Struggle of the Self

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ImageMohammed Cherri with his beautiful poetry about the struggle of the self against all the desires and challenges in this world.

Jihad an-Nafs









Today I declared a holy war,
Not like any fought before,
A war on my greatest enemy, The "Great Satan"…
No, no, not America! I mean Satan!
Lucifer, the prince of darkness, Iblees,
My arch-enemy, malevolent, and a hater of peace.

His ally, my self, that inclines to desire,
He tries to convince leading me into hellfire,
A Fire in this lifetime that surrounds me with uncertainty,
As I try so hard to develop self-immunity,
How can I be a leader, a human, a lover,
If I myself I cannot conquer?

Will I surrender and escape the bitter blunder?
Or will I resist, and charge, my gallop fixed, my voice striking thunder?

Who will help me in this battle?
Heal my wounds, protect me in my moments of weakness,
Be my shield from ignorance, and a light in darkness.
Allah is the one I can depend on, as I know Allah hears me,
And my friends, my family, and all the faithful too, I know they see me.
I arm them and they arm me,
They buckle the straps of my armor, and I sharpen their swords,
I struggle in battle, and when I fall, in my ears I hear their words,
Righteous, kind, and loving,
Encouraging me to keep on going.

My actions will manifest virtue and justice,
Oppose cruelty, greed and malice,
I strengthen myself, and my strength empowers the others,
An army we are, watching each other's flanks.
Undispersed we stand our ranks,
Facing deadly spears that wish to severe our tender tendons, eyes and ears,
Rendering us motionless, blind, deaf and helpless, unable to shed a single tear,
A worthless machine without its gears.
A wall we are, solid, impermeable to all conniving leers,
Our wits are strong, our vision crystal clear,
Our hearts filled with each other's love, we stand and fight without fear,
And in the end all is clear, our enemy vanquished, we thank the Almighty Allah and cheer,
For the loving friends we have, and the desires we have mastered,
Slaves we are not, but instead the masters,
Sacrifice we readily offer,
We ask no price,
Love and peace are enough to fill our coffers.

Our greatest worship bears no price,
Helping each other from all vice,
Allah doesn't ask of us what we cannot bear,
Only for us to see what is already there,
A power inside us that if not snared,
Will make us no different than the passing air,
A creature that kneels, a slave bound and living in despair,
In a finite lifetime we live in and then, we're no longer there,
The power we gain, we only share,
Our memory lives and our unblemished legacies shine with an undying glare,
To the oppressed the justice we bestow is only what is rightfully theirs,
We are Mujahideen, our names can be heard in the howls of the gales.

Wherever there is injustice, we are born,
Wherever there is grief, pain and scorn,
Against the galling waves we sail,
All your pain and ours we are prepared to bear,
Loyal we are and cheap to call to service,
We need not your money and reverences,
Our treasure is with the one we love,
Our master, the one we cherish, and bow to up above.

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