Ustadh Tabraze Azam answers a question about a constant feeling of discouragement in studies and how to strengthen one’s aspiration.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

Sometimes I get discouraged because I feel like when I move one step forward in my studies, I feel like I also jump ten steps back. In other words, I’ll learn something new and it will stick with me like glue, but my memory is so weak that the old material loses its strength.

This is very discouraging for me. Even one of my teachers noticed it today. I feel like I am wasting their time. Alongside consistently reviewing, are there other steps that I can take to help my memory? And general advice to help maintain my himma (aspiration) even when things get rough?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I hope you are in the best of health and spirits, insha Allah.

Sidi Ibn Ata’illah al Iskandari said, “No matter is difficult if you seek it through your Lord, and nothing is easy if you seek it through yourself.”

Difficult times are to be expected. This is the dunya. However, with patience, perseverance, and a little realization, there is always a way out.

Allah Most High says:

And whoever is mindful of Allah, He will grant them a way out, and will provide for them in ways unimagined. And whoever places their trust in Allah, then Allah is their sufficiency. Allah’s affair will surely come to pass, and Allah has made a clear decree for everything. (Sura al Talaq 65:2-3)

Realize this and take the best possible means of attaining unto the goal. Consult more often regarding how and what you should review. What steps should you be taking to really benefit from the knowledge? How does it relate to other topics/subjects? Try to study/review with other students. And do everything you can to cement the material down.

Make a point to renew your intentions, seek forgiveness for yourself, parents, family, fellow students, teachers, and the entire umma, give a little in charity, strive to consistently fulfill all of your obligations, pray out of neediness, ask in blessed times and places with focus, sincerity, and conviction that you will be answered, and finally be grateful for what you already have. Allah Most High says:

If you are thankful, I will surely increase you. (Sura Ibrahim 14:7)

With time and sincerity, it will come, insha Allah. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, reminded us to seek the assistance of Allah and not to deem ourselves incapable.

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


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"Whoever guides someone to goodness will have a similar reward"-- The Prophet (Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him)