I walked by our dream and was saddened to find
Tears filling her eyes with a look quite resigned.
She sat in the jail where we left her behind
Trapped behind the bars of a colonized mind.

I stood and wondered how I could set her free
So I asked if she knew where they’d hidden the key.
She wiped away tears and looked over at me
With pity that I assumed it would be so easy!

She said: “Buried inside pages of distant past
With a heritage of lions, so rich and so vast
You’ll find the key with Sumayyah, when to faith she held fast
As they speared her chastity, and she breathed her last.

And it’s the finger of Bilal, the heroic black slave,
The sign of Tawhid that in their faces he’d wave
As he lay tied down in a hot desert grave
Their harming of him made him all the more brave.

And it’s the pledge of ‘Ikrimah, enemy turned warrior
Who changed his life to make the truth superior.
Khalid himself could not hold him back from more
When his pledge at Yarmuk left the Romans so sore.

It is the back with shredded flesh and torn skin
Of Ahmad bin Hambal, who refused to give in.
He answered their whips with the truth and a grin
To protect our religion, he would not let them win.

And it is the bittersweet dust of the land of Hittin,
That once engulfed the knights of Salah ad-Din
From the filth of dishonor, he made that dust clean
And for the respect of the world did he set the scene.

It was the rope around the neck of the desert’s lion
‘Umar Mukhatar, who would bow down to no Italian.
Refusing to live in a state of humiliation
His chin high to the end, with no fear of the Creation.

The rope was passed on to Sayyid’s waiting head
With one last chance for him to be spared from this dread.
And from the choicest fruits, they promised he would be fed
But his index finger led him to another door instead.

The same finger that pointed up as Malcolm X lay still
Ending a life of honor, that was one struggle uphill.
He left a life of crime, transforming himself until
He spoke bitter truth with eloquence and skill…”

She sat in the jail where we left her behind
Indeed this key will be difficult to find
But it is you if you refuse to be blind
And decide to free yourself from the colonized mind.

27th of Dhu al-Hijjah 1430 -14th of December 2009.
In the hours before Fajr; in the traces of the pale floodlights shining into my cell.
Plymouth County Correctional Facility, Isolation Unit.