Following is (parts of) a song poem of Nana Asmau’s: a silsilah of Sufi women in praise of all those who have carried the light before her as well as some of her dear companions….
Alhamdulillahi, we thank God(dess),
We invoke blessings on God(des)’s messenger.
We invoke blessings on his family and companions
And those who have followed them, this we gain self-respect.
We invoke blessings on the companions of the prophet
Who are now sanctified.
My aim in this poem is to tell you about Sufis
To the great ones I bow in reverence.
I am mindful of them while I am still alive
So that they will remember me on the day of Resurrection.
The ascetic women are all sanctified
For their piety they have been exalted.
They prayed ceaselessly to be delivered from the fires of hell
Take this to heart, my friends.
I have written this poem to assuage my heart:
I remind you how they yearn for God(dess)
I swear by Goddess that I love them all
In the name of the prophet, the messenger of God(dess).
The scent of their yearning engulfs me
Its intensity exceeds the perform of musk.
To the prophet’s disciples who draw close to God
I bring al muslims to Aisha
Aisha, the noble daughta of Al-Siddiq
The believer, an honest man, Abubakar the esteemed.
To Muslim women I speak of Zainabu Jahshi
I cherish them, Lord of the world.
You made her to exceed, according to Aisha,
She was held in esteem by the Prophet.
I speak of all the mothers
Who were the wives of the Prophet
And Fadima Zahra’u, or Batulu
Gracious lady, close follower of the Prophet.
She was peerless, she who shunned the world,
The Prophet’s daughta, who was betta than any other child
I speak of Aminatu Ramliyya
And Ummu Hassanu, both of Kufa.
As was Ummu Sufyanu of Suriyyi
And the relative of Fudailu, a most kind person.
The mother of the Prophet was pious
A reformer, and upright.
I speak of the wives of the Prophet
For his wives were ascetics.
She was very generous and kind
Daily she gave away gifts: she never ceased.
She gave alms most generously
Undoubtedly she wept day and night.
She used to say “I have no tongue”
She had no wish to speak.
She bought horses for the jihad of the Lord
And to follow the way of the prophet of God.
I speak of Al’umatus Salliyatu
For her asceticism and also Umayyatu.
Umma Haruma had radiance
And Habibatu Adawiyyatu recited the Divine Names
I speak of Rabi’atul Adawiyya
Who was more pious than anyone else
Adawiyyatu Kaisiyyatu of Basra
Exalted, able to see the unseen, radiant.
She had a mastery of over learning and exceeded all women
She was the outstandingly pious person of her time.
And so to Ummu Ayyuba of Lansariyyatu
And Ummu Darda’u and Mu’azatu
Her prayer was a thousand prostrations
Rabi was cognizant by day and by night
In order to please the Prophet’s heart.
On the day of Judgement you will understand her zeal.
Rabi’atu the daughta of Ismailu
Zealously praying to God(dess).
She could see male and female jinns
Because of her sainthood and praying to God(dess)…..
I speak of Fadimatu Nisaburi
Who was zealous even to those who understand enthusiasm
And so to the daughta of Hassan, Nafisatu
…..born at mecca, she was a descendant of the prophet
She grew up in medina where she was honoured
Anyone visiting her grave
And praying there would receive blessings.
The blessings and compassion of God(dess)
Fell upon Egypt on account of Nafisatu
I speak of Fadima, daughter of Abbas Saihatu
Who taught and was a preacher.
She used to mount the steps outside the mosque
And preach to wom(b)en…..
She set aside considerations of family and possessions
Choosing instead God(dess) and Hir religion. (…)
The rest is about the wom(b)en members of the community of
Shehu dan Fodiyo, for whom I pray.
I speak of those who are still alive
And those who have died.
I mention first of all Shehu Degel, our father
Dan Fodiyo, he is our leader….
Then Inna Garka who was very pious
Good-natured and generous to her kinfolk.
I speak of the other wives of the Shehu.
For they were all pious.
The teacher of wom(b)en, Habiba
She was most revered and had great presence.
I speak of Aisha, a saint
On account of her asceticism and determination.
And Joda Kowuuri, a Qu’ranic scholar
Who used her scholarship everywhere.
I speak also of Biada who was diligent
For her attribute was in reclusion.
And ‘Yar Hindu, daughter of the Imam
Who was diligent at solving disputes.
There were others who were upright
In the community of the Shehu, I have not listed them.
Very many of them have learned the Qu’ran by heart
And were exceedingly pious and zealous.
They never tired of preaching the righteous faith
Those of the Shehu reached as many as a hundred.
The song which has listed them is now finished
And now you know of their fine reputations.
May God(dess) reunite us with them in the Next World
And through them may we achieve salvation.
Together with my mother and father and all Muslims
May we be delivered, our Lord of gifts.
For the sake of the glory of him who was exalted
Above all other mortals. My song is finished.
I thank God(dess) almighty
To whom all prayers are addressed.
May he bless Ahmadu and all his family
And all those who followed them.
And his companions, all of whom were exalted
And the faithful who are enshrined in light.
The chronogram of the year of the Prophet’s hijra is Nabshiru.
It is ended, let us say Nabshiru.