On April 18 our dear brother Daniel Abdel-Hayy Moore one of the most magical, human and profound writers of poetry and prose of the past half century, left this world. Beginning with his embracing of Islam as his spiritual path, all of his work has been fed, nourished and given life by this great fount of love, universal consciousness, and understanding that Allah allowed him to taste. Anyone who knows and reads his work feels enveloped, accompanied and protected, embraced in the certainty of the Reality.
As Muriel Rukeyser has said in one of her works on poetry: “The function of a poem is the transfer of human energy and thought that is; consciousness.
This has the ability to transform existing conditions. To say that is to use poetry as “an exercise, a pleasure before the possibility of taking the reins; in the world and within one’s own life.” This is what happens as you read Hajj Moore’s work- you feel this exchange of energy and consciousness.
Born in 1940 in Oakland, California, Abdel Hayy’s first book of poetry entitled, “Dawn Visions,” was published by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, famed poet of the “beat” generation in San Francisco during the period leading up to and informing the counter-culture movement of the 60’s. Since that time Abdel Hayy produced an intense and prolific body of work including poetry, prose and theater. He also participated in the editing of important works such as, “The Burda of Shaykh al Busiri,” translated by Hamza Yusuf; and the poetry of the Palestinian poet Mahmuh Darwish amongst many other collaborations and projects. Abdel Hayy also participated in many recitations, conferences, and beloved puppet show presentations. He has been honored on many occasions, the most prestigious being the American Book Award, which he received in 2013. He was also honored among the top 500 most influential Muslims of 2013 and 2014.
In 2013 Webislam was present at his last recitation in Europe at Rumi’s Cave in the heart of London among brothers, family, friends and followers. We were able to enjoy a beautiful selection of his verses. This was his sweet farewell to the old continent.
He entered Islam in 1970, with Ian Dallas, at the time the muqaddam of Shaykh Ibn al-Habib, (RA). He went on the Hajj pilgrimage in 1972. He lived in and traveled through Morocco, Spain, Algeria, and Nigeria. After his conversion he stopped writing only to return after a period of ten years with a rich and prolific literary production consisting of more than 50 books, not finishing until minutes before leaving this world. To illustrate to what degree Islam had influenced his work, Abdel Hayy said, “When I entered Islam, poetry became reality.”
His relationship with Spain and the Spanish language was ever-present. He studied it from a young age and was in contact with Mexican poets. After entering Islam, he moved to Granada where he became life-long friends with the Spanish Muslims. One of the friendships he made was with our dear Shaykh Mansur Escudero, may he rest in peace. After his death, Abdel Hayy dedicated a poem entitled, “Hitting Bull’s Eye” in his book, “The Caged Bear Spies the Angel.”
May Allah open unto him the gates of paradise, forgive his sins and reward his efforts; that his work may continue to help his servants taste the Reality of those conscious of Him. Allah yrehamu…Allahuma ameen
Our world is so drunk on God every
moment whole gardens grow up
just to get closer
not knowing they couldn’t get any
closer than where they already are.
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