Saturday, August 24, 2013

Sayyid Qutb: Brother, you are free behind these gates

Let me share a post that a dear friend posted on social media:

There are so many innocent fellow Muslims imprisoned for their Islamic views and stance globally (e.g Bangladesh, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE).  I wish we could hear what they are thinking. I just came across a poem that Sayyid Qutb wrote when he was in prison. I get emotional listening to it, knowing that a man of such high intellect was allowed to be hanged by the Egyptians. 

أخــي أنت حــرٌ وراء السـدود
أخــي أنت حـــرٌ بتلك القيود
My brother, you are free behind these gates.
My brother, you are free within these chains.
إذا كـنـت بالله مستعـصـــما
فمــــاذا يضيرك كيـد العبيـد
For if upon Allah you do rely,
The intrigues of his slaves can bring no pains.
أخــــي ستبيد جيوش الظـلام
ويشــــرق في الكون فجر جديد
My brother, the armies of darkness will be extinguished.
And a new dawn will shine in the universe.
فــأطلق لروحــك إشراقــها
تـرى الفـجر يرمـقـنا من بعـيد
So then ignite your soul with it’s rays.
See the dawn consume us from afar

أخــــي قد أصابك سهـم ذليل
وغـــدرا رمـاك ذراعٌ كـليـل
My brother, you have been hit by a lowly arrow
And the blunted arm shot treacherously at you
ستُبترُ يــومـا فصـبـر جـميل
ولم يَـدْمَ بعـدُ عريـنُ الأســود
It will be severed one day, So be excellent in patience
And no longer is there the den of the lions
أخـي قد سرت مـن يديـك الدماء
أبت أن تُشـــلّ بقيـد الإمــاء
My brother, blood flowed from your hands
They refused to be paralyzed by the fetters of slave girls
ستـرفعُ قُــربـانهـا للسمــاء
مـخـضـبة بدمـاء الخـلــود
They will raise their sacrifice to the heavens
Stained with the blood of the undying
أخـي هل تُـراك سئـمـت الكفاح
وألقـيت عن كاهـليك الســلاح
My brother, it appears you have given up the fight
and cast off the weapons
فمن للضحـأيـا يواسـي الجـراح
ويرفـع رايـاتها مـن جـديــد
so who will console the wounded victims
and raise up the flag anew.
أخـي هـل سمـعت أنـين التراب
تـدُكّ حَصـاه جيـوشُ الخــراب
My brother, did you hear the moaning of the soil
The armies of destruction tramples its pebbles
تُـمَـزقُ أحشـاءه بالحـــراب
وتصـفـعـهُ وهو صلـب عنيـد
Its entrails are torn by spears
And slap it, and it is solid, stubborn
أخـي إنـني اليـوم صـلب المراس
أدُك صخـور الجبـال الـــرواس
My brother, verily this day I am strong in my resolve
I could dig through the root of the mountains
غـدا سأشـيح بفـأس الخــلاص
رءوس الأفــاعي إلى أن تـبــيد
Tomorrow I will chop with my axe and finish
the heads of the snakes into oblivion
أخـي إن ذرفـت علـىّ الدمـوع
وبللّـت قـبري بهـا في خشــوع
My brother, if you shed a tear for me
and moisten my grave with sincerity
فأوقد لهـم من رفـاتي الشمــوع
وسـيروا بهـا نحـو مجـد تلــيد
then kindle a light from my remains
and tread a path to the glorious revival
أخـي إن نمُـتْ نـلـقَ أحـبابـنا
فــروْضـاتُ ربي أعــدت لـنا
My brother, if we die we will meet our beloved ones
then we will have gardens that our Lord has prepared for us
وأطـيـارُها رفـرفـت حـولـنا
فـطوبى لـنا في ديـار الخـلــود
and the birds will fly around us therein
and we will have eternal dwellings
أخــي إنـني ما سـئمت الكفاح
ولا أنـا أقـيـت عـني السـلاح
My brother, verily I did not tire of the fight
And I did not cast off the weapons
وإن طـوقتـني جيـوشُ الظــلام
فإني عـلى ثـقـة … بالصـبـاح
And if the armies of darkness surround me
then I have confidence in the morn
وإني عـلى ثقـة مـن طـريقــي
إلى الله رب السـنـا والشــروق
And I am confident in my path
To God the Lord of Sublimity and Radiance
فإن عـافـني السَّـوقُ أو عَـقّـنِي
فـإني أمـين لعـهـدي الوثـيـق
If the vulgars loathed me or they are ungrateful to me
Then I am honest to my solid promise
أخــي أخــذوك عـلى إثـرنا
وفـوج على إثر فـجـرٍ جـديـد
My brother, they took you following us
And a new throng follows another throng
فـإن أنـــا مُـتّ فـإني شـهيد
وأنت ستمـضي بـنـصر مجـيـد
Then if I die, I have become a martyr
and you are on your way to a glorious victory
قـد اختـارنا الله ف دعــــوته
وإنا سـنـمـضي عـلى سُـنـته
God has chosen us in His call
And we continue in His tradition
فـمــنا الـذين قــضوا نحبهم
ومـنا الحـفـيـظ عـلى ذِمـتـه
There are those among us who died
And there are those among us who are the protectors of His covenant
أخـي فامـض لا تلتـفـت للوراء
طريقـك قد خـضبته الدمـــاء
My brother, proceed and do not turn back
Your road has been stained by blood
ولا تـلـتـفت هـهنا أو هـنـاك
ولا تـتـطلع لـغـيـر السـمـاء
And do not turn around here or there
And do not look at anything except to the heavens
فـلسـنا بطـير مهـيض الجنـاح
ولن نستـذل .. ولن نسـتـبـاح
We are not birds whose wings are broken
We shall not be humiliated and we shall not be violated
وإنـي لأسمـع صـوت الدمــاء
قـويا ينـادي الكـفـاحَ الكفـاح
And I hear the Voice of Blood
Calling powerfully: fight, fight
سـأثـــأرُ لكـن لـربٍ وديـن
وأمـضي عـلى سـنـتي في يقـين
I will revenge, but my revenge will be for a Lord and a religion
And I will proceed in my manner of certitude
فـإما إلى النـصـر فـوق الأنـام
وإمـا إلى الله في الـخــالـديـن
Either to victory over the world
Or to God among the eternal inhabitants


  1. Assalamu allikoum wa rahmatullah

    Jazak Allah Khairan for sharing the English translation of the poem, this saved me the time I would have spent translating it.

  2. Jazakallah...saved time and effort