Search Thy Soul


You see it, uncolored, very lucid,
There’s no room for doubt anymore, nor self-deceit,
Realization has struck, alas,
Yet you lie low, letting it pass?

“‘Twas a figment of my imagination,”
Snappishly, you say,
“Just me feeling paranoid, and not any sort of “realization”!”
So the look of terror on your face was simply an illusion,
Or is it you again, wanting to break away?

The signs of horror are as visible,
You choose to ignore, but remember, you cannot avert,
“I’m just fine, it’s you who’s being nonsensical,”
Staggering around, trying to escape, you blurt.

The reckoning becomes severe,
And so does your unease, though now you’re accustomed to it,
Thus you make a stab at a justification, once more,
Thinking it might acquit you of being the culprit.

But, no, it won’t work, you don’t have a choice any further,
The truth has become distinct from falsehood,
And henceforth if you continue to turn a deaf ear,
I’m afraid, you won’t be able to escape doom, even if you’d wish you could.

“Your words hurt me,
And the sight of you is formidable torment,
Go away from me, and let me be,”
Shaking with fear, you lament.

But that ain’t any good,
Look, I warned you,
But you’re denying, and not doing what you should.
Believe me, it isn’t painful, only if you knew.

Now with tears in your eyes,
You turn around,
And speak up, “What if it’s just you with nothing but sickening lies,
Besetting me with worries but unfound?”

Truth cannot be multiple,
It’s either day or night, just one reality,
All your life you’ve been a rebel,
Fantasizing of breathing freedom; but it was only privation, barely a beauty.

But, friend, do not despair,
And hurt not for what has passed,
For it is hope that is still alive, and will always be there,
Repent and ask God to make you steadfast.
Do not delay it anymore, don’t wait for the morrow,
Now that you’re just in time, you know.

“You were a lot of help, I…I can’t thank you enough,” you express.
Hesitating at first, but finally you murmur, “Sorry, but may I ask your name?”
I want no thanks for that was my duty, so do I ask you not to ever digress,
Forever be the same, and your Lord’s name do proclaim.

“Bu…but, wait!” you quaver,
Nothing returns save your own words.
And you look on, now stronger, even braver.

Serenity descends on you from your Gracious Lord.
As you turn repentant towards Him, the One and only God.

—————–

Explanation:

This poem talks about the constant dialogue that we have with ourselves whenever we realize our mistakes or any wrongdoing, kind of  like reproaching our own selves.  It is this ability of distinguishing the right from the wrong that Allah , the Most Merciful, has blessed us with. But can this “cognition” or sense of “morality” be attributed to merely our experiences and surroundings? No. There’s something more to it, something that is so unique and perplexing that even Science isn’t sure about. Yeah, you got me right, it is the soul. The concept of “a soul” has long intrigued scientists, who usually try to explain it away. Such is the power and marvel of its heavenly origin. Through this poem, I’ve tried to explain one out of the three states of the soul, which are mentioned in the Qur’an:

1) An-Nafs al-’Ammara (The Soul that inclines to Evil)
2) An-Nafs al-Lawwama (The Reproaching Soul)
3) An-Nafs al-Mutma’innah (The Soul at Peace)

The Nafs al-Lawwama, the soul that reproaches, is one that regrets committing sins and rebukes itself for being weak in faith and succumbing to evil. It makes us feel remorse on doing wrong, making us return to God repentant, with humility and a sincere desire to be guided. Most of us usually experience this, in fact, it is sort of an inbuilt “tribunal” which God has placed in each one of us. In this poem, the “you” is a believer who is constantly at war with the criticism of his/her Nafs al-Lawwama, which in turn persists in its efforts to persuade the former. So it’s like a constant debate and dialogue with the self. Isn’t it that at times we try to justify our wrong deeds? That’s exactly what this is about. So next time you find yourself in a similar situation, justifying your sins, remember that it is your soul that’s urging you to abstain from wrongdoing and exhorting you to turn to God with a repentant heart. Don’t push it aside, instead listen to it, reason and repent. Thou shouldst alloweth thyself to search thy soul… 😀

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