Rejection As Redirection – How Our Biggest Disappointments Can Be Stepping Stones To Success

Rejection is sometimes a way for Allah SWT to redirect us to a path that is more beneficial for us. 

Yesterday in one of my WhatsApp groups we were having a conversation on how grateful we are that Allah granted us rejections when we applied to Oxbridge Universities because our experience at university would have been a lot more different. A lot of people at LSE are Oxbridge rejects (and proudly so :))

Subhan’Allah when we got our rejections all of us felt hurt and two years later we have nothing but gratitude for that rejection. We are able to recognise the wisdom in Allah breaking our heart in that fleeting moment to grant us three years of wonderful experiences at LSE – not necessarily academic- and for directing us to the Islamic society which has helped us to grow and bloom.

One of my favourite Hadiths from the Prophet Muhammad PBUH is

“Amazing is the affair of the believer, verily all of his affair is good and this is not for anyone except the believer. If something of good/happiness befalls him he is grateful and that is good for him. If something of harm befalls him he is patient and that is good for him” (Saheeh Muslim #2999)

I will never forget  the process of applying for jobs during my gap year. I applied to an amazing company and Alhamdulilah got through all the stages. The last hurdle was the assessment day. The first two tasks I did brilliantly and the last two I mentally sabotaged myself and it was mediocre. When I left the building that day I knew wasn’t going to get the job. Then the email that would be the nail in the coffin arrived confirming my rejection stating the last two tasks as the reason. Instantly I burst out crying. I had placed all my hopes on this job, I wanted it more than anything. Despite how much I cried that day, I was also saying Alhamdulilah because deep in my heart I knew it was for the best but I was still emotional.

Fast forward to three weeks later, Allah SWT granted me the job that I needed on a platter. I submitted my CV, I didn’t have to do numerical tests, or presentations, or go to assessment centres. I only had to go for an interview. The interview was brilliant and I clicked with the person that would be my immediate boss. We had lots of similar interests including politics and tennis (what are the odds). I learnt a lot during that year not just about the work that I was doing but also about myself as an individual. When I reflect now it was a pivotal year for me because I was fresh out of sixth form with no experience of working. In that year I developed the kind of self awareness and emotional intelligence that helped me at university. The gap year experience allowed to be my own individual and excel because I wasn’t surrounded my people that were my own age or friends that I might have used as crutches to stay within my comfort zone. I will always be grateful that Allah granted me that rejection to give me the experience that I really needed.

So the message here is to always trust in Allah’s plan because his vision for you will always be bigger and far better than your vision for yourself.


  1. To be honest, I can totally relate to this. I remember getting my rejection email from Cambridge and feeling quite upset. But when I think about my life at the university of Birmingham, I don’t think I would have changed or learnt as much or even felt as comfortable as I am right now. All I say, when I think back to that day is Alhamdulillah.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a beautiful reflection. I didn’t get into the highest ranked school in my state, but when I think about all the amazing professional development opportunities and lessons I learned along the way, I couldn’t have asked for a better university experience, subhanAllah.

    Liked by 1 person

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