This year, I didn’t look for it. This year, I was busy looking for myself, looking for what I was doing wrong, and why I was doing it. Looking for something that would bring me closer to Him. In the depths of the night, I was clueless. My mind was right this time, my heart was wrong. I made decisions that I regretted immediately and then immediately went back to. I felt lost. It was because I remembered Him but pretended to forget. I pretended to be weak so I became weak. I knew I was deluded so I went further in delusion.

I didn’t go out to feel the air at night—to make sure it was just a little chilly. I didn’t stand on my tiptoes and try to feel the breeze on my face at 12 am. I didn’t straighten out the prayer rug and place my face on the floor. I didn’t keep the water bottle next to me in case I get thirsty after reading some of the blessed book, because the blessed book I didn’t really read. I didn’t slide the purple prayer beads between my fingers, nor the yellow ones, nor the red ones. I lay dead sometimes, sometimes my heart was dead. I was heedless in a strange way that made me consciously heedless. I was a monster sometimes. My heart tried to push open through the deliberate barriers that I had put in my chest. It knocked gently and I heard it. I tried to get it to stop, but then it started thumping. It told me that it wanted me to be human. It told me that it wanted to be Muslim—one who submits, one who gains peace.

I quietly locked it up again before it could get too loud, before its voice could reach deeper into my ears, before it could pierce my soul. But my soul already knew. It had been communicating with my heart outside of my knowledge and they had made a plan. My soul had been stifled for so long that it wasn’t able to speak, but my heart’s voice had given it courage.

And now my soul is telling me something, and I cannot ignore it. Despite the way I treated it, it’s helping me, giving me signals, nudging me, encouraging me.

On this final blessed night, I’m being forced to find it. And I will go out after Fajr to see the ray-less sun making its way back into my life.

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