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Prayers for Tests



Reply Date

Jan 03, 2017


Hello, I'm a student in high school and have my exams coming up. Besides working hard and performing prayers, what more can I do to achieve success in my exams? For instance, one of my friends gave me this surah called durud al abideen, which she said that one has to read it for 41 days after the night time prayer to help achieve their particular goal. If this is true, can you please send me this surah? My sister who works hard - a lot - for her studies, does not achieve success in her exams, even after studying day and night! By the way, she is not a regular performer of prayers. So, could you please tell me what can I do? Also, please tell me the names of the books having English translation of all the correct information of many important topics in Islam. Many people around me have different opinions about different topics, so I'm not able to get the right information because I get confused. Alhamdu-li-Allah, I'm happy with whatever Allah has given me even when it is concerned with my marks. I feel that I'm not doing my best to thank Him or obey Him, but now I've realized it and insha’Allah I will be a good Muslim. Thanks a lot.



Asalamu Alaikum Sumayya, 

Thank you for contacting About Islam with your question. May Allah reward you abundantly for your interest in knowing your religion. 

As for the first point of your question, there isn’t any surah (chapter) in the holy Quran named “durud al abideen”.

But since “durud” in your dialect means dua (supplication), then perhaps you simply mean a certain kind of dua.

In all cases, in Islam we do not treat dua in the way that you mention. 

In fact, this is a good chance to draw your attention to the fact that you should be careful not to practice bid’a (innovation in religion). 

Bid’a is any manner or method of worshiping God, that has no solid roots in the Prophetic sunnah or the Quran.

Such an attitude is forbidden in Islam. You might be doing this by the way you are seeking success in this life or the hereafter. On the other hand, you will definitely find abundant means for success, in this life and the hereafter, through following the authentic sunnah (example of the prophet). 

For example, there is the salat (prayer) called salat al-hajah (prayer of need) and some supplications suitable to say say for exams. You can find details in this link: What Supplication Helps with Studying?

However, I would like to inform you that in Islam we do not have the idea of “salvation” where Allah gives us what we pray for without us making the effort ourselves.

Therefore, on all levels of success, you have to work for it. Success in Islam is based on two things: Asking for help from Allah (SWT), and working hard and exerting effort with all dedication. 

So Sumayya, in your case, if you want to succeed, you must study as much as you can. Then, ask Allah to guide you to success. A true Muslim will gain nothing till he or she has established both points. 

In relation to your sister’s exams, I see that, in such a case, I must draw your attention to the idea of satisfaction. A Muslim must be satisfied with all that Allah gives him. He or she should always believe that it’s all good even if he or she doesn’t see it. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him-PBUH) said: 

Strange are the ways of a believer, for there is good in every affair of his. And this is not the case with anyone else, except in the case of a believer, for if he has an occasion to feel delight, he thanks [God], thus there is a good for him in it, and if he gets into trouble and shows resignation [and endures it patiently], there is a good for him in it. (Sahih Bukhari and Muslim) 

Allah tests His servants through good and bad things, through adversity and prosperity. Sometimes, afflictions might be a result of one’s sins and one’s keeping away from the path of Allah. In this context, we have the verse that says:

{Whatever misfortune happens to you, is because on the things your hands have wrought, and for many (of them) He grants forgiveness.} (Quran 42:30

However, if you are keeping to the path of Allah, then these tests should be seen as a means to give God’s servants reward and high degrees in Paradise. Our Prophet (PBUH) said: 

The people most subject to affliction are the Prophets, then come the righteous. and after them come the best people, all according to his goodness.’ (Sunan At-Tirmidhi) 

In this sense, a Muslim should always keep in mind that life is full of its ups and downs. He/she should keep in mind that whatever happens to any Muslim in this life is a form of test and trial.

So, every true Muslim should remain patient at times of affliction, and this will definitely earn him or her great reward. 

In addition, it is possible that your sister doesn’t study in the right way, so she fails even if she makes plenty of effort in studying.

Maybe she does not concentrate enough while studying. She might need to change her studying conditions or talk to her adviser to find out where her weak points are. Thus, I suggest that you discuss this with her to help her resolve her problem. 

Finally, sister Sumayya, I can recommend some useful books which can help you to understand your religion, Islam: 

Towards Understanding Islam – By Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi:

Islam In Focus – By Hammudah Abdalati (In fact, this book is highly recommended):

May Allah help you. 

Best regards. Please keep in touch.

Walaikum Asalam.

Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links:

What Supplications Help with Studying?

How to Focus While Studying?

Learning: From Drudgery to Excitement

Failing In Exams, Please Help

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