It took a very long time before I could muster the courage needed to write up this post. Being a medical student is never an easy job for me. It took a lot of hard work, determination, compassion and perseverance. Sometimes, obstacles do come into my way. That includes failing.
This is my story of failing and the tremendous lessons that I learn from it.
One month ago, I were on my laptop when my friend told me that the examination result has been put on moodle. I can remember the strong beat of my heart as I click on the moodle to check up my result an my inner voice kept reassured me that everything is going to be ok. However, my heart seems to stop pounding in a minute as I discovered that I failed my Ophthalmology paper.
At that moment, I can feel some weird sensation of disbelief. Later, I came into conversation with God and the only question that I ask Him is ‘Why?’. I think I have had worked so hard for that paper. That was one of a few occasions that I went to examination prepared. I can remember the moments that I can answer ALL the questions given by the examiner and their impressive mark on their face whenever I blurted out all the answers. Yet I ended up failing.
After a deep thought, I began to realise that I forgot to add the will of Allah into the equation. Work hard was never equal to success, but it is one of the conditions to make success really happen. As a believer, we must put other ingredients to make it really works; that is tawakkal.
I remember a nice story shared by my friends on FB few days before the revelation. I put it here (Google Translate really saved my day):
In Egypt there was a young man named Abbas Assisi. One day he met with Sheikh Hasan Al Banna, the head of the Muslim Brotherhood. Then, they talked and Sheikh Abbas Al Banna asked Assisi’s future undertaking. The young Asisi had just graduated from secondary education when he met Sheikh Al-Banna. Then Al Banna said:
“Why do not you try to get in the military?
“I’ve got a problem with my eyes,” said Assisi, “I fear that I am not unable to pass the shooting test”
“It’s ok, trust in God,” said Sheikh Al Banna.
“How will I trust in God, as I know there is a problem with my eyes?
“Therefore,” said Al Banna “Put tawakkal to Allah, if your eye is healthy, could be that you will rely on your eyes.”
Abbas Al Banna Assisi follow the advice. He entered the military. When he decided to do the shooting exam, his doubts emerged, and he remembered his teacher’s message. Then, he brushed off all the doubts, try his best and leave it to God. It turns out he graduated as the best shooter for the shooting test.
This story really teach me the meaning of tawakkal. Tawakkal does not rely on how much we read the book from cover-to-cover nor the impressive answer we gave during the exam, but it relies on the way Allah wants to do His job. We as His servants shall need to purify the intention, work hard and put trust in Him for whatever results that comes afterwards.
As the result of that failure, I need to re-sit for the exam. It is whole bunch on difference experiences for me as I got to know some new faces that I will not come across at other occasions. New friendship develops and I can sense the sweetness of facing the hardship together.
Some of them were in denial and believed that they were treated unfairly during the exam (just like me). I remember one of the conversation with the specialist during the remedial class:
‘Doctor, some of friends also gave the weird answer but they can pass.’ asked one of my friend.
The doctor answered bluntly: ‘I guess you are the unlucky one then’
I guess you are right doctor. But, I would not consider myself as unlucky, but merely His Chosen One. Smile.
p/s: I pass the supplementary exam yeay! All praises are for Him