Oisin Sheathes His Sword, the better to fight

Oisin and Niamh

Oisin dwelt in the land of men. He ran with the hounds, and the deer fell; great was their slaughter. Merry was the feasting of the Fian and their Fionn. Wild and exultant the revelry. Yet, sometimes, in their cups, was comrade transformed into foe over the champion’s portion of meat, and head flew from shoulders.
Such was their life, between the merriment of the feast, the excitement of the chase and the fear and thrill of combat, war and death. Yet they had not been formed, this body of men, from mere folly; rather the lords and learned men of the Gael had farsightedly seen the very terrible threat from Roman legions poised on their borders and had formed the Fianna to face them. They had seen a great centralised empire sustained by ruthless military might, driven by the engine of usury to devour ever more lands and peoples. No freedom loving people would submit to that, without a fight. Thus the bodies of the Fianna had formed, the best of the youth of the Gael flocking to join under their banner

Brave these Fian and Fionn MacCumail, their chief, and Oisin the warrior-poet. In their lives too, dalliance with glorious women; in them too marriage and children.
Till Niamh came from the land of Tir na n-Og, the Land of Eternal Youth, beneath the Western Ocean.

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Abdassamad Clarke is from Ulster and was formally educated at Edinburgh University in Mathematics and Physics, and in Cairo in Arabic and tajwid and other Islamic sciences. He accepted Islam at the hands of Shaykh Dr. Abdalqadir as-Sufi in 1973. In the 80s he was secretary to the imam of the Dublin Mosque, and in the early 90s imam khatib of the Norwich Mosque, where he is currently an imam and teacher. He has translated the Muwatta of Imam Muhammad by Imam Muhammad ibn al-Hasan ash-Shaybani (jointly with Muhammad Abdarrahman), which was published by Turath Publishing at the end of July 2004 and a number of other works from Arabic: al-Qawl al-mu'tamad fi mashru'iyyat adh-dhikr bi'l-ism al-mufrad by Shaykh al-Alawi on the standing in Shari’ah of using the divine name in dhikr, which was published by Diwan Press as first part of The Two Invocations and since republished by Madinah Press, The History of the Khalifahs (the chapters on the Khulafa ar-Rashidun from as-Suyuti’s Tarikh al-Khulafa), the Complete Forty Hadith (translation of Imam an-Nawawi’s Forty Hadith along with the Imam’s explanation of their fiqh and linquistic usages) and Kitab al-Jami’ by Ibn Abi Zayd al-Qayrawani (published as A Madinan View), Rijal – narrators of the Muwatta of Imam Muhammad, all published by Ta-Ha Publishers of London, Kitab al-athar by Imam Abu Hanifah and transmitted by Imam Muhammad ibn al-Hasan ash-Shaybani (Turath Publishing 2006), The Compendium of Knowledge and Wisdom (a translation of Jami' al-'ulum wa'l-hikam by Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali, published by Turath Publishing 2007). In addition he has edited Aisha Bewley's translation of Ibn Hajar's abridgement of at-Targhib wa't-Tarhib, Ibn Taymiyyah's al-Kalim at-Tayyib both published by the UK Islamic Academy, Dr Asadullah Yate's translation of al-Ahkam as-Sultaniyyah, published by Ta-Ha Publishing and a number of other works. He is currently engaged with Suád Østergaard on a translation of the Qur’an into Danish, the first volume of which translated in collaboration with Jakob Werdelin, comprising Surat al-Fatihah, Surat al-Baqarah and Surah Ali ‘Imran, was recently published as Den gavmilde Qur’an: en fremlægning of de tre første suraer by Havens Forlag of Copenhagen. Translations yet to be published include Traditions of the Sunnah (Athar as-sunan) by Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Ali an-Nimawi (jointly with Mawlana In'amuddin), to be published by Turath Publishing Ltd. Among his unpublished translations are the Sciences of Tafsir comprising portions of Ibn Juzayy al-Kalbi’s Qur’anic commentary at-Tashil li ‘ulum at-tanzil, in particular his introductory sections on the essential elements of the sciences necessary for tafsir. He is author of a number of children’s books, The Year of the Elephant, The Great Victory and The Last Battle all of which are on the sirah of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, as well as The Story of Stories about the Prophet Yusuf, peace be upon him, in which he drew a great deal on the commentary of Ibn Juzayy, may Allah be merciful to him. He has also a poem God is Dead published in the Minaret journal of Stockholm, Sweden, and an as-yet unpublished collection of short stories called Tales Are Like That, and a novel called The Wings of the Butterfly. Abdassamad is a teacher of both adults and children in Qur’an recitation (tajwid) and meanings, Arabic language and the deen in general, most recently having organised and taken part in a conference under the auspices of Islamic Events of London on the History of the Islamic Khalifate, and having given discourses in London, Edinburgh, Dublin, Jena, Weimar, Copenhagen and the Midlands. 18 April, 2007 0:03

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1 Comment

  1. Salaams

    Oisin fell into deep thought as he struggled in his old poet’s heart for how this story must be allowed to tell itself to reach these other hearts…It is of Earth. There is tenderness, there is playfulness of children. There is the encounter with the majesty and beauty of the Divine and with the ethereal other of Tir na n-Og. There too is teaching, the Book that encompasses all extremes and opposites as does the Way itself, both Law and Revelation of the Unseen. There is in it the restoration of market places and the freedom of people to go and sell there without rents, taxes or any control. There is the abolition of states and taxes.

    excellent writing!

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