Religious poet and Keighley furniture firm boss Aslam Khan now has an international audience for his writings after appearing on a satellite TV show.
Mr Khan, 57, began writing naats – Islamic poems to be recited – only a year ago after a religious dream urged him to create moving messages of peace and harmony.
And sitting in the office of family business Fair Deal Furniture, in South Street, he has quietly written some 30 epic poems which can each take 20 minutes to read out.
“Some are adapted from earlier naats, but eight of them are entirely my own,” said Mr Khan, a Sunni Muslim who moved to Keighley in 1964 from the Attock region of Pakistan.
“In January 2013 I had a dream which put a great change within me – it gave me a new interest and courage to write poems.
“I felt it was right for me to make these poems for the good of others.”
And so Mr Khan began learning existing naats, adapting them and then writing his own, which he read out to family and friends.
“ I am not a scholar, I am only a learner. But by speaking with others, including my many good English friends, I learn more all the time. Life is about ‘dawat’ – Urdu for inviting people to do good and that is the meaning of the poems. And they are not just for Muslims or any religion, they’re for everyone.”
Mr Khan told how he was contacted by Islamic satellite channel IQRA TV in December last year and was invited to London to appear in a live broadcast beamed across the UK and Europe.
“I went down to the studio in London and read out some poems on New Year’s Day.
“It was the most fantastic start to 2013 for me and a wonderful experience. I was amazed that I didn’t feel nervous at all, but had ‘taqat’ which means peaceful strength,” he said.
Mr Khan said it would be God’s will what he did next, but hoped to become involved in local charity work and of course, continue with his poetry.
“I get such a good feeling when I practice reading the naats in the shop when there are no customers – I feel different and stronger in every cell of my body. And I want to pass that on in quiet places where people can listen and hear my words,” Mr Khan said.