Seven nufus were on the loose
One day from Ramadan
They met in Sousse for some couscous
Before the maghrib azaan.
The first, a rioter, the sin-inciter,
The crazy imp, Ammara.
The second ilk, ridden with guilt,
Reproachful soul, Lowwaama.
The third, on fire, with love inspired
The stirring one, Mulhama.
The fourth, serene, like mountain streams,
The earnest, Mutmainna.
The fifth, contented, with perfume scented,
The honourable, Raadiyya.
The sixth, found-pleasing, the love unceasing,
The gracious one, Mardiyya.
The seventh, perfect, from the elect,
The wondrous, Kamila.
As they met and sat then began their chat,
Awaiting their great couscous,
Ammara cursed like the devil’s nurse
His face twisted with disgust:
“This Ramadan; it does me harm,
I really can’t be bothered!
One whole month, down in the dumps,
Pleasures are banned; O brother!”
“I’ll try my best to pass this test,”
Lamented poor Lowwaama,
“I find it hard to stay on guard
I wish I was a llama!”
“I can not wait to taste a date
At the end of each day’s fasting
A blessed time will here arrive,”
Mulhama said, forecasting.
“Enjoy the food, enjoy the mood,”
“Be pleased with fasting, grace everlasting
Purifying the sinner.”
“I am contented with this unprecedented
Occurrence of Divine favour
Each year unique, with special mystique
I love Ramadan,” Said Raadiyya.
“I am most pleased with His decrees,”
“We are so blessed, with Ramadan our guest
It’s sustenance from our Sharia.”
“Come join me brothers! Let’s rediscover
Our origins in Ramadan,
We’re nothing but meanings, which is He conceiving,”
Said Kamila, so captivating and so calm.
“Don’t give me drama!” argued Ammara
“I ain’t missing out this month, mate!
X-Men will be on, the Euros are on
And a girl has asked me out on a date!
You keep up your fasting, I’ll keep flabbergasting
the ladies with my exhilaration
I ain’t got the time for things so sublime
Ramadan is a scourge on my reputation!”
Lowwama got haughty: “you are such a naughty!
Haven’t you got any shame?
I don’t find it easy; I find fasting queasy
But I’ll still have a go all the same.”
A smile had arrived upon the other five
Who sat eating their couscous so gently
“Ammara, we’ll guide you, Lowwama we’ll help you
Ramadan will fill you with plenty.
If you listen to us; follow without a fuss
Allah will make you His familiar
In just a brief moment, His works are so potent,
Ammara can become Kamila.
We are seven nufus, we’re all on the loose
And our gathering here was intentional
The prince and the pauper, the sinner and scholar
Ramadan equalises our potential.
We are seven positions, in the Quran we are mentioned,
The seven degrees of the soul
Allah bless Al Shabrawi, wise as the Kalahari,
The author, the crown of the poles.”
This poem was influenced by the following work, Degrees of the Soul by Shaykh Abdul Khaliq Al Shabrawi, translated by Dr Mostafa Al Badawi.
Nufus. Plural Noun, egos/selves/souls