Fatima was the most important of Prophet Muhammad’s children. Here are poems from the forthcoming book: Fatima’s Touch, Poems and Stories of the Prophet’s Daughter, White Cloud Press, Ashland, OR.2017 by Tamam Kahn. The introduction is in Untold:
If her elder sisters have been eclipsed by history, the youngest, Fatima, lived in the spotlight. The hadith offers collected stories of her childhood, marriage, family, and alliances. History has saved both her words and those of her father speaking to her. After Khadija’s death, Muhammad leaned on her for support; later she was given the curious and weighty title, “Umm Abi-ha,” which translates as “the mother of her father.” She became a symbol of protection in the culture of Islam. The open hand, a defining symbol of protection for Muslim women, is called “The Hand of Fatima.”
Five poems on Fatima in the spring 2016 issue of “Knot Magazine”Silver Hand We forget the face but wear the silver hand, forget the look of a lighthouse, but recall the beam; witness being lifted on clear digits of light. We concede her rescuing face. Like her father’s, we say.But we cannot see either one. Ya falak! We swim as stars in orbit round his daughter, a lamp of whispered mercy. When she extends her hand, we are met in unforgettable touch.
<> <> <> <> <> <>
Wild Honey of adabWas there ever a better gesture for us than this? The way Muhammad gets up when Fatima enters the room and takes her hand to kiss it, then indicates his seat to her. At her house, she reciprocates. Each garland of respect reveals the wild honey of adab; inflorescent meadows spreading out, scented with grace. Since we know the sting of a shrug, how kindness can pivot and leave the room without a glance— become the Bee Keeper. Stretch toward the buzz of others, watch over each hive as the honey bees waggle. Move slow, bee veil lowered. Honor the queen, and hand a sweet jar to everyone you meet. Notes: Adab: (Arabic) important principle of refined behavior politeness, and doing the right thing at the right time for the right reason
Waggle dance is a term used in beekeeping and ethnology for a particular figure- eight movement of the honey bee, communicating the direction of food.
<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>
GLORY: Source: Fatima, Daughter of Muhammad, Christopher Paul Clohessy. Gorgias Press, 2009, pp. 168-173. Corrections: shear is sheer; stars marking galaxies is star-marked galaxies.