My name is Habib Rahman. I am a Muslim. By what my parents taught me when I was a kid, was that after our death, there would be a day where we would be rewarded for our good deeds; there would be a day where we would be punished for our sins. We will have to answer our God, Allah, why we did what. That day would be the Day of Judgment. As I grow up however, the society is teaching me something different. They are instilling me to a totally different idea; the Day of Judgment is the day my results would come out.
“Oh brother, my son scored a ninety percent! How about your son?”
That’s a common question we have to deal with as soon as our examination results are published. What difference does it make if I scored way less than your son did? Does that make me a loser for life?
I studied hard. I sat for my exams and I am still sweating every time I think of my results. Will I fail? Will I pass with low marks? Will I be accepted in the society?
I woke up. It was morning. The birds were chirping the same tune, which seemed gloomier than ever that day. After brushing my teeth I went to my mother, who was offering her prayers at that time. A bit later she asked me to do breakfast, which I could not do. Not because she made vegetable soup, but I had this feeling that I will not be able to swallow anything despite being so hungry.
There was just a minute remaining for my results to be published. My eyes didn’t move at all from the computer screen, on which my scores will pop up anytime now. That was the longest sixty seconds of my life so far.
Finally something happened. In spite of being a really fast reader I moved my eyes real slow and read what popped up in the screen.
Date: 25th of August, 2016.
Candidate Name: Habib Rahman
Results: Seven A grades, one B grade
I was supposed to jump out of joy. Instead, I sat there, while tears of joy flowed like waterfalls from my eyes. I did it. I made my dad proud.
That day was the best day of my life. I made it. Not only I partied with my friends, that was the day my father told me how much happy he is with my results.
It was a long tiring day after all, I should go to sleep.
I woke up with the blissful thought that my mother would hug me for being the perfect son and call me for breakfast. She was offering her prayers.
“Mother are you thanking Allah for what He gave me?”
“I am praying for your results. You should do breakfast and pray too.”
What the hell? What did she mean? What happened?
I looked at the calendar. 25th of August. Something was definitely wrong.
I calmed myself down. It was just a reverie. It was time for my results to come out. “Good dreams may mean upcoming good news sometimes,” my mother told me.
The screen popped up with some information. It was not the same screen I saw in my dreams.
Date: 25th of August, 2016.
Candidate Name: Habib Rahman
Results: 5 C grades, 2 D grades and 1 E grade.
Without rushing out of the house with the shame that I failed as a son, as a student, and as a human, I closed the door. I looked at my dear mother’s face for one last time.
I tied my throat to the ceiling with a rope. I kicked the chair till I suffocated. Suffocated till I stopped breathing, and woke up again.
This time it was not morning yet.
4:23 AM, 25th of August, 2016.
Life was playing a game with me. The first two were dreams for sure. Not this one.
I tried myself to go back to sleep. That didn’t work. There was nothing in the world that could make me think of something else. Maybe there was one thing. I tried to recollect my first dream. Every second of its thought meant joy to me.
Soon it was time for Fajr Prayers. I cried my heart out to Allah, and asked Him to not ruin my future. I requested Him to decorate my life with stars that would make it shine all time.
Then I realized something. What difference does it make if I scored straight C’s except of A’s? Yes, my parents did spend a huge portion of their money on me so that I could shine, and help them to move on with their life. Yes, my father did sweat months after months while he took me to tuition classes and had to wait for me. Yes, my father did whatever he could, so that I could make him happy.
But what will happen if I score A’s instead of C’s? The society will be happy for me? They won’t do one percent of what my parents did. My parents worked hard for me, not them. Therefore, if I score good marks, that would be dedicated to my parents, not them. I completely agree that I deserve to gift my parents’ good scores which they wished for. But my parents would never…wait. No parents would ever wish for their child to be unhappy.
If I fail to score up to expectations, that doesn’t define who I am. IGCSE O Levels was my first exam in life.
“Oh your son Habib failed to do good in his first exam of life…how do you even expect him to score much better marks in future?”
Dear society, my marks don’t define who I am. You hypnotized me. Instead of worrying whether I broke my father’s heart, I have to worry more about your unpleasant comments that would hurt my parents. What a myth you invented in today’s generation. Wow.
If I scored bad marks in Biology, I will try to improve my marks. If I can’t improve my marks, then I will do something else with my life. Nobody’s going to kill me if I am not a good student. You can tell people about your son’s results, but you can’t somehow manage to cooperate with education boards to bring subjects some of us wants to study, yet we can’t, due to its unavailability.
Yes, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerburg, etc. were dropouts from Harvard. Just because I am not from Harvard, does it mean I can’t make an exception? Who are you — a time traveller?
It was almost time for my results to come on the screen. I asked my mother to join me. Today, after a few minutes, what will happen will happen because it was destined to happen. My results day is not my Day of Judgment.
If I failed as a student, doesn’t mean I failed as a son. Dear Society, today is not the Day of Judgment. With all due respect, I do not give you the permission to judge me. My parents can judge me. Allah can judge me. My teachers can judge me. But not you. When you want to judge a person by their results and comment on those scores, you have to earn it. How to earn it, you ask me? First learn to accept the fact that it is He, Allah is the one who put me in this position, and He, the Almighty can put you too a difficult position too. If you lose your job, I won’t judge you by that. Because my manners don’t teach me that.
Just like Bill Gates was destined to be the richest person on Earth, everyone is destined to do something they were born for. You, dear society do not have to worry about that. And if you think your actions are what will solve all problems of the world, the Earth would have been a very peaceful place to live in by now.