On Your Soul’s Security System

Through My Lens: Observations from a Midwestern Muslimah

By Nadirah Angail

Your phone rings. There’s some eerie heavy breathing on the other end.

“Hello?” you say.

“I’ll be robbing your house tonight around 8pm. I’ll come through the north window, which you never lock, and steal everything that isn’t nailed down.” CLICK.

Silence. Before you get a chance to ask any questions, the mystery robber is gone. What do you do? No, I mean after you pinch yourself to see if you’re dreaming. What would you do?

If you’re anything like me, you’d probably run to the north window and lock it. You’d also probably call the police and report a threatening call. You’d get your family together and check all the windows and doors. You’d turn on your alarm, if you have one. You’d get your gun, if you have one. You’d let your dog out, if you have one. You might even go stay with a relative for the night if you’re scared enough. There are a lot of things you might do, but there’s one thing you wouldn’t do: ignore it.

Security is one of the most important things to us all. Not much else matters if you don’t feel safe, if you’re worried that your life could be ruined at any moment. It’s even more of an issue if you have a family. There isn’t a person reading this who wouldn’t go to extreme lengths to protect the people they love. And shouldn’t it be this way? Shouldn’t we go into vigilante mode when it comes to the safety of our loved ones and things? When it comes to the safety of our ourselves?

Of course we should, but sometimes we don’t. Even when we know beforehand and have been warned, sometimes, we don’t take it seriously. The Rejected One won’t be calling any of our phones, but he did let us know:

He [Iblis] said: “Because thou hast thrown me out of the way, lo! I will lie in wait for them on thy straight way: “Then will I assault them from before them and behind them, from their right and their left: Nor wilt thou find, in most of them, gratitude (for thy mercies)” (7:16-17).

He made it crystal clear, just like the mystery robber, what he would be doing and how he would be doing it. Somehow, though, we’re not as alarmed. Perhaps his lack of a physical presence allows us to forget about or underestimate him. Perhaps his inaudible voice isn’t alarming enough to push us to guard our souls better. We get persuaded by ridiculous depictions of a short little red guy with horns and a pitch fork. “This is what the devil looks like,” they say. We know this isn’t true, but subconsciously, we keep that image in our minds. Subconsciously, we identify him this way. We should identify him in the images of magazines, TVs and the silver screen. We should identify him in the words of songs, celebrities, and friends (yes, friends) and in the dark thoughts we have and the evil deeds we do. We might not know the devil’s physical description, but can see his work in any and everything that distracts us from the life Allah wants us to live.
Having your house robbed would be pretty bad, but things can be replaced, most often with newer, better things. But, we only get one soul. We only get one life. Heed his warning. Call on your inner vigilante, and protect the one thing that is truly yours.

Nadirah Angail is a Kansas City-based blogger/author with an MA in Marriage and Family Therapy. She has recently published her first book, entitled “On All the Things That Make Me Beautiful: Short Inspirational Essays on Life, Love & Self.” Contact her at nadirah.angail@gmail.com and visit her website www.nadirahangail.com.


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