Tacit Bond

She whispers / to nobody in particular: they're right / but / there's a point
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Damp yet gleaming 
from fresh ablution
pale hands
touch the smooth pages
of the last heavenly book
that is slightly thicker
from being opened 
many a time daily
after the rise 
of the aureate sun
but also during the calm night,
each page accustomed 
to being wet with
tears of hidden heartaches

These heartening verses
she does not understand
nor is she able to 
write or read 
in any other language


Arabic is the only language 
that feels like the
cozy cavern
she would sneak into
during her childhood
with her brother’s 
share of snacks;
her heart firmly believes
it will never desert her

Arabic is the only language 
that she can
recite effortlessly 
like enthralling art that 
emanates from her lungs;
there’s a tacit 
yet solid 
bond with it
Arabic is the only language
that reinvigorates 
her almost-empty 
flask of hope
with an 
exquisite shaft of equanimity;
who can dare 
touch the soul of
such a person?

They tell her:
what is the point of 
reciting Qur’an mindlessly?
you need to understand it too

She smiles 
because the ability 
to remember 
to understand 
has been taken away from her –
with Alzheimer’s as her companion,
she turned ninety last winter

She whispers 
to nobody in particular:
they’re right 
  there’s a point 
  there are gifts
  this is the Qur’an we’re conversing about

The Holy Book in which
for reciting one letter
Allah Almighty drenches you 
with magnanimous rewards

She whispers
to nobody in particular:
they’re right
  there’s a point 
  there are gifts 
  this is the Qur’an we’re conversing about.

The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said, “Whoever reads a letter from the Book of Allah will have a reward. And that reward will be multiplied by ten. I am not saying that ‘Alif, Laam, Meem’ is one letter, rather ‘Alif’ is a letter, ‘Laam’ is a letter and ‘Meem’ is a letter.” (Al-Tirmidhi)

Afra Ahmad is a writer, poet, artist and calligrapher. Based in Saudi Arabia, she holds a Bachelor's degree in English Literature. She writes about everything under the sun: from dark issues of society to problems faced by teenagers to imparting chunks of wisdom through her poems, spiritual stories and write-ups. Her works have appeared in various journals and magazines including Blue Minaret, Melbourne Culture Corner, Iman collective, Muslim Youth Musings, Rather Quiet, Broken Spine Magazine.


  1. “there’s a point,
    there are gifts”

    this one hit me hard — as my own mother has been dealing with this disease the last few years, one thing that I do to stay connected is to recite Quran for her, as she used to have a habit of reading every day and praying almost every night, and seeing her lose that habit over time is… difficult. we pray her habit garners her regular reward for what she would definitely be keeping up if not for this disease.

    thank you for sharing this — i loved the style in short bursts as it feels reflective of the person you portray… a few words at a time, yet deeply profound thoughts — I feel sad thinking at how this happens not only with those suffering from this but as folks get older or lose ability to speak well, we discount the immense wisdom and truth they convey because the medium is broken down…

    beautifully captured – thank you for this.

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