Author Archives: Jonas Rand

“Muslims Are Dying and We Don’t Care”

The following poem was written in Arabic by Palestinian poet, Mahmud al-Muflih.
It was recorded as a song, I believe sung by Saudi singer Abu Abdel Malik, sometime in or before early 2001. The recording of the song is here; the audio in this link is better than the original recording. Some of the lines in the poem are omitted in the song version; I have translated all lines here, for the benefit of readers. Below is the full translation.

The Muslims are dying and we don’t care,
And we blather on about morals and values,

يموت المسلمون ولا نبالي ونهرف بالمكارم والخصال

And we live life in song and at play,
And we live life in gossip and chatter.

ونحيا العمر أوتاراً وقصفاً ونحيا العمر في قيل وقال

And we forget our brothers in God who have risen
With them, time departs upon the sands.

وننسى إخوة في الله ذرت بهم كف الزمان عـلى الرمال

The fangs of hunger rip them apart until
The elder nearly stumbles with his family;

تمزقهم نيوب الجوع حتى يكاد الشيخ يعثر بالعيال

They tighten their stomachs, full of emptiness,
And they share together the bread of ghosts.

يشدون البطون على خواء ويقسمون أرغفة الخيال

And the gusts of death strike them mercilessly,
And within their pupils is the bleeding of the nights.

وتضربهم رياح الموت هوجا وفي أحداقهم نزف الليالي

A procession into starvation — oh, my God!
And a condition sliding into debasement, what a condition!

قطارٌ للمجاعة يا إلهي وحال للمهالة أي حال

And they slept in the nude, without blankets;
And they walked in the nude, without sandals.

وناموا في العراء بلا غطاء وساروا في العراء بلا نعال

As if the deserts are speaking to them, so too,
The deserts slide with them into deserts of emptiness.

كأن البيد تلفظهم فتجري بهم بيد إلى بيد خوال

Their saliva drips, sighing sorrowfully, while their eyes
Fade upon the burning embers of the question.

يسيل لعابهم لهفا وتذوي عيونهم على جمر السـؤال

And would that the wounds were in the body, however;
The wounds of the soul are most murderous to men!

وليت جراحهم في الجسم لكن جراح النفس أقتل للرجال

They extend the cord, and would that I knew —
Are we to cut, or shall we cling to, the cord?

يمدون الحبال وليت شعري أنقطع أم سنمسك بالحبال؟

And before the hunger, they were bitten by dogs
Of the Franks, bloody as to the blades of their swords;

وقبل الجوع تنهشهم كلاب من الإفرنج دامية النصال

Be strong; verily, the days upon us are like the spotted snake,
And hunger twists the necks of men.

صلاب إنما الأيام رقط ويثني الجوع أعناق الرجال

They pay their taxes every day –
With what they possess, and the precious religion of God!

يؤدون الضريبة كل يوم بما ملكوا ودين الله غال

They came to the East, and perhaps the East repelled them,
When they rush forth to the East like a fox.

أتوا للشرق علَّ الشرق درء إذا بالشرق ينفر كالثعالي
(In the song version of this poem, the singer says: “When they come to the East, they do not care.”)

For why does every group support,
Their sons, except yourselves, the people of the crescent?

لماذا كل طائفة أغاثت بنيها غيركم أهل الهلال؟

We see that the crosses have gone forth and roused
The Jews, with medicines and with rewards;

ترى الصلبان قد نفرت وهبت يهود بالدواء وبالغلال

They were roused by some of the freely grazing livestock,
They were roused by some of the lost ants.

هبوهم بعض سائمة البراري هبوهم بعض سابلة النمال

You have forgotten “And fear for a day” that is heavy,
By which fire vibrates like the mountains.

نسيتم “واتقوا يوماً ثقيلاً” به النيران تقذف كالجبال

The bowels boil and sigh a heavy sigh,
As if its sparkling was the redness of camels;

تفور وتزفر الأحشاء زفرا كأن شرارها حمر الجمال

And we, the Muslims, sleep until
The night closes in to the sleep of confusion.

ونحن المسلمون ننام حتى يضيق الدهر بالنوم الخبال

You sit down, and the couches are proud,
And you agitate upon your precious beds;

جلستم والأرائك فاخرات وأوجفتم على الفرش الغوالي

And you place mirrors inside of your castles;
To pronounce the splendor and beauty;

ورصعتم قصوركم مرايا لتنطق بالبهاء وبالجمال

And the fragrance surged and the heavens glistened,
As if life was not to cease;

وماج العطر وائتلقت جنان كأن العمر ليس إلـى زوال!

We sleep upon the “Riyal”, and if we wake up,
Then indeed, the dawn is the opening of the “Riyal”.

ننام على “الريال” وإن صحونا فإن الفجر فاتحة الريال


“Nation of Islam, Glad Tidings”

Translation of one of two songs with very similar titles; this one is called “Nation of Islam, Glad Tidings” (Ummat al-Islami Bushra). Not to be confused with another Arabic religious song, which has almost the same title, but is preceded with the word “O”, this song is newer. It is sung by Saudi artist, Abu Abdulmalik (أبو عبد المالك), whose real name is Muhsin al-Dawsari (or al-Dossari as it is often spelled; in Arabic, محسن الدوسري), who sings Islamic religious songs, and it has been used to accompany many videos online, mostly of militias and groups of Islamist fighters (I use “Islamist” to mean “advocating political Islam”, but these groups are mostly Wahhabist or Salafi). Despite this, the lyrics do not allude to any particular sect or belief system apart from the Islamic religion. While I do not subscribe to Islam or any religion for that matter, I saw fit to translate this for public curiosity and information as it had not been translated before.

“Nation of Islam, Glad Tidings; Indeed, We Are Seeing a Dawning”

أُمَّـــــــةَ الإسْــلامِ بُشْـــرَى *** إنِّـــــــنا نَـلْمَــــــحُ فَجْـــــراً

Nation of Islam, glad tidings;
Indeed, we are seeing a dawning.
Amidst a group of youth who have built
An awakening to a great religion.

أمة الإســــلام بشرى *** إنــــــنا نلمــح فجراً
في شباب قد أشـــادوا *** صحوة للدين كبرى

And with God’s permission, it has come,
A leap which attracts victory.
A magnificent leap for a generation,
Which fills the universes with remembrance.
وبإذن الله تــأتـــــي *** وثــبةٌ تتــلوه نصراً
وثبــة عظمى لجيل *** يمـلأ الأكـوان ذكراً

They read the Qur’an always,
Bowed in prayer, both privately and openly.
They carry the religion as a slogan,
Which is destiny for the religion.
So God endows them with fortune, and payment, and reward. (Refrain)

يقـــرأ القرآن دوماً *** خاشـــعا سرا وجــهراً
يحمل الدين شعاراً *** ما علـــى بالديـن قدراً
فحــــباه الله توفيـــقاً و تســـــديداً و أجـــراً

أمة الإســــلام بشرى *** إنــــــنا نلمــح فجراً
في شباب قد أشـــادوا *** صحوة للدين كبرى

Despite the flood of tragedies,
They carve out a path in the flood.
Riding resolve like a steed,
That goes jumping, left and right.

رغم طوفان المآسي *** شـق في الطوفان مجرى
أسرج العزم جـــواداً *** صـائلا يمــنى و يسـرى

Jumping, the tune of victory enchants them.
Like magic in their ears. (2x)
And the enemies gaze toward it,
Increasing in hate and oppression. (Refrain)

صائلا يسبوه لحن *** النصر في الأسماع سحراً
صائلا يسبوه لحن *** النصر في الأسماع سحراً
و العدى ترنوا إليه تغتلي حقدا و قهراً

أمة الإســــلام بشرى *** إنــــــنا نلمــح فجراً
في شباب قد أشـــادوا *** صحوة للدين كبرى

Nation of Islam, go forth,
And be lofty in your honor and pride.
And break the shackle of idleness,
And today, subservience is breaking.

أمة الإسلام سيري و اشمخي عزا و فخراً
واكسري قيد التراخي و الخنوع اليوم كسراً

And spread the religion like a light,
And scatter virtues like a perfume. (2x)
For when I am given victory,
Then I will prostrate, thankful to God. (Refrain)

وانشري الدين ضياء *** وانثري الأخلاق عطراً
وانشري الدين ضياء *** وانثري الأخلاق عطراً
فإذا أُعطيت نصرا فاسجدي لله شكراً

أمة الإســــلام بشرى *** إنــــــنا نلمــح فجراً
في شباب قد أشـــادوا *** صحوة للدين كبرى

(I, Jonas Rand, hereby release this translation as public domain.)

“Do Not Say, ‘Allahu Akbar'”

A poem by the famous and renowned Arab poet, Ahmad Matar. Translated by myself, today.

I do not interpret this poem as a justification for terrorism or political/religious violence, but rather as an expression of the desperation in the Arab world, and an opinion on the factors behind the violence of the region.
فهمت الآن ياولدي *** لماذا قلت لا تكبر ؟
فمصرٌ لم تعٌد مصراَ *** وتونس لم تعد خضرا

Do you understand now, o son of mine,
Why I said, “Do not exclaim ‘Allahu Akbar'”?**

For Egypt is no longer Egypt,
And Tunisia is no longer green.

وبغدادٌ هي الأٌخرى *** تذوق خيانة العسكر
وإن تسأل عن الأقصى *** فإن جراحهم اقسى

And Baghdad is another,
Which has tasted the treason of the military;

And if you ask of al-Aqsa,
Their wounds are even more harsh.

بني صهيون تقتلهم *** ومصرٌ تغلق المعبر
وحتى الشام يا ولدي *** تموت بحسرةٍ أكبر

The sons of Zion are killing them,
And Egypt closes the border crossing!

And even Sham, o my son,*
Is dying with an agony most great;

هنالك لوترى حلبا *** فحق الطفل قد سٌلِبا
وعرِض فتاةُ يٌغتصبا *** ونصف الشعب في المهجر

Over there, if you see Aleppo,
The right of the child there has been stolen.

And the honor of a young woman has been usurped,
And half of the people are in exile;

صغيري إنني أرجوك *** لا تكبر فأُمتنا مٌمزّقةٌ
وأٌمتنا مقسّمةٌ *** وكل دقيقةً تخسر

My little one, I am imploring you;
Do not say “Allahu Akbar”, for our nation is ripped to pieces.

And our nation is fragmented,
And every minute is a loss.

وحول الجيد مشنقةٌ *** وفي أحشائها خنجر
هنا سيسي هنا سبسي *** هنا حوثي هنا حفتر

And surrounding the neck is a gallows,
And plunged in its limbs is a dagger.

Here is Sisi, here is Sisi,
Here is a “Houthi”, here is “Haftar”.

هنا إيران وأمريكا *** وإسرائيل و ابن عمر
هنا عربي يخذلنا *** ومسلم جاء ينحرنا

Here is Iran, and America,
And Israel, and the son of Umar.

Here is an Arab, who forsakes us,
And a Muslim, who comes to slaughter us.

و إرهابي يفجرنا ولاندري لِم فجّر

And a terrorist blows us up,
And we don’t know why he blows up!

*Sham – can mean the Levant, Syria or Damascus. In this context it refers to Syria.

**”Allahu Akbar” – the phrase meaning, “God is Greatest”, used by Muslims in the call to prayer (and in other contexts).