Selim Koc

“Japanese (Nation)” by Mehmet Akif Ersoy


Did you know that Mehmet Akif Ersoy, a famous Turkish poet who wrote the national anthem of the Turkish Republic, wrote a poem about the Japanese

I don’t know how he travelled to Japan 100 years ago. Most probably by a train, Trans-Siberian Railways, which was in operation from 1905. It seems he was introduced to Japan in 1910 by a Muslim imam, Abdurreshid Ibrahim who was the first imam of the Tokyo Mosque.


Ask, now, what kind of a nation are the Japanese?

Astonishingly, I could not be victorious in describing him!

Let me say this much: Your religion is there,

His soul is spread out, only his form is in this Buddha

You go and see the purity of Islam in Japan!

Today, he is a member of that small-sized, big nation,

He is unmatched in the Muslim way of life;

All that is missing to be called a Muslim is Tawheed.

Truthfulness, loyalty, faithfulness to promises, compassion;

A sincere effort to vindicate the rights of the helpless;

When there is contentment with the smallest thing and power for the most,

Again giving wholeheartedly, while the giving hands are limited;

By not looking at anyone’s rape and honour

To recognize the children of seven layers of hands as brothers and sisters;

The steadfast perseverance at the point where they say, “You’re going to die!”

At times, they leave life laughing and playing;

By not letting them talk about their ambitions.

Sacrificing one’s self to the hatred of the general public

I saw many more rare ones like these there.

An island with the purest descendants of Adam.

Civilization has entered only with its science…

And that too with the permission of their owners.

Thousands of clairvoyant believers standing on the beach;

All the shenanigans have been thrown out the door!

The things of the West walk if they have value;

What comes in the form of fashion rots at customs!

Houses open day and night, doors unlatched;

Everyone’s chest is in the open, unknown thief.

Does “Togo” have the attitude we were hoping for? Where is it?

“Let’s go!” he’d say, and then he’d come and sit next to me,

He would pour tea into my cup as I drank.

I think Islam will shine there;

Only the efforts of the Ottomans are needed in the meantime

Missionaries are handing over the place day and night,

Do the scholars wait for revelation?

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