I am Pakistani and Somali
and Arab: I am Turk and Iran and native of the Maldives: My home is in Paris, Berlin, London; in Mexico City, Port-of-Spain, Durban; in Karachi, Zigzag or Kuala Lumpur.
I am as at home sailing in a lateen rigged baggily along the red-rock Oman shores bound for Socotra's island as I am crossing the Khyber Pass in a camel caravan...or driving a Mercedes taxi in Istanbul.
Na'am, aiwa, acha, kha, I am your brother, Adam.
You will know me in the mosques when I stand shoulder to
shoulder with you and wish you peace when prayer is done:
and you may see me in Isfahan talking with a miniature
painter or in Dera Ismail Khan listening to a young and
vocal teacher of Urdu or in Medan listening to a old man
chanting the Quran or in Sacramento listening to a college
boy who has all the problems of the universe solved.
You will know me because I am your brother and in a real and
forceful sense I am a part of you, dependent on you as you
are dependent on me...as rocks in a city wall... round as the
ancient wall of Baghdad.
I am Egyptian and Tunisian and Syrian: I am Berber and Kurd; Fulani and Nausherwani and Pawned;
I am Shii and Sunni; Maliki, Hanafi, Hanbali, and Shafei:
all these I am, for I am your brother standing besides you
in the mosque waiting for the iqama white-garbed in the
plain of Arafat...fasting with you in Ramadan.
I am at home in the black tents of the bedu and the tall
buildings of Hadhramaut...; I am always lingering at the
Great Mosque to circle the Kaaba and to kiss the hajr
ul-aswed and drink from the well of Zemzem; and I am
standing, too, in the Haraam ash-sharif in Jerusalem and in
Kerbala...and all of them, each of them, has meaning on
meaning for me.
Na'am ya habibi, ya azizi, ya akhi, I am your brother Adam.
You will know me when you see me because I will be fingering
my beads and you will know well what this means... subhanallah...
You will know me and I will know you for we are real
brothers; and I am of one place as I am of another...as much
a part of one as the other; the lover of all lands where I
can listen to the call of the muezzin coming over the night, or hear the beat
of a single Muslim heart.