Child’s Prayer

APoetic Rendering of Allama Iqbal’s Poem, “BACHCHE KI DUA.”

My hopes and wishes come upon

My lips from inside my heart.

Oh Allah!  My life should be

Like a lamp, never to go dark.

Let the darkness of the world

Disappear from my presence.

Let every place become bright

From my shining existence.

Just as the flower stands with others,

Improving the garden’s beauty,

Let my life stand with knowledge

And dignify my community.

My life should be built around

Those who seek the light,

Just as the moth loves the glowing lamp

In the darkness of the night.

Oh Allah!  Make me strive

Constantly to educate my mind,

With the light of knowledge

That you gave me the power to find.

I want to dedicate my life to those

Who are in need of special care.

The old, the young, the ill, the hungry,

I want to be fair.

Oh Allah!  You gave us choices!

Protect us from sins,

Lead us to the path of righteousness,

Help us to do good things.

Dr. Shadia Alam composed this poem when she was a high school student.