If — by Rudyard Kipling

A poem I would like to remember. It reminds me of great men like Muhammad (SAW), Ibrahim (AS), and Malcolm X.

[To be read extremely dramatically. I have adapted the original poem somewhat; most of my modifications are in square brackets]

If you can keep your head when all about you   
    Are losing theirs and blaming [] you,   

If you can trust yourself when all [other] men [may] doubt you,
    But [—

do] make allowance for their doubting, too;   

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about (don’t deal in lies),

Or being hated (don’t give way to hating),

yet [—] don’t [try] to look too good, nor, [try] talk too


If you can dream — and not make dreams your master;   
    If you can think — and not make thoughts your aim;   

If you can meet with [both] Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the


If you can bear to hear the [T]ruth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make [convincing] trap[s] for fools,

Or watch the things you [once] gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up [again,] with [new]

worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never [feel you have truly lost – been deprived – through]


If you can force your [mind and heart and soul]
    To serve your turn [even] long after [you] are gone, 

And so hold on [even after the Earth swallows you whole]
    [Like trees that bear such fruit, on and on and on]

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,   
    Or walk with Kings — nor lose the [human] touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill [forthcoming] minute[s]
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run:

[You, you will be okay, my friend; eventually you’ll see: you will have won.]

[If you can accept and embrace; tie your camels and trust in what is True,]

[Then] yours is [more than] the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And [yours is Sabr, and life; yours eternally is Firdaus, too]

Sadia Ahmed J., 2020

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