In the chilling whispers of the night,
Thoughts begin to race, take flight.
I listen to my shallow breathing
And the thump of my heart’s rhythmic beating.
When emotions pour out one by one,
I try to escape them, I try to run.
Anxiety creeps in like roots of a tree,
Suffocating in a darkness deeper than I can see.
Blinded by a despicable hatred,
As I watch those dear to me become alienated.
The walls inside me that I have so carefully rebuilt
Have crumbled away with tears of guilt.
It’s not fair, but it’s no use,
I’ve repeatedly broken my truce.
What happened to me? What have I become?
To which downfall did I succumb?
I turn every corner to face an obstruction,
While my life as I know it spirals into destruction.
I chain my wrists to planks of shame
Only to break the metal, restart the game.
Finally, peace overcomes my soul,
For the written remains always in the scroll.
I remind myself that believers will be afflicted with trials,
that I must strive for triumph on the Day of no denial.

Drowning in this bittersweet solitude of mine
I find neither death nor lifeline.
Only acceptance of fate: a healing by time,
A soothing remedy of prose and rhyme.
So I vanquish my worries and conquer my sorrows,
Life is too beautiful to beg for a different tomorrow.

The youth in my body will fade away with age,
But the youth in my soul will forever remain.
And I’ll smile for every blessing I own.
Time ticks away, and I watch the sun rise alone.

***

Undoubtedly, no Muslim is perfect, and as young adults facing everyday stresses of college, family obligations and other personal issues, we are not either. Depression affects us all and it is during this time our iman is called into question. How much can we rely on Allah during the most difficult moments of our lives? All the ayat and quotes we read about putting our trust in Allah seem meaningless at the times when they should help us the most. On these occasions, we spiral into what seems like a never-ending cycle of misery. We dig ourselves into a deep hole we never knew we created, constantly blame ourselves for it and trying to pull ourselves out only to fall back in, again and again.

For a while, we stop trying. Our days become bland rituals and we no longer taste the sweetness of iman that we once possessed. We feel that we have no purpose, and even the small moments of happiness seem to be brutally snatched away. The worry sets in, clawing at the back of our minds like nails on a chalkboard. It makes us cringe and we try to escape, but it’s always there, nagging. In the end, we must realize that worrying won’t change our situation – only Allah will. Upon comparing our mentalities today to the people during the time of the Prophet Muhammad (s), we are a society devoid of sabr. Until we learn to accept that no calamity will strike us without Allah’s permission, that every hardship comes with ease, and that Allah tests those whom He loves, we will continue to remain in this endless cycle.

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7 Responses to "Bittersweet Solitude"

  1. Sabera says:

    I’m loving all these new therapeutic pieces. It’s like we don’t need psychiatrists anymore. Nice work!

  2. Aziza says:

    This piece really speaks to me and my situation. I’ve felt kind of “stuck in a rut” for a while now, to the point where it’s a struggle just to keep trying. This poem gives me hope that I’m not alone, Allah is right there with me and other believers face similar trials as well. Beautiful work, Sara.

  3. This piece really speaks to me, I’ve found myself here a lot of times. A favorite line: The youth in my body will fade away with age, / But the youth in my soul will forever remain. SubhanAllah, such a beautiful distinction. Thank you for this poem, I know I will return to it.

  4. Maryam says:

    I love this piece! I think we can all relate to the emotion and thoughts depicted in this work at least sometime throughout our life. It’s definitely nice to know that others have these same realizations too! Thank you for sharing your work with us :)

  5. Fatimah Waseem says:

    I love that you ended with the image of watching the sunrise – it emphasis the cyclical aspect of falling into the same habits while also creating a sense of hope. Well done masha’Allah!

  6. Aysha says:

    I thought this sounded familiar! The rhymes and the style, turns out it’s you! MashaAllah Sara <3 Nice reading it again! :)