“Even if we die, our souls will guard your tomb..”
During the Great Arab Revolt in the days of World War 1, the city of Medina was besieged from 1916 to 1919. Some 50,000 Arab troops clamped down on the Ottoman garrison, but 11,000 Turkmen held out for more than 2 years. The following verses, part of a poem addressing Muhammad written by the Ottoman lieutenant during the siege, reflects the feelings of the soldiers who defended the city:
You Are Our Master in Both Worlds
Forgive us our mistakes, o intercessor
For the sake of our thousand-year strive.
We have transgressed much, no good deeds we have left,
We have become spoiled, counting on your nearness,
We are rich at heart, but not covetous,
A morsel of your intercession would suffice for us..
Rosewater flasks have dried
Our tears haven’t stopped; mercy!
The cinders of incense burners have cooled,
[but] Hearts are burning with your love.
No poet of ours is like Labid, or Hassaan
And no poem do we have like Burda or Muallaqa,
Except for the history written
By the Ottomans with rubies in red.
Cannot live without you, the children of Ertugrul,
Turks will give up their lives, but not the beloved.
We are eternally servants of Haramayn
Even if we die, our souls will guard your tomb..