A book of poems by Raficq Abdulla.
Raficq was a writer, lecturer, and speaker on art, poetry, jurisprudence, identity, language and the sacred. Awarded an MBE by the Queen for his interfaith work between Muslims, Jews and Christians. His poems express his love and exploration of the sacred in the familiar.
Raficq and Rachna were also close friends and first met over coffee one evening in Liverpool street station because they were both self-declared lovers of the 13th century Sufi poet Rumi, having been introduced because of another chance encounter. And so began a friendship made of poems and of love – poems as email exchanges, poems in recitals in cute houses in Dalston with other poets from diverse backgrounds – such rich sharings and exchanges over time-paused, long Sunday afternoons filled with joy and finished with cake, and poems somehow in all our conversations.
Raficq had written well over 4,000 poems and published two poetry books, one on Rumi – Birds of Paradise, and the other on Attar – The Conference of the Birds.
In 2019, Raficq started to become unwell and he asked Rachna to take a collection from his poems and publish it, as his last book. It was a privilege to have been asked, and his last book, Mother Mine, was published just after he passed away, but he saw and held and read the beautiful proof that arrived, thankfully, just in time. And this book would have never come into being had it not been for the generosity of Anna Fraser, who with sensitivity and love, for someone she had never met, created the illustrations for the book and helped to put it together.
Words can’t quite express what it meant to him to see his book in those last weeks, nor what he meant to those who knew him. Raficq and Rachna’s friendship grew sweeter and sweeter as the weeks passed towards inevitability, and accompanying him during that time was a beautiful teaching in itself…all after a chance encounter, that gifted her this beautiful friend.
Mother Mine was printed as a limited edition. If further copies are available, we shall let you know here.
But for now, a little of our favourite Rumi for you, Dear Raficq:
'Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about' - Rumi