A Faithful Word

Living in the Light of God's Love

Hesham A. Hassaballa

Hesham A. Hassaballa
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
July 08
Hesham A. Hassaballa is a Chicago doctor and writer. He has written extensively on a freelance basis, being published in newspapers across the country and around the world. His articles have been distributed world wide by Agence Global as well. He has been a Beliefnet columnist since 2001, and has written for the Religion News Service. He is also a guest blogger for The Chicago Tribune. Dr. Hassaballa is author of the essay "Why I Love the Ten Commandments," published in the award-winning book Taking Back Islam (Rodale). He is also co-author of The Beliefnet Guide to Islam (Doubleday). His latest book of poetry about the Prophet Muhammad, Noble Brother, has been published by Faithful Word Press. In 2007, his blog, God, Faith, and a Pen, was nominated for a Brass Crescent Award for a blog that is "the most stimulating, insightful, and philosophical, providing the best rebuttals to extremist ideology and making an impact whenever they post."


JANUARY 7, 2012 4:23PM

I Am Dead Without You

Rate: 3 Flag

The song "Without You," by David Guetta and featuring Usher is truly moving and inspirational. It is probably about a lover talking about his beloved, but what makes great art (and song) is its transcendent nature. If a song can be extrapolated to many instances, it is truly great. Such is the case with this one:

I can't win, I can't reign

I will never win this game
Without you, without you

I am lost, I am vain,
I will never be the same
Without you, without you

I won't run, I won't fly
I will never make it by
Without you, without you

I can't rest, I can't fight
All I need is you and I,
Without you, without.... You!

Can't erase, so I'll take blame
But I can't accept that we're Estranged
Without you, without you

I can't quit now, this can't be right
I can't take one more sleepless night
Without you, without you

I won't soar, I won't climb
If you're not here I'm paralyzed without you, without you

I can't look, I'm so blind
Lost my heart, I lost my mind without you without... You!

I am lost, I am vain,
I will never be the same
Without you, without you, without you

When I heard this song, all I could do is look up to the sky and say, "I am dead, without You, my Beloved." He was there for me from the very beginning of my life. He gave me life when I was dead. He blessed me with a wonderful set of parents, who loved me deeply and stopped at nothing to give me, and my siblings, a great life. He gave me the strength to live as good a life as I could, helping me navigate the difficulties of growing up as both a child of immigrants and a Muslim in America.

He blessed me with a career in medicine, for which I am grateful each and every day. He blessed me with a love and passion for writing, for which I am grateful each and every day. He blessed me with my wife, without whom I would be forever lost and not the person I am today. He blessed me with four beautiful daughters, which fill me heart with warmth, and love, and grace.

One has already gone back to Him, and my heart cries out in pain every day for her loss. But, He has shown me nothing but love and comfort and grace ever since that day. There is not one step I take on this earth, which He has blessed me to be on, where I am not enveloped by His love and mercy. Indeed, I am dead without Him.

It is truly just as the song says: "Can't erase/So I'll take blame/But I can't accept that we're Estranged." Whenever I sin against Him, I estrange myself from Him. I fall from grace and place a barrier between His Beautiful Countenance and my ugly existence. And when that happens, I can't erase what I did. I can't take back my choice to take a different path, outside of His blessed one.

But, when I am alone on that path, and it is truly a lonely one, I simply can't take it. It is cold, dark, damp, and horrific. I can't breathe when I am there. I "can't accept that we're estranged," and so I must make my hijrah, my spiritual migration, back to the Precious Beloved. And when I set out, He comes with his Beautiful Touch and Soothing Mercy to help me along the way. He takes me by the hand and helps me along the path. And when I get back to His domain, I am greeted with a Grace unlike any other.

Indeed, I am dead without Him.

I could write on and on about the Precious Beloved and His Beauty and Wonder. I could write on and on about His Love, and Grace, and Mercy, and Blessing, and Light, and Warmth. Reflecting upon Him and all that He is could take a lifetime, and it would still fall far short of giving Him any semblance of justice. But, my entire life is my journey to get back to Him and His presence: "To Him we belong, and to Him we shall return," as the saying goes. I pray that He blesses me with the strength to be as best a servant as I can be, despite my ugly flaws and weaknesses.

That is because, indeed, I am truly dead without Him.

Your tags:


Enter the amount, and click "Tip" to submit!
Recipient's email address:
Personal message (optional):

Your email address:


Type your comment below:
Hesham, you are a light in a world too often dark and ugly. Thank you for shining so brightly and beautifully.
Hesham, what an inspiring post. Your heart and kindness shine through.
This was truly inspiring, and I appreciate your honesty here.
You've put a completely different spin on this song, an interpretation I'd never have thought of. I barely listen to it when it's on the radio (only when one of my kids is in the car!) but the words by themselves, in the context you put them in, are suddenly significant and it doesn't matter what the writer intended. We find Him in the most likely places, even a pop song. What a wonderful way to think about him too - Precious Beloved, the same way he thinks about us. I am so sorry about your daughter. I'll never listen to this song the same way again and I won't change the station either. I'll also try to pay more attention to the little reminders all around us.