Reflection on Juz’ 14 by Nesima Aberra

we sit between walls and behind screens 

while our faith flickers like a candle placed beside an open window

at night, we stay up

our hearts breaking from news of war, disease, hunger and outrage


i want to dream beyond a future where we are not masked, 

a time far beyond that

where we breathe in the gardens and rivers from another world

that perhaps i stumbled upon after walking through one of the seven heavenly gates

at least i hope one of them is open for me

i can only imagine what it feels like to enter a place feeling peace again

because no one can guarantee that anymore


we have turned away from God’s nature and nature’s God

every tree and fruit and flower 

mountains cast upon the land

and yet the earth trembles underneath us like it knows we don’t deserve

the magnificent gift we were given to sustain us

once we are torn from our roots, it’s no wonder we are aimless


like Iblis refusing to bow to Adam

we have succumbed to the lies of our egos

privileging whiteness, silencing Blackness

and bleeding in “i don’t see color”

i don’t know how many more dead bodies and mothers’ tears 

it will take to clear our vision


but Ibraham said: “Who despairs of the Mercy of his Lord except the misguided?”

even though we are but made of clay, 

let us not crack or crumble

let us mold our hearts to be softer

let us carry these hardships outside us

so our hearts are vessels for love, justice 

and remembrance of our Creator

we are the miracles we are praying to happen

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Nesima Aberra is a writer, poet and digital strategist dedicated to working at the intersection of media and social impact. By day, she’s a communications director at a social impact communications firm. A creative writer at heart, Nesima is an alum of workshops with VONA (Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation), THREAD at Yale, Catapult and The Power of Diverse Voices: Poynter Minority Writers Workshop. She is passionate about supporting creativity in underrepresented communities and, in particular, elevating the voices of young Black Muslim women.

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