It is for many people a ‘stressful’ and challeging period of time: EXAMINATIONS.
My definition of examinations would be, although it’d be nice to really check what it meant in the dictionary:
The time in your life where you are tested on your effort and work for the past year to see if what you accomplished and acquired was of any use and benefit to you or not.
I think that’s a fair enough definition for what many people will be experiencing in these current months.
I actually have an examination in the morning, which might be evident from my rambling; but during my ‘well deserved’ break I felt so exhausted and was wondering if all this effort would be paid off, whilst hoping that I did achieve good grades.
My chain of thoughts took me to the obvious lesson everyone should be constantly aware of, but funnily forget during these ‘stressful’ and ‘demanding times’
Our attitudes and forward thinking is usually restricted to the foreseeable benefits returns of this world whilst overlooking the fact that this world is, many a times, a reminder for the matters that will take place in the Hereafter.
It is vital to strive and make an effort in this world and excel in it as much as possible but whilst remembering that the true reward and returns are those which will be received in the Hereafter and that all our efforts here should have some connection with our intention to succeed in the Hereafter.
We spend so much effort and time in the preparation of worldly examinations which are marked by simply human beings who are prone to errors themselves.
Whilst some spend sleepless nights in preparation for an examination to ensure good results others spend sleepless nights due to examination nerves and stress. Such is the scenario of an exam which can also be re-taken.
What if we were to glance towards our preparation for the Hereafter? How many nights have we spent without sleeping whilst hoping for success?
Which night have we stayed awake to seek Allah’s forgiveness for the day’s sins?
Is it due to the fact that we don’t have an examination date set? Or are we confident our actions and character will ensure us of an easy pass on the day when there will be option to re-take; when the stakes will be much higher than the loss of a first class honours degree or a six digit salary.
Our academic studies set for us an examination date and we are prepared to work and study endlessly but when Allah tells us to prepare for our examination in our every action we become heedless and carefree.
When we are informed that our examination could come at any moment of the day, so much so that we could be asleep and Allah calls us unto Him for this examination, we become complacent and fall into deep slumber.
This does not in any way, shape or form mean that we stop revising and making an effort for the examinations of this world… More so it means that we should made every effort to be successful in this world and make a greater effort to ensure that we’re preparing for the ‘real’ examination and that we do ‘suffer’ from sleepless nights in preparation for this…
It may be that the tears that flow during our sleepless nights for the preparation for the Hereafter prove to be the the water the extinguishes that anger of Allah which comes in the form of the fire of Hell.
I still recall the one line Arabic saying our Ustad (respected teachers) used to write on our examination papers:
It is at the time of an examination that an individual is honoured or disgraced
May Allah save us from disgrace from both this world and the Hereafter and give us the inclination to remember the true examinations even in times of stress and revision. Aameen.