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God Helps Those Who Help Themselves

A young aspiring Muslim student from Azamgarh, A.M. Khan by name, stood nervously before the Principal of Hindu College. "Sir, I should very much like to be admitted to the B.Sc. course in your college." The reaction was sharp. "The admissions are closed. How do you expect to be admitted in the month of October when you are already several months late with your applications." Unforeseen circumstances had prevented young Khan from applying sooner, but he simply said, "It would be extremely kind of you if you would help me." Then he added hesitatingly, "One whole year will be wasted for me if I am not granted admission." The Principal’s reply was stern. "There is just no question of further admissions."

The principal talked in such an offhand manner that it should have been obvious that there was no point in persisting. Even so the student was determined to try his luck, although all he really expected was to be asked to leave the room immediately. On seeing the insistence of the student, the principal finally asked him rather drily what his marks had been in the previous examinations, because he felt certain that he must have failed to get admission elsewhere due to his low marks. If this were the case, the principal would have had good grounds for rejecting his application. But the student’s reply was just the opposite of what he expected. He said, "Eighty five percent, sir."

These words worked like a miracle. The principal’s mood changed all of a sudden, and he asked the student to sit down and show him his certificates. When he had seen them and was satisfied that the student’s claim was true, he told him to write out an ante-dated application. 

Not only was the student then given admission in spite of such a long delay in applying, but he was also granted a scholarship by this very same principal who had been so reluctant even to give him a hearing. 

Had the same student approached the principal with a third class degree, and had been refused admission as a result, he would surely have gone away full of hatred for the principal concerned, and would have remarked to his friends that it was prejudice which had come in his way. He would not have admitted that he had been refused admission because of his poor results. He would have publicly understood by aspirants to high positions that the response of the society we live in is usually an echo of our own condition. We tend to attribute the evils afflicting us to society so that we may shake ourselves free of the blame. 

When a man enters life fully prepared to meet its challenges, the world cannot but give him due recognition. Never in any environment does he fail to receive the position of honour which is his due. This results in his being able to maintain high moral standards. His conduct is then marked by bravery, confidence, broad-mindedness, gentlemanliness, acknowledgement of others’ worth and a realistic approach to life. He has the will and the capacity to enter into proper human relationships. Society having recognized his talents and he in turn having given due acknowledgement to society, he can rise above the negative attitudes of hatred and prejudice. 

The reverse is true when, because he cannot come up to the required standards, he fails to prove his worth; when he enters life with inadequate training he surely fails to find a place of his choice in the world. As a depressed personality, he almost certainly develops a low moral character. He falls a prey to negative psychology—anger, complaint, even criminality. Failure in life gives birth to this negative psychology, because it is seldom that the person concerned blames himself for his failure. He almost always lays the blame on others for his own shortcomings. Inadequate preparation for life brings two evils simultaneously—failure on one’s own part and uncalled-for complaint against others. 

A stone is hard to all and sundry. But it presents no problems to anyone who has a tool which can break it. The same is true of the more complex obstacles that face us in life, for it is only if you enter the field of life equipped with the proper skills, that you feel entitled to claim what is your due. 

Analysis of the writings of Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

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