This piece is part of the 2020 MSA LSC Unplugged Competition Collection.

By WiseIQ
1st Place Winner, Performance Poetry Competition, 2020 MSA LSC Unplugged

Editor’s Note: Muslim Youth Musings had the honor and opportunity to collaborate with the MSA Lone Star Council for their 2020 Unplugged Competition and publish selected entries in the categories of Performance Poetry and Visual Art following the theme of “Flashlight in the Dark – Faith as a Guiding Light in Times of Stress and Anxiety.” We congratulate all of the competitors and winners on producing high-quality work that is now being shared with Muslims across the world.


The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said to recite this prayer in the morning and in the evening to remove sorrow and debt:

“O Allah, I seek refuge in you from anxiety and grief, weakness and laziness, miserliness and cowardice, from the burden of debts, and from being overpowered by men”

We are impoverished on this land.
How could I live such a short life without ever being comfortable?
Without once being thankful.
Waking up every morning and finding something to complain about.
Anxious about the future.
About my livelihood
My career
My money.

We are impoverished on this land.
How could I live such a short life and never grow from my past self?
Caught up in my mistakes to the point there’s no turning around.
Just hopelessness, giving up, and grief.

We are impoverished on this land.
That when we worry SO MUCH about the future or SO MUCH about the past that
We become weak.
Overburdened by decree.
Loss of motivation.
We become lazy.
And never want to change ourselves.
Satisfied with the unsatisfied.
Our lifestyle is just a pattern.
Circles of motions that lead us to nowhere.
We forget the other people in our life.
We become stingy in our blessings
And always think if I sacrifice me for you
I lose me.
No, now you have just lost!
Watching everyone fall and not lending a hand
We become cowards for this life.
One dimensional thoughts.

And when one sees us in this state, we become taken advantage of.
Overpowered by men.
These states of the heart succumb to our desires.
Can you imagine your thoughts after you die?
How I wish I could live a little longer just to reason.
How I wish I could know my desires were my downfall.
How much time did I waste betraying my potential?
Did I really even control my destiny?

I ask myself everyday if I want to change.
The answer is yes, but my actions the same.
I ask my actions do you want to change and he says to ask your heart.
I ask my heart do you want to change and you know what it tells me?
Ask yourself, what do you love?

You are so anxious for this world.
You are in depression for this world.
You are so weak for this world.
You are so lazy for this world.
You are so stingy for this world.
You are such a damn coward.
You are a slave to this world!

And my heart says to ask God if you want to change, God tells me:
For one who loves this world, he will bring poverty between his two eyes.
Poverty of the soul.
And for one who loves me and seeks the afterlife, this whole world will bow down to you.
When I wake up tomorrow, I will ask myself, what is it that I love?


About the Author

Wasiq Javed, on stage known as WiseIQ, is an award-winning spoken word artist, community organizer, and Senior Honors Political Science student with a minor in Leadership Studies at the University of Houston. He is passionate about increasing Muslim involvement in public service and civic engagement to add a growing voice to the American civic and political discourse.

As a spoken word artist, Wasiq has been writing poetry since the age of 15 and competed with the UH CoogSlam Poetry Team, placing 4th in the nation at the College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational Tournament (CUPSI) in 2019. Individually, he was awarded 1st place in MIST 2018 and 3rd place in MSA Lone Star Council’s Showdown 2019 for performative poetry. His work has been featured on television, radio, and in the Houston Chronicle. He intends to pursue a JD degree and concentrate in civil rights law to prepare him for a career as a public interest lawyer in advocating for and mobilizing marginalized populations.

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