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.