My Quarrel with Allah
Eyes clenched shut, I repeated the prayer I’ve made countless times now, in varying structure and in differing words but at the bottom of it all, I begged to be forgiven for the weakness of my soul and the ease with which I give in to temptation. There are weeks on end when I was filled with revulsion for myself, so disgusted I am that I couldn’t even look at the mirror to see the monster that would stare back at me.
There are other moments; some fleeting, some that stay for a while; where I would be comforted with verses such as “The human being was surely created weak” (Surah an-Nisa: 28) and “the human soul is certainly prone to evil unless my Lord do bestow His Mercy” (Surah Yusuf: 53) and I pat myself metaphorically on the back saying, “No, it’s not your fault.” I blame the human soul, I blame shaytaan, I blame the circumstances, but the guilt never goes away. As much as I was subjected to the follies of the nafs, shaytaan and circumstances, I knew that it was ultimately up to me to direct my course of actions and I then go back to feeling like a monster, undeserving of forgiveness and another chance.
I struggle with the concept of balancing hope and fear, where I seem to be failing in having both. I seem to just be suspended in a state of intense hate for myself – 10% hope, 10% fear, and the vast majority of “Why Do I Even Bother. Nothing I Try Ever Works”.
In these moments, I complain to Allah. “You made me as such, You know I’m weak so why place me in such a situation in the first place? You know I’ll fail so why test me? You know I’m incapable of any good and You are the Source of all good so please don’t punish me for my errors.”
At times, I feel blasphemous for speaking to Him like that, but who else would understand? He created me, even if I didn’t craft those words, He would know how I’m feeling and I just really needed to vent to someone who would truly understand me.
Other times, I feel like I’ve gotten my answer when I read about how overcoming tests and trials ensure that one’s rank is elevated. But these never last long because I never seem to pass the tests.
I repeat the following verses to summon some hope into me:
“O My servants who have excessively sinned, do not despair of the Mercy of God. Verily, God forgives all sins. He is the Oft-Forgiving, the Merciful One.” (Surah az-Zumar: 53).
“Allah forgives not that partners should be set up with Him; but He forgives anything else, to whom He pleases.” (Surah an-Nisaa: 48)
“O you who believe! Turn to Allah with sincere repentance: in the hope that your Lord will remove from you your evil deeds and admit you to Gardens beneath which Rivers flow” (Surah at-Tahrim: 8)
Allah’s Messenger SAW has said, “The door of repentance is open until the sun rises from the west!” [Ibn Maja (4242)]
He SAW also said, ‘Remorse is repentance. [Ahmad (3387)]
In a Hadith Qudsi, our Beloved Messenger (peace and blessings upon him) conveyed the following from his Lord, “When My servant draws near to Me a handspan, I draw near to Him a forearm’s length. And when he draws near to Me a forearm’s length, I draw near to him the span of two outstretched arms. And when he comes to me walking, I come to Him running” [Bukhari].
Although often it feels as if my soul is begging to be released from the confines of my physical body and the nafs, ego and hawa, I tell myself that the journey is long, that my impatience with myself is only because I am yet inexperienced and because I have placed hopes on myself, instead of Him. I tell myself that no sin is too great for Allah’s Mercy. As long as I am still breathing, there is always hope. This is Allah’s promise, and He will never break His Promise, that I believe with all my heart.
And once we turn back to Him, the past darkness transforms into pure light, as He Most High states in His magnificent book, “…Except he who repents, believes, and works righteous deeds; verily, for those people, Allah transforms their evil deeds into good deeds. And Allah is Ever-Forgiving, All-Merciful” [Surah al-Furqan: 70].
Our master Ibn Ata’illah states, “If He [Most High] causes your tongue to ask [for something], then know that He wants to give it to you.” And that’s quite possibly the best deal I could ever hope for. InsyaAllah.
Ameera is the Editor of Muzlimbuzz.sg, a chronic reader and a news junkie. Inspiration also catches her at the most quotidian of moments alhamdulillah.