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Some Who Are "Born Muslim"
By neQiniso Abdullah
(from his book “In Praise of Allah”)
Some who say that they were born
Into the Islamic fold
Allow the binding fear of God
To gradually lose its hold.
They early learn to fast and pray
And recite the Holy Book,
They make the Hajj and pay Zakat
And swine they will not cook.
So after this they proudly say
That they are Muslims true,
And venture forth to western lands
Where Muslim men are few.
Their eyes and minds are then amazed
At everything they see,
And soon their hearts admire the men
Who cause such things to be.
But those men seek to make this world
Their haven of delight,
And therefore they create their own
Standards of wrong and right.
So when a Muslim looks to them
As models for all men,
Unwittingly he begins to slip
Gradually into sin.
At first, perhaps, he misses a prayer
Or rushes one on through.
Then, busily pursuing the western ways,
Perhaps he misses two.
He reads the Book a little less,
And less he gives the poor;
The challenge to raise his standard of life
Now means a little more.
Perhaps he’ll even begin to gamble
Or taste some wine or beer;
His acts distinguish him not from those
Who have no Godly fear.
The path he follows gradually leads
The way the worldly seek;
And his religion becomes a task
To practice once a week.
What! Six days he gives himself,
And God he gives but one!
But still he claims to be a Muslim
‘Cause he’s a Muslim’s son.
He who serves his own desires
But one place will he dwell;
God shall seize him by the neck
And throw him into Hell!
[Not] your father’s nor your mother’s faith
Will save you from the Fire,
If you consider this world to be
Your innermost desire.
But wait! Wherever you are, your life
Can surely be turned around,
And the God you placed upon your tongue
Can in your heart be found.
Conversion not only occurs with those
Who do not know the way,
It occurs also with those well-versed
Who gradually go astray.
Forget, therefore, how you were born;
God judges not your birth.
By the purity of your heart at death
Will He determine your worth.
Those who say that they were born
Into the Islamic fold,
Like others, they must submit themselves
As clay for God to mould.
Published: August 2001