Reflection on Juz’ 16 by Efemeral

Surat Maryam: Opening Prayers


never have i been

in my supplication to You

O Lord

unfulfilled, unmet, unanswered


unwitnessed, unseen or unheard 

these whispers to You

my silent complaints

and less than perfect


God, what does it mean

for me to inherit

from ancestors i know

and ones i don’t?

knowing that we

were prayed for

as Yahya was

that we now walk


along the myriad paths

that cross our parents’ palms

hands cupped open to the heavens

as Zakariya’s were


how many times

was i really willing

to let God surprise me

to let go and

let You hold me in ways

i didn’t know

i could be held

comforted in ways

i didn’t know i needed

to be comforted


Ya Rabbi, i ask You to gift me

just a portion of

Zechariah’s intimacy

with You

i ask You for a dreamscape

a heartscape

a prayerscape
so beyond the limits
of everything and everyone

that wishes to hold

this soul besides You


why not pray into the past?

i ask that there

is-was-will be

peace in our abodes

the day we were born

the day we return

and the day we are

given life anew


the promises of God are Great

but this trust, this will and this strength

are mine


Ya Allah,

i ask You to gift me a portion of

Zakariya’s intimacy

with You

i ask You to surprise me

with the portion You gift me


You who said,

O John,

take the Scripture with determination

take your inheritance

stand in your station


O my loving, nurturing Rab

Your tarbiya

is the only possible consequence


i ask You to please gift me the

words of praise

i will need to thank You too



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Rooted in the rainy Pacific Northwest, Efemeral is a multilingual verse and spoken word artist who entwines reflections on faith, language and the human psyche. Her writing is featured in the anthology, A Kaleidoscope of Stories, published by Lote Tree Press. She’s also published in The Puritan and MZAB magazines. Her Arabic poetry is published in the public art piece “Weaving Cultural Identities: Threads Through Time” curated by Vancouver Biennale. With(in) her communities, Efemeral enjoys facilitating poetry workshops and collaborating with fellow creatives. You can find her at

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  • MashAllah that was beautiful. I loved it and felt it dearly. May Allah reward and increase you.

  • Masha’Allah, duaa as poetry!

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