Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, PEARLS OF THE FAITH: 85. AL-MUKSIT, by EDWIN ARNOLD



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PEARLS OF THE FAITH: 85. AL-MUKSIT, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Three days before our lord muhammad passed
Last Line: Our hearts to keep thy laws divine.
Subject(s): God; Islam


Al-Muksit! "Equitable!" Make us know,
As men have wrought, they shall be wrought with so.

Three days before our Lord Muhammad passed,
They bore him to the mosque, where he uprose—
Painfully leaning upon Omar's neck—
The fever burning in his cheeks, his mouth
Dry with the wind of death, and that knit brow
Shadowed with Azrael's overhanging wings.
One thin hand on the mimbar-rail he laid,
Speaking sweet words of guidance, precious words,
The last which ever fell from those lit lips,
Teaching his Faithful.
Then he gazed around
And said, "Ye men of Mecca, where I lived,
Going and coming, testifying God,
I shall die soon; I pray ye answer me,
Is there among ye here one I have wronged?
I have borne rule, judging in Allah's name,
That am a man and sinful; have I judged
Unrighteously, or wrathfully, or pressed
Too hard in the amend? Let who saith 'Yea,'
Make his 'Yea' good before my people here,
And I will bare my back that he may smite.
I have borne testimony for the truth,
Not sparing sinners; speak, if there be here
One visited unjustly; let him shame
His Prophet now, telling the sin I wrought
Before the assembly. I have gathered dues;
Declare if I defrauded any here
Buying or selling."
And no answer came,
Except the sound of sobs and falling tears
From stern breasts and the eyes of bearded men,
Because our Lord would pass.
But one arose,
A hamal, with his cord across his back
And porter's knot, who cried, "Abdallah's son!
Three drachms of silver owest thou to me
For wood I bore thee after 'Ramadhan!'"

"Good friend, I thank thee," softly said our Lord,
"Because thou didst demand thy money here,
And not before the judgment-seat of God:
Ill is it if men thither carry debts!"
Therewith he paid his debt, kissing the hand
Wherein the dirhems dropped; and so went home
To die upon the lap of Ayesha,
With glad face fixed on high, and holy lips
That murmured, "Allah! pardon me my sins!"

Oh, ye believers! if our Lord did thus,
Consider well! leave no unrighted wrongs
Against the ill time when the Angels come,
Monker and Nakîr, gliding through the dark,
And set ye up for question in the grave;
When Israfil his dreadful trumpet blows,
Summoning to judgment; when the skies roll back
Like a scorched scroll, and o'er the gulf of hell
Al-Sirât stretches, "thinner than a hair
And sharper than a sword," and yet to cross!
Ah, then! what good one wrought, he hath help
Even to a date-stone; what of ill he wrought,
Of hindrance, to a date-stone; for your God
Is righteous, and the distribution just.

Oh, just "Distributer!" incline
Our hearts to keep Thy laws divine.





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