It is 10.27 pm as she sits in front of her laptop. Her mind running with thoughts of the upcoming exams, deadlines, assignments and she constantly worries about it. She misses her family and her friends she said goodbye to yesterday morning in Paddington Station. That pang in her heart because she is homesick, the cry stuck in her throat but does not know how to deal with it. She has classes tomorrow that she does not want to attend. Her reading that is calling for her attention and needs to be done and she has a module that needs completion. Coursework awaits her but she delays although the submission date approaches her. She procrastinates as she listens to Taylor Swift. She knows she’s clever. She knows she’s smart. Because all her life that is how she is described, what people said, what her parents say and what her friends are saying.
But as she sits there she forgets. That studying is a jihad. That studying is only for Allah. And that girl is you, she is I, she is all of us.
Remember that one hadith narrated by Hadrat ‘Aisha (RA):
Verily the one who recites the Qur’an beautifully, smoothly, and precisely, he will be in the company of the noble and obedient angels. And as for the one who recites with difficulty, stammering or stumbling through its verses, then he will have TWICE that reward.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Struggling does not equate failing because it is a fact that in order to achieve that success you have to struggle there is a reward for that struggle! And sometimes you have to sacrifice everything. Sacrifice your social life, sacrifice this impulsive need to go shopping and this desire to take naps.
Because the only person that can take control of yourself is you. So when these desires hit you they are not to blame. As the syaitaan whispers in your ear. He can only whisper, and its up to you to fall slave to the whispers or to rise against it. You take full responsibility of your actions. Do not blame the bed, the new season 2 of Stranger Things, or the laptop that stares blankly at you.
If studying is a pain, then imagine the pain of not studying and not being able to study. The procrastination we do every day! Why? It is because we know we are clever? That intelligence is innate and a talent because we grow up believing, and praised for our genius minds? Of course, we are clever. Yes, we are smart. But it is also because of that pride we procrastinate. We procrastinate because we keep thinking “I’ll do this tomorrow, I’ve done this before and it will work again”
But at the same time we fear failing. So at the very last minute we open our dusted textbooks, we sit in front of the laptop and write notes. Only then do we wake up at 3 am for tahajjud because in reality we fear it. We fear the day we get the result slips and as you rip that envelope, or you click on the link and all you see is a big, fat, fail. Even though you have worked hard for it (or so you thought) when and you stayed up late and woke up early.
But the real question is, how? How do we change ourselves? Deadlines are already around the corner and you freak out at the mention of that word, as if a pair of hands has wrapped themselves around your neck and threatening to end your life.
So we prepare ourselves by first, our mind set. We are not just students inside the classroom but we are also trainees. We are training ourselves to master our education. We are an ummah, greater than the previous. So we begin by believing that the mujahid mindset is to struggle first. You know how Nabi Muhammad S.A.W led the war back then. And the mujahids were on fire albeit their small amount. And they won. They didn’t fear the enemy or even the idea of death but it is because of their yaqeen, belief, that they are doing this for the Islam and for Allah and that wherever, whenever, Allah is always with you.
And second we have to realise that the reason we are here studying, whether it is in your dream university and studying your dream course it is not ONLY because you worked hard and smart to be where you are. Because if this wasn’t for Allah’s mercy you wouldn’t be here. If Allah says you should study in the UK then nothing can stop you. This scholarship, it belongs to Allah. This loan scheme, it belongs to Allah. Or any other financial benefactor, they belong to Allah. So if you want something, you have to ask the King of All Kings, The Most High and Most Wealthy. And to make Him your priority would be key to achieve this success.
What can we get from this is that sometimes is when we feel like we have hit rockbottom or at the brink of giving up we have to remember who we are doing this for. We need to bring back Islam back to the top. We need to show the world that through education we can rise and invite more. We study now and we master it. Because we are not just ambassadors of Brunei. But we are ambassadors of Islam. We are ambassadors of Islam in the field we master. Whether it is maths, geography, chemistry or English. We are future teachers and together we will raise the banner of Islam. So we’re packing. Let us pack our bags for Allah, for Muhammad who cried for us, for your deen and for the family you left behind.