And He Found You Lost and Guided [You]
وَاللَّيْلِ إِذَا سَجَى
Standing there in Masjid Sultan, I can’t remember which year. I remember tasting the humidity on the 27th night of Ramadan. I remember performing tarawih prayers. I remember the imam reciting Surah Ar-Rahman.
The beauty of Surah Ar-Rahman is always eulogised. I remember my dad once tearing upon listening to its recitation. Videos of non-Muslims on YouTube reacting as if, even without context, they could hear the tune of His mercy from those verses. They could hear how Arabic softened the edges of the coarse English translations.
Yet, even as my ears captured every huruf and every ayah, I didn’t feel anything. I didn’t feel that famous fascination. That inherent and intimate shift in the heart as it grasped something locked away in the tajwid. I heard every ‘alif and yāʾ. I could distinguish between the ḥāʾ and khāʾ. But still, nothing.
I remember mourning the loss of my iman that day.
I remember, in those few moments making a silent du’a:
“Ya Allah, please open my heart. Please. Help me listen to this surah with my heart. Let me hear your mercy and beneficence.”
I remember my eyes relinquishing grief. But I also remember tears gushing from a fear that perhaps the ears of my heart had been sewn shut.
Your Lord has not taken leave of you, nor has He detested you.
And with my head bowed down
my mind in a half-slumber,
I wonder whether this peace,
this resolute love for Him
is merely the intoxicants of insomnia
or if, briefly,
I did grasp true love for my Creator.
And I remembered those sublime days
where my soul brimmed with love,
where my eyes twinkled in understanding.
But much like Our Prophet SAW’s time here in the dunya,
those moments were ethereal and ephemeral,
gone but not lost.
The permanence of these moments escapes me
as I rose from a sujud I wished to stay in for eternity
and every step away from the sejadah felt like a step away from You.
وَوَجَدَكَ ضَالّاً فَهَدَى
I miss you.
Ya Allah, I can feel myself drifting.
I can feel the crevice inching apart as my foot
misses a step.
The burst of wind edges me off and I’m left
desperately digging my nails into the rocks.
Ya Allah, the harrowing winds from the abyss
are whispering taunts in my ears
saying “You’ve gone too far to return now”.
Ya Allah, please help
I cannot bundle myself up in a cloak again and pretend
that those winds are cooling.
Actually, I could
and that’s what scares me.
After showering in liquid sunshine, after inhaling warmth,
I can’t go back.
I don’t want to forget that calming sun.
For what are those winds but a chilly breeze whisking me towards treacherous flames?
Please Ya Allah, I beg of you:
keep me close to you,
I need you now, tomorrow and forever.
And your Lord is going to give you, and you will be satisfied.