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Pre-Islamic poetry by a mother to her son on the sanctity of Ka’bah


 

Subay’a, daughter of al-Ahabb, spoke the following verses for her son Khalid b. ‘Abd Manaf b. Ka’b b. Sa’d b. Taym b. Murra b. Ka’b b. Lu’ayy b. Ghalib, telling him to avoid sinning in Mecca and reminding him what Tubba (Yemeni ruler) had done there:

 

“0 my son, in Mecca, neither do wrong to the young nor to the old.
Preserve its sanctity, my son, and let not conceit confuse you.
Whoever sins in Mecca, my son, meets extreme disaster.
His face, my son, shall be beaten, his cheeks consumed by fire.
I have tested this there, my son, and found those harming it perish.
God made it secure, though no towers are built in its courtyards.
God made its birds inviolate and also the white-footed crows on Mt. Thabir.
Tubba’* raided it but dressed its buildings with new, smooth cloth.

My God humbled his power there, so he made proper sacrifice,
Walking barefoot towards it, in its courtyard,
And offering two thousand camels,
Well-feeding its people the flesh of Mahry camels and cattle,
Giving them strained honey and barley-water to drink.
And God destroyed the army of the elephants, casting rocks amongst them,
Ending their rule in far distant lands, in Persia and Khazir.
So hear when this is told, and understand how things ended.”

 

*Tubban (Yemeni ruler) As’ad Abu Karib was asked to come and plunder Kabah as it contains pearls, chrysolite, sapphires, gold, and silver according to them. King asked two Jewish rabbis about this and they warned him not to go ahead with this plan as he would perish if he tries to destroy it. Instead, they asked him to respect it and do the same as those living there. He was the first to clothe the Ka’bah and made for it a door and a key.

 

[By Ibn Ishaq as mentioned in Al-Sira al-Nabawiyyah, vol. 1, pg. 14-15]

 

And we are all that is left behind…


 

Oh Companions of the truth!
In your hands was Islam and you did not fail us
Your chests in the place of the chest of the Messenger took the blows
Never did you flinch

 

Oh Companions of the sincere!

Yours was the destiny of the world and you held it high

Warriors by day, unpretentious by night

Strength of many men you possessed

Never did you flinch when it came to spilling the blood of the enemy.

Trained warriors who knew nothing but the saddle of a horse and a sword in your hand.

You stood ready to fight your brothers, fathers and tribes for the sake of Allah but you were also the most gentle with children.

Your wounds will testify for you

The land will testify for you

History testifies for you

We search in hope for your like

You speak we listen

Your deeds unmatchable

Your wisdom over our heads

Your footprints have left their mark

We stand now where you stood in Badr and Uhud

To us they are but landmarks but to you they were a defining moment

Great monuments built.

Even they crumble but your names live forever

Which Caeser is remembered over you oh Abu Bakr?

Who is called wise next to you oh Ibn Abbas?

Which Spartan can look you in the eye oh Khalid?

Who cared like you cared oh Khadijah?

Kings could not bring you down as you stood proud with the truth

But tell you to Fear your Lord and you would cry rivers.

Nations were swept aside by your tidelwaves

The world could only watch

Some out of awe, some out of fear

But none could deny the miracle

Your feet upon this earth

But your eyes fixed upon Paradise

Your craft was worship

Your profit was Allah’s Pleasure

Many wish they were you

Many wish for that what they could not do

The truth dearer to you then kinship

Your hearts matched your actions

There was no injustice to others nor yourselves

Deeds so many

Sins so few

But yet you feared the Fire

You were the Ummah, each one a nation

You cherished each verse like it was a new born child

In your hands it was safe

Forever Mujahids

Forever scholars

Forever humble

Forever young

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