IN GOD’S NAME, the Infnitely Good, the Most Merciful. All praise is for Allah, who bestowed upon our Master Adam knowledge of the names of all things, and upon his progeny the gifts of intellect and speech. Peace and blessings be upon our Master Muhammad, the last of His Emissaries – and the foremost of them – who while being himself the most eloquent of mankind, also informed us in a Tradition that his panegyric poet Hassan ibn Thabit was ‘aided by angelic inspiration.’
In keeping with the Divine injunction to show thankfulness for blessings received, Muslim communities in many lands have a long- standing tradition of gathering to celebrate the arrival of the one sent as a mercy to the entire universe, may Allah exalt and preserve him. Alhamdulillah, there exists a large body of literary works inspired by the desire to raise the level of knowledge and love among those participating in such events, and of those seeking to brighten their hearts and free them of worldly cares at any time or place the Divine Compassion may determine.
Up to now, the only such works available in English have been translations from Arabic, Urdu, Turkish, and other languages spoken chiefly by Muslims. All these have their merits, and may Allah reward all those who have expended of their talent and efforts in producing such works in praise of the Best of Mankind, such as the Mawlids of Süleyman Çelebi, Imam Barzanji, Habib ‘Umar and many others. Allah be praised, our young sister Noor Yusuf has now been inspired to produce a Mawlid in the English language – the first one the present writer has ever seen. Designed for recitation and performance, it is written in both rhyme and metre, following the rules of prosody. This is not to deny the value of encouraging free-form creative writing by young and old alike.
On a different level, however, poetry (especially spiritual poetry) is an art form, a craft that demands sustained hard work and for which good intentions, though essential, are not sufficient. Those who have received the calling may spend a lifetime honing their poetical skills. In mediaeval times it was considered a necessary part of poets’ training to memorise thousands of lines of verse by their great predecessors.
In 'The Soliloquy of the Full Moon’ we encounter an original and telling poetic concept which reflects the truth that there is nothing in the heavens or the earth that is not praising its Almighty and Omniscient Creator; and that the moon is one of His creations that appears again and again in different aspects of Islam and in the life of every Muslim: the splitting of the moon mentioned in the Qur’an, and Allah Most High swearing therein by the sun and moon; the recording of time through their movements; and many other matters. And Allah Most High knows best.
Noor is a young lady who has grasped both the momentousness of the subject and the need to have high resolve and make maximum effort to produce a work that is worthy of it. May Allah accept this ‘Soliloquy’ of hers and make it a means for multitudes to draw near to Him through their devotion to His Beloved Emissary.