Prayer is an Egg


In The Name of Allah, The Merciful, The Compassionate

‘Reposts’ are posts of yester- day/week/year which shall be posted again, Insha Allah once a week and can be found in the ‘Reposts’ category.

Original post date: March 9, 2007.

I can recall, even after years, hearing Shaykh Hamza Yusuf reciting in one of his speeches, this beautiful poem of Rumi’s. Definitely being one of those memories that never have, and hopefully never will, leave me.

Prayer is an Egg:

On Resurrection Day God will say, “What did you do with
the strength and energy

your food gave you on earth? How did you use your eyes?
What did you make with

your five senses while they were dimming and playing out?
I gave you hands and feet

as tools for preparing the ground for planting. Did you,
in the health I gave,

do the plowing?” You will not be able to stand when you
hear those questions. You

will bend double, and finally acknowledge the glory. God
will say, “Lift

your head and answer the questions.” Your head will rise
a little, then slump

again. “Look at me! Tell what you’ve done.” You try,
but you fall back flat

as a snake. “I want every detail. Say!” Eventually you
will be able to get to

a sitting position. “Be plain and clear. I have given you
such gifts. What did

you do with them?” You turn to the right looking to the
prophets for help, as

though to say, I am stuck in the mud of my life, Help me
out of this!

will answer, those kings, “The time for helping is past.
The plow stands there in

the field. You should have used it.” Then you turn to
the left, where your family

is, and they will say, “Don’t look at us! This conversation
is between you and your

Creator.” Then you pray the prayer that is the essence
of every ritual: God,

I have no hope. I am torn to shreds. You are my first and
last and only refuge.

Don’t do daily prayers like a bird pecking, moving its head
Up and down. Prayer is an egg.

Hatch out the total helpless inside.

[Excerpted from The Soul of Rumi, Tr. Coleman Barks]


6 Responses to “Prayer is an Egg”

  1. this is great reminder. Don’t wake up when you are dead .As we approach our twilight years we become more and more aware of the purpose of life .How we had wasted our youth whilst in a state of jahiliya.\Fortunately many of us have survived and have the blessing to reflect. Not only can one redeem himself BUT one can encourage other young people to do the right thing .Learn from our mistakes and our wisdom.For we ask no rewards except “wa twa sobil haq ,wa twa sobis sabr”.May the Almighty bless and pardon those who died in their youth and had hoped to “catch up ” later in life .But there was no later.As Allah Swt says in the holy Qur’an “qala rubbi lema hashar te ni 3aama wa qad kunto baseeran” Why O lord has thou awakened me with no vision when I had sight before ?and the reply will be “qala kadhalika aatatka ayaatona fanasitaha wa kadhalika tunsa”! Thus did you ,when our signs came to you ,disregard them,so will you be this day disregarded.”

  2. Beatifully said, MashAllah, Sidi Mahmood!

  3. JazakAllah for sharing this beauty.

  4. 4 Abdallah

    SubhanaAllah. I, too, have never forgotten Shaykh Hamza reciting these words in his speech. Rumi evokes great emotions in his poems…

    Truly, what is from the heart pierces the heart….

  5. 5 Ali

    Beautiful poem. I was wondering if anybody knows the original poem. I would like to read the original. Thank you for sharing.

  1. 1 Prayer is an Egg : Muslim Bloggers Alliance

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