Short Story

Drowning in Sin

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Her fingers stretched toward the disturbed surface of water. Her eyes rolled to the back of her head. Then, she plunged.

She plunged into a world where people did not care about their Lord, a world where shades of black engulfed her, where a searing pain cut off her feeble air supply. The only certainty was uncertainty, the only relief defeat. Her limbs flailed helplessly, her mouth moved in soundless cries for help. Bubbles sprouted from her mouth, carrying away the praise of Allah she so desperately needed to free herself. Down she went, dragged by her heavy clothing, shackled by a world of darkness, and paralyzed by a world of silence.

But her mind flooded with loud desperation. ‘Get me out of here!’ it begged.

Down she went.

Her lost soul’s heart clenched in sorrow at the sins she had committed. Oh! Why couldn’t she have done what was commanded of her, the so little that was commanded of her?

Down she went.

‘Why couldn’t I have…?’

Regret surfaced, forcing her soul to take a reversal into the past. It shattered into a million pieces, so small that not the most miniscule creature could ever able to locate them. The pieces vanished to dust, dissolving into the unknown.

‘No! I won’t give in!’ she cried, flinging her doubts into the depths of misdeed and evil.

A sudden strength surged through her body, filling the void inside her with the name of her Lord and prayers for forgiveness. A powerful, magnetic force pulled the dust of her soul back into one piece. The water droplets of sin that had dragged her sodden garments down into darkness all her life were soaked up by the surrounding waters, leaving her clothes fresh and dry.

I know I have a chance. Allah is All-Merciful! I can be forgiven!

“Allahu akbar,” she managed to choke out. Her throat tightened. Guilt came crashing down like an avalanche, the guilt that she ever doubted she’d be forgiven.

And then, she surfaced.

Her will to succeed propelled her forward, pushing her to towards the end of evil in her life and the beginning of light. She raised her arm in triumph like a diver recovering from the joy of a stressful but rewarding plunge. Her fist clenched as her lips moved in praise of Allah. She cleared her throat, and repeated in louder, clearer, and with more sincerity. “Allahu akbar!”

The world blurred before her as she broke the surface. Water and sun, light and air, life and hope – it was everywhere. She was there.

Her head thumped rhythmically. Reality tugged her back into her bedroom, away from the scenes that replayed themselves in her dreams. She tossed them off to the side. And plunged again.

Down she went.

This time, she slid into reverent prostration. She went down, knowing that that this was the only way up, the only way to forgiveness, happiness, and success. Her fingers lay on the ground, patient and certain. Her eyes focused upon the area of sujood before her. She pressed her forehead to the ground reverently, toes curled up towards the Qiblah in delight, heart soaring with nothing but pure rapture. Her spirit flew around her as she squinted her eyes. Tears welled up in their ducts, flowing down her cheeks. They rolled down her face, streaming onto the ground. Her shoulders shook as sob after sob wracked her pleading body. Every inch of her form itched to be forgiven by the Lord of the Worlds.

“O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.” – Surah Zumar 39:53.

Raadia is an 18-year-old college student in the United States, with an unapologetic passion for civil rights-- with additional interests in art, law, leadership, literature, education, and global matters. Probably has consumed some form of caffeine within last 24 hours.


  1. SumaiyahKhan Reply

    RAADIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Masha Allah, i knew u were good, but i didnt know u were that good. :) I really liked it. It remeinded me sort of of myself. Of those times where maybe i wasnt such a good person, then u pull urself back up. Very nice.

  2. Masha Allah, amazing job!! I’m just in awe right now. Absolutely love your style of writing and how you captured the emotional details. I can certainly relate to this. Reminder for me to never lose faith and hope in Allah’s mercy, even when life seems to be at its worst point. May Allah increase our imaan and make it everlasting. Ameen.  

  3. The second I opened my email and read this article, I KNEW it was written by you, raadia! Amazing article. I can really feel the power. And i love the ending… the ayah. You are my inspiration <33

  4. Ahsan Shefa Reply

    SubhanAllah Raadia!! I’m jaw-dropped! The emotion and everything was just amazing mashAllah! I didn’t — couldn’t take my eyes of the screen until I finished reading every word!

  5. the first time i read this i didnt know it was you! but my thoughts were like: THIS IS AMAZING MASHALLAH! then i found out that it was you and i was like: WE HAVE A WRITER IN OUR CLASSSS! 

  6. Anam Khatib Reply

    Wowww! Masha’ Allah Raadia! This is really well-written and insightful and inspirational and the emotions are captured so perfectly and..great job! 

  7. JannahAsaad Reply

    Mashallah, honestly Raadia i NEVER completely read essays on the comp, but that was just AMAZING and had to read the whole thing!! mA, 

  8. Great job, Māshā’Allāh. I particularly enjoyed the many allegories and allusions to important thematic subjects within Islam.

  9. MashAllah Raadia, this is a remarkable piece! I absolutely love the way you compared the prostration to drowning in an ocean, purging yourself of impurities, and coming back up for air. Beautiful. :)
    May Allah forgive us all!

  10. I don’t think I noticed this before, but I love how you described yourself as falling down, drowning, and then falling down into sujud… and how you campared the two falls, both of them rectifying you. It’s like you’re subtly saying that if you don’t fall down into sujood, you’ll have to fall down into the fire for some time before going to jannah… i don’t know but that’s what came to my mind. MashaAllah. I know Ive already said this but THIS IS AMAzING… <33

  11. Excellent job, Raadia. Can’t wait to see you hone and develop your talents even further inshaAllah. Welcome to the MYM team and happy musing!

  12. I was so glad when she finally resurfaced into the fresh air and dried off her sins. I could actually feel this post so thorough and through. MashaAllah great write-up. Jazakillah khayran katheer for sharing

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