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The revolutions in the Middle East are on my mind. Some ask if Pakistan too will rise up in a wave? Who do we rise up against? Ourselves- the tyranny of our own corrupt souls. If our hearts are oppressive and no one is safe from our tongues, hands, who will we overthrow?

I want to do something for the our brothers and sisters in Libya, Yemen, Syria, Kashmir, Algeria, all those who are protesting so I translated Faiz’s poem into English. There are similar translations on-line esp here (by Sister Ghazala, it is great), but when they took the name of Allah out of it, the poem was empty of the depth that Faiz put into his words.

Change comes from inside and out- from top to bottom- pray for change blessed by the Divine- and while you are praying for your people pray for Pakistanis, too.

Hum Dekhain Gay, Faiz Ahmed Faiz


We will see
It is certain that we too,will see
that day which is promised

written on His Tablet of Eternity

yes, we will see that day
When the heavy mountains of tyranny
like wisps of cotton will float in the air.
Under our feet- the feet of the oppressed-
the heart of the earth will throb with our passion
and on the heads of our oppressors
lightning will strike and strike and strike.

yes, we will see that day
when from the house of Allah, the Kaaba
all false idols will be removed,
we- the family of Safa’- the believers –

forbidden from Sacred places
will be asked to sit on seats of honor

all crowns thrown away,
all thrones  broken down.

Only The  name of Allah will survive
He who is unseen but present, both
Who is the Seeing  and the Scene, both

the chant will rise, I am the Truth-
Which is me, and You too

rule will then the Creator’s creation
Which is me, and You too
It is certain we will see that day

hum dekhainge
lazim hai ke hum bhi dekhainge
hum dekhainge
woh din ke jis ka wada hai…hum dekhainge
jo loh-e-azal pe likha hai…hum dekhiange

jab zulm-o-sitam ke koh-e-giran,
rooyi ki tarah u\’dh jayenge
hum mehkoomon ke paoon tale,
yeh dharti gha\’dh gha\’dh gha\’dhke gi
aur ahl-e-hakam ke saron per,
jab bijli ka\’dh ka\’dh ka\’dhke gi

hum dekhainge
lazim hai ke hum bhi dekhainge
hum dekhainge

jab arz-e-khuda ke kaabe se,
sab butt uthwaye jayenge
hum ahl-e-safa mardood-e-haram,
masnad pe bithaaye jayenge
sab taaj uchhaale jayenge,
sab takht gira ey jayenge

hum dekhainge
lazim hai ke hum bhi dekhainge
hum dekhainge

bas naam rahe ga Allah ka
jo gayab bhi hai hazir bhi
jo manzar bhi hai nazir bhi
uthe ga anal haq ka na\’ra
jo main bhi hoon aur tum bhi ho
aur raaj kare gi khalq-e-khuda
jo main bhi hoon aur tum bhi ho

hum dekhainge
lazim hai ke hum bhi dekhainge
hum dekhainge
woh din ke jis ka wada hai…hum dekhainge
jo loh-e-azal pe likha hai…hum dekhiange

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Just had a wonderful conversation with LF#1’s teacher. She was concerned about her music grade as they would be performing old, traditional California songs ( I’ll working on the railroad, I still remember the words to that) with music. She knew that LF#1 wasn’t going to particpate in square dancing for P.E.

My younger daughter’s teacher had already given her permission to opt-out. LF#1’s teacher wanted LF#1 to perform a solo, square dance in front of the class girls for her P.E. grade and perform in the singalong. I explained our boundaries to her (yours could be different, that’s not the point of the post): singing a Capella is okay, no dancing, certain percussions okay. I wasn’t demanding or judgemental.

Alhamdulillah, we came to an agreement so now she will do a report on the use of percussion instruments in different cultures. She will also learn the lyrics for some of Californian songs. LF#1 will also take our duff from Pakistan or tar as it is called in the Sudan to school and come up with a new beat. She will perform this for her class, telling them that about how we use this in our celebrations and announcements.

This is a prime example that if we communicate with our children’s public school teachers about our religious and cultural needs, they are usually forthcoming.  It gives my child a chance to participate in class while holding her own moral ground and educating her peers about a world beyond.

  • A duff is a  round wooden frame drum whose diameter is bigger than its depth. Goat skin traditionally is stretched over the frame to create the head although synthetic versions are now used. Some tars have a thumb hole or indentation in the frame to facilitate holding.
  • Tars range from 10-22 inches in diameter but the most commonly used size is 16 inches.
  • The tar is held upright in one hand and is struck with the fingers of that hand and the full hand and fingers of the other hand. The duff is known for its deep, haunting tones. (maryellendonald.com)

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