Holistic Poetry

Writer. Poet. Lyrical Artist. Student of Medicine.

How Else Can I Be Me

I understand it’s important to have walls. It took years to rebuild mine even loftier. Every stone acquired at a cost of time itself. But the moment you decide to knock them down, it’s meant to be scary. Vulnerability usually is. But being wise to the foundation that once held it is when you remember practicality. They say, “Don’t get attached if you don’t want to be.” But I know if something speaks to me, there’s a good reason why. I’m not everyday. I’ve become too journeyed and emotionally conscious to ever be. Charm isn’t something I try to give. It’s what I’ve lived and know. And if I search for more excuses, then I’m just preventing me. So yes, I put myself out there not knowing if it will give back. How else can I be me.

Beauty of My Eye

#20 by Zeeshawn M. Chughtai

A photo posted by Holistic Poetry (@holisticpoetry) on

A Ramadan Farewell

#19 by Zeeshawn M. Chughtai

A photo posted by Holistic Poetry (@holisticpoetry) on

Day 23 – Hope Realized

During Friday prayer at MakeSpace, I was reminded of how having hope can fill the gaps of our imperfections. As we build upon our faith through fasting, prayer, and being in the present in this month of Ramadan, we may unknowingly carry some degree of contradiction against ourselves. We are human after all. But the imam beautifully quoted Walt Whitman as saying, “Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself; I am large — I contain multitudes.” In the vastness of our accomplishments we make mistakes. However, we must not define ourselves by them. Let us remember to rely our fragility, vulnerability, and necessity with God. The goal of Ramadan is having more trust and consciousness of God. This is the excellence Prophet Muhammad ﷺ spoke of when he said,

“It is that you should serve God as though you could see Him, for though you cannot see Him yet (know that) He sees you” (Muslim).

As I’m in the middle of studying for my board exam, I can’t think of a better reminder for myself as I struggle in the pages to memorize, the concepts to realize, and the answers to clarify. We must do our part and trust to leave the outcome to Him because

“Man can have nothing but what he strives for; that (the fruit of) his striving will soon come in sight. Then he will be rewarded with a complete reward” (Qur’an 53:39-41). 

Career In Character

#18 by Zeeshawn M. Chughtai

A photo posted by Holistic Poetry (@holisticpoetry) on

The Origin of Ideals

#17 by Zeeshawn M. Chughtai

A photo posted by Holistic Poetry (@holisticpoetry) on

When We Meet

#16 by Zeeshawn M. Chughtai

A photo posted by Holistic Poetry (@holisticpoetry) on

Day 4 – For My Papa

Pinholes of light from the window blinds pierced into my room so that my eyelids could rise from its fasting slumber. I awoke to see a day recognized by many to share greetings of cheer to fathers everywhere. But at times my vision travels beyond the moment to know that holiday cards, trendy ties, and words of cheer can never be enough. If not chosen before, let today serve as an opportunity missed on most days to recognize the fathers that give well beyond their design. What I can offer my dad is a mere rain drop to an ocean of selfless concern he has given to me, our family, and the community in which he never gives up on. The best of me is from the best of him. But like any person he has his flaws. How else could he show us how to love even when imperfect. Like the many years before, I embraced my dad for longer than I intended. And like the many years before, my father wouldn’t be able to do the same for his. Your parents are a gift from God, and there will be a time when we all must return to Him without our permission. To both of my grandfathers, to the fathers that have left this world, and to the families they had to leave behind, know that within your example I am truly grateful for having been blessed to share Ramadan with my dad. I pray that I can honor the memory of what was taken from you by appreciating the memory of what is still given to me. Even in their absence, they still give.

Day 1 – Fasting for Charleston

As I awoke in the early hours before dawn, my Ramadan story began alongside the diverse narratives of over a billion others in my faith. Like the years before, I strive to unearth its rewards by digging through the layered habits that bury it. Food, drink, and pleasures that are permissible is abstained from dawn to sunset to know their true value. But Ramadan is an experience beyond just physical deprivation. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ prescribed,

“Whoever does not give up forged speech and evil actions, Allah is not in need of his leaving his food and drink” (Bukhari).

A fast of the body than best serves to hunger for the soul. Realigning our thoughts, actions, and deeds to an awareness of God in our daily lives becomes the goal. Embracing all communities with this in heart is the pulse of Islam as it serves as a reminder to Muslims during this month. With the Charleston shooting that took the lives of 9 members of a predominately African-American church, my pains of hunger become overshadowed with the pains of fellow Christian communities targeted because of the amount of melanin in their skin. No house of worship should be marginalized, brutalized, or victimized for any reason. As we enter our own during Ramadan, let us pray for the safety of our Christian brothers and sisters insha’Allah (God-willing).

Knowledge of the Unseen

#15 by Zeeshawn M. Chughtai

A photo posted by Holistic Poetry (@holisticpoetry) on


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