Tag Archives: poetry

“What is it that I seek?”

A new poem by Akbar Ahmed has been published over at Washington Post’s On Faith.

What is it that I seek?

A force of such might
it sets me free
A light so bright
It blinds me

I heard it in the voice of the nightingale
I know it was in the hearts of the wise
I sensed it in the lover’s tale
I saw it in your eyes

I heard it in Rumi’s poetry
I know it was in Gandhi’s gaze
I sensed it in Mandela’s oratory
I saw it in Jesus’ ways

What is this riddle and what is its part?
What is this enigma and mystery?
What can reveal the secrets of the heart?
What has the power to change me?

It is God’s greatest gift
It raises us high above
It is the bridge over the rift
It is love, love, love

Give it in generous measure
Give it as if there’s no tomorrow
Give to all you meet this treasure
Give it and banish sorrow

 

Akbar Ahmed
October, 2010
Washington, DC

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The Rumi Award

Last week, Madeeha, Craig and I ventured out to the Cannon House Office Building on Capitol Hill for the Rumi Forum‘s 2008 Rumi Peace and Dialogue Awards.

Ambassador Ahmed was given the Mawlana Jalaladdin Rumi Award for 2008. He was introduced by his good friend and colleague Senior Rabbi Bruce Lustig of the Washington Hebrew Congregation. My favorite part was when Lustig asked the audience to note the symbolism of a Rabbi, whose family lived through the Holocaust, presenting an award named after a Muslim to a Muslim professor and former Ambassador from Pakistan on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. “Only in America”, he said. Here’s a video of some of the speech:

It was a grand event with 8 awardees in all including several Congressmen, the famous Sally Quinn, and an excellent speech by Commitment to Interfaith Service awardee Sulayman Nyang.

The list of recipients of all of the Award recipients is below. Continue reading