Question Your Heart (NYU) – Poetry Pieces | Afraz Khan


question your heart step one enter stage friend group
classroom discussion step two began to speak about the beauty of Islam denounce
bigotry terrorism ISIS appear to be the nicest in the room declare to the whole
world you are Muslim step 3 enjoy the praise affirmation validation
reparations for your efforts this identity you’ve strictly presented with
your tongue although some may hate the world now believes it is within you
resting between your right and left lung the people have now convinced you of
your identity so go ahead repeat steps one two and
three but do I believe as hate is pumped throughout the vessels of our society
37.2 trillion cells travel through the veins of my being but are
they providing for this heart or a fleeting moment of satisfaction for my
body you see I’ve trained my body and mind to understand and recognize those
Facebook likes those words of praise people’s opinions to gain and maintain
dominion over who I become succumb to the whips of a world whose priorities
keep changing so a sermon I’ll give about God becomes a sermon to gain oohs
and aahs an interfaith discussion about my past prophets becomes a patient
waiting game for acceptance social profit a spoken word in front of you all
becomes a facade in which this irremovable masks fills the space my
soul lingering in the corner begging to understand what is my identity what is
your identity when was the last time we closed our eyes sealed our tongues and
then questioned our hearts as to who we really are
I look to those who chose to hold on to this beautiful faith of Islam not
because it was easy but because the idea of remaining principled for a greater
purpose is worth more than the entire world it’s when I look to the Muslim
woman in Chicago who manifested her identity by wearing a headscarf a
principle she chose to hold on to even if it meant getting tackled by six
police officers her head covering ripped off her pants
pulled down her body humiliated it’s when I look to the Syrian refugees whose
houses have been razed to the ground whose sons and daughters have been
buried alive underneath the aftermath of bombs this world has forgotten them
but they do not forget God because to Him they know they will return it’s when
I look to Muhammad Ali who shook up the world not just by his physical talent
but by his willingness to sacrifice every single accolade he ever owned if
it meant showing the world what he stood for we have to keep questioning
ourselves as to who we really are far from the suits of hypocrisy that we’ve
become so accustomed to wearing beyond this brown external but what do you feel
socially culturally emotionally through the thick and thin from within what
beats with their heart 115,000 times a day telling you yes this is who I am
whether the world sheds a tear or not I stand here conflicted heart and mind
conflicted still wanting to know my identity but patiently I feel beating
within me as my prophet had said I testify that there is none worthy of worship but God and that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is His final messenger

1 thought on “Question Your Heart (NYU) – Poetry Pieces | Afraz Khan

  1. Yo why doesn’t YouTube have a “YAAAAS PREACHHHH” button? …asking for a friend.

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