Anne-Marie Ionescu, UK
Prayer forms one of the five fundamental pillars of Islam in which all practicing Muslims engage on a regular basis. It forms an invisible line of communication with God when we seek to gain nearness to Him but also ask for help on any matter.
As a junior doctor in the UK, I enjoyed my work with patients and my colleagues very much but the time had come to start a family. So, I decided to put my work on hold for the time being and focus on raising my children before returning to work. However, I was anxious that with only two years of experience since graduating from medical school before taking time out, I wouldn’t have many opportunities to attain things like publications in journals and presentations which would make me a desirable applicant when it came to applying for specialty training.
I tried to gain some form of extra work to put on my CV before taking time out the following year. I made various attempts to achieve publications, posters, and presentations in order to prepare for this time when I would not be working in the medical field. After nearly a year, I was still unsuccessful in this attempt.
Then the blessed month of Ramadan came. A month when Muslims fast during daylight hours and increase in their spiritual practices to nurture their attachment to God, help shake off bad habits, and reduce our want for worldly desires. Prayers made in earnest after a day of fasting and work seem to take on a more powerful and magical quality. I asked in a few of these prayers for God to essentially take care of my work for me while I am focusing on my children and to provide some publishing or other useful achievements I could include on my CV to help as an applicant in the future. I left it up to God at that point and didn’t try to find or achieve these things myself.
After a few weeks however, opportunities arose at work where my consultants and colleagues wanted to involve me in their projects. In the space of less than a year God had provided me with two publications in a prestigious medical journal, five medical posters, and three presentations, one of which was nominated for a prestigious medical prize.
I realized then that all success, regardless of the matter, comes from God alone. You could try and toil very hard, as I did, to gain some measure of worldly success in preparation for my years away from work, but that success will never come unless your reliance on God is at the forefront of your intentions.
About the Author: Anne-Marie Ionescu is a junior doctor currently taking time out of training to start a family. She currently works in the outreach department for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community UK