Scholar Stories: Nur Hikmat

“I know you feel worn and tired. I know you’re tired of failing. Rest, but don’t stop. You can do this. You got this. Not because you’re strong but because He is your strength”- Yasmin Mogahed

Writing about Nur Hikmat’s story has been a great pleasure for me, everything from her charming voice and uplifting journey in self-development fascinates me even more. The youngest of 8 siblings, this courageous 21-year-old lady braved through several challenges in her life to get where she is today and hopes that she would be able to inspire more people.

Battling severe depression and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and studying at a place far from home means that she has to go through her hospital appointments and medical check-up alone and at one point, things are so grim and gloomy that she wanted to isolate herself from the world. Fighting PCOS also means fighting tremendous weight gain, facial acne and mood changes and her background of growing up with body shaming issues take the situation downhill. The memories of being mocked by her classmates and peers during her high school years caused her to be apprehensive and self-cautious and this trickles down to her foundation years, causing her to shy away from people even when she has wonderful ideas and bright personality. These issues embroiled her into difficult situations but she realised that God would not put her in this situation had He knew that she is not capable of withstanding it and with that spirit, she valiantly marched on to achieve better things in her life.

Coupled with supports from her lovely parents, she applied for Knowledge Is Free Scholarship Programme under ProjectEd and flew from Kota Bharu, Kelantan to Kuala Lumpur with her mother just to attend the interview that she never thought would change her life and help her grow so much. When she was told that she was one out of five recipients for the scholarship in 2019, she saw it as a catalyst for her personal growth and decided to look pass her physical appearance and become a more confident person. Keeping close several important messages that she got from ‘I Lost My Way: Finding Happiness After Despair”, a book by Yasmin Mogahed that encompasses the theme of gratefulness and patience, Hikmat believes that things happen for a reason and if one has good intention, good things will be given by God.

Hikmat takes her newly found self to different places; joined World Café Program as a volunteer under ProjectEd, selected to become assistant batch representative in her course of Bachelor of Dental Surgery in International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), participated in a drama competition and acted as a tooth fairy (super cool, right?) and passed her driving license. More than that, university days have been more meaningful and memorable with good friends who are more like a family to her, convincing her that she is not defined by her flaws and she is more than her physical appearance. Hikmat proved that with determination, courage and faith, one can soar further than imagined and encouraged aspiring scholarship applicants to try for it and grow as a person, just like she did!

Article written by: Nabilah (7 May 2020)

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