Another #TrueLifeStory to remind you never to trust your abilities. Many of us have gone through the academic phase of life. It is important that we are cautious in our strive to excel. To not lose focus of the real thing.
I’m Sid and here’s a bit of my life and how I learnt about detachment.
Scoring high marks in university was my thing. I was someone who always worked hard, read and helped others to understand what we were taught in uni. But something happened that changed my perspective with my academics. I had some setbacks, or we’ll call it realizing moments. This was a uni module assignment that was challenging in the beginning for me. I have heard how difficult it was to pass the module, and maybe it affected my approach subconsciously. We were given a formative and I scored high marks unexpectedly. I kept wondering how this happened. Fast forward to the final assignment. I ensured I did my best, crossed my I and T’s.
Unfortunately, when I saw my result I was shattered. I was like no, no, no, this can’t be my result. I was not ready to accept what I saw. I cried so hard. I did not fail. But I was expecting something so high. And this is a problem that happens when you place so much expectations on yourself. This is what happens when you trust your abilities without Allah. When you tie your camel, but do not put your Trust in Allah عَزَّ وَجَلَّ.
To be honest it was a challenging module, and I know I did well compared to so many people, but this is the danger of having high expectations. I was so hurt, sent an email to ask if it could be remarked with a response of NO.
I cried my eyes out. Words of solace were not comforting. I just wanted to be alone. To speak and be by myself. I believed so much in my ability, in my intelligence and when it did not help me, I got disheartened. It was sometimes later that I calmed down. There was a lot I learnt from this life experience and looking back I would say, I was happy to learn this lesson at this point of my life. Sometimes you need to break to heal and that was what I was going through. I needed this experience to remold me. To be submissive. And humble to Allah عَزَّ وَجَلَّ. To recognise the gifts, He bestowed upon me and use it in the right way – to please Him.
Most especially I had to acknowledge that Almighty Allahعَزَّ وَجَلَّ rewards us for our effort, not always through results. Though, this is something I have always looked at in the deen aspect. I never really applied it to my other spheres of life. As you know, you might be doing something without seeing the reward, but knowing that Almighty Allahعَزَّ وَجَلَّ is going to reward you for your effort and not the result is reassuring. It also made me try to not depend on myself when I am doing uni work. I now don’t try to expect so much. I now take it easy on myself. I don’t feel overwhelmed.
It was a very hard lesson and it made me realize that failures and setbacks are for us to learn lessons. We have to learn lessons from ourselves. Really hard ones! And this is something that can happen to anyone reading. Take it easy and manage how you deal with expectations. Then I wasn’t learning so much about the deen and it just shows you how my mindset was so closed that there were people who would score less but they would be grateful. I lacked the gratitude mindset and it really made me hurt, pained and was extremely disheartening. To anyone reading I implore you, not to let your grades to define you – I was trying to define myself by my grades and that made it affect me so much. I needed to learn how to detach myself from my grades. I am this… not what my grades say. (I say to myself now)
I am still going to strive to get the highest marks possible, but I have to know that it is up to Almighty Allahعَزَّ وَجَلَّ. While I put the effort and hope that He rewards me.
Anytime, I think about this incidence, I laugh at myself and express gratitude that I was able to extract lessons from it because it has nurtured me, helped me to grow, in the way I define myself. And I hope anyone reading this, maybe you are going through a similar situation. Take it easy on yourself and put them in the hands of Allahعَزَّ وَجَلَّ. I am not saying you won’t be hurt or disappointed, but your reaction will be managed. Also, take lessons from yourself. Your life situation. Learn lessons from whatever situations you are in.
After reading Sid’s story I will like to expand on 3 points
Importance of tie your Camel and put your Trust in Allah.
This is a popular hadith and we know it from our lips. But how many of us have actually implemented it in our lives? It is important that we trust Allah more than our abilities. He is Al-Khaliq (The Creator) who created all that is in existence. He Created the Camel that you are tying, and He is the only one who can preserve it. This reminds me of a saying of Al-Hasan al-Basri (may Allah the Most High have mercy on Him) that I came across. he said: “from the weakness of your yaqin (certainty) is that what is in your hand is more reliable than what is in the Hand of Allah”. This is a powerful statement. Applying this means that we should depend and rely on Allah than what we have. Ask yourself: how well have you tied your camel? How is your trust in Allah?
The whole story sums up detachment. I’ve also done a bit explanation on detachment here. We get attached to things and people because they give us a sense of security. Love. A sense of belonging. Meaning. And certainty. Many of us have been getting it all wrong “Detachment is not that you should own nothing, but that nothing should own you.” (Ali ibn Abi Talib رضي الله عنه) Don’t allow what you have to own you. As Human beings we long to have things and there is nothing wrong with that. The problem starts when you begin to tie yourself what you have. The only object of our attachment should be our Rabb – Allah عَزَّ وَجَلَّ. For He creates all that we see. All that we want. All that we possess. When you attach yourself to Allah, you will feel at peace within yourself, see life as temporary. Strive to please Him with what you do. The way to begin to attach yourself to Allah is to seek to know Him. (Learn His Names and Attributes). You can’t get attached to who you don’t know.
What defines you? (Coming soon in another post In Sha Allah)
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Till next time…