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Rochdi

The Shadow

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What follows is the story of my ‘Strange Illness’. It is the story of an illness that you’ve probably never heard before and maybe you’ll think that I am a little bit ‘Insane’ when you go through the following lines, but before making any hasty judgment, I will ask from you to read it to the last line and to read it, with your “Heart”.

 

[i had a disobedient and rebellious Shadow: whenever I walked to the right, he stretched his leg and tried to pull me to the left; and if I moved forward, he did all what he could to bring me to his back position. Nobody was aware of my ‘Illness’, The Shadow was always behaving in a normal way in the presence of others but as soon as I was alone, he appeared in his most frightful shape trying to influence my decisions and to eaten up my will. I was not afraid of him and whatever he did; I always remained calm and serene. However, things were getting embarrassing and the situation started to become really unbearable, so; one day, I decided to go and see a Doctor.

I won’t hide from you that the way to the Doctor’s was a real nightmare; my Shadow used all his energy in order to make me change my mind. He even tried to strangle me! Can you imagine? An indescribable feeling took hold of me: a cold and freezing sensation of betrayal. Your own Shadow! That part of you or; at least, that reflection of you becoming your “Enemy” while it was supposed to be just “You”.

 

However, in spite of all his efforts, I finally made my way through the Doctor’s and while I was exposing my “Illness” to him, he remained silent and did not utter a single word. An expression of astonishment intermingled with fear was apparent on his face. He saw him! Yes he saw My Shadow melting away from me and crawling swiftly on the floor, trying to reach the window. The light of the lamp over our heads was highlighting the small drops of sweat running down from his wrinkled forehead. The man was afraid, he tried to hide his fear, but his face couldn’t. “Uh…Errr…look, mister…” he started “I’m afraid that all the knowledge I acquired during all my life can’t be of any help to you!” he went on “I really wanted to help, but…” “I see! I see!” I interrupted him knowing that inside of him, the poor man was making a Du’aa to the Lord wishing I was gone. “A desperate case Doctor, isn’t it?” “Well…I just…Errr…I’m specialized…I don’t…”…The conversation was over.

 

There! Reflected on the pavement, I saw My Shadow proudly inflating his chest and showing off his muscles. I even heard a laughter!... yes, he was laughing. He won the battle once again and he was joyfully celebrating his victory over his ‘master’. That night I couldn’t sleep, the visit to the Doctor’s was fruitless; in fact it made things worse: it strengthened The Shadow and gave him more confidence. He started to reach incredible heights and his body became more powerful than ever. “Maybe I made a mistake!” I thought to myself “Maybe I shouldn’t have seen the Doctor!” but what was I supposed to do? I had to do something, I had to tame that Indomitable Shadow, I had to regain the control over him. He just couldn’t be the leader; it was a question of human pride and dignity. That futile reflection couldn’t win!

 

The salvation came through Al-Qur’an. Yes, believe it or not! it was the words of God which saved me from him. I must confess that I have never been ‘religious’, in fact; I rarely performed the due Salaat and I have never been in a Masjid. My parents have done all their best to make me turn back to Allah but all their efforts were vain. I was a bad guy! A real bad guy: careless, irresponsible and full of arrogance. My behavior has tarnished my image and I became ‘the person to avoid’. Everybody was afraid of me, even my little sister -the one I love the most- was afraid of me too, and once I read that fear in her eyes, everything strong inside of me was instantly demolished. All the things which were around me became dark and obscure to such an extent that my life was painfully reduced to an uninterrupted sequence of total despair. I was starting to lose contact with reality and I became deprived of every rational faculty of discerning between good and evil, everything was the same as long as my ego was satisfied. It was at that particular moment of my life that The Shadow appeared, whispering strange stuff to my ear and dangerously pushing my void paces towards the black realm of Corruption.

 

One night while I was preparing myself to go out, I saw my little sister Mariam doing her Wud’u. She was about eleven years old, her small and fragile hands were gently wiping away water from her face, when she saw me, she smiled and asked me:“Are you going out?” I nodded “Why don’t you stay tonight? Father wants to make a Du’aa for you!” “For me?” “Yes, I asked him to pray for your guidance after the Tahajjud prayer, so please, stay!”

“To pray for your guidance!” great words from a little person. O my God what became of me? Am I that bad? Is my little sister more enlightened than me? Why is this happening to me? Why can’t I just be a normal Muslim? O Allah, show me the way!

It was the most painful moment in all my life; I realized that the badness within me has caused sorrow and grief to all my family.

My father made a long Du’aa for me and all my brothers and sisters were repeating “Ameen!... Ameen!...” I remained outside, listening and crying. Mariam heard me and she started to cry too. After that, I heard my father reciting Al-Qur’an; “In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful: ‘O ye who believe! follow not Satan's footsteps: if any will follow the footsteps of Satan he will command what is indecent and wrong: and were it not for the grace and mercy of Allah on you not one of you would ever have been pure: but Allah doth purify whom He pleases: and Allah is The One Who hears and knows’ Then, with a very blushed face I entered the room and fell down and prostrated in a profound sujjud, crying my heart out!

What happened during that night, my father’s Du’aa, the recitation of the Qur’an, the tears of Mariam and the blessed atmosphere surrounding us, were the principal elements behind the deep change in my present personality.

Now, I am a totally different person. I became more interested in my beautiful Deen, more close to Allah and more obedient to what he decrees. Alhamdulillah the nightmare is over!]

 

This was the story of my ‘Strange Illness’, it all happened a long time ago, when I was living in the dark world of religious weakness and feeble piety. Shaytaan was fastened to my mind in such an horrible way that I became just like a shadow; in fact He was The Shadow and he dictated his orders to my frail personality.

This was my story, it may be a true story and it may be just the fruit of my imagination but whatever the case, if you read between the lines, you shall realize that every one of us has a whispering shadow tied up to his soul, beautifying the bad and magnifying the evil. The choice is ours then! Either we surrender to him and we definitely lose, or we follow the light and we win undoubtedly!

 

May Allah Guide us and strengthen our Imaan!

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