This morning, you got an email alerting you, Netflix had uploaded a new season of your favorite show, last night was laborious, your fingers sore from composing that ten page paper for class. And so these thoughts begin to invade your mind, perhaps today I can forsake my sunnah rakats, my eyes are heavy and all I really want is to “relax.” Other days, you might be afflicted with an incomprehensible heartbreak, rendering your obligatory salah a dreadful chore. These are sentiments, I’m sure, everyone, at one point or another, can relate too.
There is often this false perception that a woman who dons, the hijab, the niqab, that a man who maintains a beard, or a sister who has immense Islamic knowledge, that their Iman (faith) is unceasingly high, their faith is never shaken, and that’s not true. A niqab or beard or hijab or thobe or abaya, unfortunately does not contain, any magical ingredient that, automatically transforms and perfects, one’s faith. Contrary to popular belief, just like anyone else, a person who is outwardly “pious”, is still a human. A human, created weak, a human with nafs, a human, who often goes through the aforementioned moments.
Its okay. Its aggravating, and arduous, I know. Life is constant battle with yourself, your nafs. No matter how sound you believe your Iman to be, there will be times when you find yourself, questioning its strength. People, along with the aid of shaytaan will diligently, hammer at you, asking, “You committed so and so sin, whats the point, of hijab, whats the point, you are already unworthy of Allah.” You are never unworthy of Allah. Sinning is human nature, but when you allow it to penetrate your heart and turn you away from Allah, this is the true failure.
When you have inclined towards that which Allah dislikes, when you have abandoned your salah and that which is good, this is not the time to resign your faith, rather, it is the perfect time to surrender and sumbit to Allah, to fall back and beg. Beg for forgiveness, you will never be turned away no matter how deep you have plunged your soul into transgression.
On these occasions of mishandling your own soul, you must push yourself. When the cloud like softness of you bed is calling you, whispering that God will forgive you for passing on the Isha salah, remind yourself, of the children, whose, bed is nothing but the earth and stones, and bow in gratitude to your Lord.
Iman is perplexing, one day you are on a spiritual high akin to being on cloud nine, and the next you find yourself indulging in a guilty pleasure, preferring it over a few minutes of ibadah, of worship. And this is how we were created, Allah swt doesn’t say IF you have sinned turn to me for forgiveness, no, He says, WHEN you sin, turn back to me.
There is this pressure today, in our ummah, to be the “perfect” muslim or do not be a muslim at all and it’s ridiculous. There is nothing more infuriating than this notion. You see the faultless muslim is a thing of fiction, the sinless muslims were the Prophets and Sahaba’s and they are long gone. While we should seek to live a life even slightly in relation to theirs, while we should strive to be as awe-inspiring as them, and avoid sinful behavior, there are times when we will, assuredly fail, we will fail, we will sin, the difference,is we repent, we continue to push ourselves despite our shortcomings. Your sins don’t make you any less muslim, they make you human.
This is for my sisters and brothers, who are currently in combat, on one hand with shaytaan and on the other hand with their own selves. Its a bloody and nerve wrecking war and its absolutely worth it.
الَ كَلَّا ۖ إِنَّ مَعِيَ رَبِّي سَيَهْدِينِ
[Moses] said, “No! Indeed, with me is my Lord; He will guide me.”[26:62]