Another year, another group. They graduated recently, my students whom I've taught at the foundation level. I received the thank you message from one of them and I was gleaming with pride to know that she graduated with first-class honours and ranked among the top five in the program. Alhamdulillah...all praise be to Allah.
Learning is a process that is experienced by all without exception, but unversity education is a privilege that not all are blessed with the opportunity.
While having a degree give us an official certificate of higher learning, it does not necessarily make us a learned person. Because, earning knowledge can be achieved by many, but obtaining wisdom is only for the selected few. As mentioned by Sheikh Yawar Baig, it is very unfortunate that nowadays, learning has been reduced to 'make a living' instead of 'for living'. The noble objectives of education of producing excellent leaders has been sidelined in place of producing human capital for the workforce.
With an education system that has lost it's soul, we now live in turmoil because the foundation of our society has been shaken. We see many university graduates whose intelligence are proven by their high academic achievement, but they fail to lead a life within the boundary of sacred moral values. Some even lead a promiscuous life.
When I started my career in IIUM, I came with high hopes that this university would be able to maintain and preserve the tradition of producing better intellectuals by integrating faith, knowledge and good character ( imaan, 'ilm and akhlaq ). Alone, I am not capable of turning the mission into reality, but in this garden of knowledge and virtue, my position at the gate of the garden is crucial.
I certainly hope that I've managed to help the students not only in understanding the subject taught but more importantly in nurturing them to be the future leaders by always reminding them about their purpose in seeking knowledge. Because, according to Sheikh Yawar Baig, our legacy is that, "We will be measured by the quality of those we nurtured".
To my dear students,
Let me remind you that the process of learning has not end, in fact it has intensified. As you completed your studies in the university, another phase of learning had just begun. You must continue searching for the teachers out there, the ones who will guide your heart and your mind. They could be the senior executives who dressed in suits, but they could also be the humble taxi drivers whose advice is loaded with wisdom.
In your hands and on your shoulders, we leave the huge responsibility of leading the society and the nation. You are not just any graduate. You are the graduate of International Islamic University. In whatever career that you choose, you are the role model of muslim youth.
Please accept my heartiest congratulations, and.. welcome to the real world.