Grief in August

And so I write to my Rabb this time…

Whenever August rolls around I become numb. 

From the Partition to Article 370, and the martyrdom of Imam Hussain. 

I can’t help but cry uncontrollably. 

August is the month I pour my grief onto the prayer mat. 

I stay there for hours until my tears turn to ice.

It is the month I can’t hold myself together or the beads of my tasbeeh as I remember blood-soaked children and how my people were slaughtered on a train in 1947.

But this August was different. 

In America, another innocent black man is murdered. 

How many more names will they add to the list? 

In Pakistan, my Shia brothers and sisters are persecuted, and on the streets of Lahore, my Ahmadi friends are killed in broad daylight. 

In Kashmir, there is only blood. The soil is red and the rivers are red. 

The sky burns as another daughter is lost to a pellet gun. I burn with the clouds. 

Kashmir is the Karbala of today. 

In the Middle East, children only know of gunshots and warplanes. 

Scattered in different refugee camps, 5-year-old Omar wonders where his parents are. 

11-year-old Rudaina still has her house keys from Syria. 

“I brought them with me because when we go back to Syria, I’m going to be the one who opens the door,” she says. 

Yousaf remembers soldiers breaking into his house in Gaza.

And Laila wishes to look the Taliban fighters in the eye to tell them she’s not afraid of their guns. 

They are all too young to know war this well. 

Every August I would shatter in all my dimensions.

This August, I sit by Greenacre Park and write in my Dua Journal.  

I write to God about the riots that take place underneath my skin.

Maliya Naz

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