light of yearning

Lights of Yearning: In Praise of the Most Praised

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A forty-piece collection of poetry & prose authored by Walid Lounès Bouzerar in praise of the Beloved Prophet Muhammad, choicest peace and blessings be upon him and his family. Foreword by H.E. Shaykh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi.

"In our time," one poet has exclaimed, "it is impossible to write religious poems!" Walid Lounès Bouzerar has proved the error of this comment. He has written a book of remarkable devotional poems in praise of the Prophet Muhammad, the Seal of Prophets (peace and blessings be upon him). He uses rhythmic repetition of the Prophet's sacred names to generate a flowing evocation of the Beloved of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) stretching over sixty pages.

The book begins with verses highlighting the benefits of Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim and its spiritual power to transform and heal people's lives both here and hereafter. So Lights of Yearning quickly and recurrently places Allah Almighty (Exalted is He) in high reverence above all. The poems go on to show the excellent qualities of Muhammad that made him the Beloved of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him), that enabled the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), through Allah's Grace (Exalted is He), to transform cut-throats into Saints. The poems celebrate his celestial love, his connection with the whole universe and with each human soul, his virtuous actions that inspired his followers (men and women) to worship Allah (Exalted is He).

At a key moment in the collection, a poem dedicated to the wisdom and truth of La Ilaha Illa Allah appears, balancing the first poem of Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim. In this way, the book can be read like a Dhikr with Salawats, strengthened with interjections that assert the predominance and authority of Allah, the One Creator (Exalted is He). The poems are written in a variety of styles, from statement-and-response, like a dialogue, to use of rhyme and repetition, with references to names, incidents and characters in the life of Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him); short-line poems in a more modern, contemporary form to longer-line pieces in a discursive style. This diversity suggests how everything, in every way, is praising the One Most Praised (peace and blessings be upon him).

I marvel again how a poet can find new ways to present traditional material to excite a new generation of readers and reciters, as surely, these poems will not only be read, they will be sung. Brother Walid has produced a collection in which the beauty of his poetic language lives up (if this was possible) to the beauty of its subject, Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him).

- Paul Abdul Wadud Sutherland
Canadian-British award-winning poet and author of 'Poems on the Life of the Prophet Muhammad