It’s one of those nights where the hollowness wells inside you, and the “why”s start to push against your ribcage in a thudding ache. It squeezes your throat, tight but not quite, clouding your head like a looming threat.
You are exhausted, too tired to even weep. A dry sob forces itself past your lips, but even that is painful. The growing lump in your throat is the only thing that stops you from crying out.
You look around the room desperately. You want to lay facedown on the floor and not move again, yet you want to punch your fist through a wall or window.
Peace, a voice from deep within you says. You freeze on the spot.
Your gaze falls on the folded prayer rug across the room and before you know it, you are standing by it. You finger the tassels, and run your fingertips over the faded, worn design.
Submit, the voice says again. You feel something, pushing at the edges of your hesitation, as you realise the voice is your own.
It seems like barely a moment has passed, or possibly that too many have passed. Your heartbeat threatens to tear your throat as you look down at your feet, picking out the pattern on the rug, in front of them. Difficultly but steadily, you swallow. Your stance is uncertain, whether where you are going, you would be welcome there again.
But when you kneel in prostration, your forehead touching the ground; your heart feels so heavy that you doubt you shall be able to rise again. The tears slip hotly from the sides of your eyes, but the only sound that escapes your mouth is His name.
Giving way to the familiar movements isn’t hard, though self doubt makes you hesitate. With each familiar word being formed effortlessly on your lips, a weight is eased from your consciousness.
You feel small, and smaller still, but it no longer matters. You may be part of something bigger, but right now, this is between you and Him. Through your tears you pour out your troubles and suffering, and as ever He listens. While you rock back and forth, trying to breath normally, He forgives.
After what feels like hours, a stillness is cast through. Your strife gives way to serenity, and though it is a shaky calm, you feel safe. The possibility of unrest, again, is not quite as scary.
“And seek help in patience and al-salaat (the prayer)…” [al-Baqarah 2:45].
“Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest” (al – Ra’d 13:28)