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Help: How Do I Cope With Exam Stress and Depression?

01 April, 2021
Q Assalamo Alaikom,

My exams are coming up and I feel so stressed and depressed. Help, what do I do?

Answer

Short Answer: 

  • First of all, always renew your intentions. Allah Almighty descends peace upon us when our intentions are correct and pure. So, ask yourself, what does this exam/or education mean to you? Have positive intentions.
  • Remember all the verses and hadiths about the virtue of seeking knowledge and how rewarding it is to benefit people with this knowledge. Be less stressed knowing that Allah rewards much on the little, and that He is The Provider and Ultimate Grader of our life test. Success or failure on a worldly test won’t define you or shame you.

………….

Walaykum Asalam waRahmat Allah,

Thanks you for approaching us.

Remembering the Purpose

First of all, always renew your intentions. Allah Almighty descends peace upon us when our intentions are correct and pure.

So, ask yourself, what does this exam/or education mean to you?

Have positive intentions. Remember all the verses and hadiths about the virtue of seeking knowledge and how rewarding it is to benefit people with this knowledge.

Think from an Islamic instead of a materialistic perspective. For example, the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) said:

“Convey from me even an Ayah of the Quran” [Sahih Al Bukhari]

From an Islamic perspective, there is virtue, reward and value even in learning and teaching a small amount- if we have the right intention. It is not about accumulating a large pile of information, which is sadly the materialistic sense, but about your intentions and hard work.

Be less stressed knowing that Allah rewards much on the little, and that He is The Provider and Ultimate Grader of our life test. Success or failure on a worldly test won’t define you or shame you.

Again, have positive intentions. Talk to Allah, tell Allah that:

  • You want Him to help you learn and spread positive knowledge.
  • You want to benefit the Ummah and people
  • You want Him to help you serve others
  • You want to make your family and parents proud

Think positive things: be sincere, do as much as you can, then relax. No matter what the outcome is, it’s not the end of the world.  

Some Tips

Now, here are some tips to help you de-stress and have more positive/relaxing experience.

  • Always be in a state of Wudu (ablution) while studying
  • Say BismAllah (In the Name of God) before you start
  • Send peace and blessings upon the Prophet. In the hadith, we learn a man asked the Prophet about sending peace and blessings upon him, the man asked:

“How much of my supplications should I devote to you?” He said, “You may devote as much as you wish.” When I suggested a quarter, he said, “Do whatever you wish, but it will be better for you if you increase it.” I suggested half, and he said, “Do whatever you wish, but it will be better for you if you increase.” I suggested two- thirds, and he said, “Do whatever you wish but it will be better for you if you increase it.” I said, “Shall I devote all my supplications invoking Allah to elevate your rank?” He said, “Then you will be freed from your worries and your sins will be forgiven.” [At- Tirmidhi]

Sending peace and blessings upon the Prophet is always a major source of Barakah (blessing).

  • You can make earnest dua to Allah. Just pour out what is in your chest in your own words, and Allah hears and helps. Remember, when you make dua, you’re actually actualizing your purpose in life. The Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) said: “Verily supplication is worship.” [Related by the four Imams]

So when you’re making dua, you’re actually making your Akhira (Hereafter) scale of good deeds (the ultimate grade) much heavier with rewards. That’s already success.

  • Use this as an opportunity to be good to your parents and ask them for their dua for you. A parent’s dua to his/her child is accepted. The Messenger of Allah said:

“There are three supplications that will undoubtedly be answered: the supplication of one who has been wronged; the supplication of the traveler; and the supplication of a father for his child.” [Sunan Ibn Majah]

  • After you do your work, seek Allah’s help and your parents’ blessings, then relax knowing that whatever happens, insha’Allah will carry goodness for you. As the Prophet says:

“How wonderful is the affair of the believer, for his affairs are all good, and this applies to no one but the believer. If something good happens to him, he is thankful for it and that is good for him. If something bad happens to him, he bears it with patience and that is good for him.” [Sahih Muslim]

Thankfulness to Allah

Allah says:

“Those who believe and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allah: Verily in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.” (Qur’an: 13: 28)

This is a great time to remember and to be thankful to Allah really because Allah is the Best Teacher and Easiest Grader. There is no stress in our relationship with Him, The King, The Ultimate Judge, but only ease and generosity.

Remember this hadith:

Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “Allah, Blessed and Most High, has said – and His saying is the Truth: ‘When My slave considers doing something good then write it as one good for him. If he acts upon it then write ten of the same for him. And when he considers doing something evil, then do not write it. If he acts upon it, then write it. If he leaves it” – and perhaps he said: “if he does not act upon it, then write a good reward for him.'” Then he [the Prophet (ﷺ)] recited: Whoever comes with a good, then he shall have ten the like thereof (6:160). [Jami` at-Tirmidhi]

So, Allah rewards so much on the little, and forgives and pardons countlessly. Isn’t this a source of relief and joy?

Don’t be stressed or depressed because of a worldly exam, be happy and rejoice in Your Lord The Most Merciful, Most Generous of all judges, The Owner of the ultimate eternal reward.

And Allah knows best.

I hope this helps.

Salam and please keep in touch.

(From Ask About Islam archives)

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

Young and Muslim: How Can I Lead a Balanced Life?

How Are Trials Defined?

Can I Study What Interests Me Against My Parents’ Wishes?