Dr Hasham Ahmad, UK
In 2012, I was in my first year of medical school in Aberdeen, Scotland. For me, this was the other side of the UK as I had grown up in London, and so this was far from home. My financial situation was such that costs were high and I was struggling as a student. Medicine was my second degree and my tuition fees were £9000 a year.
There was an occasion where I had booked my flight to travel back to London for the holidays, however, my Qaid [local youth leader] telephoned me to let me know of the date for my regional Ijtema [gathering]. I stated that I had already booked my flights and that it may be difficult to attend, however, my Qaid encouraged me to attend. I remember looking at the adjustment fees for the flight which turned out to be about £60, so I briefly thought that perhaps this will please Allah and changed my flights. I have to emphasise that I had only briefly thought that this may please Allah, and forgot about the costs. I barely spent more than 10 minutes thinking about this, adjusted my plans accordingly and continued with my life.
Roughly one week later I received a call from my sister, who was at home in London, to say that I had received a letter. I requested her to open the letter and read it. It was from my University who had granted me a scholarship for £3000. In that moment I fell to my knees. I remember knowing that Allah was there and that he had rewarded me because of a simple action. I was so humbled that I had only spent £60 in the way of Allah and here, He had rewarded me with £3000. It was an incredible help for the entire year, and through His grace, Allah the Almighty continued to help me financially throughout my entire 5 years at Medical School.
One May criticise and suggest that this was coincidence. However, I cannot explain the feeling of conviction – knowing that this was a sign from God Almighty. Many people in the world today chase the aspect of financial strength, and being able to provide for themselves and their families. In that moment it was a reminder to me that Allah is the ultimate Provider, and if you spend in His way then there is no doubt that He will take care of you.
This event showed me the power of small steps towards God, and reminds me of the the saying of the Holy Prophet (sa):
‘My Lord says, “If My servant comes nearer to me for a span, I go nearer to him for a cubit; and if he comes nearer to Me for a cubit, I go nearer to him for the span of outstretched arms; and if he comes to Me walking, I go to him running.”‘Sahih al-Bukhari Hadith #7536
Upon reflection, I would like to emphasise that one does not know with which action and when Allah may be pleased. It is our duty as His servants to continue to strive in attaining His pleasure and nearness. Whenever He rewards, He rewards in abundance and in such a way that it breaks His servant’s arrogance and humbles the individual. I only share this personal experience so that it may inspire the faith of others and encourage people to believe and serve our Lord Almighty. May Allah enable us to be amongst those whom He is most pleased with, Ameen.
About the Author: Dr Hasham Ahmad (MBChB BSc (Hons)) is a doctor currently working in the NHS.