By A. Zeynep Donmez – Ozlem Ata Translated from Turkish by Yilmaz Kaso
A chapter from the book ‘Friday of the Youth” Sydney, AUSTRALIA
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ ٱلرَّحْمـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
أَمَّنْ هُوَ قَانِتٌ آنَآءَ ٱللَّيْلِ سَاجِداً وَقَآئِماً يَحْذَرُ ٱلآخِرَةَ وَيَرْجُواْ رَحْمَةَ رَبِّهِ قُلْ هَلْ يَسْتَوِى ٱلَّذِينَ يَعْلَمُونَ وَٱلَّذِينَ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ إِنَّمَا يَتَذَكَّرُ أُوْلُو ٱلأَلْبَابِ
“Is such a person like the one who is devoutly obedient during periods of the night, prostrating and standing (in prayer) mindful of the hereafter and hoping for the mercy of his Master? Say, ‘Are those who know equal to those who do not know?’ Only the people of integrity make use of the correct information.” (Az-Zumar 39/9)
مَنْ خَرَجَ فِي طَلَبِ الْعِلْمِ فَهُوَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ حَتَّى يَرْجِعَ
“Whoever goes out seeking knowledge, he is in Allah’s path until he returns.” (Jami at-Tirmidhi, Book of Knowledge (Ilm), Chapter 2, 2647)
We have come to the end of an education period, for better or worse. During this period, you learned a lot of new information from your teachers and took many exams. Sometimes you got high and sometimes low grades. Finally, it is time for reports. Now is the time to see the results of your study. Some of you will be happy, and some of you will be upset. But you know that there is also the next term. If those who rejoice today neglect to study to achieve the same success in the next term, they may be upset in the future. If those who are upset today correct themselves and start studying, they may be happy in the future. You see that almost everything depends on you. In fact, the results you get today are the product of the choices you made over a while. So, look carefully at your results and show your gratitude for having a second chance to change any results you are not satisfied with. You can show your gratitude by doing what is necessary to return a favor. In other words, in the next term, you will show your gratitude by studying your subjects and doing your duties.
As mentioned at the beginning of our speech, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “Whoever goes out seeking knowledge, and then he is in Allah’s cause until he returns.” Here we want to draw attention to the word “seek.” The word “talib” in Arabic means “seeker of knowledge,” or in other words, “student.” A person coming to school is seeking knowledge. If you come to school to acquire knowledge and put your full effort into this purpose, you are the person mentioned in the hadith. If you come to school with this awareness, study and learn with this demand, you will be in the path of Allah until you return home. Isn’t this good news?
Our life in this world is actually a process of testing. We will be rewarded in the hereafter for what we have done in this life. This is just like the school reports we receive at the end of our studies. However, after death, we will not have the chance to go back to our previous life and correct our mistakes. At school, we have a chance to correct our results. In real life, we are tested at all times, and we have the opportunity to turn back, correct ourselves; in other words, repent when we do wrong. Suppose we have not used our ability to correct our mistakes in this life. In that case, it is normal that we will not be able to correct them in the hereafter, that is, after getting the results. The Qur’an informs us in different verses about the situation of those who do not use the opportunities to correct their mistakes in worldly life. In the 24th verse of the Surah Al-Fajr, it is stated that they will say, “Oh, I wish I had sent ahead (some good) for my life.” As reported in the 27th verse of Surah Al-An’am, they will also say, “Oh, we wish we could be returned (to life on earth) and not deny the signs of our Master and be among the believers.”
The expression “such a person” in the verse we read at the beginning of our speech is explained as the following in the previous verse: When adversity touches him, he calls upon his Master. And then, when Allah bestows on him a favor from Himself, he forgets Allah whom he called upon before. Allah states that this type of person will not be equal to the one who is devoutly obedient while he is mindful of the hereafter and hoping for the mercy of his Master. In other words, the one who tries hard to pass the exam is not considered equal to a person who does not try at all. We should make as much effort as we can in this world to not be one of the regretful people mentioned in the above verses. Let’s think carefully about every event we encounter in our lives and act according to the answer to the question “how does God want me to act in such a situation?”. So that our results in the hereafter will make us smile. Thus, we hope that we will be among the saved ones.