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Finding Balance

by Ahmed Rab

As a Muslim medical student in America, I believe a fundamental goal is finding a balance between our personal, academic, and religious goals. We often are taught to be the ‘best’ at whatever we do, yet it requires a certain level of discipline. This discipline requires careful planning and scheduling. For me, I have found the most beneficial days are those in which I am able to make my prayers on time. While we are often busy with class, homework, and extracurriculars, by revolving our days around salah, we are able to make sure we increase the Baraqa in all that we do. It was narrated that Abdullah bin Masood (RA) said: I asked Allah’s Messenger (PBUH), “Which action is most beloved to Allah?” He said, “Establishing prayer on time, honoring one’s parents and Jihad in the cause of Allah.” (Hadith No. 612, Sunan An-Nasa’i). There are many moments in which courses, labs, and other events conflict with our prayer times. I have found that teachers and professors are extremely receptive to religious obligations if we take the time to explain the importance beforehand and work out a schedule with them. For example, I have been able to make up ‘mandatory’ class in order to attend Jummah on Fridays. Open communication and dialogue with faculty is crucial for increasing awareness and dialogue in having our peers and teachers understand our individual identities.

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To be a ‘good’ Muslim in modern society is quite a struggle. I have found that my peers and I often have a diverging idea of what to do for ‘fun’. It is incredibly important to be firm in one’s beliefs so as to help others understand what you are allowed and not allowed to do. By being confident and open about your values, people are more receptive to understand where you come from and why you practice what you do. It has been a blessing for me to make friends who are kind-hearted and share similar values, even if we do not share the same faith. At the core of it all, respect, compassion, and humanity are all universal ideas that are valuable in all cultures.

Though our schedules are often packed with work, finding time to give back helps add meaning to our monotonous daily tasks. Being successful alone has little meaning if we don’t share our time and blessings with those in our community. The Prophet (S) said, “Whoever relieves a believer’s distress of the distressful aspects of this world, Allah will rescue him from a difficulty of the difficulties of the Hereafter.” (Reported in Muslim). Community service is a vital component to finding the balance between all that is on our plates. There are multiple ways one can give back and it doesn’t have to be time consuming. Helping out at local Majid events, teaching others beneficial knowledge, and volunteering at local shelters/food banks require only a few hours, yet make tangible differences to improve the lives of those around us. At the basic core, treating others with respect and smiling can be an act of charity if done so with the right intention.

These times are challenging, and being Muslim in America requires us to represent our faith in the best light that we can. Our character and good behavior will be the imprints and impressions that our neighbors in our communities will have of us. Finding balance and being patient with those around us is incredibly important as we get older. The feeling of being overwhelmed is something I have experienced along with many of my close friends. It is imperative to work on our goals each day and not lose sight of the bigger picture. While we can never obtain perfection, striving to do so will only bring us closer to it. In the Quran it is stated, “…And whoever fears Allah – He will make for him a way out. And will provide for him from where he does not expect. And whoever relies upon Allah – then He is sufficient for him. Indeed, Allah will accomplish His purpose. Allah has already set for everything a [decreed] extent.” (65:2-3). So when we feel overwhelmed, it is relieving to know that Allah (SWT) will provide for us a way out as long as we rely on Him and make sincere dua and work towards our goals. May we all find benefit in our time and perfect balance in all that we do inshAllah.

About the Author

Ahmed Rab is a current second year medical school student in Virginia. He has completed his Masters of Public Health in New York following his undergraduate studies. He is passionate about effective communication and started Stony Brook Universities Speech and Debate Society. During his free time, he enjoys spending time with his friends and family and remaining active.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Tariq

    January 20, 2018 at 11:45 PM

    Very enlightening. Thank you. May Allah bless you and your time and efforts.

  2. Avatar

    Farz

    December 17, 2018 at 5:12 AM

    Definetly relate to this! Shukran.

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