Every morning I wake up with a beating heart as a reminder, but do I take heed?
How do my scrolls stack up against my deeds?
Constantly sucked into a vortex that is an illusion,
Forgetting that this world is ephemeral, a fancy delusion.
But, then I experience shortness of breath and it’s difficult to breathe.
Suddenly life’s purpose comes rushing back to me.
Praying, fasting, Quran and dhikr,
Heading toward Jannah is a race and I want to be quicker.
I excel in deeds, those mandated and obligatory,
But, wait I’ve heard this before, it’s the same sad story.
Get an iman rush and fly, going higher than before,
Only to fall just as hard on the same scarred floor.
I’m so caught up in the world’s disillusion and dreams;
Failing to recognize I’m just a pebble in a stream.
And this stream is headed towards dark, torrential water,
There is no success; on this path I will only falter.
The stream empties into a vast ocean of despair,
I sink lower and lower, with no oxygen, no air.
Drowning in my sins, their weight dragging me to the ocean floor.
I lay there lifeless, thinking, “Man, there has to be more.”
Tired of the arguments, tired of telling lies,
I just want to do the right thing, stop living a disillusioned life.
Too stubborn or too ashamed? Who knows why I didn’t call,
But He already heard me, for He is the one Who knows all.
I thought I reached the end, everything was getting dim,
But He showered His mercy upon me and pulled me back from the brim.
He reached down to that ocean floor, pulled me up and set me free,
I broke through the surface; what a relief, to finally be able to breathe.
I swam away from my sins and searched hungrily for the shore,
And when I emerged from the water, I was clothed in mercy and love,
Holding a heart filled with love for its Lord, I set on my merry way.
Yet, over time the lessons of my rescue faded, and once again, I went astray.
Pulled back into the dunya and its playful jest,
I forget that this life is just one big test.
Without hesitation, I fall back into the same monotonous routine,
Finding dissatisfaction and a big chasm between my heart and my deen.
But Allah sends another sign, this time in the form of severe chest pain,
As if to say, “And what will you do, O slave, with this worldly gain?”
So I repent and return to the mighty and sublime.
Asking Him for taqwa, ilm and much more time.
But no surprise here, after a while I take another fall,
And this time I wonder, should I even bother at all?
What’s the point, I’m accumulating a mountain of sins,
And shaytan is sitting rejoicing, counting his wins.
What’s the point, I’ll never win, I’m so utterly weak.
Resigned, I accept that my future looks bleak.
But wait. Open His book and read His words,
Rest assured your unuttered dua’a did not go unheard.
He sees and hears all, As-Sami, Al-Basir,
Did I really think He wouldn’t see all of my tears?
How could I believe my pleas for guidance would go unaccepted?
Truly I was in error, the fog of sins leaving my brain affected.
His words give me strength and exponentially increase my faith,
For isn’t that the rule, fall down seven times, stand up eight?
It doesn’t matter that you fell, because you’ll fall time and time again.
Just remember who wrote your destiny, into lawh al-mahfooz with His pen.
The true mark of a Muslim is that of infinite persistence,
Backed up with tawakul, taqwa, and unmatched resistance.
So with my forehead on the ground and my heart in submission,
I pray to my Lord, beg for His permission,
To guide me away from the path of temptation,
And lead me down the road towards Divine salvation.
I was always jarred at my Savior’s door,
yet all I had to do was step up and knock.
As I crossed the threshold into peace,
I found escape – a sweet, glorious release.
Now the rhythm of my heart beats to the sound of His name,
My breath rises and falls with the tide of His praise.
I took one step towards Him and He came running,
My heart yearns for more, but sabr ya Sanam,
the winds of destiny are coming.
This poem is a reflection brought upon by realizing how far I’ve come in this deen and a personal reflection brought upon by my medical illnesses. I used to be someone that wasn’t really interested in Islam. I always figured I’d catch up with it later on in life, well into my old age, and it would be okay. However, it has been the way of Allah to put people into certain situations when He wants to call them back to Him, alhamdulillah. While I was pondering on all the changes of my life, I realized the only time I ever truly thought about death and worried about my akhirah was whenever experiencing symptoms of my illnesses like severe chest pain and shortness of breath.
However, I realized that regardless of medical issues, the fact that a person falters between iman highs and iman lows is something that everyone can relate too, as well as the despair and anguish that befalls us when we realize we’re falling back to our old habits and old ways. Sometimes, shaytan succeeds into tricking us that we’ve sinned too many times, we’ve gone off the deep end, and that there is no reprieve for us. In writing this poem, I wanted to remind everyone that no matter how fall we far, how low we get, Allah is always there for us; all we have to do is take one step towards Him.
The only way to go from our rock bottom is up and that the One up above sees our attempts and saves us time and time again. I also wanted to emphasize that it’s ok if we fall short of our own expectations, as long as don’t let that failure let us become stagnant. We must always be constantly moving towards a greater good, a good within ourselves, and the good our deen teaches us. Lastly, I wanted to emphasize just how meaningless this dunya is, and that we should work hard to separate ourselves from what matters in it and what doesn’t, and that true success can only be found on the path of Islam.