"Most often used in my personal experience by Arab military officers to excuse failure, and essentially transfer responsibility for the failure to God - I suspect a perversion of the original intent of the concept - but used in the listed instance to essentially say, "Bummer, I've been insufficiently pious, I will pray more often/better, think pure thoughts, etc, and take the test again next week. But you can't fire me/fail me because, well, God has already punished me and who are you to trump God?"
Source : Argghhh! The Home of Two of Jonah's Military Guys
UPDATE : HERE is an interesting study dealing with attitudes not far removed from that which is represented in my own post. What follows is a video interview with the academic who conducted the experiment. He has some very interesting observations especially toward the end :
UPDATE 2 : The Emirates Economist has more on the subject HERE.