Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Exam

I was invigilating the final exam for my students today. The hall was quiet as everyone was concentrating on answering the exam, a typical scene of an examination in progress. Nothing out of the ordinary.

But, as I observed some of them one by one, I realized how different they looked. The smiles are gone, taken over by deep thoughts and undivided attention to the exam paper.
For almost three hours, they were off lined, unplugged, from the outside world.
That's how we normally deal with any test or exam, because a test is an important part of assessment. Passing a test is an indication of success in the life of a student.

As I walked around the hall, I was contemplating on the reality of life. Life itself is a test. A continuous assessment of our faith. As the episodes of our life unfolding, we come face to face with the multiple types of assessments. We kept collecting and losing scores from our daily activities.  And because of that, just as we take our exam seriously, shouldn't our lives be taken seriously as well? After all just like any test that requires our concentration for a relatively short time, our life IS short.
Very short and brief indeed.
Astronomers estimated that the universe is 13.75 billion years old, and that makes our life span of 60 or 80 years extremely brief and insignificant!
Not only that our life occupy a very tiny period of time, our physical existence actually disappeared when in comparison to the vast universe.

But since the time period of our life is kept unknown as part of the intended test, we lost our focus, forgetting that this life is a real test, the one and only test that we should give our undivided attention at.

I saw today, the look of relief that some of my students had, upon walking out of the exam hall. I know that they've worked hard, they've tried their best, and they would come through with flying colours. And later they would smile with joy looking at their result.

To all my students, the exam is over and you'll be enjoying your long break.
However,  let me remind myself and you that we are still continuously being tested. It's not over yet.
Your exam will be marked, your would soon see your grade, but your sincerity, honesty and patience are the ones that we can't measure. That section of the assessment did not appear in the exam but the marks are already being recorded, in a special book. You can't carry your CGPA on the day of judgement. You and I will carry our deeds because that is the one that really matters in the eyes of Allah.

Everyday we started the lesson in class by raising our hands in prayers.We asked for guidance from the One who guide, we asked for mercy from The Most Merciful. And everyday, we ended the class by asking for forgiveness from the One who forgives.

Today, let us raise our hands again.
Let us pray for a continuous mercy, blessings and guidance from Him until the day when we return to Him. The day when the test finally ends and we can all smile with contentment, because we have done our best. When finally the score of our entire life is revealed, when the book of our deeds would be handed to us, let us pray that we would receive it with our right hands.
Let us pray that we can finally meet again in a beautiful place, our real home in paradise.
Aamiin... Ya Arhamarrahiniim..