For Indeed, With Hardship Will Be Ease
By Khadeejah Islam
It was 9 A.M. – forty minutes before the commencement of a course on Life Sciences – when I entered a mundane room of an off-white coloured walls. The room consisted of a few rows of seats, a large whiteboard, and a projector placed on the teacher’s wooden table. At that hour, the classroom was empty. In spite of being an ordinary room, it was the most beautiful place on earth for me. Enveloped in silence, it was peaceful – something which was required to escape from all the pressures of home, study, work and life itself. I was not doing anything extraordinary by sitting there looking at the distant buildings, but perhaps being free from the thoughts of deadlines and exams was sufficient for me. However, this moment was short-lived. As time passed by, students filled in the classroom and soon, the teacher entered as well. The room was noisy in no time and the class commenced, bringing me back to reality.
Towards the end of the class, one of my classmates suggested that the teacher postpone an exam, which was scheduled on 31st of March, Thursday, and schedule it on 3rd of April, Sunday. I was not in favour of that idea. How can I when an exam on Economics which was already scheduled on Sunday? In fact, this exam was supposed to be on Thursday, but just to prevent a time-clash and to accommodate the exam on Life Sciences, I was the one to convince my Economics course instructor to postpone the exam and schedule it on Sunday. I tried hard to prevent a time-clash between the two exams, but perhaps a time-clash was decreed – something which could not be overturned except by the Will of Allah.
Sadly, the majority of the class and the teacher herself agreed to the postponement of the exam on Life Sciences. That was a sharp blow to me. Reeling from a load of community service projects, extra-curricular activities, assignments and exams, I wondered if I could survive a sudden change in the exam schedule. Will I be able to hand over the assignments and projects within the allotted time? Will I be able to pass the exams? I was not giving up, but I was not moving forward either as I could not see light at the end of the tunnel. At this juncture, the only thing which kept me going was this verse: “Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity.” .
Allah must have decreed this for me because I was capable of handling this. If He has confidence in us, why should we undermine our capacity and show disrespect to Allah’s decree? This verse has always been the remedy for stress. In fact, I was once assigned to talk on a very difficult topic for this very course on Life Sciences and, although I was not sure of my capability initially, I was able to pull it through, thinking about this verse all the while. Alhamdulillah!
Similarly, on that day, I was able to muster enough strength from this verse to attend the next class. Towards the end of this class, the teacher announced two assignments and the date of submission was set to Thursday. I was a bit relieved. Not only did I have ample time to complete the assignments, I also did not have any exams on Thursday to distract me. It was important for me to score outstandingly in the assignments if I wanted to pull up my already-low grades in this course. This was a good opportunity for me.
Thursday was just another hectic day at the university. Although I was able to hand over the assignments properly, the burden of sitting for two exams on Sunday was constantly running through my mind. Attending the class on Economics that day was only reminding me of the stressful weekend that lay ahead. Towards the end of the class, the teacher made an announcement: “The exam on Sunday has been cancelled.” After all the anguish, relief finally touched me. I just had one exam to give on Sunday. Now imagine what would have happened to me if the Life Sciences exam was on Thursday and not postponed to Sunday! I would have certainly struggled with two assignments and one exam. It was all for the best!
“But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not.” .
Many atheists argue that since bad things happen to people, Allah does not exist. In response, most of the Muslims take a scientific approach and discuss either the compatibility of the Qur’an with science, or the fallacy of the theory of evolution. However, I feel that these very trials are the proofs of Allah’s existence. He has revealed in the Qur’an that afflictions will befall mankind, and He has kept His promise. He has revealed that there will be ease after hardship, and He has kept His promise.
“And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient.” .
“For indeed, with hardship [will be] ease. Indeed, with hardship [will be] ease.” .
May Allah enable us all to remain steadfast in the face of every adversity. Ameen.