My External Hifz Exam by Muhammed Rizaan Behardien
I participated in an external hifz examination on Saturday the 27 of November, 2011, on two surahs in juz 29, namely surah 67(Mulk) and surah 68(Nun).
I had been preparing for this exam for months on end. I woke up extra early on the day of the exam just to get in some extra practice before I arrived at the madrasa. I managed to get in at least an extra hour to practice that morning.On the one hand, I was quite anxious, but on the other hand I was confident. I made a small du’ah before a left home to ask Allah (SWT) to make my external exam run smoothly. I got to madrasa half an hour before I usually do.
Instead of sitting down and revising I decided to go and play soccer with some of the other boys to calm my nerves. My friend Zuhair Khan arrived at madrasa early as well and came to join us playing soccer. Both of us were expecting to be performing an internal exam with another mu`allim within the madrasa.
Imam Rashied and Mu’allim Jihad arrived at madrasa with a big surprise for me and Zuhair – we were going to be participating in an external exam with Sheikh Sadullah Khan! Zuhair and I walked to meet the other pupils who were going to be tested in the office, with mixed emotions. We were smiling and happy but now also a bit more nervous, because we would have had to uphold the Claremont Main Road Saturday Morning’s Madrasa’s great reputation by impressing this highly learned and respected scholar of Islam, Shaykh Sadullah Khan.
There were ten (10) of us sitting in the office all waiting for our turn to step through the examination office door. At first we were all rigorously revising our work, and then suddenly there was a gaping silence. Mazin Jeppie broke the ice and took out his Rubik Cube. This relaxed the atmosphere. After that we were all chatting and reading magazines to calm our nerves, because most of the other students had gone for testing already. There was a really nice and friendly atmosphere in the waiting room. Imam Rashied now gave the remaining few the criteria that Sheikh Sadullah was going to be testing us on (rhythm, hifz, tajwid, etc); the exam would be out of 100 marks. I hadn’t gone yet so I started practicing again but now focusing on the criteria I would be assessed by.
I was last to go so I got to hear what everyone else thought about the exam. Zuhair was just before me so when he stepped out of that door; I felt a burst of anticipation within me. I finally stepped through the door and into the room we were being tested in. I walked in with a smile and said, “Bismillah”. I went to great the Shaykh before I sat down. Imam Rashied followed behind me and told Shaykh Sadullah a little bit about my background (my parents, when I started, etc). After Imam Rashied left, Shaykh Sadullah told me that he had studied law and then asked me what I would one day like to do, I replied, “I would like to do something in the sciences.”
He started testing me on Surah Al Mulk; he read the first line and instructed to read on. After a while he asked me to stop and read the last few ayat. He performed the same procedure with Surah Nun. I read very smoothly and I think I covered all the tajwid rules. At the end of the exam he told me that I did excellently. I came out of that exam room feeling really proud about myself. I felt really good about myself. I felt I did as well as I could and now my results were in Allah’s (SWT) hands. We were all now, Alhamdulillah, finished with our exams. We took photos with Shaykh Sadullah and then he took us inside and gave us a talk about our responsibility we have for learning the Qur’an.
It was truly a wonderful experience. I think everyone should strive to learn the Qur’an to the best of their ability, may Allah (SWT) guide everyone who tries.
- 8 December 2010