Snake of Temptation

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Our journey in this dunya is filled with tests and temptations, but if we’re strong enough to overcome them, there is certainly a blessing in it.

It can be hard, really hard, to battle the snake of temptation.

It slides and slithers around you so maliciously, and yet you let it, until it reaches your face and you’re blind to everything else. It increases its grip and squeezes tighter and tighter. You can’t breathe. You can’t see. You’re lost and scared and you feel so hopeless, so ashamed. You cry. You plead. Do you give up? Do you let the snake overcome and take control? Do you sigh and allow yourself to be suffocated, allow yourself to lose – just because the snake of temptation is flashing his bright colors, is hissing through your mind, gliding around your neck and taunting you? What do you do?

You sigh. You breathe. You raise your hands despite the snake’s strong movements. “Allahu Akbar.” You pray.

The snake of temptation fears this. He fears the safe, steady rhythm of your recitation. He fears your forehead, firm on the ground in sujood, your heart only yearning and striving to please The One, The Divine, The Most Merciful, The Most Loving.

The snake of temptation isn’t a mythical creature. It exists all around us. In the books we read, the television we watch, the music we hear and the friends we are with. It can be as ‘big’ as someone offering you something you know you shouldn’t be involved with. It can be as ‘little’ as deciding you should let out just a little bit of your fringe from your hijab. But this split-second, where you are deciding whether you should obey or disobey- this split-second is when your faith is tested.

There is always just a little something inside you, which may give in to temptation. These temptations, these snakes, will never do any good for you. They may feel amazing at the time, but looking at the bigger picture, they will always lead you to that which is wrong. They may seem ‘small’ and insignificant, but they are the start of a journey, the start of something you don’t want to get into. Don’t even bother starting this journey. Turn yours heels and take the next route. Take the route to become Al-Muttaqoon, those who have piety, those who have taqwa.

‘Truly Allah loves the Muttaqeen’ (3:76)

Our struggles towards becoming those who have taqwa can be long and harsh, but sisters and brothers, these struggles are never wasted. There will always be a smile at the end of our dark tunnels, a smile within us. So when you feel helpless and the snake is strangling you of your hope, life and faith – simply pray. Call on your Lord. He is always with you, closer than your jugular vein, the vein in your neck. It may be hard, but in the end it will be worth it. Hijab can be hard. But in the end – it is so worth it!

It can be tempting to turn back once you’ve started. It can be scary to look ahead and not know exactly what obstacles this road will bring, but life is a test, a journey, a path. Take a deep breath. Wipe the sweat off your brow, think and take that first step. And along the way remember to shake off that snake! What’s inside us, our faith, it is much stronger than the temptations we are faced with.

So don’t give up. Seek forgiveness, brush the dust off your clothes and keep on going through the tunnel, however dark it may seem. For a smile will greet you in the end. So even through your steady journey within the dark tunnel – smile. (:

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