During our lives we have all taken various exams.

In elementary, middle and high schools, in being accepted to the university, in the university, in entering a job or during employment. . .


In my own life I have  taken a lot of these exams

In some I was successful, in some I had to take make-ups. But, then, in the make up exam, I succeeded in the exam in which previously I had not.


I recall one instance in which I had not succeeded for a considerable period in a certain exam. I had stayed up all night to prepare myself for that exam. When the monitor put the question worksheet  in front of me I could hardly read the questions because of my fatigue. I could hardly keep my eyes open.


With the “start” command, we all started to answer the questions like race horses. This was a race against time. . .

Each question needed to be replied in two or three minutes, whereas,  my eyelids were attracting each other like magnets.

The answers to questions were going through my mind but my hands just were not able to transform them into lines.


When I came  to myself with the voice: “Pencils  down,” it was as if I had just woken up.  With blank eyes I was watching the monitor collect the answer sheets. It was as if I had woken up from a world of fantasies and returned to reality.


“Pencils  down.”


The answer sheets were being collected and I was desperate, unhappy and bewildered.

Naturally, I did not pass that exam. But, later  I was given another chance. This time I took the exam with a good night’s sleep.  Having better studied and being wide awake. .  And this time I passed the exam. . .

This was the exam that graduated me from the university. I was happy. . .


Actually, we are all taking  an exam. . .


We are in an exam, one beyond all the exams we have taken at  school,  and those taken for education and or professionally. . .


The exam of life. . .


Every soul  will have a taste of death. And We test you by evil and by good by way of trial. To Us you must return. Verse 35, The Prophets (Anbiya)  Sura 21


This exam is different than the others. . . If you do not pass this exam there is no make up one. . . If you are without sleep during this exam . . . Then you are in for it. . . You will not even be able to read and understand the questions. . . In this exam there are no monitors. . . Your are all by yourself. , ,


BE sure we shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods or lives or the fruits (of your toil), but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere,- Verse 155, The Heifer (Baqara) Sura 2


That which is on Earth we have made but as a glittering show for the earth, in order that we may test them- as to which of them are best in conduct. Verse 7,The Cave (Kahf) Sura 18


And know ye that your possessions and your progeny are but a trial; And that it is God with whom lies your highest reward. Verse 28, Spoils of War (Anfal), Sura 8


All right, so what is permitted in this exam?


In this exam you may open your book and read it. . . You are free to talk during the test. . and you can freely copy from the person sitting next to you. . . But, if the person sitting next to you has given the wrong answers. .  Then, your answers will be wrong, too.

You must, for this reason, be careful. . .


See they not that they are tried every year once or twice?Yet they turn not in repentance, and they take no heed.  Verse 126, Repentance (Tauba), Sura 9


When they say:“ Pencils  down.” and you have not answered the questions correctly,  You have no make up exam. . .


Know that you must use the time to answer the questions efficiently. . when you hand in your exam paper and left the room, be aware that you will no longer be able to set a foot in that  that  room again.


“Did We not give you long enough life so that he that would should receive admonition?”   Verse 37, The Originator of Creation (Fatir), Sura 35


In that case, don’t be without sleep in this exam. . . In this exam sit next to the industrious person who answers the questions correctly. .  think on each question twice. . . For at the end of the exam you will no longer have  time to think. . .


Also, in this exam. . . be sure to open the book and read it. . . “ I’ve studied. . . I know everything.” . .don’t  dare say that  and be  over confident. . .


O men think that they will be left alone on saying, “ We believe “ and they will not be tested? Verse 2, The Spider (Ankabut), Sura 29


Do not forget! Your free to open the book in the test. . .


When you hear the command: “ Pens down,” have no remorse for the exam of life.


He Who created Death and Life, that He may try which of you is best in deed:  And He is the  Exalted, in Might, Oft-Forgiving; Verse 2, Dominion (Mulk) Sura 67


May God give you an open mind (in the exam).






(AKIN ÖRSMEN 5.20.2005)



 * The Coranic verses have been taken from the Holy Qu’ran, A. Yusuf Ali, 1975 publication, Pitman Press, Great Britain