The Vespa Rider’s Syafakallah

It’s not just a book, it’s a journey of a man towards self discovery and most importantly, towards Allah SWT.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Truly, in some poetry, there is wisdom.” [Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud]

From the times of the Companions and their Followers, throughout the centuries and across the Muslim lands, scholars and layman alike listened to, composed, recited, gathered for and encouraged poetry an expression of heart-felt and melodic rhythms. 

Similar to the Islamic Qasida form of poems, Syafakallah consists of a series of poems that base themselves on a serious meditation of elevated subjects. The poems follow a regular rhyme scheme that echoes and parallels the consequent order that Allah has created and in that sense, it appeals to the senses of the readers.

As a reader and a young member of an increasingly liberal world, what strikes out most is how the author engages an audience larger than his community. The poems are relatable and offer more than a guide to humanistic values. The simplicity of the poem makes out for a prominent feature. It offers a range of people, rather than a definite set. In this sense, this fantastic piece of literature stands out encouraging people to take a path of self-reflection.

Written by a narrator reticent about his whereabouts, the introduction of the book serves key in both establishing the context of the book and the purpose of the narrator’s writing. As a servant of the Singaporean civil forces, the poems explicitly hint at the life of a soldier whose isolation leaves him to ponder on the various aspects of life eventually bringing him closer to Allah SWT. 

The Vespa Rider’s stream of thought is transfigured into a simplistic monorhyme that dwells into the reader’s mind and a Hadith at the end of each poem serves to connect each contemporary piece of writing back to Allah SWT. The beauty of the poems lies in its simplistic structure inviting the readers to enjoy the poem with minimal struggle. However, at certain moments the book floats away to touch other themes – more theological rather than concentrating on Islamic aspects of the narrator’s epiphany during these crucial moments of his life.

Overall, this piece of writing stands out like a living spirit that absorbs emotion and exploits it to weave a story that glorifies Allah and reminds the readers of his power. Vespa Rider’s burning words create a rather soothing impact on the reader as he leaves us with a cliffhanger ending- an end where we decide what we take from what he gives.

Riza Mirza