What does my heart look like? If you cut me open, what would you find? Does it have the bright color and shine of rubies, beating and sparkling with every breath that I take? Is it soft, fleshy, alive from the blood being pumped through it – in and out, in and out? Or is it black, hard – like a small, shriveled lump of coal? Burnt, lifeless, the flickering light of the embers inside it fading quickly. Dying, and yet somehow already dead.

Is it transparent, allowing the ever-living, ever-lasting noor of Allah ﷻ in, or is it thick, heavy, and weighed down by my dhunoob. I imagine my dhunoob to manifest themselves like the scales of a dragon. Growing quickly each day on the surface of my heart, hardening, becoming tougher and tougher. Why wasn’t my heart covered by the shield of huda and ayat, encompassing it entirely, making it light? Why did I indulge in my desires, when did I become so ungrateful? Why did I allow Shaytan in when I was at my most vulnerable, giving him control, when all control and sovereignty is due to Allah ﷻ alone?

Now not even an arrow can pierce through the thick, black scales covering my heart. It’s as though I never learn my lesson. Mistake after mistake after mistake. Justifying. Sin after sin after sin. What am I doing? What are you doing, I ask myself. Why is it that I give in so easily to the slightest whims and desires and inclinations inside of me? I feel the pain of disobedience ache inside my chest, I clutch at it, I cry from the hurt. This is remorse. This is the light inside my heart dimming.

Decisions we make affect and shape who we are, and what the world becomes. The way I am is reflected in the way the world and people interact with me. It’s a reflection of what I am. My mistakes play a role in my life, no matter how much I try and pretend they don’t.

Some days I wake up and feel absolutely terrible. About myself, about the world, about everything. I feel so weak, emotionally and physically. Fatigued, exhausted. Tired of breathing. Tired of living. Tired of sinning. What I refuse to realize and comprehend and understand is that the way I feel about myself is the way I am inside. There are emotional and psychological consequences to my dhunoob, and ignoring reality isn’t going to get me anywhere.

These are the consequences of my choices, for not giving up my Shahwah, for not restraining my anger. Shaytan lured me into his trap and I followed, blinded by my hawa. So now I sit here. Overwhelmed with sins. Unsure of myself. Scared to move. Stumbling backwards into the dark. Foolishly and selfishly only seeing myself and my problems. Deeper, falling into the abyss of hawa.

But Allah ﷻ tells us not to despair in His merciful love. For it is He who forgives all sins. We come walking – and He comes running. He has removed me from toxic environments and relationship – both forcefully and gently – and placed me in healthier realities time and time again. When I felt lost and alone, drowning in my difficulties, I never realized He was always there with me. Giving me ease and comfort during the hardship. Never leaving me, showering me with n’iam, however unworthy and undeserving I am. He kept on giving me.

Every aspect of my life has to do with my relationship with Allah ﷻ, the Divine, the source of every single ni’mah I am blessed with. I should fear Him, I should love Him. I need to rise towards the nearness of Allah ﷻ. Be free. Be liberated in every aspect. The ni’mah of Allah ﷻ is that He forgives all sins. But if I don’t do tawbah, if I don’t repent, the loneliness and lowliness I feel inside will always be there. The insecurities will always be there. I will come to know the consequences of my choices, and to some extent, I already have.

So I ask myself this:

Am I the slave of Allah ﷻ?

Or am I the slave of passion?

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