Some years back, I had to rewrite an exam I had failed. It was the worst moment of my life at the time. I felt so low, like I let myself down. I felt humiliated. Resits (as they were called) were things that happened to unserious students! How could it be that I had to rewrite a paper in 6 weeks’ time when I knew for sure, that I had been well-prepared for the first exam? How would I explain it to my parents? Both my mates and juniors would see me like a mediocre. Through my hurt, I knew it was Allah’s Will but I kept feeling ‘Why me?’ I had worked so hard, I had passed tougher exams, why this one? I kept replaying the ‘Long Case’ oral exam in my head because I knew that was where the glitch was. My continuous assessment was fine.
Abu Yahya Suhaib b. Sinan said that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said: Strange are the matters of believers. For him there is good in all his affairs, and this is so only for the believer. When something pleasing happens to him, he is grateful (shukr), and that is good for him; and when something displeasing happens to him he is enduring patience (sabr), and that is good for him. –Sahih Muslim 2999
After the self-pity, I dusted myself and begged Allah not to let this repeat itself. ‘Let me learn what I am supposed to learn and move on,’ I begged Him. I was really frightened that if I did not learn my lesson, same would recur. Eventually, I did pass the resit exams and did not even go to check my results. Yes, I was that sure!
Every crisis reveals us to ourselves. They are a learning process and help groom us to become our best. Instead of bemoaning our fate, let’s beg Allah to help us learn from the event. People will taunt and laugh as they did at the Prophet in his time of distress when he lost his uncle, Khadija and migrated. These trials are meant to purify us.
And finally, let’s not drown ourselves in alcohol, drugs or other destructive vices. We are stronger than that. Allah’s with us so let’s get back on our feet and keep our chins up!