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Six Things You Can Do to Increase Your Faith During Finals

Six Things You Can Do to Increase Your Faith During Finals

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Suhaib Webb | May 4, 2009 1:30 pmAsalamu alaykum,We dedicate so much time and money to go to college and work tirelessly because we knowthat the reward (eg. getting a six figure salary after college) will be there. Finals week, for alot of us, is here, and we are more focused than ever during this week, shunning asideanything that will distract us from getting good grades. We need to bring all of this focus anddedication into our deen as well. Just as we know that the nice paying job is awaiting us after
we graduate, we should be sure of Allah‟s promise to us and strive towards bettering
ourselves as Muslims and Human beings. Allah has promised in the Qura
n, “
But those whobelieve and do deeds of righteousness,- we shall soon admit them to gardens, with riversflowing beneath,-
to dwell therein for ever. Allah’s promise is the truth, and whose wordcan be truer than Allah’s?”
(The Holy Quran 04/122).A few lessons/tips:
1. Set up a continuous worship schedule
 I remember my exam days, when I lived in the states: sleepless nights, lots of caffeine andplenty of fajirs in the Masjid. It was so amazing that outside of those times I would find it sohard to pray in the night, make dua, fast and struggle in worship. But, when exams rolledaround I became a 24 test maniac making nearly unbelievable sacrifices for my exams.Although, for some of us, this might seem negative at first? I would like to think that it meanswe can do it!If you can stay up, work like crazy, live off of coffee and struggle for a weeks towards
success in this dunia, even disappearing and making „itikaf in the library, then surely you can
struggle a little for the Hereafter. You have the potential, it just needs to be redirectedtowards Allah. Thus, the first lesson we learn from this time is one related to potential and
 priorities. The Arabs have a saying, “If the girl is pretty, then the high mahr is no problem.”
Meaning, if the goal is beloved to the person, he will put forth great effort and feel very littlestress.Tip: After this time, try and set for yourself a program related to worship. Spend, at least onenight a week, worshipping Allah, serving Him and drawing nearer to him.
 
2. Make ‘
Ibada groups
 
Many might be saying, “That is not easy.” Indeed, there is no doubt that such an effort
requires assistance. For that reason we can take a lesson from our study groups. Why not
make „Ibada groups? Meaning as we sit with others to study, we can
also rely on others tohelp us worship Allah! The group is blessed and the lone sheep is always the first to geteaten.Tip: Build on the relationship we built during finals and do the same for worship.
3. Da’wah – 
Call people to Islam while studying
 many of us will be working with people of other faiths during this time. Use this as a meansto build shared bridges and clarify the picture of Islam that many people have. What a greatchance, by being nice to others and offering your time and help and services you will present
a noble picture of Islam and this, inshallah, will bring about Allah‟s pleasure. Every word you
speak, every step you take and every effort you make towards treating people well and beinga positive role model links you with the efforts of the Companions and those after them inspreading this noble message.Tip: Try and avoid falling into the crowd, using rude language, harming others or doingsomething forbidden (cheating on exams). But upright and set a positive example for others.
4. Build a strong inner relationship with Allah
 At the end of the day your talents and success are from Allah. Never forget this my dearbrothers and sisters.Could you imagine a baby, if it was born today, coming out speaking a language fluently,understanding the nuances of religious law and having a number of miracles at its hand, what
would be the reaction? Would, that baby not have a license to feel a little arrogant like “Yeah
I can talk, I can quote this and that and I can cause the dead to come back to
life?” Thisactually happened, at least the first part. But this baby, the first thing he said was, “I‟m theservant of Allah” and that baby was „Esa.
 
Let‟s not get carried away with our success and lose focus on who we are. We are nothing but
tools that, if their master wants to use them, will be used. Thus, use this opportunity to buildstrong faith in your hearts. On the way to the exam pray two rakat of salatu hajjah, makedhikr and ask Allah to help you. When you start say bismillah and when you finish say al-humdulillah. Increase your duas and plead with Allah to make things easy for you and toopen your heart. Ask Him to use you for good, be sincere and shed tears when you feel Hehas blessed you.Tip: Attribute your success to Allah SWT, and not yourself or anything else.
 
5. Finals affords you the opportunity to work on two important qualities:
 1. Trusting in Allah2. Hard work in this dunyaBoth go together and it is important to put forth an effort that will merit great results and, at
the same time, for you to trust in Allah. Many of us say, “I want to leave my affairs to Allah”
but by the middle of the day we start trying to take things back. Finals gives us theopportunity to apply, what I call, the Abu Hurairah [may Allah have mercy upon him] modelbecause he relied upon Allah and he worked very hard to get his share of hadith from the
Prophet [may Allah‟s prayers and peace be upon him].
 Tip: Put your trust in Allah by working hard in the first place.
6. Remember that there is a greater final awaiting you
 Many of us will spend five to six hours taking our tests. However, there is a Day that awaitsus where we might, may Allah have mercy upon us, stand for thousands of years! Thus, thisfinal [the meeting with Allah], is, indeed, the true final.As we fear standing in front of our teachers and the test itself, let us remember the standing infront of Allah! This is a Day where the young will become old, women will drop their loadsand parents will disown their children. Ya Allah, what awaits us and what is in front of us.That day, the Last day is the true Final. Thus, think. Think hard about it. Are you ready?Would you pass the fir
st question “How was your prayers?” What makes this final more
difficult is it is a take home exam. Not only do we have a few days to prepare, but Allah hasgiven us a a few years [if we are lucky] to prepare for it and He, out of His mercy, has givenus the answers.
“The first thing the slave will be asked about is his/her prayers. If they are sound, everythingelse will be sound. If they are corrupted, then everything else is corrupted.”
 That hadith gives us the first question that awaits us. Thus, dear brother and dear sister I
address you with my love and concern for you, “How is your salah?” “How is your relationship with Allah?” The Prophet was asked, “When will be the Hour?” His response,“What did you prepare for it?” Thus, dear brother and dear sist
er, let us ask ourselves now,
“What have we prepared for it?” “What have we prepared for it?” What have we prepared for it?”
 And that is the final lesson and, indeed, the most important.Tip: Prepare for the greatest final, the Day of Judgment.

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