In the Name of God, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate
I have always liked the song, but I have never had the opportunity to listen to the song or its lyrics in toto until I recently downloaded it on iTunes. It brought me to tears. That song is Natasha Bedingfield’s “Unwritten.” The song talks about writing one’s own story, and the overarching theme encomapssed in this line: “Today is where your book begins. The rest is still unwritten.” Yet, with each group of lyrics, I find myself reflecting over my own life and book of deeds.
The song starts thus:
I am unwritten, can’t read my mind, I’m undefined
I’m just beginning, the pen’s in my hand, ending unplanned.
Each of us, at the beginning of the day, is an empty page in the book of our lives. The ending is unplanned, because we do not know what will befall us.
The song then continues:
Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find
Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten
These lyrics have deeply profound meanings. At the beginning of each day, as we stare at the blank page of our life and deeds, we should “open up the dirty window” and “let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find.” To me, that means we should open up our hearts – that dirty window made dirty by our constant sinning against the Precious One – to the Sun’s light, His Light. His Light will allow us to see the “words that you could not find.” His Light will show us the proper deeds to perform. His Light will show us the path and allow us to write eloquently in our Book of Life.
When we are “reaching for something in the distance, so close you can almost taste it,” we are reaching for God Himself. And when we reach for our Precious, we should not hesitate, we should release our inhibitions and “feel the rain on [our] skin.” What is that rain? What sort of rain is it? Dawud Wharnsby said in a song that “forgiveness falls like rain on our hands.” That rain is God’s mercy and forgiveness. Just as rain is life-giving, God’s mercy and forgiveness is truly life-giving. It gives us our spiritual life back after we kill it with our ceaseless sin.
Drenching ourselves in “words unspoken” to me means immersing ourselves in lessons and understandings we have yet to learn from God and His Prophet (pbuh). Those “words unspoken” in the Qur’an, the Sunnah, and the Hadith. “Words unspoken” in the ink and words of scholars. “Words unspoken” in lessons we learn by living our lives and reflecting over how close we have lived to the standard of God.
And we are able to drench ourselves in these words by living our lives “with arms wide open” to let God’s light into our hearts (opening the “dirty window”). When we do this, we follow God’s commandment: ” Believers, enter wholly into peace and follow not the footsteps of Satan, for verily, he is your open enemy.” (2:208)
The song continues:
I break tradition, sometimes my tries, are outside the lines
We’ve been conditioned to not make mistakes, but I can’t live that way
Sometimes, in our lives, we make mistakes, when our tried “are outside the lines.” Just as Bedingfield says that she can’t live by not making mistakes, there is no way we as human beings can do the same thing. We are cannot but make mistakes; we cannot but sin against God; we cannot but slip on the path. Yet, as long as we realize our mistakes and turn to the Lord in forgiveness, we are saved. The Prophet Muhammad once said, “Every son of Adam ( i.e., every human being) makes mistakes.” Yet, he continued, “and the best of those who make mistakes are those who seek repentance.” Not only that, he (pbuh) also said, “The one who repents from a sin is as if he (or she) has never sinned.”
Yet, by far, the most important lyric of the entire song is “Today is where your book begins, the rest is still unwritten.” That is the main lesson of the song for me.
To be continued…