Why Poetry? Why, Poetry!

By Uma Samari 

I was about 12 years old the first time I was introduced to the idea that every one of God’s prophets was sent to a people with their own powers and distinctive qualities. Musa (or Moses) was sent to magicians whereas Isah (or Jesus) was sent to healers. The Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) was sent to wordsmiths. At that age, I couldn’t understand why poetry was important enough to the point that an entire society was renowned for its ability to craft words and ideas well, but it fascinated me. In fact, the main source of my fascination was that the biggest miracle imparted upon humanity, the Quran, was itself all written in poetry. I just couldn’t get enough of it. Poetry quickly became this ubiquitous force and that’s why I love it as much as I do. Eventually and nearly by surprise, poetry became synonymous to worship in mind and vocabulary.  

Now that I have the honour of writing poetry just for the sake of it or for the love of it, people often ask “Uma, why poetry”? The more experienced I get, the easier it becomes to say that poetry is a part of my identity: personally and religiously. Therefore, to share with my joy and identity, I’ve complied a humble list of my favourite Muslim poets that I’ve come across so far, most notably on Instagram.  

1. @_soulstyss: She is a poet who manifests truths and explores ideas she relates to her stellar photography. She manages to turn experiences from a mundane, or even serious, life into something to ponder. Her writing has a sticky quality, like semi-hard taffy that gets stuck in molars.  

2. @melanin_akhi: He is a wondrous writer. Who explores themes of loss and God so often, I would dare say that's his identifier as a writer. He hails from Ghana these days therefore nature and other beautiful and earthly sights are painted right across and within his words.That’s it. That’s all.  

3. @nasim_asgari: Nasim reminds me of a post card written by wrinkly hands that still know how to hold onto something soft, tenderly. She has a powerful voice that roars for her people. Proudly Iranian, her poetry comes across as being the cry of a people and the love of a daughter, all at once. I could rave about her writing forever. 

4. @s.hussain__: Sarrah Hussain's Instagram is a place to go if you are in need of a sister to hold your hand and raise her fist and yours in the air as an act of solidarity. As she often writes in first person, everything she writes feels personally applicable.  

5. @nurul.ak: Nurul is a lover. She writes about love in a way that makes it seem that if she didn't write about love, she'd burst. Believe me, her writing sounds like this is the best way she's learned to save herself and it is astounding.  

Pray, Say & Slay Team