Al-Bari'

The Qur'an
was not revealed to Muhammad
in a single day

the foundations of a house
have to be dug out
and constructed with thought and care

but when the house is half built
should I knock it down
and begin again?

Yes, the rebellious mob before Aaron
were smashed to smithereens
the people of Noah drowned under the deluge

mockers and the whimsical
joined together in graves smaller than matchboxes
infested with scorpions

By day, Al-Bari' calls us to walk gently on the earth
and whenever the fool speaks
answer in peace

by night, to prostrate ourselves in aversion of hell

and be generous to the needy
and invoke no imagined deity
and refrain from killing and adultery

repenting and doing good
telling the truth
avoiding the bacchanalian mob

and remembering that living a lie
is like slow poison
to the soul