As the rot sets in

If you let the rot set in, it will, and it will gradually eat away at all that you have. This is the lesson that keeps on coming back to me. Last night I met a chap whose character shone beauty, as Allah wills. His manners were so appealing that at Isha the only du’a that sprung to mind was, ‘O Allah, give me a character like that.’

For as he sat there — what he did not say ever more telling than what he did — I found myself regretting each cascade of words from my own lips. As he departed, I wondered at my perennial role as court jester. Why could I not just sit in silence, as I once would, and absorb the presence of others? Why now the need to speak so much, and indeed to speak ill, wishing that the vague anonymity might justify such words? The rot has set in, and it is eating away, eating away at my meagre faith.

The more I feed my base desires, I was found reflecting the other day, the more they grow. But this weed doesn’t seem to blossom into its own space, occupying a cavity apart from the rest of one’s life. Instead it seems to thrive like a rampant vine upon one’s core, killing all that falls in its way. And the rot sets in.

Suddenly this ugly vanity. This self-righteousness, despite so much self-wrongness. Suddenly the fault finding. Suddenly the belief that my irksome sins can be ignored. Suddenly this great ignorance, this vast chasm of stupidity. This forgetfulness. This heedlessness.

It takes a character that shines goodness to stir me. All of a sudden I realise how small I am. And how far, far from the nobility I aspired to not all that long ago. A fool sits at his computer, typing.

7 thoughts on “As the rot sets in

  1. Salams,

    Shaytan comes through many doors, trying to make us lose hope and halt our progress.

    We may fall many many times but our fuel is tawbah, so we pick ourselves up and start afresh. Don’t be angry at yourself. Never lose hope, insha-Allah with Allah’s help your nafs will submit to you…


  2. I don’t think you’re as bad as you think you are. I was told that the great ones always thought themselves inferior to everyone else.

    You look at your faults when most people will only face their faults by forceful dragging with kicking and screaming along the way.


    1. I wish this were the case, but alas my words spring not from modesty; I believe they’re a pretty true representation of my state. But at least there’s this realisation. It’s a start, perhaps.


  3. Assalamu alykum wa rahmatullah
    Everything has its place.
    You have to tread carefully.
    Sometimes silence is wisdom but sometimes it is a crime.


  4. I understand you completely. I’m one of those people that talks too much about things that don’t even concern me, negative things, etc. It’s when I’m around people that don’t talk much, and if they do talk they only speak good that I realize how pathetic I am. To Allah is our Return!


  5. Salaam,
    I think I can relate to what you are trying to say here. The self-righteous ego is truely oppresive.


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