I refuse to accept it,

You can’t be gone.


Grandfather to an entire generation,

To those of us seas apart from our own ancestors,

In a home that keeps telling us we’re not welcome,

You made us believe we belonged.

You were meant to be invincible.

The giants of our childhood never fall from grace,

Even in the face of pain,

I swear I could see the whole diaspora in your eyes,

Swimming in the radiant blue oceans of a soul you donated to us.

You taught us all to swim,

No, you built the pools,

We constructed rafts from the very foundations you erected,

You cleared the forest long before we had the strength to wield axes.

Unlike us,

You were meant to be invincible.

Our heroes aren’t meant to die,

And I promise you never will,

You haven’t.

Your legacy lives on,

Through the generations of adopted grandchildren,

Who found home in our own houses only because you gave us the courage to.

To Allah we belong and to Him we return,

Rest in power,

Sheikh Fehmi Naji Al-Imam,

The original Sheikh of Melbourne.