|| Reflection on Finals Week ||

18 05 2008

Asalamu Alaikum waRahmatullahi waBarakatu

I got this from a friend last year, Jazaaha Allahu Khairun & thought I’d pass it along, May it be of benefit *ameen*

I think time is valued the most during finals week. You hear people from every corner of the room talking about how they have 10 minutes to eat, 3 hours to sleep, and then two papers to write and an exam to study for.

Something happened today in the library and it made me think. A girl sat in the SINC site for three hours doing a project. For some reason, it didn’t save on the computer she was working on, although she said she did hit “Save”, and then she exited out. Three hours of hard work…down the drain. And not just during any week, no, during finals week–where every minute is important. Not only would she now not be able to hand her work in on time, it would slow down all of the other things she had to do. She freaked.

So then I thought: what if this week were the final week of the dunya? Or just of our lives? Why do we not freak out when we waste three hours doing something that will in no way help our final grade in the dunya?

We embrace distractions from friends all throughout the year but when finals week comes– “Stay away from me! No, I can’t go to the mall with you. No time to waste! No, I can’t eat with you either, I already ate a twinkie.”  And it does make sense for the dunya. I mean, we know when finals week is.

But that’s the sad part. We don’t know when the final week of the dunya is. Or of our lives. So how can we go on and let ourselves be distracted and heedless all year long? The most successful students are those that are eating those quick lunches and refusing to go to the mall with you all year long, because they have high goals they have to meet. Then there are those who are just rolling with the ball the whole semester and wake up during finals week. But at least they wake up and at least pass their classes. But how could someone be distracted all semester, and continue to be distracted during finals week and do well? In other words, the only way we can pass this grand test of the dunya…the only way we can get any success in the Hereafter is if we constantly keep ourselves awake. We don’t know when the last week will be…so if we’re acting like it’s not the last week, every week….we’re doomed for failure. One of those weeks will be the final week.

And I thought about how Allah swt says in the Qur’an that on the Day of Judgement, there will be people, who when they are asked  how many years they spent on this earth, they will reply, “probably a day or less than a day”. And they won’t be lying…they’ll really believe this was the truth. Because they will have wasted all of their time on earth. They will be shown their deeds and they will not be able to fathom how they could have spent so many years on earth and done such few good deeds.
Allah swt gave us so much time to beautify our hearts, to do good deeds. And on the day of judgment, when we present our hearts to Him ‘azza wa jall, it is us who will look at them and our book of deeds and be mortified at how it could take so many years to make something so ugly and worthless. It is us who will look at the empty pages where good deeds were supposed to be and say, “I must have lived only a day then…how else could this be possible?” (but insha Allah it won’t be us. May Allah swt protect us and save us from being amongst these people. May He swt give us the tawfiq to properly avail the time we are given in this dunya. Ameen)

Let us all insha Allah (myself first before anyone else) take this time management lesson from finals. If we can get so much done for the dunya in this week, why can we not do at least half of this for the akhira during other weeks? Let us race for good deeds not only in Ramadan, but year-round, so that we don’t have to look at our book of deeds on the Day of judgment and think we only lived one Ramadan. There are so many simple things to do that don’t occupy much time or effort, like dhikr. Let it occupy your tongue constantly.

And the next time we get frustrated because something really important that shouldn’t have got deleted, got deleted…..maybe we should focus our energy on thinking about if we get that frustrated when some of our greatest deeds get deleted (because of insincerity to Allah swt, or some other reason), and if we would work as hard to retrieve those good deeds as we would to retrieve our deleted project.


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