Baby Squirrel

Baby Squirrel: Photo courtesy of:

We are sitting in a large classroom, the kindergarten class is graduating, and the children are putting on a vocal presentation about animals, Shireen is a squirrel with a big furry tail, Tariq is in my arms and is entranced into silence, my mother is by my side…………….

It seems like the middle part of graduation in my life, went into fast-forward and ground to a creaking halt four years ago………It started back with a keen sensitivity to every moment of graduation in life 101.

I am opening the invitation to the “Hooding Ceremony” which is the procedure where a medical student moves one step forward and along with the hood accepts all the responsibilities, honor and challenges that will face him or her as a Doctor.

Graduation… supposed to be a gradual process, proceeding slowly, but all of mine have been sudden, and intense.  I have been hurled from one phase of my life into next. From medical student to Doctor, from Doctor to wife, from wife to mother, from mother to a grieving mother, and from Ghafala to Hidaya…….I hope.

These are all the visible graduations of my life, grossly summarized in events rather than sentiment.

The most important though silent part of graduation in Life is the graduation that Tariq and Ammi have already made. The stealth passage of time is firmly pushing me forward, either to the next step forward of hidaya or a step back into ghafala.

It is the five reminders per day that I rush to meet, and many times am tardy on that are reminders of my ticking inner clock. With every second I am graduating either one step closer to my goal of achieving access to the Gardens or one step closer to the universally feared destination of Jahannum.

If I do not have these five reminders the distractions of daily living, the obligations of food: preparing it, desiring it and eating it, the demands of others, the obligations towards patients and family sometimes draw the curtain on my graduation, veiling the distance I have from the precipice. It is pause of the five daily reminders that gently and kindly inform me that sooner or later I will no longer have the ability or power to write in the book of my deeds, which propels me into action.

Medical school grads

Medical school grads

So  what do I say to my loved ones graduating from medical school? Here is what  I would say:

Congratulations on graduating into one of the finest services of Allah.

May He (Subhanawataala/God Almighty) give you shifa in your hands and guide them to bring solace, comfort and healing to your patients.

May your heart remain soft and compassionate even after you have seen the same disease and heard the same complaints from the same person a hundred times, may you be patient with the constantly complaining patients and remember that Allah Subhanawataala is patient with each of us who constantly complain to Him.

May your patients or your peers never disappoint you when they are thankless of your sleepless night given to their care, and know that you graduated a few more steps toward the Gardens of Jannah by relegating all your efforts for the sake of Allah.

On those days when you are hero-worshipped or heroine worshipped and elevated to the top of a pedestal, do remember Him (Subhanawataala) who got you there, and ignited the admiration in the eyes of the onlookers. As a gesture of gratitude give sadaqa and remain humble in the face of extreme praise.

Never for one second take for granted your intellect, the health of your mind and body and time.  Thus five times a day give thanks to your Creator letting him know that you take nothing for granted not ever the air you breath and the continuously beating, never tiring heart that He (Subhanawataala) gave you and filled it with love, compassion and mercy.

As you walk on air and “tread water” in the halls of the hospitals, remember, “We come from him and unto Him we shall return”.

Treat your mind and body gently and with care because it is an amana (a loan) from Allah Subhanawataala, Do not mistreat it with food, drink, nor contaminate your brain and heart with seeing things or hearing things which He has disallowed us.

He (God Almighty) has told all mankind in the Quran and I paraphrase: “I have forbidden you only those things that are harmful for you” so even if you may not have scientific evidence of something in your finite intelligence at this time about his command regarding something, know that what He (Almighty) has told us in the Quran is good for us.

In your travels in the halls of health and illness, you will meet many people whose hearts have hardened and they are callous to human suffering, or are outright disobedient to Allah and flagrantly display their arrogance………..Remember that you cannot change them, thus stay away from them as they will harm you in the long run, but do pray for their guidance. You cannot be everything to everyone. Choose to be obedient to Allah first and last.

I will not say take time out for the five time salaat, but I will say plan your day around the time of salaat, for it is in those moments of salaat that you get a glimpse of your report card sometimes, and sometimes you are yanked back from the Fire and many times you are wrapped in His mercy and protection………………..

So when you make your daily schedule, remember to start with your salaat because you are in a perpetual state of graduation and it is you who need a self check of which direction you are taking.

Planning your day, week and months is the boon and the bane of a new Doctor, as he and she are literally yanked in all directions. Have the tools for your salaat close to you at all time, a place, a mindset and a direction and a committed inviolable time slot.

May your home be blessed with a sanctuary………..a place where if you go to pray, your spouse and your visitors know you are not to be disturbed.

He Subhanawataala is closer to you than your jugular vein, just stop five times a day and in the quietness of salaah feel his presence in your life and gather the hasanaat and Mercy as you continuously graduate in Life towards the Hereafter, inshallah with Honors.

With much love,


14 thoughts on “GRADUATION…….

  1. Pingback: 2010 in review « Siraat-e-Mustaqeem

  2. Assalamualaikum!

    I read ur blog quite often n I say…u r an amazing inspiration to me

    I have bookmarked this page n I read it as n when I feel down or stressed with studies.Looking forward to the day when I can take my Hippocrates oath.

    May Allah show us all the right path always! 🙂



  3. Hi Charles,
    My sincere apologies, the credit must have been lost in the update of the post, or I forgot to type it in, please accept my apologies and thank you for letting me use this beautiful picture.


  4. walaikum asalaam wa rahmatullah he wa barakatahu Bint e Islam,
    I am delighted for anything I can do for anyone even in the blogospherre, but do remember that I am just another human being, thus be sure to check the Quran and Hadith to make sure that what I am writing is authentic, and if not…….. write in the comment section to remind me.

    Jazaaik Allah Khair for your kind words and duas.


  5. assalamualaikum wa rehmatullah,

    i have been reading your blog since two months and alhumdolillah i get enough of the inspiration for my spiritual growth from you (jazakillahu khairun) which i am questing and looking for all around; whatever i can lay my hands on and i feel blessed that Allah gave me this oportunity to read you and learn from your blog.

    congratulations on your graduation and amen ya Rabbal alameen to your prayers.


  6. Walaikum asalaam JQ, It is a pleasure to hear from you.
    Your duas are always potent and brimming with love, kindness and genuine good will.
    Ameen to all of them and may they reflect on to your own dear children manifold.
    Jazaaik Allah Khair.


  7. ASAK Asma,
    I congratulate you on this joyous occasion & am very happy for you.As my father used to do dua for me, likewise I give dua to Shireen…may The Ash-Shafe’e give the power of healing in her hands just as He had given Jesus the power of healing ( thru Him of course). May Allah make her & Tim the comfort of your eyes.Ameen.
    Asma, please remember me & my kids in your duas.


  8. Walaikum asalaam wa rahmatullah e wa barakatahu! USM
    As far as I know there is no harm in meeting the gaze as long as one does not stare or is flirtatious, meanwhile you can be writing the history of the patient.

    Dress, demeanour, body language all tells the male colleagues that you are confident, businesslike but compassionate, but not available for flirtations. Cut the conversation cord if it starts to border on being personal or sexist or patronizing, without being rude.
    Shaking hands: avoid it if you can, I have noticed that no one tries to shake hands with a woman in hijab. however some people still try to hug you:( no matter what, Allah knows your intent.

    Tea breaks are great opportunities for dawah. I often tell a story from Hasan Al Basri, or RasoolAllah pbuh regarding some aspect of the patient disease or social problems facing society.
    Be careful not to be preachy.

    A great example today is the act of washing hands taught by Rasool Allah pbuh 1400 years ago………….it is a state of the art recommendation to prevent spread of infection (swine flu, etc).

    When people gossip about someone, ask if they heard it first hand? and what advantage is it to humanity to pass on this information.

    You may weed out some people from your social circle but the ones you keep will be the respectful ones.

    One thing that I don’t personally like about muslima medics is that they seem to think someone should wait on them, because they are female and that is irritating…………so do the act that differentiates a good muslim from an average one:
    ” A good muslim leaves the place he or she visits in a much better condition than he or she found it”
    Allah knows best and He knows what is in our hearts and how hard we are trying.

    Inshallah Allah Subhanawataala will help us and guide us if we continuously ask for His help.

    My prayers for you are that may Allah Subhanawataala make it easy for you to function daily in your profession and that he accept each act of compassion from you as an act of dawah, and shower you with His blessings.

    Please keep me in your prayers.


  9. Hina, thank you, jazaaik Allah Khair, I missed my mother today so much she would have been so happy! May Allah Subhanawataala grant her jannah.


  10. Aslaamu Alaikum Aunty,

    SubhanAllah I really needed to read this today. But there are these niggling questions that play and make me feel like I am putting other people before the rules of Allah as a muslimah medic. Please tell me what you think and how you deal with it…..
    1. Lowering the gaze…almost imposible when dealing with patients who have a story to tell. Also masle colleagues tend to be more troublesome if they think your a shy muslim woman.
    2. Shaking hands with male senior colleagues and patients.
    3. Tea breaks- conversations are anything but professional.

    cant think of naything more right now- have had a long and tiring day and have ended up feeling very hypocritical. any advice?

    remember me in your dua’s


  11. What wonderful advice. Alhamdulillah. Congratulations to all the grads, their parents and families at this joyous time!

    With love, prayers and best wishes to all.


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