11 November 2011

I Should be Thankful: A Reflection

I seems like it was two months ago (I don't want to use the ordinary 'it seems like yesterday') that I put my right leg on the land of Sarawak. And yes, I still remember that it was my right leg since I have been doing the 'right-hand-leg-first' for many years to start doing anything-closing doors, going outside, switching the light on. This 'do-right' habit which sometimes turned into an obsession was first realised by my dear friend of mine, Afedizal when he saw me walking into his car. I always start touching everything with the right hand. If I accidentally use my left hand upon touching something, I would 'rub' it with the right hand with the thought of 'cleaning' the place that I touched. Yes, sometimes I think it is a sickness.

Back to the story (and reflection), I am waiting for my first year result now. Since I entered Curtin, my Geology seniors have been telling me to get as much marks as possible for 'deposits' for second year as the units will be getting tougher and hence there will be drops in your marks. Thus, the first year marks can cover the drop. But my friends and I managed to get scores which are only in good range and they are not very excellent. I know we all should have been grateful since there were many others who could not get as much as us and even failed but the feelings were there. There is always this feeling of ungratefulness among us and we would only realise it after quite some times.

And now, these feelings come almost like last semester. The waiting. The dup-daps in your hearts. Doa, usaha, tawakal (Pray, effort and tawakal) become something that I should remember and most importantly to be practised. I always forgot to thank Allah SWT for what has He given to me. These feelings of insecurity and 'what ifs' keep coming to us all the time that can shatter our faith and trust towards Allah SWT.

Maybe we expect too much in our academic life while we are not up to it. No? While it is okay to set the bar high, it is not good to set the bar that you must reach. With the five units that I took this last semester, I did not really be thankful to Allah SWT with the strengths that he has given to me to work on my marks. And I feel sorry for myself for not showing my gratefulness towards Him when I scored good marks. Why?

We live in an environment where excellence is celebrated  and failure is always being seen as a bad event that you can cry for nights or even months. But when you achieve the excellence that you always strive for, you always feel and think what others might say too, especially your friends and forget Allah. Honestly, most of us and me, myself do not really like it when your friends say that you are smart, and so that surely will make you score high while in fact you  worked hard for it. The praises sometimes delude you from working harder. Don't you think so? And you always forget that the success come from Allah SWT. 

For certain subjects which are like my baby subjects (and my favourites), there are some sort of indescribable feelings about expecting the marks.  I did score high for my internal assessments in some subjects. These are the things I should be thankful for but sometimes I lost in the sea of insecurity towards myself. Why would I? I think it is partly because you and your people around you have always associated and verified you with academic excellence. Well, why not if that is your strength? But it comes to yourself to see it as something that you need to prove to them, isn't it? For this, I blame myself for putting my intentions of acquiring knowledge not in the name of Allah SWT. Worse, if you put your intention of doing things other than in Allah's sake, some ulama consider it as small syirik. And, I believe firmly on that seems that it is a serious matter to my faith. We sometimes lost in pursuit of excellence.

The expectations that we have for the future sometimes make ourselves doubt about our abilities. While Allah SWT has told us to pray only to Him, and our wishes will be granted, why would we worry about these things that we are not sure of? There is always a hole inside your heart that is longing for something of a greater power.

When you study and perform very well, you give validations to yourself that you are able to do it. While in the process that will determine between you are either 'success' or not, the hole inside your heart will be longing to be filled . Allah SWT knows best.

Fill the hole in your heart by loving Him. Loving Him means I put my trust in Him and that for me, is what tawakal all about. Alhamdulillah.-The Chukai Insider

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