Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Up Those Ladders

Up Those Ladders
By Nadia Hanim AbdurRahman
I’ve tasted failure many times but two of these many times were the tightest slaps so far in my life of 21 years. Both happened in the period of my education years when I was changing ladders; changing levels. I can still remember clearly the first failure, which I’d tasted. It was bitter. It was worst than bitter at that moment upon realizing the fact that I had flunked. How could it be accepted when I’ve been graded well for the past few years and suddenly, I stumbled on the ladder of secondary level. The world around me was spinning fast; I couldn’t catch up with it and I couldn’t think. I was in confusion. Then, mother appeared in the midst of my breakdown. She had said so many positive sayings, which gave impacts to my senses. “Failing once doesn’t mean you’ll fail forever”. That is true. The spinning world slowed down and eventually came to a halt. My mind was sound again and I recovered. I knew what should be done. Ignoring the failure, I proceeded in climbing the ladder again although I was hurt from the stumble. I could see then that ahead of me is not always failure. Success galore.

The secondary level stage ended smoothly afterwards. Soon, at the higher corner I could see another ladder to be climbed; the pre-university stage that was. It was a shorter one in comparison with the previous two ladders. The length of it boosted my confidence to smooth-climb it without a single fall this time. The overconfidence was a mistake. I fell again. I was devastated for I could avoid the fall but was complacent. I started blaming myself. “It’s not as if it’s the end of the world if you fail”. My mother was there again for me. I picked myself up again and moved on, knowing that more chances of succeeding await up ahead.

Alas, done with the pre-u level and the university’s ladder was already being prepared for me. This time around, I was not very motivated to climb the ladder and taking my time in doing so. Neither was I being careful with the steps nor was I tired. I was beginning to ponder. What was I aiming for? I had climbed ladders from below, fell and climbed up again, not knowing to what peak should I be reaching. All this while, I’ve been believing that I was achieving the ultimate goal, which was at the peak above and that was why I kept climbing those ladders. I was always looking up, concentrating only to reach higher and higher. Is my goal really up those ladders? I wondered. The university ladder has to pend. I ceased climbing and began another journey.

The journey to Tarim was the best experience. All praise to Allah for bringing me to Tarim and DaruzZahra. The serenity, the people, the habaib, the knowledge, the adab etc were amazing and awe-inspiring. This place is really blessed. I was there for a short period of time but my mind and heart did find truth and peace. I knew then what to conclude with the ladder episodes. I understood the goal, which I’ve been searching for. The ultimate goal was for Allah’s redha; mardhatillah and it's not at the highest peak of each ladder. It's at every step of those ladders. As you climb these steps, you are yearning for Allah’s redha. At each step, you may acquire, disseminate knowledge and all these will only be blessed if you do it for Allah’s sake. That is why some may attain barakah along with their knowledge and some don’t. One day, all of us will appear before Allah and answer our deeds. How can we face Him if our deeds were once based on personal desires and not on Allah’s redha. (اللهم أنت مقصودي ورضاك مطلوبي) By clinging this ultimate goal in mind, falling from any steps of those ladders wont cause much effect for we know that we are being tested by Allah. Our hearts and minds are at ease and we will be in peace.
قال الله تعالى:(ولنبلونكم حتى نعلم المجاهدين منكم والصابرين ونبلو أخباركم)ء

With this, be sure that our deeds are purely for the sake of Allah. We tend to stray at times for we are humans and humans make mistake but the best of those who make mistakes are those who repent as was mentioned by our beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
(كل بني آدم خطاء وخير الخطائين التوابون). Allah is always there for us for He is our ultimate goal and His redha is indeed our aim. We will strive, persevere and to Allah we return.

Now I am prepared to climb the ladder, which was before being put as pending. I will take note of each step, not only rushing for its peak. Will I stumble again like I had at the previous ladders? That I leave it to Allah to decide (وأفوض أمري الى الله إن الله بصير بالعباد). One thing for sure, my world wont be spinning again and I wont feel devastated should that happen.
(ما شاء الله كان وما لم يشأ لم يكن ولا حول ولاقوة الا بالله العلي العظيم)

بقلم الفقيرة الى الله راجية لعفو ربها
نادية هانم بنت عبدالرحمن
جامعة الأزهر بالمنصورة