Most Gracious, Most Merciful, the Creator of the universe, of the heaven and the earth and all therein, God The Unique, The All-Perfect, The Most Just, the Most Loving, The Source of Peace, who is exalted above all deficiency and imperfection, to the Almighty belongs all Perfect and Beautiful names and attributes. God of Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Muhammed and all the prophets and good teachers known and unknown, mercy and peace be upon them. I bear witness that God is Truth and God’s promise is truth, and the gathering of mankind to a day of accountability is truth.

I bear witness to the simple, intact, unaltered, and comprehensive message of Islam that has been taught by all the Prophets And finally, a simple message to my family and friends: I urge all of you to keep hope alive in your hearts, keep doing the good work that you do, never give up; for every good thing you do is worthwhile.

Be like a tree, people attack with stones, yet it gives them its fruits in return Be like a rose, generous and graceful, giving its fragrance even when cut off, and even to those who end its life. Never despair; for with the company, grace, and bliss of the Beloved, All Loving, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful there is neither misery nor despair. Have faith and trust in humanity and the Creator of humanity; as through that faith and trust you can find everlasting happiness and endless joy. Try to hold on, embrace, and get absorbed with this trust as a baby utterly trusting while held in his mother’s arms.

© Copyright 2006 PoetryforPalestine – All Rights Reserved

In Loving Memory of my beloved Khaled; “Letting go”


Letting go 


You were there in front of me…

And I was missing you already

I was gazing at you

Couldn’t keep my eyes off you

Going to your shirts, you hang up

At the back of the door

Smelling them

Holding your jumper in my arms

Covering my face with, and sobbing

Trying hard

Not to show you my anguish and distress


I didn’t want to wash your clothes

I wanted to keep your scent… around

Holding on to your glasses

Kissing them… looking through them

Longing to see your eyes… behind


People kept telling me

“Don’t worry

It’s a routine operation”

We’d come through it

Seventeen years before, I know

But deep… deep down

In the bottom of my soul

I knew…

I used to pray, pleading

“Please God let my feelings be wrong”


One week before surgery

We went to hospital for final tests

When we came back

I burst into tears

Couldn’t stop

Time was getting closer

And I couldn’t face what was to come

Losing you was more than I could bear


You didn’t know what was the matter

Nobody knew… but me

But I couldn’t say anything

I cried all afternoon

You followed me

Trying to comfort me

You held me in your arms

Until I fell asleep

Do you remember?



One night before the operation

You were admitted

But you didn’t know

I’d set my mind on

Staying with you tonight


When I packed your bag

I put the little book I wrote for you

A collection of my letters,

Cards and poems

Gathered over the years

You’d never seen the book before


When the surgeon came

He talked of many things

He wanted to explain details of what’s to come

And to answer our questions

“Can I stay here tonight?” I asked

He didn’t expect that

He hesitated…

“I’ll ask the sister in-charge”…

“It’s against the regulations

But we’ll let you off tonight

Don’t ever ask for another”

“I won’t… I promise” I said


That night, we shared our last meal together

We sat and talked

Trying to encourage each other

We both put on a brave face

We prayed together

We read some Qur’an together


Then, I gave you the little book

Holding hands

We read our last memories together

Everything I wanted to say to you

Was there, Habibi

In those modest words

We relived our life that night

We relived our love that night

Habibi… do you remember?


Hand in hand

We fell asleep

You on a hospital bed

And me on an arm chair

Next to you


We surrendered to what was to come

Most beautiful night

Most peaceful night

Most tranquil night

I think we were surrounded

By angels that night



We woke up next day

Prayed together

And got ready

When they came to take you

I walked alongside your hospital bed

Towards the operation room

And there at the door

And for the last time

We looked into each others’ eyes

Into each others’ souls


Holding our breath

Our eyes mesmerized

Our bodies frozen

Until the big white door

Separated us


Then came the waiting

Hours of agonizing pain

It felt eternal

I wanted to know what was happening

But I dreaded the phone

The surgeon had said

“Don’t worry if we don’t ring

It’s most likely good news

Only worry if we do ring you”


The phone rang

My heart stopped

“The surgeon encountered some problems”

The shaky voice from the other end announced

“He needs to see you”

Collapsing… I rushed to the car

Expecting to hear what I most feared


“Complications… beyond our expectations

I’ve done this operation thousands of times

Never seen anything like

What I’ve seen today

I’ve tried my best

We are only humans

It’s all in the hands of God now”


Two days later

They rushed you again

For an emergency surgery

That day was sooo long

Longer than my life

At night we received a phone call

The surgery was successful

But you’re still critical

Day after day

Night after night

I waited… for a miracle

That you’d pull through


Our friend Tareq

Kept ringing me

“Dear sister

Kneel down and pray

Beg for Khaled to survive

Plead for his life

Say to God

‘For the sake of all the orphans

Khaled sponsors, looks after

And supports

Don’t let his children become orphans’ “


I tried to do just that

But couldn’t

I felt embarrassed

To ask for something

When I knew God wanted something else

I felt it was greedy to ask for more

People get a one month honeymoon

One year, two years, five years honeymoon,

I got 23 years, 6 months, and 9 days

How can I want more?


All through my life

I was constantly surrounded by love

Some people don’t experience

A fraction of the joy

That always immersed me

It was time to give back now

And I knew it…

“You will not attain virtue

Unless you’re able to give

Of what you love most”


I surrendered…

I can’t show misery now

How can I?

When I was given so generously


Grant me patience

Grant me grace

Grant me dignity

Grant me serenity

Grant me ability to let go


As tender as you were

Your departure was as tender and gentle

And I was given two weeks

To help me let go… of you… Habibi

DSCF0148.JPG small 



© Copyright 2006 Nahida Izzat -PoetryforPalestine – All Rights Reserved

Feelings and words

Feelings and words


Trying to squeeze

Feelings into words

Is no act of justice at all

It distorts… it disfigures

It belittles… it demeans

It’s a great offence without a doubt

And to my shame and disgrace

 Indeed I am to blame

Truly “Guilty” I declare

Defend me not

I don’t deserve


For feelings can only be felt


So, when I write about my love

Don’t ever think

That I’m making sense

 No language can ever convey

The eternal

For expression falls short

By far


And feelings can only be felt



When I write about my sorrow

Don’t dare believe

My words or verses

My speech is nothing

But hollow hues

How can the infinite

Ever be defined


Feelings can only be felt

And truly “Guilty” I declare




© Copyright 2006 Nahida Izzat -PoetryforPalestine – All Rights Reserved


Oh I wish


Oh I wish



How painful for me

To watch your tear

Saying good-bye to mine


Oh how I wish

To have been your fingernail

Not even death could split us apart

Eternal union


Oh how I wish

To have been an eyelash shielding your eyes

As they close

You’d be the last thing I see


Oh how I wish

To have been a thread in your keffen*

It would’ve been the perfect excuse

To be buried with you


Oh how I wish

To have been a tiny cell in your heart

So I wouldn’t have to live one moment there after

Or face the world alone… without you



How painful for you

Watching my tear

Saying good-bye to yours







Keffen: a white piece of fabric that a dead person is shrouded with in the Muslim culture

© Copyright 2006 Nahida Izzat -PoetryforPalestine – All Rights Reserved 

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