My success is only by Allah (swt) In Him I trust, and Unto Him I return.
End of year exams can be a challenging time for everyone, but this year has been especially stressful, thanks to the interruptions caused by the global pandemic. Most of you have had to adjust to remote lessons which have been tough and different, but thankfully, the year is almost over.
As Muslims, we have several remedies available to help reduce our levels of stress including reciting or listening to the Quran, performing salaah and additional nafl salaah, and making lots of Duah. Here are some simple yet effective tips to help you get through this stressful time as well as some useful Duahs to recite.
1. Start with a strong intention
Always purify your intention by starting with Bismillah. As Muslims, we begin all our actions in the name of Allah (swt) to remember that everything is for His sake and hope that we will be successful, rewarded, and blessed.
Part of your intention should also focus on your environment. Find a place to study that has enough light and no distractions. Different things will work for different people so think carefully about what will help you feel comfortable and focussed and take the time to get it right.
2. Never underestimate the power of Duah
In the Qu’ran, Allah (swt) encourages us “To call upon Him, He will respond to you” (Surah Ghafir). Remember that one of the best times to make Duah is at the time of Tahajjud - after Isha (the obligatory nightly prayer) and before Fajr (the obligatory morning prayer).
Here are some useful Duahs to recite before and during your exams.
Duah to gain knowledge
رَّبِّ زِدْنِي عِلْمًا
Rabbi Zidni Ilma
“My Lord Increase me and increase me in knowledge.”
Duah to help you revise
“اللهُمَّ لا سَهْلَ إلا مَا جَعَلتَهُ سَهْلا وَ أنتَ تَجْعَلُ الحزْنَ إذا شِئْتَ سَهْلا.
Allahumma la sahla illa ma ja’altahu sahla, wa ‘anta taj-alul hazna idha shi’ta sahla
“O Allah! There is nothing easy except what You make easy, and You make the difficult easy if it is Your Will”.
Duah when taking an exam
اللَّهُمَّ لاَ سَهْلاً إِلّاَ مَا جَعَلّتَهٌ سَهْلاً وَأَنّتَ تَجّعَلَ الحَزَنَ إِذَا شِئتَ سَهْلاً
Allahumma la sahla ila ma ja’altahu sahla wa’antataj-alul hazna idha shi’ta sahla.
“O Allah, nothing is easy except what You make easy. And if You wish, You make the difficult easy”.
Duah to help remove anxiety and feelings of nervousness
اللَّهُمَّ إنِّي أعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْهَمِّ وَ الْحَزَنِ ، وَ الْعَجْزِ وَ الْكَسَلِ ، وَ الْبُخْلِ وَ الْجُبْنِ ، وَ ضَلَعِ الدِّيْنِ وَ غَلَبَةِ الرِّجَالِ
Allahumma inni a’oothubika minul hammi walhazani wal aajzi walkasali walbhukhi waljubni wa dhala – id dhayni wa ghabatir-rijool.
“O Allah! Certainly, I seek refuge in you from concern and grief and I seek refuge in you from inability and laziness, and I seek refuge in you from cowardice and miserliness and I seek refuge in you from the overpowering of debts and from the subjection of man.”
Duah when studying something difficult
صَلّىَ اللهُ عَلى مُحَمّدٍ وَآلِ مُحَمّد. اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْألُكَ يَا مُذَكِرَ الخَيْرِ وَفَاعِلَهُ وَالآمِرَ بِهِ ذَكِرّنِي مَا اَنّسَانِهِ الشّيطَان
Salla-l-laahu alaa Muhammad wa aal-e Muhammad. Allahumma inni as’aluka yaa mudhakkira-l khayr wa faa’ilahu wa-l-aamimira bihi dhakir-ni maa ansaani-hi-shaytan.
“O Allah! Nothing is easy except what You have made easy. If You wish, You can make the difficult easy. Allahumma la sahla illama ja-‘altahu sahla wa anta taj ‘alu al hazana etha shi’ta sahla”.
3. Pray your salaah on time
It is easy to become absorbed in your studies and forget about your other commitments. Remember, your five daily prayers will literally take 30 minutes of your day. A good way to make sure you don’t miss any is to space your revision around the salaah times so that you can pray during a break time. Not only will this add barakah to the rest of your day, but you will find you feel less stressed and can sleep better at night after you have prayed.
4. Engage in additional Nafl salaah
Performing Salatul Hajah is advisable for anyone seeking Allah’s (swt) help with a problem. Simply make Wadhu and then recite the following Duah after making two rakaats of Salaah;
لا إِلَهَ إلاَّ اللهُ الحَلِيمُ الكَرِيمُ، سُبْحَانَ اللهِ رَبِّ الْعَرْشِ العَظِيمِ ، الحَمْدُ لِلهِ رَبِّ العَالَمِيْنَ ، أَسْأَلُكَ مُوجِبَاتِ رَحْمَتِكَ ، وَعَزَائِمَ مَغْفِرَتِكَ ، وَالْغَنِيمَةَ مِنْ كُلِّ بِرّ،ٍ وَالسَّلامَةَ مِنْ كُلِّ إِثْمٍ ،لاَ تَدَعْ لِيْ ذَنْباً إِلاَّ غَفَرْتَهُ، وَلاَ هَمَّاً إِلاَّ فَرَّجْتَهُ، وَلاَ حَاجَةً هِيَ لَكَ رِضاً إِلاَّ قَضَيتَهَا يَا أَرْحَمَ الرَّاحِمِيْنَ
A ilaha ilal-la hul halimul karim. subhanal-lahil rabbil arshil azim. alhamdulilahi rabbil alamin. as aluka mujibati rahmatik. wa azaima magfiratik, wal ganimata min kuli birr, was-salamata min kuli ithm la tada li dhamban illa ghafartah wa la hamman illa farajtah, wala hajatan hiya laka ridan illa qadiytaha ya arhamar rahimin.
“There is no god but Allah, the most forbearing, most bountiful, glory be to Allah, Lord of the magnificent throne. All praises are for Allah, Lord of the Universe. I beg you for all that causes your mercy, determines Your forgiveness, a wealth of every form of piety and security from every sin. O’Allah, do not leave any sin of mine but that you have forgiven it, nor any worry but that you have uplifted it, nor any need which conforms with your pleasure but that you have fulfilled it, O most merciful of all that show mercy”.
5. Stay healthy
Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet will keep your focussed and energised. Make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated and eat regular snacks when studying. Try and stay away from foods that are high in sugar. Instead, consider eating foods that are proven by the Sunnah of our Prophet (saw), such as honey, olives, figs, dates, and pomegranates. These are not only healthy but will also enhance your memory and improve concentration.
6. Be grateful
No matter the outcome of your exams, remember that it is both a blessing and a lesson from Allah (swt). As Allah (swt) explains in the Qu'ran, "If we are grateful, then He will surely increase us in his favour", so always be thankful and humble for the opportunities that you have been given.