Soul Cleansers

Imperfection

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to be human is
to be broken
and broken is its own
kind of beautiful
-—r.m. drake

How profound is this?

Let me explain: social media is like a theater, and we’re each casted to act as the Best Version of Myself. Many of us project our lives as this perfect story, where things always go right. Where we’re in a perpetual state of happy, healthy, staying afloat. Where we look flawless (by virtue of camera filters). Where we clock in the perfect 24 hours, every day, every week, until death takes us. Where sun rays dance on our coffee cups and epiphanies strike us upon every caption we write. (Err… Yeah. Can I go on?) But when we slip into a dark place, we believe this lie that “her life is easy” and “his life is made.” It hurts. It hurts that we can’t live up to this perfect story we’ve created on social media. Self-hate ensues-—bitterness toward fate, and questions of “why me?” Every one of us is broken; really. Every one of us has “off days,” where we feel all the shadows of the universe multiplied inside us. It’s just, we do a fabulous job hiding behind the masks and costumes of social media. Understand, though: if Allah made His Qur`ān an open book of His prophets’ weaknesses and suffering, why do we feel compelled to hide our imperfections?

You see, our Qur`ān captures prophetic portraits-—not particularly flattering ones, yet all the more lovable because of their excruciating candor. A prophet wept until his eyes glazed over with blindness. Another abandoned his mission and his people, and withdrew to the sea in anger. My favorite example lies in the life of Mūsa [عليه السلام]. Unabashedly broken, yet Allah coins him amongst the muḥsinīn (excellent). But Mūsa stuttered; he accidentally killed a man; he was a Most Wanted felon, publically mocked in the Pharoah’s courts. He pulled his brother’s beard, broke the tablets, punched the angel of death. Spent a near decade as an indentured servant for his father-in-law. Despite all this, Allah tells him: “And I have fashioned you, Oh Mūsa, for My own self.” واصطنعتك لنفسي

How beautiful. How beautiful when our Rabb takes it upon Himself to honor His broken and flawed servants.

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