“…But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not”. Surat AL-Baqarah, ayah 216
You really wanted that job, but you weren’t hired. You were put in a position that you did not desire, but was forced to accept it. You wished to travel somewhere, but weather prevented your trip from occurring. You dreamed of attending a university, but was rejected there and accepted somewhere else. These are all issues that relate to us in one way or another; we all have been put into situations which we did not desire or did not receive what we would have preferred. It may have been something trivial, or something that would have altered our lives, but when we see the end results we are forced to reevaluate our opinions and ideas.
What I love about this ayah is that it really sums up so many experiences that I’ve gone through in my life. The most notable one begins with what I had envisioned as my career. If someone had told me three years ago that I would commute to study foot and ankle surgery, an incredulous look on my face would be to state it lightly. I had planned all my life to be a pediatrician, but when I was rejected from an MS/MD program in my senior year, I was devastated. I had an honors GPA, fine MCAT scores, conducted lab research on glioblastomas at that medical school, and great recommendation letters, including one by the chairman of surgery. My only deficit was my age, I was much younger than the average college senior and as the professor warned me, “They don’t want a kid hanging around with them”. He warned me that I was going to be rejected, and advised me to wait to apply to medical school until I was at least twenty years old. As he predicted, I was rejected. While I was wondering what to do with myself and my biology degree, I was introduced to the field of podiatric medicine. I was impressed with the vast amount of flexibility that it offered in terms of specialties, and as I shadowed a surgeon, I could imagine myself in this career. SubhanAllah, what I hated in the beginning, became one of the best things that ever happened to me. Maybe if I had became a pediatrician, I would not have found my career fulfilling, but as a pediatric lower extremity specialist, or as we call a “pedo-pod”, I could better serve society and really enjoy what I am doing.
We tend to become upset whenever things don’t work out for us, as we assume that what we want is the best for us. What we don’t realize is that we think we know, but in reality, its what Allah SWT chooses for us is the best. Upset that you missed the bus and now you’re late to class? Maybe if you were on that bus you would have gotten into an accident. Low exam score despite intense studying? Perhaps you would have gotten too cocky and full of yourself if you kept on receiving A’s. Yelled at by your attending in clinic when you made an innocent mistake? Now you won’t repeat that same error in rotations where the real stuff counts. It’s difficult to accept things the way they are, but we need to trust that Allah SWT is choosing the best for us. What you despised in the beginning may be what you need to leave your mark in this world, and what you’ll be thankful for in the future.