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by Sultan Muhammad Bello ibn Shehu Uthman Dan Fodio 

فَائِدَةٌ: شِعْرٌ لِأَمِيْرِ الْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ مُحَمَّدٍ بَلُ بْنِ عُثْمَانَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمَا

A Beneficial Notice: A Poem of Amir ‘l-Mu’mineen Muhammad Bello ibn Uthman, may Allah be pleased with both of them:

إِبْنُ عَشَرٍ مِنَ السَّنِيْنَ غُلَامٌ 

رُفِعَتْ عَنْ أَمْثَالِهِ أَقْلَامٌ

The one who is ten years in age is a young lad

The pens have been lifted from the likes of him

وَإِبْنُ عَشْرِيْنَ فِي الصَّبَّا وَالتَّصَابِي 

لَيْسَ يُلْهِيْهِ عَنْ هَوَاهُ مَلَامٌ

The one who is twenty years is still in his youthfulness & frivolity

Rebuke does not divert his attention from his lower whims

وَإِذَا مَا بَلَغَ ثَلَاثِيْنَ حَوْلًا 

بَلَغَ اللَّهْوَ حَدُّهُ وَالْغَرَامُ

And when he reaches what is thirty years in age

Then diversions &  passions should have reached their limit

وَإِذَا تَعَّ أَرْبَعِيْنَ فَكَهْلٌ 

وَكَمَالٌ وَقُوَّةٌ وَتَمَامٌ

The one who attains forty years is then middle-aged

And has attained perfection, strength and complete maturity

وَإِبْنُ خَمْسِيْنَ مَرَّ عَنْهُ صِبَاهُ 

وَيَرَاهُ كَأَنَّهُ أَحْلَامٌ

The one who is fifty years old, then his youth has passed him

And he will see his youth as if it were a collection of compounded dreams

وَإِبْنُ سِتِيْنَ عَاشَ مَا قَدْ كَفَاهُ 

لَا يُبَالِي مَتَّى أَتَتْهُ الْحِمَامُ

The one who is sixty years old has basically lived what should suffice him

He should not be concerned about when death will suddenly come to him

وَإِبْنُ سَبَعِيْنَ صِيَرَتُهُ اللَّيَالِي 

هَدَفًا لِّلْمَنُونِ وَهِيَ سِهَامٌ

The one who is seventy years old, then his transmigration is nightly

A target for the vicissitudes of death, which come like swift arrows

وَإِذَا مَا بَلَغَ ثَمَنِيْنَ حَوْلًا 

بَلَغَ الْغَايَةَ اَلَّتِي لَا تَرَامُ

When he reaches what is equal to eighty revolutions in years

Then he will have attained the goal as well as one could possible wish

وَإِبْنُ تِسْعِيْنَ عَاشَ كُلَّ زَمَانٍ 

وَإِبْنُ تِسْعِيْنَ مَا عَلَيْهِ كَلَامٌ

The one who is ninety years old, has basically lived for all times

For the one ninety years in age, there can be no speech against him

وَإِذَا أَزَادَ بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ عَشَرًا 

فَهِيَ حَيٌّ كَمَيِّتٍ وَالسَّلَامُ

Yet, when he increases after that in another ten years

Then his living is like one who is already dead; and therefore: “Peace”!

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