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Hilal Her

Achieving Success through Steadfastness

July 2023

In life, actions that you are scared of will excite you the most, like trying out a crazy ride always seems scary at first but once the ride starts, excitement takes over and you enjoy every bit of it. There will always be uncertainty and fear lingering in the back of your mind if you think about heading into unknown ventures in your life. But don’t pay any heed to those pessimistic thoughts. What could possibly go wrong? I read it somewhere and I also believe firmly in the notion that some risks are worth taking. You might lose more than what you achieve. But not regretting alot opportunity is enough for the contentment and peace of one’s mind. 
There lived a girl in a city who wanted to make her parents proud and was also keen about making herself independent in life. She dropped a number of different career options considering them to be too mainstream. She finally decided to opt for engineering and eagerly planned ahead about pursuing MS in engineering from abroad. Unluckily or luckily, she could not get admittance in the engineering university that she dreamt of joining all her life. A 17-year-old girl pouring her eyes out for not getting admission knowing little about what the future held for her. A year later that girl applied for GD(P) to try her luck, not knowing a thing about the procedure. She cleared each and every step but did not get selected in the final merit. She was now adamant to get into Air Force now that she knew she has what it takes to be an officer. However, she did not get in for the second time on one pretext or another. She got recommended in Inter Services Selection Board (ISSB) of Army the third time she applied, but was declared permanently unfit in the final medical for having flat feet. She was bewildered as she had cleared preliminary medical thrice and final medical twice and now on her third final medical it was declared that she had flat feet. She was disappointed, frustrated, and full of anguish. It felt like all the years long hard work had gone down the drain. She did not give up however, and wrote multiple letters and contacted the relevant authorities for them to reconsider the medical decision keeping in view the previous candidature. She was asked to seek Advisor Orthopaedic’s opinion. What followed were horrible long days spent in the hospital waiting for the doctor in order to get herself checked. Days went by and it became a routine. One day she found out that the list had been finalised and letters to the selected candidates had already been dispatched. Later that day she somehow got an appointment with the advisor and was told that she had flexible arches and that she is physically ‘Fit’. However, nothing could be done at that stage as the selection procedure was already closed and once again she was not selected. 
Meanwhile, her semester got dropped and she had to bear another loss. It felt as if nothing was going right at that time in her life. She prayed earnestly for the hard days of her life to be over. She had firm belief in the notion that that Allah will surely bestow her with the best. She completed her degree in the remaining three semesters. Thanks to the great teachers who helped her through the tough time. 
“Indeed, with every hardship there is ease,” she recalled. She completed her degree and started teaching at a private institution. Concurrently, she took admission in MPhil at the National Defence University (NDU). A few months later the girl got appointed for a contractual job in Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR). 
Usually, seats of lady officers for Army are announced once every year for winter courses. However, one seat for was announced out of the blue for International Relations in the summer course of December 2022. She applied with no expectations at first since she already had a few painful experiences in the past and did not want to end up hurt again by the rejection. She cleared the preliminary tests and received the call for ISSB. She remembers her Group Testing Officer (GTO) looking at her ISSB record in awe and shock. The disbelief in his eyes was quite evident. 
She was recommended for the fourth time for ISSB and was all happy until her medical started. She was managing everything on her own since she did not want to bother her parents. She encountered a number of problems, which were all a little too much for her. She came back home one day, tired, and frustrated. She put her head in sujood and cried: “Allah I am tired. I do not have the strength to bear this anymore. Please end my pain, trials and suffering.”

She had no experience with the panel interviews. She was scared and extremely nervous as it was not a year at stake for her rather it was six long years of waiting and hard work. One seat against eleven candidates exacerbated her nervousness and worry. But, her interview went well. Days went by. She kept waiting for the day when she would finally receive the selection letter. Selected candidates started receiving selection letters. On the fateful day, she went home a little earlier frightened and nervous. At 14:15 hrs the bell of her house rang. She was constantly trying to ignore the silent whispers of her heart that it was probably the postman with her selection letter. She opened the door and standing there was a postman with the letter she had kept waiting for years to see. She could not believe her eyes. While pouring her eyes out the only thing she was saying to herself was, “Six years, Allah!” He knew! He knew it all. He was witness to every second of her ache and suffering. He knew how long she had waited. He knew she had full faith in Him that He would bestow her with something that she never imagined. She had only wanted it to happen a little sooner. But things always happen at the most perfect time in the most perfect way. That day she realised the notion that when Allah says “Kun” everything falls into place. 
Applying for the Air Force thrice, teaching at a school, going to NDU after completing her Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Quaid-e-Azam University, and getting into ISPR as a contract employee, one seat for PRO offered out of the ordinary for the summer course that year, it was all Allah’s plan to get her where she was destined to be. She still at times cannot believe that Allah had planned it all so beautifully for her and all the pain and hardships that she had been through were only meagre tribulations, which led her to achieve her dream. 
There will be times when you will feel like giving up, but your heart would want to hang on. Things get tough before getting easier. Do whatever it takes to achieve what you want. Allah definitely bestows people who work hard for the fulfilment of their aspirations in life. You might not get what you want in the exact form or shape or at your desired time but believe me, Allah sees your effort, your longing, He would never let it go in vain. The story of this girl is nothing less than a testament that hard work, consistent efforts, and belief in Allah lead to the realization of ones, dreams in the most perfect way. HH