Weigh In, Day 1

Poem by
Dec 21, 2015 · 3 min read

How much does the goodness in you weigh?
The intentions swimming in your chest,
Intentions coated by filth and love;
Intentions coated with sincerity and love.
Yet a trace of Tawbah is heavy in your throat.
Love for this mosquito winged world.
You lean down to untie your shoelaces.
How much does a mosquito wing weigh?

“Up you go, pet,” the dietitian’s tone is cheerful.
You watch the pin on the scale shoot forward.
“Fat! Fat! Fat!”, rings in your ears and you suck in your tummy.
You squeeze your eyes shut.
You think of when you’ll be standing in the court of Your Creator,
Standing with the criminals and the martyrs and the bowers
And the one who worshipped his Lord for five hundred years.
Will your breath burn in your lungs?
Just like now.

As though you can suck in your calories, corruptions, and confessions.
Stash them away beneath your sweat glands and hair follicles.
She asks you about your comfort eating.
You tell her about the other night.
Giggling away with your best friend over pizza and fries, and water.
(Water, just to be healthy, y’know.)
You forget to tell her how you gnawed away,
Savagely at the face of the girl in your class,
Yet when you finally hit the sheets at eleven forty two,
You ignored the uneasiness at the back of your mouth
A gravity of gratefulness took over your body,
“In Your Name,
Do I die and do I live, Oh Allah”

You continue to tell her about cucumbers and apples thrown into the NutriBullet.
Missing out the graphite details of how you poured a can of flames
Down your throat.
Creamy strawberry cheesecakes with subconsciously crafted crimes
And spicy spaghetti Bolognese with silent empty sins.
Yet the scale in her office tells a one sided tale.
She looks confused.

Why couldn’t she see the fiery forgiveness that was raging through your veins?
Why wasn’t the scale burning beneath your toes?
Her measuring tape tightens around your chest,
Her eyes swing past the line of numbers.
“You’ve lost two inches”, she announces.
“Two inches?” you ask.
Two inches crumbled off the confused faith concealed in your chest.
Or two inches reduced from the disobedience against yourself.
Yet, oh Allah, all you’ve ever wanted is to be His.

Her measuring tape travels down, measuring.
Your knees shake ever so slightly and you wonder how much submission lies in your limbs.
The man who worshipped His Lord for five hundred years will insist,
Let me step into Jannah because of my worship, O Allah.
When my limbs are bent and folded, head bowed,
Subhana Rabbi al-‘Azeem.
Subhana Rabbi al-‘Azeem.
Subhana Rabbi al-‘Azeem.
How will they carry you over the bridge of the bottomless pit?
When they’ve committed thievery at Fajr?
Yet the trace of Tawbah is heavy in your heart.
You rap on the door at your mama’s feet every night
And unknowingly inwardly conceive transgression,
Yet, oh Allah all you’ve ever wanted is to be His.

“Great work so far! Just remember, burn more calories than you eat,”
You tell her about your ‘problem areas’, embarrassed to speak about such things.
When the flab melts away, how much will the sins weigh then?
Or will the envy and the ostentation and the backbiting
Melt away on the treadmill?
You picture your slender sinning silhouette.
Which scales will tip and which calories will burn
Yet, oh Allah all you’ve ever wanted is to be His.

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One Response to "Weigh In, Day 1"

  1. Aziza says:

    Your writing style is gripping, Masha’Allah. Being someone who has struggled with various skin problems for many years, I could relate to the earnest human longing of the weight conscious narrator to fix their outer appearance. Yet, this piece reminds us of something so much greater…okay, so we finally look outwardly ‘normal’ to the world, but how do we look inwardly to our Creator? And we know deep down, that is what truly matters at the end of the day.

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