Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Usrah & CGPA 4.0

I'll be starting my sophomore year. It feels like time was flying way too fast. To think that I'll be leaving here in less than 2 years time is making me unbelievably nervous. There are just too much things to do in such a short time.

My first year CGPA was 4.0. Alhamdulillah I finally get it right on track this time. I will never say that I didn't study hard. But, it's not like I'd spend all of my time studying either. The era of cramming and memorizing is no longer relevant here. Not when you have only 4 months to digest all of the 6 subjects with 13 chapters each. Did I forgot to mention the presentations and reports? I exaggeratedly made it sound difficult. It's not actually. You just need some passion and a little bit more of faith.

Here a story. After orientation ends, I came to a realisation that I will be spending 3 years here and it made me feel so depressed. Alone, I don't know what to do. I hate this place so much because it like repeatedly telling me how I had failed myself and my dreams. So I went to the highest place I know there. And it was beautiful. The clear sky, the breeze, everything was so peaceful. Eventually, so does my heart. Up there, I made a promise. It’ll only be 4.0 and nothing else. If that was how the world measure success and intelligent, then I’ll show them. That they are wrong.

In the beginning, funnily I was actually driven by revenge. I was so determined to prove that everyone that had put us down is wrong. Along that semester however, I changed. I encounter a lot of people that name I had secretly and genuinely prayed for. It broke my heart how people could be so far away from Allah and forget him and his blessings. I cried so hard, the mosque is becoming my second home. Then, two sisters approached me after the Maghrib prayer. Intuitively, of course I know who they actually are.

Honestly, I don’t want to join any of the Jamaah or Usrah when I enrolled here. I keep avoiding all of the invitations that I get with excuses. I had gone through it before and it really drained me physically and emotionally. It was tiring having to counter and justify the different judgments and standpoints that will occur. Just like me, I guess those people too are not a quitter. So, I joined them. I went to the Usrah and Daurah that I already know every bit of the details. Like an empty cup of tea, I try to be as neutral as possible. I get to know them and let them get to know me too. Through experience, I learned that before I get too involve with them, I wanted them to know where is my stand. About how I feel and I’m very expressive about it. I’m tired of just watching in silence.

Though I was a bit firm with my ground, I can’t help to feel a little bit attached with them. I admire and dear every each of them that it made me decide to stay. Respecting their values, it thought me to be very patient and considerate. To be selfless and matured in handling conflicts. To know when to speak up and when to not to.

‘Study is not the top priority there are for us. For Muslim, our final goal is the akhirah. Sometimes we put all of our effort to study as if we did not believe that whatever the result that we will get is actually already written for us.’

‘It’s true. But, how about we look at the other perspective there are out there. There is nothing wrong in wanting to be the best and working really hard for it. We can take the story of Al-fateh for example. In order to realise the hadeeth of the prophet, he work really hard to be the best of King, with the best of soldier and people. Did he know what Allah had written for him? Of course not, but he still worked hard for it. And Allah allow him to.’

After every Usrah, sometimes I can’t help to seek comfort from a dear friend. What was supposed to be a 5 minutes’ chat becomes a 2 hours long rant on. So, after a couple more of those-like incidents I wanted to prove to them that you can join Usrah and still getting a 4.0. That both are important. And separating the dunya from the akhirah to maintain the state of Imaan is not the best solution there is. The longer I stay with Usrah however, the more I witnessed then how people getting away and away one after another. I don't know why, but I felt so hurt. Most of the reason given was always because of studies. That they do not have enough time to finish their assignments and going to Usrah all at the same time. I expressed my concern to my naqibah once about it, and what she told me later ease the pain a little.

'Syafiqah, sometimes the things that you didn't find a struggle was a battle for other. Studying might be easy for you, but others might have to put a little bit more of an effort. You cannot sweeping it all the same for everyone.'

'Yeah, I guess. But, sometimes I can't stand it when people say how they don't have enough time for assignments, studies and everything. I mean, who even owns the time itself. How could they to not even spare some time for Him.'

To those people alike, I wanted to show that there's nothing that you would lose by just sparing couple of hours going to Usrah. Especially not your grade and I'd prove it right. I know it's a personal choice. But, honestly I kept this silence for one whole year to this very moment where I can speak up as I'm assure all that I had stand and believe for was right. Of course, I had doubts at times. Can I handle this much pressure? It gets overwhelming at one points that you just wanted to take it slow. But, there are so many people that I wanted to prove to, that I wanted to change to, so I kept on pushing myself. But, who am I kidding? People don't usually bother right.

 If you really wanted to get a 4.0, set your goal right. You can't just feel like wanted to, you should be ready to break your bone in getting one. With only that much of drive will you act accordingly. There should be a bigger reasons in why you wanted it. How ridiculous or impossible it might be just find one and hold it through along the path. And believe as if it was already yours. Have some confident in that and in whatever turns of event, be patient. 

After the result of my first semester was out, I remember a friend asked, 'How can you get a 4.0? I know, this must be because you do tahajjud and night prayer right?' I never have thought someone would think of it that way. But, the fact that she knows the result that I get was not of my will but Allah, almost put me to tears. I do shamefully asked Him to grant me a 4.0 for all of my results. I wanted to put Islam at its highest and is respected and followed. That was my biggest drive and nothing else. But, you know how people can be envious and hateful, I kept it all to myself. I thought that this was not right. There's nothing good that I nor Islam benefit from all this. I don't feel content or at ease after getting the 4.0. It was as hollow and empty as it can get.

In my second semester, I spent most of my time with Usrah than with my course mate. I distance myself a little with studies and everything. To just find a little peace where it left before. And since it was a short semester, the pressure was unbelievable. I remember getting a hot fever during the study week. At that time, I thought of giving up. I want to give up my greed for wanting both the dunya and akhirah. That maybe they were right all along. You have to choose.

All this time I was so desperate to show people how it should had been done. Be a Muslim whose world is in their hand not in their heart. I may get the best grade the world can provide, but I am clear of who is in charge. Sometimes, a 4.0 felt like a disgrace to me. There are people who thought highly of me, they did not see it was actually His blessing given upon me. There are people who thought lowly of  me, seeing a 4.0 was result of me obsessing with the worldly matter and only wanted human praise and attention. But, I know He knows well what lies in the heart. So, I kept a deaf ear to all the talks and shamelessly put my head up.

I wanted to show people that choices are not up to you. If you only choose one between the two, you'll find the other one rotting. But, if you choose both, He will beautify them both. You should at least know this, that it is painfully hard. That is why people will tend to choose only one because then, it will be bearable to them. It is hard. But, be it. Find a strength, a peace of the heart, a longing for greater Islam, kinder people, and a better you in His plan. See through it and believe. See through it and be at ease.