Islamic marriage advice and family advice

What is Islam’s perspective of ‘giving up’ on something?

Hi, I am turning 19 this year and even though it is a new year, I feel no sense of starting afresh due to what I am currently going through.

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After Secondary School, I manage to enter a well recognized Institution and a course which every parent would be proud to brag about. However, ever since I entered this course, my life took a turn, but for the worse.

During my secondary school days, I was a good muslim. I believed in God unconditionally because His teachings always make sense to me. I knew what benefits Solat (prayer) brings to a person. I was calm and trusted Him with my whole heart. Then, I entered to a higher institution. Life is different this time.

Due to the course I 'chose', I hardly get any sleep and am always busy trying to complete school work, pamper myself to de-stress, giving time for family and friends. Finally I gave up Solat altogether.

Now I am facing the worst nightmare of my life. Making a life changing decision. Because of the intense commitment I have to put into my course, it makes me sick mentally. I realized that I was not fit to be studying this. I begin to procrastinate, doubt my own ability, feel useless. Every time I look at my peers' work, all the more I feel ashamed of myself. Then the worst hit me.

A submission was due soon and so I have decided to put my heart and soul to it. I felt a sense of relief but no pride in my work. However, when I got my results, a 'F' was stamped in my paper. That was my breaking point. Since the results, I have yet to set foot into my school again. Every time I think about school, I feel like crying. I feel like god has done nothing but to bring me pain and to rub salt into my open wound.

I keep telling myself that God is testing me and I have to trust Him (Allah s.w.t.) but this angry feeling keeps coming back to me telling me that I was sent to earth to be His (Allah s.w.t.) 'toy'. To be made a fool of. Even though I know such thoughts are the works of the devil, I cant help but entertain them.

Every time when I think about school, I rather die then have to go back to that 'hell hole'. It has brought me nothing but fear, pain, feeling of suffocation.

I still have 2 months to complete the semester. I have submitted a request for transfer of courses but my fear has yet to subside. This 'fear' that I talk about, I myself am not sure what it is. Is it fear for failure, to face life or that my request for course transfer would be rejected?

I want to go back to the days when I am devoted to His(Allah s.w.t.) teachings. However I cant seem to bring myself to do that anymore. I feel like He (Allah s.w.t.) is picking on me and that my existence on earth was a mistake on His (Allah s.w.t.) part.

I need answers. I need to know why am I here? What is my task on earth? Is it okay to give up? Why do I feel this way? I really thank you for entertaining me. I really need answers.

- liana_julianna


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10 Responses »

  1. Ssalam Alaekum,
    First of all let me congratulate you on getting admission to a great 'course'. You have raised many points but due to less time, I'll try to focus on the one. "Fear of failure". You my bro/sis have fear of failure. You are so scared of it that you do not even want to try anything now.

    The simple solution for this is to remove any negative connotations you have associated with the the word failure. I have not seen any successful person without facing failures. And failures are nothing but life's way of telling you different lessons. Learn from the lessons from your failures and move ahead in your life.

    So what you got an 'F' on an assignment. Come on its not a big deal. I have seen people converting Ds and Fs in midterms to As in the final. So come on, a single F that too in an assignment is putting you down? I think thats not the case this F is an excuse for you to convince yourself that you are not worthy of this course. But do not let this small set back push you back. If you start getting scared of such really really really small detrimentals then how are you going to face big problems in your life. Please note, I have not used the word failure because its not. Its just that you tried something and you were not successful in this try according to your specific professor. This never means that you are a failure in that assignment/paper. It means that it was not up to mark for a single person out of 6 billion people in the world. So what, try to improve yourself that you can be up to the mark for that professor.

    Remember Allah never puts burden on a soul more than what he/she can handle. So if you are fortunate enough to be successful in this life to go to your dream school than be thankful to Allah. And the best way to be thankful to him is to offer your Salat regularly. Remember there are people who could not go to their dream schools because they could not afford it. Or they could not apply because they had not enough money to pay for the application fee{I know them personally) . So my bro/sis MashaAllah you are lucky enough to be able to get admission and continue in a program and that is from Allah(s.w.t.) be thankful to him. As far as time for salat is concerned, its simple. Salat does not take much time, Wudu helps you get refresh and salat helps you in improving your concentration. And once you have got physically refereed and your mind has moved away from the problem you were facing while studying you can come back and think from a different perspective on the problem. I think the timing of the five salats are also perfect that allow you to work for long hours from fajr to Zuhr and the interval between the Salah decrease to give your body/mind more refreshing breaks. Since you have been working from morning.

    Do not get disappointed in yourself or towards Allah(s.w.t). I think you know that through Allah's blessings and your hard work you made into your good institute. So be thankful to him and have confidence in yourself. Do not be afraid of failures, as they are just another part of life like success. If you are still afraid of failures I'll recommend you to have a look at book:
    "Great Failures of the Extremely Successful: Mistakes, Adversity, Failure and Other Stepping Stones to Success". Its a good read :-).

    I hope you have seen these videos but just a reminder.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OiaPNlR5A4I
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6hz_s2XIAU

    So failure is nothing, really nothing, just another part of life.

    Some random thoughts. Don't know if they address the specific point that bugs you but hopefully it helps.

    Take Care,

  2. As salamu alaykum liana julianna,

    I agree with everything concerned has told you.

    I would reinforce your need of a balanced diet, some carencies can lead you to those attack of fear and feeling suffocated(anxiety), you can talk to your parents and tell them you need a vitamin complex because you have been studied very hard and need a suplement(better if you consult your doctor which is the best one for you and how long you should take it, remember to drink plenty of water if he recommends the vitamins), this is just a suplement, you need to eat (fresh fruits, vegetables, cereals, dairys, meat, poultry, fish, eggs. Sugar and white flour in small quantities. Remember to chew your food slowly), exercise is good to, at least walking. If you feel you cannot handle the fear, tell your parents to take you to the doctor, I would really recommend you to strength your body if not they are going to treat just the fears, you need to build up a strong you from roots to be able to face the challenges of life.

    At the top of the page there is a label that says Duas, see the one for releasing anxiety and sorrow, may help you, insha´Allah

    You are growing up, you are building up who you are going to be, through the experiencies you are having. See the first thing I would think of doing is what concerned advise you, do your salat, that will give you confidence and will keep you balanced, you need that time to reaffirm your relationship with Allah(swt), insha´Allah.

    Get stronger and then you will see you are going through a change, why giving up? try your best, and see if it is what you want, and if it is what you want go for it with a smile in your Heart . What I learnt through experience is that sooner or later, life will test you again, do your best now and go for the next step, insha´Allah.

    You will see at the right time which is your task in this life, you will feel the need of doing something, to learn something specific, to read or listen to people that talk about a subject that traps you,... you will know at the right time, insha´Allah.

    May Allah(swt) brings Peace to your Heart, insha´Allah.

    All my Unconditional Love, Respect and Support,

    María
    IslamicAnswers.com Editor

  3. After Secondary School, I manage to enter a well recognized Institution and a course which every parent would be proud to brag about.

    I believe the problem lies here. The first question you should ask yourself is, "Did I choose this course because I am really good/passionate about it?"

    One of the greatest mistakes that parents make is forcing their children choose a major that they can brag about to others. This is a very dangerous approach. Because when you are forced to live with something that you dislike, or do not have skills for or you are not passionate about, your life actually becomes hell. First it will affect your psyche, and gradually if will affect your health.

    Unfortunately, many people see education as the way to make good livelihood. This is partially true, because in the time we are living, you need a certificate to get a job. People think that this disliking will wither away when they will get a big pay check. This is not true. The hell that you will go though because of the wrong choice is not worth the money that you will get. Trust me.

    As Muslims, we believe that rizq (provision) is from Allah. Whatever I would earn has been written down when I was in the womb of my mother. Hence, it is actually pointless to relate money with my choice of major.

    I would also like to remind you that finding something that you are passionate about is actually not easy. It is a process. People need counseling to find out what they like. It takes time. Unfortunately, high school students most of the time do not get any such help. They therefore simply try to go with the flow or simply follow what their mom and dad wants them to be.

    But once they step in the university, they start despising the choice they have made. It is good that you have detected it early. Think hard about the major you have chosen. Do not be hasty. Think if you really like this or if you have really the skills for it. If you think you have passion for something else, I would say make change. It is never too late.

    I have given you this advice from my own life. Since my childhood, I was told to become an engineer. My parents told me to become engineer, my teachers told me to become engineer. I was brainwashed so much that I could not even think I may have potential for something else. Then Allah admitted me in a good engineering school. While studying engineering, I did not like it much. I understood that I was not for engineering. But I did not have the backbone to change it. I did not have the backbone to say NO to my mom's choice in the middle. On top of that, I worked so hard I was a straight A student. Graduated with a GPA of 3.903/4.00. I became an engineer. My patents proudly say that their son is an engineer. But inside I know and Allah knows how hollow I feel.

    May Allah forgive my mom, and may Allah bless her, and may He honor her both in this world and the next world. I am grateful to Allah that I have fulfilled her wish, although I went through a hell. She did not understand the hell that I had to go though to study a subject that I did not like, and that is the only reason she wanted me to study engineering. If she understood my pain, and knowing that she loves me so much, I am sure my would have not wanted such pain for her son.

    The agony does not end here. You will get tortured in the interview process and in your job. The people who interview you, instantly understands if you are passionate about your major. Trust me, they do. And if you luckily get a job, a new torture will begin. Like Allah blessed me with a job, the pay is awesome, but I am not happy. I have heard all life that money does not buy happiness, but I am getting the practical lesson of it everyday now.

    As I said, nothing is too late. I am planning to change my career in the near future, inshallah. I will take time to find out what I love to do really, and then I will do a masters. In the meantime, I am resorting to sabr. I console myself from the following verse:

    But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not.[2:216]

    So, think hard. Make change if necessary. Pray to Allah to make you successful in the path you choose. And when you will have kids in the future, help them finding their true passion. Never mix up passion with money, because rizq is from Allah.

    • One more thing: Do not abandon salah. Below is a good article that is a very good reminder about how important salah is in our life. Actually our life should revolve around salah, salah should not revolve around our life:

      http://www.suhaibwebb.com/personaldvlpt/worship/prayer/salah-lifes-forgotten-purpose/

      And to ease you out of the trial that you are facing, I recommend you to read the following article:

      http://www.suhaibwebb.com/relationships/withthedivine/why-am-i-tested/

    • well said stranger totally agree

    • Stranger, Salaams,

      Thank you very much for sharing, you have opened your Heart and doing it , you have opened my own Heart too. Your answer is awsome, from the depths of my Heart, thank you.

      You have reminded me of my own process too, I chose a degree in Biology with the idea of going to Medicine after the first year (my mother´s dream), things got complicated, I didn´t like it, but I had put my energy into it and I didn´t want to surrender, I finished it after going through one of the worst nightmares of my life, feeling completely devastated afterwards because no way to get a job, and as you said, I didn´t have the passion, I didn´t feel it. During and after, my degree, I have studied a lot of different subjects, and just now, after many years, I´ve realized that my life has been as a big puzzle, where every piece makes sense when you put all them together, Alhamdulillah.

      Certainly, what I really appreciate from my career, is that awoke completely my scientific side, I was training myself to develop the qualities that went against my inner nature, but it really took my a while to discover and recover who I really am behind all the veils that knowledge put covering my real self.

      I hope with all my Heart that you find your own way, and think about the "Hell" you experienced as the process to learn the tools necessaries for you to become excellent in what your task in this life is. One day you will look back and you will understand why happened everything the way it did. Take advantage of your situation, now, learn as much as you can, enjoy being with people, working alone and in group, you are gaining experience in the real world, see it as you will need it in the future, it is jus other kind of training, a new lesson to learn,... insha´Allah.

      Thank you very much for being who you are.

      All my Unconditional Respect,

      María
      IslamicAnswers.com Editor

  4. SUBHANALLAH sis i had similar problems,

    I got admission in one of the best UNI in my city. In my A level I had all A+ except physics. The subject which did not make sence to me, every time i revised i only see chinese letters. When I started Uni my first semester I had all A but in one particular subject i had "D". I was raised in a very religious enviroment, but unfortunately due to the pressure of deadlines in UNI, I could not keep up with salaa. Always pray very late. English being my second language, It was slighly tough to compete with brainy student who studied like machines.

    After having D I cried so much and could not sleep. Had night mares all the time, lost weight from size 12 to 8, very fragile and un healthy. I could not digest that i could fail to that extent. Then i realised, you know what at the moment my iman is slighly inbalanced. This is not right. This is not how my dad raised me, MY DAD TOUGHT ME TO BELEIVE IN QADAR, GOOD AND BAD IS COMMING FROM ALLAH. THIS IS DEFENATELY A WAKE UP CALL.
    One night I cried to allah, and really dont know what happen, I just said to my self that it.
    I open one website and for the whole day i read FEAR, courage quotes, hahaha

    "Courage is looking fear right in the eye and saying, “Get the hell out of my way, I’ve got things to do.”

    "You don't drown by falling in water. You drown by staying there"

    "courage is not the absence of fear is knowing that fear will get you know where"

    "It is not wanting to win that makes you a winner; it is refusing to fail."

    "Anyone can give up, it's the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that's true strength.

    "Don't start your day with the broken pieces of yesterday"

    When you feel like giving up, remember why you held on for so long in the first place '

    Every great achievement was once considered impossible

    Believe you can and you're half way there.

    Never give up on what you really want to do. The person with big dreams is more powerful than one with all the facts.

    You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win

    Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal

    Now, this is a course which i wanted to do since i was a kid. After reading all this i made a plan, NEVER TO MISS MY SALAA

    ---TO DO DHIKR EVERY DAY (LA ILAHA ILLA LLAH) I beleive doing dhikr and 3ibada make you strong. like you will not have fear, and you will realise i will fight hard to attain what i want in life, but this is just a passing place, my 3ibada is far more important. This approach will make you relax and have better approach to your subjects.

    ---I Revised every day and work hard to meet my dead line.

    ---I Eat well and excecise every day.

    GUEST what my dear lovely sis, I never had a bad mark ever since all my marks were mostly A+ and minimum B+. I am a qualified health professional now. Working full time.

    PUT Allah first in everything you do, he will never let you down. HE will always stand with you. OTHERWISE THIS PROFFESION IS NOT GOOD FOR YOU OR YOUR DOING IT FOR YOUR PARENTS UNKOWINGLY. MEANING IS NOT WHAT YOU WANTED TO DO.

    AMNA

    • Salam sister

      Sister writing this comment u don't know what u have done , really thank u for ur comment it really inspired me

      I was running for my career , and coz of that left the most important thing , for a muslim that is offering Salah

      I know its a big thing , but really I was just blind seeing it

      I couldnt do justice in between my career and deen

      I deeply regret that but couldnt do anything for it

      Now reading ur comment it really help me and insah allah I will try to not miss my Salah and if I did offer khazah for that

      Insah allah by doing so , I really feel that I could achieve my target in this world and jannah in akhira

      Plz pray for me that I don't loose my track and be mislead by shaitaan

      Thank u for ur above comment sister

  5. Thanks trueblood,

    Let me make you lough, you know what after all this, when i started to pray on time, wallah i felt on top of the world, and i felt if i can maintain my salaah when i have all this pressure of exam and course work on me , I can concor anything. All the fear of failing went out of the window. I was confident and focus on my main goals all the time.

    Other funny thing i felt like allah is on my side.

    Sister Julian put trust on allah, perform your 3ibadah, work hard you will be absolutely be fine. There is big secret in doing 3ibada, most important one is by doing them, you will feel peace inside you and arround you and nothing can shake you. Because you have that close relationship with allah.

    Trust me you are much stronger that me, if I can do it, you certainly can do it.

    Amna

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