Written by: Binte Syed Shamsuddin Rizvi Pharm-D (2015), Jinnah University for Women
The PAF convention hall was beautifully decorated with flowers and coloured lights. The backside was reserved for the parents and family members, where as the students were to sit in the front. All the students with their gowns, graduation caps, slashes and with degrees in their hands were sitting in their positions.
The ceremony began with recitation of the Holy Quran. Pakistan’s National Anthem was played after the arrival of the chief guest, Dr. Abdul Qadir Khan. First of all the departments with their senior faculty members were introduced and the students of that particular department were asked to stand up for the oath-taking ceremony. Then began the actual part of the function.
All the gold medalists from different departments stood up and formed a queue. Among them was a someone with some unusual feelings and emotions that couldn’t be kept hidden for long. The words that were echoing in her mind were, “I will never let you down baba, I will make your name famous beyond your thoughts and expectations In sha ‘Allah, I just need your special prayers.” Five years ago she had sent this text to her father when she had got admission in the university.
She was lost in thinking about the past five years that she had spent in working hard not only in her studies but also at a part-time job she had taken up after her father’s death. Along with her two brothers she had managed to bring life back to normal by the grace of Allah. She had fallen seriously ill and had a tough time fighting with a low platelet count which had made her unable to stand on her own. The recurrent fever and antibiotics treatment had made her a victim of jaundice. Working day and night for a few rupees, making students’ assignments, printing work and getting it photocopied, website designing, giving tuitions, academic writing for a company in Toronto had taken their toll. Ya Allah you really made me strong enough just the way baba wanted me to be, multitasking, bold and brave, Alhamdolillah. Yes this is actually my story.
Suddenly the hall echoed with clapping and hooting by the students when it was announced, “First position holder in Pharm-D (evening) Qurratulain Shams Rizvi daughter of Syed Shamsuddin Rizvi.”
As I walked towards the stage with tears gathering in my eyes, all the past moments just flashed by… from childhood till graduation, with my dearest baba in all of them. Thoughts of how we had sat together for hours, late in the night… our laughter, the motivation and inspiration I used to get from him… the one who always used to cheer me up saying “You can do it, you have the potential”, was no more with me. As I stood on the stage and walked towards the gold medal, the picture of baba saying, “Promise me one thing… never misbehave with anyone in your life. In any matter, never disagree with them. No matter, even if you are right and they are wrong, always respect them. You will achieve great success in your life.” “A definite promise baba, InshaaAllah, I’ll remember,” I had promised. I was awarded the gold medal with my name written on it.
As I walked back towards my seat I couldn’t help the tears running down my face. I had worked so hard for him, he had brought me to this level of success but he was not there to hug me.
“After you have completed your graduation, I want you to gain practical experience of your field so that you can learn how to deal with different people, how to talk in a gathering. I want you to be a strong person,” baba used to say.
A closing speech was beautifully given by Dr. Abdul Qadir Khan after which the hats off ceremony took place and then all the students left the hall with their parents. I looked for my mother in the hustle and bustle and finally managed to catch sight of her. I hugged her and we left for our house. I had taken leave from my job for this special day.
Dead tired, when I came home, I was lying down on my bed when Ammi came and hugged me again. It was only due to her and my baba’s prayers that I managed to study with the same spirit of dedication as I used to study before baba’s death. I could never have continued my studies after my father’s death, the grief, the loneliness had been too much. Moreover the sorrow had left my health in a bad condition. The only thing that had made me stand up again and created a new will power in me was my mother’s encouragement and prayers. Surely, “Success lies in the precious prayers of our parents.”
The journey of hard work does not end. Now I want to work for my family, to be a supporting hand for them. The gold medal I received will be with me as long as I live, what matters most is to be a person who is pious, who is dedicated to Allah, who maintains a positive balance between deen and dunya. I believe that after obeying Allah Almighty and following Rasoolullah صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم, one must be dutiful to his parents. May Allah Almighty guide all of us to the straight path, write our names in this list of His beloved ones, open His doors of mercy and blessings for us and give us the strength to be steadfast on His deen. (Aameen).