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Saturday, February 06, 2010

Imam Zaid Shakir

History 1 0n 1
By Imam Zaid Shakir

In fourteen hundred and ninety-two Columbus sailed the ocean blue,
An event that happened a bit too soon,
‘cause in sixty-nine they were on the moon.
A happening not without precedent,
The same place Galileo’s telescope went.
Which isn’t to say we’ve become farsighted in our views,
Proof of which is the daily news.

From Hiroshima and Nagasaki,
To imported Nissans and Kawasakis.
The songs the British rockers sing,
Bring back images of Cromwell fighting the king.
To think that neutron bombs held détente’s faint hope,
In the hands of an army strung out on dope.

The poet said, “Vanity, vanity, all is vanity.
Let’s take a closer look at this insanity.
Watch the TV, play the tape,
The latest chapter in the great escape,
Look at Spock out trekking stars,
Forget the Earth and her petty wars.
A country of R2s, D2s, a world of Darth Vaders,
The Senate makes less money than the Oakland Raiders,
The Renaissance sparked dreams of new worlds coming into view,
Dreams turned into the reality of Madison Avenue.

Ad campaigns sold peanut butter to Peter Pan,
And life rafts to the Tidy Bowl man,
They even sold Kojak some Afro Sheen,
And Turtle Wax to Mr. Clean,
Gil told us they sold tuna to the Chicken of the Sea,
So what do you think they are selling you and me?
When nightol becomes a permanent state,
Apathy and ignorance begins to escalate,
We sit back and watch the dollar’s value deflate,
But how long will our enemies sit and wait?

Visit him, on the wall of his office hangs the head of a moose,
And he sits behind his desk reading Dr. Suess,
This could be a character on your local TV,
But it could be that character in Washington, DC.
Folks going to college to expand their minds,
Can’t relate to dropouts in the unemployment line.
The prisons fill up with perpetrators of nonviolent crime,
While only the Army is working overtime.

Reagan stood Marx on his head,
Headlines proclaim that God is dead.
McDonald’s did what Hitler couldn’t,
Malcolm said what Martin wouldn’t.
The news is void of any meaningful views,
Display any manners you’ll be politely excused,
The Holocaust monument opened to cries of “never again,”
while Bosnia was being ethnically cleansed.

Muslims are on the endangered species list,
Plastic American culture no one can resist.
Ask for principles you’ll find the politicians ambivalent,
Yet they definitively state that the UN is irrelevant.
Cornflakes may become extinct due to gasohol,
The international system has become a free for all,
We trample our freedoms yet proclaim our democracy is best,
Yet Bush might lose to Osama in a popularity contest.

All this while the American public is suffering from back to the future shock,
incapable of distinguishing Afghanistan from Iraq.
We accept the next war as passively as lambs accept the slaughter,
By the way, Did Dick Cheney ever find his daughter?
And on and on the story goes,
So now I’ll bring it to a close,
My purpose has only been to have myself some fun,
Playing ball with history, 1-on-1.


  1. AsSalaamu Alaikum,

    This is one of my favorite blogs...Jazak Allah Khair for the compilation.

    I really like Imam Zaid, so don't get me wrong, but he needs to lay off these comments of wives asking their husband for money. I heard him make jokes about it at public forums.

    Our brothers look up to him, and the wrong man might start feeling bad about fulfilling his duty of giving his wife money after listening to this. I know he is speaking to men's cheap side and trying to bond with men in the poem. However there are other halal ways to bond without putting someones wife into it.

    Imam Zaid says other wonderful things about women, I admit.

  2. Jazakallah Khair with your wonderful compilation Sidi Arfan.

    Iman Zaid sure knows how to connect with the english speaking Ummah, as this amazing 'History 101' illustrates.

    The only point is Sidi Arfan, should the line 'apathy and ignorance begins to escalates' instead be 'apathy and ignorance begins to escalate'.

  3. Anonymous3:24 am

    Would it be possible sidi to link to Imam Zaid's own site for this poem:

  4. Done thanks for your comments.

  5. salam alaykum sayyidi Arfan Shah,
    May Allah bless you for this wonderful site!

    Dean Othman, Birmingham UK

  6. Anonymous10:31 am

    Asalam alaykum.

    I just read the poem on Iman Zaid's own website.
    I am surprised to see that there are differences between the 2. The lines on your blog were changed after 'People going to college to expand their minds' up to 'Muslim are on the endangered species list'

    And on Iman Zaid's website there is no mention of wife asking for money.

  7. I was given this by a creditable source and did not realise that there were any changes. So I copied the one from the website sorry for any confusion.