Tag Archives: sins

I’m Drowning and I Don’t Know Why

Have you ever felt like you were drowning? Submerged in the depths of the world? With darkness encompassing you everywhere you went?

I have.

And what makes the situation even more difficult to swim through is when you don’t know why. Everything seems to be on point; you’re praying, going to the masjid, giving charity, etc. yet that feeling of drowning is ever-so-present.

What’s going on? 

I want you to imagine an empty jar with dirt in it (or just look below).

Imagine pouring water into that jar until it reaches the top. Close the jar. Shake it up a little if you want and voila! What do you see? Likely a very dirty jar. Now, take that same jar and empty out the dirt. Imagine pouring water into the jar. Close the lid. Give it a shake. What do you see now? Likely a cleaner jar full of water.

In this small example is a solution for anyone who feels like they’re drowning.

That jar is our hearts, the dirt is our sins and the water is our good deeds. We can’t expect our hearts to become pure by only doing good deeds. Rather, we have to make a concentrated effort to remove sins and diseases firstly while increasing our good deeds for maximum results.

This doesn’t mean we leave off good deeds all together. It just means that after the obligatory actions, we should put most of our energy into removing the bad qualities and sins first. The reality is our subtle sins, the ones that go unnoticed, those are the anchors that keep us submerged in the depths of the water.

It’s no wonder Allah says so emphatically in Surah ash-Shams:

وَالشَّمْسِ وَضُحَاهَا وَالْقَمَرِ إِذَا تَلَاهَا وَالنَّهَارِ إِذَا جَلَّاهَا وَاللَّيْلِ إِذَا يَغْشَاهَا وَالسَّمَاءِ وَمَا بَنَاهَا وَالْأَرْضِ وَمَا طَحَاهَا وَنَفْسٍ وَمَا سَوَّاهَا فَأَلْهَمَهَا فُجُورَهَا وَتَقْوَاهَا قَدْ أَفْلَحَ مَن زَكَّاهَا وَقَدْ خَابَ مَن دَسَّاهَا
By the sun and its brightness. And [by] the moon when it follows it. And [by] the day when it displays it. And [by] the night when it covers it. And [by] the sky and He who constructed it. And [by] the earth and He who spread it. And [by] the soul and He who proportioned it and inspired it [with discernment of] its wickedness and its righteousness. He has succeeded who purifies it and he has failed who instills it [with corruption].

Subhanallah. Look at the number of oaths our Creator, Sustainer, and Protector took just to make a simple point: He has succeeded who purifies it.

If you can escape from those anchors and constantly purify your hearts of the dirt, you’ll have a chance at breathing again; you’ll have a chance at rising from the depths of the world, above the water, and have light encompass you wherever you go. No more drowning. No more darkness. 

So what are some of the common sins that may be holding us down and possibly creating a barrier between us and reaching Allah with a pure heart? Here’s a few to watch out for, all of which will be expounded upon in later posts insha’llah.

  • Acts of hypocrisy: breaking trusts, lying, acting treacherously, arguing in an insulting manner, standing lazily and being absent minded in prayer
  • Acts of the tongue: unnecessarily talking, backbiting, gossiping, slandering
  • Acts of the heart: jealousy, envy, excessive love for the duniya, showing off

وَلَا تُخْزِنِي يَوْمَ يُبْعَثُونَ يَوْمَ لَا يَنفَعُ مَالٌ وَلَا بَنُونَ إِلَّا مَنْ أَتَى اللَّهَ بِقَلْبٍ سَلِيمٍ
And do not disgrace me on the Day they are [all] resurrected – The Day when there will not benefit [anyone] wealth or children, but only one who comes to Allah with a sound heart. [Shu’ara’ 87-89]

May Allah make us of those who reach Him with a pure heart. Ameen.


The King of the Body

The king is the one who rules over the land and has power over it. Every king has soldiers. If the king is righteous, then the soldiers are righteous; and if the king is evil, then the soldiers are evil.

And the body has a king, too–the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “There is a piece of flesh in the body; if it is righteous, the whole body is righteous; if it is evil, then the whole body is evil; indeed, it is the heart. Indeed, it is the heart. Indeed, it is the heart.” [Saheeh Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim]

And the soldiers of the body are the limbs and the senses. Why do people commit haraam, when they know better? Why do brothers have wandering gazes that look at things they shouldn’t? Why do we have tons and tons of music MP3s on our iPods and hard-drives?

The problem is not the eyes, or the ears! It is the heart–the heart, the root of it all.

The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “When someone commits a sin, a black spot is placed on his heart; he keeps sinning until his whole heart becomes black.” Rust on your heart! Ever notice how, listening to one song makes you more tolerant of music, makes you want to listen to more? Looking at one wrong thing makes it easier to look a the next? Black dots!

But fear not, because he then said: “When someone commits a good deed, a white spot is placed on his heart; he keeps performing good deeds until his whole heart becomes white.” [Saheeh Muslim]

A pure, good and white heart, protected from black dots.

And perhaps that is the solution–leave your sins. Whatever they are, make the intention now to leave them, forever, and work for a white heart.

Because that is the only thing that will benefit you on the Day of Judgment–a pure and white heart. Allah does not look at your skin colour, your height, your language, your acne, or your too-small shoes; he looks at your heart.

May Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) grant us all a pure and white heart, protected from fitnah and from evil, ameen ya Controller of Hearts!



What is a Qareen? A shaytaan, a devil, assigned to someone to mislead and misguide him. Someone to whisper to him in the light of day and the darkness of night. Allah says:

وَمَن يَعْشُ عَن ذِكْرِ الرَّحْمَنِ نُقَيِّضْ لَهُ شَيْطَاناً فَهُوَ لَهُ قَرِينٌ

Translation: And whoever is blinded from remembrance of Ar-Rahman, we appoint for him a qareen, and he is to him a companion. [Surah Az-Zukhruf, verse 36]

Why is this important? You should know that you have an enemy; someone who’s always watching you, taking notes on you, recording what you do; his goal is to mislead you and misguide you and drag you into the Hellfire. That’s his full-time job, no vacation time and no breaks! Subhanallah! The Prophet says:

مَا مِنْكُمْ مِنْ أَحَدٍ إِلَّا قَدْ وُكِّلَ بِهِ قَرِينُهُ قَالوا: وَأنتَ يَا رَسُولَ الله؟ قَالَ نَعَمْ، إِلَّا أَنَّ اللهَ أَعَانَنِي عَلَيْهِ فَأَسْلَمَ، فَلَا يَأْمُرُنِي إِلَّا بِخَيْ

Translation: The Messenger of Allah once told his companions: Everyone of you has been assigned a companion from the Jinn. They asked: Even you, O Messenger of Allah! He replied: Yes, except that Allah has helped me against him, fa aslam. Now he only tells me to do good. [Saheeh Muslim]

What does fa aslam mean? Scholars give it two meanings. One meaning is that the Prophet’s (صلى الله عليه و سلم) qareen became Muslim. Imam Nawawi and other scholars say, it means the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) was protected from his qareen.

Does this mean we, too, can make du’a and give da’wah to our qareen and try to make him or her Muslim? Unfortunately, scholars say it’s specific to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم).

So what’s the conclusion? Know you have an enemy. Recognize it. And struggle against it; because the one who has an enemy and struggles and overcomes him is better then one who has no enemy and is just “ok.” Think about it! For every waswasa you turn away, you get a hassanah. For every sin you change your mind on, Allah credits you a good deed. For every sin you commit, you can repent, and scholars say the one who sins and repents is better than the one who never sinned.

So brighten up! Allah appointed you a qareen, yes; but this is a great and wonderful opportunity for you to attain mountains of deeds! Allahu akbar!

May Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) allow us to overcome our qareens and become people of Jannah, ameen!


Waleed Basyouni. Lecture. AlMaghrib. Rays of Faith.