They Stole My Sleep

// July 16th, 2007 // Blog

(Update: But Allāh Gave Me Hope)

I deleted the original entry of the same name, soon after i posted it at 4am this morning. In it, i basically complained about a pickle of a mess that i am in with one of my PhD projects. I was quite upset about it at the time, so much so, that i couldn't sleep (hence the title), so i wrote about it here, to try and vent. Alhamdulillah, in that sense, it worked, but once i got on the prayer mat a few minutes later, for Fajr (dawn) prayer, i started to regret what i had written, simply because i knew it was an exercise in futility. None of you can help me with my problem, other than to offer a few words of sympathy – but i don't need your sympathy, i need help! And i know that the only one who can help me, is Allāh. Of course, i have to do my part as well (in this case, chase up some people who are messing me about), but really, all along with this particular problem – in fact, with this entire PhD – i have had to turn to Allāh for help, when everyone else is turning away from me; running away, sometimes.

In fact, the two lessons i will, inshā’Allāh, take with me from this whole PhD experience, are:

1) What it means to be a Muslim – i was pretty clueless before i started in the lab, but you all know the story.

2) What it means to have tawakkul – trust in Allāh. Really, during the past 3,5 years, i have lost faith in everyone, and everything, including myself, but never in Allāh. It is as if every constant that i have been 'relying' on all these years, including my self-delusion about being an intelligent, competent human being, has been stripped away through trial after trial, failure after miserable, agonizing failure, until i have been left with this tiny, little ember of faith in my Creator, and nothing else. That tiny, little ember is all that is keeping me from losing it completely. I do not kid!

That is why i will never, ever, ever regret taking on this project. Even if, GOD FORBID, i should fail, and be subject to the abject humiliation that accompanies such a failure, i will still have 'graduated' with something far more useful to me than two letters in front of my name: my imaan, my deen, and my Lord.

After making some heartfelt prayers, i lay on my bed, stared at my ceiling, and started to think some more about the project that is causing me so much strife. Alhamdulillah, after a lot of talking out loud to myself (i don't care if you look at me funny, cos i know you do it too!) i think i have figured out a plan B, inshā’Allāh. I definitely feel a lot better than i did a few hours ago, and i don't think that is a coincidence.

An ayah that caught my attention this morning (i actually read it yesterday, but must have been too dopey at the time to appreciate it, so it felt like i was reading it for the first time today!):

If only they had been content with what Allāh and His Messenger gave them, and had said, “Sufficient unto us is Allāh. Allāh and His Messenger will soon give us of His bounty: to Allāh do we turn our hopes!” (that would have been the right course).

Surah At-Taubah, Ayah 59.

The words “to Allāh do we turn our hopes”, in Arabic: إِنَّا إِلَى اللّهِ رَاغِبُونَ, made me smile; that is basically the content of my entire entry condensed into seven, little words; four, if you can read the Arabic!

Allahu akbar.

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