By Zainab Shahid
There will also be times in your life at school – and after you’ve completed school – where you will feel stressed, and maybe even depressed. Schoolwork can become very stressful as you go higher up the school, but never let it get to you. Remember that Allah has given us the greatest gift and cure for all of our problems – the Qur’an. Whenever you feel down, try and recite some Qur’an, or try listening to a beautiful recitation of the Qur’an; it will help you to calm down and feel better.
There are many short-term ways that can help to relieve your stress. And many of your classmates will turn to smoking to try and relieve their stress. However, you should keep in mind that these are only short-term stress relievers, and they won’t have a positive impact on your health or mind in the long-term.
Allah and His Messenger Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, have taught us how to overcome stress. We have been told to remember Allah at all times; we can talk to him through Du’a (prayer or supplication), through reciting the Qur’an, offering Salah and making Dhikr. Dhikr includes short forms of supplication and recitation such as Subhan’Allah, Allahu Akbar and Allhumdulillah.
When it comes to friends, I know how it feels not to have many. I know how it feels not to have even one ‘best friend’ with whom you can spend most of your time with and share things with. It is difficult. And it can become lonely at times. But one thing that I’ve learnt form when I used to go to secondary school, is that you should never do anything to impress other people. You will most probably end up disappointing yourself or your parents, and Allah.
If you do something that goes against your instincts and beliefs, just to be accepted into a group of friends, you are better off without them. It is better to be alone than with a group of people who do wrong and make you do wrong.
Your company defines you. Choose your friends wisely, because they will have an influence on you. If you spend your time with people who focus on their studies, who stay away from lying and other bad acts, you will also want to do the same. And if you are lucky enough to have other Muslims in your year-group, you can all pray Salah and learn about Islam together.
As you progress through secondary school, you will come across many things that will surprise you. You will always need to concentrate on your studies. That is why you’re at school. Even Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, said that we need to educate ourselves; in Islam and in other subjects.
Once I had come to understand this myself, I no longer worried about having too many friends or what others at school thought of me. In fact, one morning I got up and thought to myself that I will put on a hijaab and go to school. I was a bit worried, but I pushed all the worried thoughts to the back of my mind. I was doing this for me, and for Allah. A few people asked me why I had decided to wear a headscarf all of a sudden, but nobody made fun of me like I had first thought. People started respecting me more. When you show that you are serious about practicing your religion, people respect you more. They know that you aren’t going to be fooled easily, nor will you do anything silly, immature or wrong.
Some people might start partying early or attending clubs, some might start drinking alcohol or having boyfriends/girlfriends. But you shouldn’t feel out of place, or pressured into doing what they do. Make Allah your best friend, and you’ll never wrong.
Our time in Jannah will not end like our time here on this earth; we will be there forever and we will get everything we ask for (even if you ask for a house made out of chocolate!) We won’t have anything to worry about – no bullying, no big essays and no stress. Make Jannah your ultimate goal, and you won’t even have time to worry about so many things in this life, because Allah will always guide and help you through everything.