Yep, every now and then things get really bad, and I contemplate putting on my coat and nipping to the Offy. And the fact that I have friends that will indulge in the odd night out that leaves them slurring or crawling at the end leaves me wondering if I can join them.
But there is a fight inside of me, one that has been there since I embraced Islam roughly 8 years ago. It was then that I discovered something called the sweetness of eemaan (faith), and what a beautiful feeling it is. If one could describe it, it would be like been pushed in a sea and standing up drenched in pure faith and certainty that nothing and no one but God can save me.
I’ve turned to many things to get emotional gratification in the past, to fill the dark void within, that was like a black hole. I’d find short fixes, but they were either bad for me in the long run, or left me feeling even worse that I’d originally started off. Within the space of 3 months I went from nightclubbing with the girls, to been covered from head to toe.
I’d explored so many religions, Christianity, Buddhism, African Spirituality and all of them were like snowflakes of knowledge slowing collecting on the roof top of my house. I remember one day, crying and falling to my knees saying God, Most High, Jah, whoever you are whatever you are, show me the way. And just like that, the next morning it was like an avalanche of information came crashing down on me, and I had no doubt what the truth was.
One of the biggest mistakes I made back then however, is in the midst of me wanting to give thanks to my Lord for giving me this sweetness of Eemaan, I turned to people who would in turn dictate their version of Islam. Without realising it, I would do things to almost impress them, and demonstrate through my identity and actions my devotion to God.
Today however if I could do things differently I would. Over time I realise this method of Worshipping Allah was wrong. Not only was it wrong because I always walked a thin line between pleasing people or my Lord, but it was oppressive. It took me away from the real beauty of Islam, one that I wouldn’t have discovered, if I hadn’t fell flat on my face.
Fear Allah my company would tell me! And that is all I seemed to do, and to be fair it wasn’t enough. Allah has 99 names, and we should learn them for a reason. I need Allah’s Mercy, I need to know Allah is all Just, and the list goes on. Cause when I mess up, and turn back to things that displease my Lord, I need to know that as quick as I repent, is as quickly as my Lord forgives me. This approach enabled me to act out of Love, not just fear.
So as much as I admire the intoxicated one, after a night of tears, and learning to be alone with my self and the ambush of evil whispers, I wake up grateful to have developed the strength to love my self enough to do right by myself. However on a bad night, if you see me in the corner or unable to walk a straight line, don’t judge me. Allah is my judge, All seeing all knowing!
Dedicated to my brothers and sisters who despite their demons, Believe! May Allah bless us all with the sweetness of eemaan Ameen!