Islam 101: Poetry by Amal Albaz
Let me introduce myself.
My name is Islam.
The root word of peace – salam,
Or even سلم- meaning submission.
Which to a Muslim, is like his tuition.
It’s his ticket in–
But before I begin,
Let me greet you like I’m supposed to do,
Assalamu Alaikum, may peace be upon you!
You know? It’s kinda’ funny…
I’m accused of oppressing, when really I’m oppressed.
I’ve become on the list of things to detest.
I’m screamed in rage in almost every protest,
& I’ve become the “red scare,”, a “threat to the west.”
If you look at me and all my obligations,
You’ll see why I have such a great population,
It’s cause there’s the motivation,
And that sense of inspiration,
That keeps “Muslim” as their occupation.
To me, being a good Muslim means being a good person.
‘cause I’ll never ask you to kill or to slay,
Or to lie at least 5 times a day.
I’ll never ask you steal or to hate,
Or to swear or discriminate.
I actually tell you to smile to everyone you see,
Cause a smile’s the best form of charity.
I tell you to not smoke and not to drink,
To stay clean and take showers so you simply don’t stink.
I tell you to care for animals and treat them with care,
So yes, I’m against animal testing & abuse in case you weren’t aware.
I tell you to treat those who treat you bitter, better.
I tell you not to be mad at someone for more than 3 days,
I tell you to respect women and lower your gaze.
I tell you that paradise lies under the feet of your mother,
I tell you to passionately love your significant other.
I tell you to never mistreat your wife!
I mean, if I tell you to care for animals, then what about the love of your life?
I tell you to be precious and save yourself for the one.
So you don’t keep giving yourself away, ’till you’re literally done.
I tell you to be moderate and that balance is key,
Just in the middle is the perfect place to be.
I tell you to excel in all that you do,
From that essay to that slam-dunk too!
I tell you to clear your ignorance and to never judge,
To love for your bro what you love for yourself & to never hold a grudge.
I tell you how to be a good person– a person of peace and a person of love.
& They say I’m a terrorist,
And you know what? I am.
I am a terrorist; I terrorize terror,
I kill injustice to make this world fairer.
I am an extremist; I am extremely kind.
So beware of my extreme benevolence to all of mankind.
Yes, there are those who kill and bomb in my name,
But if I don’t approve, then why am I to be blamed?
In every religion, you’ll find those who abuse it,
Thinking they have a permit,
To do wrong.
A religion may be perfect, but the followers may not be.
So when mine commit mistakes, don’t blame it on me.
I give what I got, and what I got is good.
So if they do otherwise…they misunderstood.
& I’m not here to preach, I’m only here to teach.
I’m a professor in politics, economy and sociology.
In manners and etiquette, I got my PHD.
To all my teachings, I have two sources.
The book of God and the words of the prophet are my resources.
I teach for free and to whoever desires to learn,
It’s all for the sake of Allah, I ask for nothing in return.
I’m not here to convert, but just to clear misconceptions.
With the way I’m viewed and my common perception.
Because yes, it hurts when I’m literally abused,
By some, who do it for pleasure, just to be amused.
& By some, who just follow the “trend” ’cause they’re simply confused.
In a nutshell, my name is Islam,
And everything I do, goes back to salam– peace.
& So as your prof, I need to make sure you pass this test called life.