Ha, Here am I!

Amid of the ayahs of pilgrimage there is this:

 

 (I) seek refuge from the outcasted satan:

فَإِذَا قَضَيْتُم مَّنَاسِكَكُمْ فَاذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ كَذِكْرِكُمْ آبَاءَكُمْ أَوْ أَشَدَّ ذِكْرًا ۗ فَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَقُولُ رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا وَمَا لَهُ فِي الْآخِرَةِ مِنْ خَلَاقٍ

“And so, when you have completed your rites, remember Allah in the manner of your remembrance of your fathers, or, a more intense remembrance, for of the people are those who say ‘lord grant us in this world’—and they have not of the after-life of any thing.” (2:200)

This ayah refers to a practice of the famed Arab poets and speakers who would gather and compete during the pilgrimage, praising and lauding themselves through praise of their fathers and their fathers’ fathers.  Hence, this ayah sought to purify a prideful practice of the Arabs, so that one seeks to exalt himself and his people only through the remembrance and exaltation of his lord, the lord of all.

These ayahs identify the nature of people and their need for validation and celebration of origins and traditions, and with particular and regular practices. Islam purifies this practice by directing the praise away from man and his own ends to the most worthy and ultimate end of all praise, the creator of all things. Man is free to take pride in himself, but where he derives this pride reflects his the state of his heart. It is the heart which recognizes and praises Allah as being the source of its peace and prosperity which is pure in its pride, not inflated without basis. This is to place one’s deen over his dunya, or more poetically, as is warranted in relaying the grander meanings of the universe—to strike at the heart—the world and one’s sky-born word.
and so, you have poetic gems such as this:

قالوا أبو الصقر من شيبان قلت لهم
كلا لعمري منه شيبان
وكم أبٍ قد علا بابن ذرا شرف
كما علت برسول الله عدنان

 

 

“They say: ‘Abu Saqr* from Shaybaan*’.  I said to them:
‘Nay!  By my life!  From him is Shaybaan!’
And how many a father are raised by a son of honor,
just as the messenger of Allah raised ‘adnaan*!

*’adnaan is the greatest great grandfather of the messenger’s known lineage, and abu saqr is a big name, from a big name clan called Shaybaan.

 
The poet seeks to direct the attention and praise of the people away from the arbitrary collective and to man himself, that he is an end worthy in and of himself, and that he not to be thought merely a child or a product of his people. Rather, it is he who had ultimately proved the value of his people, just as the prophet (sa) proved the value of his ancestors.

 

ليس الفتى من يقول كان أبي
إن الفتى من يقول هاأنذا

 

 

the boy is not he who says “my father was”.
indeed, the boy is he who says “ha, here am I”!

 

 

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