“How do you get yourself to keep trying when something looks impossible? Just remember Hajar and how she ran the same course seven times looking for the impossible water in a desert.” – Yasmin Mogahed
I graduated from LSE this summer with a 2.2. For the people that listened to my Audio Journal 21: A Teary Journal (Reflecting on 4 Years at LSE + Results) this isn’t new knowledge. Over the past few months I’ve noticed that whenever I was in a conversation about uni especially relating to results, I spoke about it with a lot of shame, regret, and disappointment. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted anything as much as I wanted that 2.1.
Fast forward to sometime this week when I was on my way home from work and came across a job advert. I’m not joking when I say I can’t remember what the job was but the immediate thought that came to my mind was ‘You can never get that job because of your grade.’ I distinctly remember the feeling of dejection that I felt at that moment.
A few seconds passed and I was about to touch my oyster at the terminal when a sentence I read from The Productive Muslim book came to mind,
Are you putting your hopes in your efforts and your grades or in Allah’s power?
When I remembered that sentence immediately I felt sad again. But this time for another reason. I felt sad because it dawned on me how ungrateful I was being just through my initial thought.
I am currently working at a Magic Circle Law Firm, more so in a field/ industry that I specifically wanted to work in after uni. In fact, if you’ve listened to Audio Journal 19: Surrendering to Allah and Letting Go you will know all about me finding this job in the first place. This was the only job that I applied for because nothing else interested me. But I left the interview certain that there was no way I could have gotten it. See, I found out about my results during my commute, an hour before my interview and I cried throughout that time till at least three minutes before my interview started. So I went into it with bloodshot eyes but determined that If Allah had gotten me this far, the least I could do was show up. Allah SWT through His grace allowed me to get the job.
While I was thinking about this, the teaching dawned on me. Shaitan’s ultimate goal is to keep me and you preoccupied with worries (unfounded and founded ones) to the extent that we forget about Allah’s blessings in our lives. The funny part is, I didn’t even want the job that preempted my initial thought! But instead of focusing on all that Allah had given me, I chose to focus on what I didn’t have or what I could possibly not have access to in the future.
In the Qur’an, Shaitan made a promise to Allah SWT when he said,
“Since You have sent me astray, surely I will lie in wait for them on Your straight path. Then surely I will come upon them from the front and the back, right and left, and You will not find most of them thankful.” (7:16-17)
That last sentence is it! The end goal of Shaitan is to make us people who are ungrateful. That’s all he needs because ingratitude will eventually lead to disbelief, it’s only a matter of time.
So I counteracted that moment by pausing and having a conversation with Allah where I was and I thanked him. I thanked Him for the blessings that I am aware of and for the ones that I don’t even notice. I just said Ya Rabb thank you for blessing this undeserving slave of yours because I know that you have never disappointed me whenever I have placed my hopes in you. And I am where I am today not because of my efforts but because of your power.
The question I want you to ask yourself tonight is,
In your life, are you placing your hopes in yourself or are you placing them in Allah?
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