Inner Debate

As Samia was anxiously waiting for her favorite television program to begin, unusual feelings were dominating her thoughts. Although her eyes were fixed on the T .V. screen, her mind was elsewhere. She was not feeling quite like her old self. She was disturbed and felt uneasy and the lively music of the television did not cheer her up as it normally did. Samia said to herself, “They were only few words yet they have spoiled my evening. Why should I take the matter so seriously?"

She tried to concentrate on the program, but the words still echoed in her mind. She listened to the music, but she heard a voice telling her, "This is the real loss and the ultimate weakness. Why should one let a song or a show influence one's life? One should be affected by a good deed or a wise saying. A useful word can elevate the spirit of its recipient."

Samia was troubled by this inner dialogue. It conflicted with her usual thoughts. She told herself, “This discomfort is the result of Sana's words, which are still ringing in my head. Why should I care about what she said? I have been living such a life since my childhood. I like to dance and listen to music." She moved to a different chair and settled closer to the television.

Samia tried her best to forget Sana's words and to enjoy the program, but tears involuntarily came to her eyes. Again the inner voice whispered to her "What weakness! A few minutes ago, you were laughing for no reason. You were happily enjoying the music. Now you are crying. What is this? Are you living in a world of illusions? Or is it some gloomy sadness which causes you to cry for no special reason?" She recalled the unlikely source of her uneasiness. She was not used to hearing such an inner dialogue.

Could it be the result of Sana's words, which might be truth and guidance? The music on the T.V. ended and Samia still felt an inner struggle. She tried to forget her friend's words and keep to her usual behavior, yet the word haram kept echoing in her mind. What could haram mean, Disobedience, Allah's displeasure, or Hell?

Oh, yes. She remembered Sana's recitation of some particular Qur'anic verses:

...then be on your guard against the fire of which men a stones are the fuel, it is prepared for the unbelievers. (Al-Baqara, 2: 24)

Most surely the righteous shall be in bliss; on thrones they shall gaze; you will recognize on their faces the brightness of bliss. (Al-Mutaffifin, 83: 22-24)

Oh, you who believe! save yourselves and your families from the fire whose fuel is men and stone. (Al-Tahreem, 66:6)

Samia seriously thought about how she had been spending her time in un-Islamic activities and concluded that such practices would displease Almighty Allah, and that she would eventually suffer for her actions. She might suffer the following day or years later. She remembered how much it hurt when her finger accidentally touched the bottom of a hot iron and how she ran to find relief. Would there be a remedy in Hell?

Again she recalled some verses from the Qur'an:

...And as to him who is given his book behind his back, he shall call for perdition, and enter into the burning fire; surely he thought that he would never return. Yea! Surely his Lord does ever see him. (Al-Inshiqaq, 84:10-15)

Samia left the living room and returned to her bedroom. She felt as if someone was mocking her innermost feelings.

"How shameful it is for one to enjoy this worldly life and forget about the everlasting one! It is a sign of the utmost weakness to allow desire and fun to dominate one's life without the least consideration for Allah's instructions" the voice told her.

Confused, Samia sat down and thought seriously about the various thoughts filling her mind. Sana could advise and guide her towards the right pat. She made up her mind to see her soon. She suddenly felt great comfort and relief at this idea. She fell asleep dreaming of the next day's meeting and the meaning of true repentance.