The Pressure to Succeed

853279_star.jpgAssalamu-Alaykum (Peace be Upon you)

Well it’s that time of the year again…

The time of tears, the time of joy, the time of pain – the time of running around like a manic depressive, pulling your hair out at the same time and screaming at every person that asks you…

“So did you pass?”

I am of course talking about the wonderfully agonising event of exam results! Why, what were you thinking?(!)

With top grades at both A-Level and GCSE getting higher and higher every year (they must be getting easier!), the standard is improving, which means that the pressure that parents put on their children to succeed is getting more and more intense.

If I cast my mind back to the sunny days of my evergreen childhood (!), feelings of being compared to others, disappointed parents and annoyed teachers come to mind (and no, I’m not talking about my experiences on the cricket pitch!)

And then I remember about the efforts of my parents to kick the laziness out of me and study so that I can “become somebody.” And alhumdulillah (all Praise belongs to Allah), through their efforts and Duas (supplications), I have realised the value of education and how it has helped me improve and further myself.

Now after having said all that, I would still say that my parents were pretty chilled alhumdulillah, (maybe they just got tired of shouting at me!)

Unfortunately not all parents are like that and there are some parents that put so much pressure on their children to succeed that the children feel overwhelmed and stressed – and as we all know what stress can do to adults, just imagine the effect on children. Indeed, a recent article that I read pointed towards a study which found out that these days, more and more children are becoming stressed – a concept that was alien in respect of children in my day (and I’m not that old!).

However, parents cannot be blamed – entirely…

You see, for me, it all boils down to what you define as success. And yes, as nonsensical as it may seem, everybody has their own definition.

When we start confining and defining success as something which can only be attributable to this finite, material world. then we, not just Muslims – but as humankind – will invariably run into difficulties.

But Allah’s definition of success, the ultimate definition for the whole of humanity is that the successful person is he or she, who has been saved from the Fire of Jahannam (Hell) and been entered into Jannah (Paradise). A definition which spans both the worlds.

And yes,it is a universally accepted fact that everybody will pass from this world one day.

Indeed, it is the most certain thing about life. However, Islam teaches that we do not forsake this world, but that we treat it with calmness and respect and remember that whatever we sow in this temporary abode will be reaped in the Akhirah (Hereafter), and so we must strike a balance – a balance which pleases Allah.

So parents (here comes the disclaimer!), I am not saying that we shouldn’t educate our children – oh no no no!

What I am saying is that we should try our darndest (!) but remember that in the end, the Will of Allah will always prevail, and a person will only receive what has been written for him written for him or her – whatever is in their Taqdeer (Pre-destination).

So may Allah give us the Taufiq (Divine aid) to try our hardest, but also the Yaqeen (belief) that what will ultimately happen is what Allah wills.

And Allah knows best.

Ma’as-salaam

Bookmark and Share

Leave a Reply

You can use these XHTML tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <strong>