Understand your roles, responsibilities
By: Faheem ul Islam
The beloved Prophet (SAW) said that this Ummah is like a body, if any part of the body is in pain the whole body gets restless. Students are an important part of the body of Ummah which is like a mother to us all as it gives us our most valuable asset which is our identity, our way of life. A person detached from the body of Ummah is like a petal detached from a flower. The blowing wind tosses it from place to place, unlike an attached petal which makes the flower complete and stays within the safety network.
The biggest question before us today is what our aim is as students. Is it just to get a degree and a job? Is it just to stuff our stomach and to adorn ourselves with the riches of the world? As Muslim students, our aims have to be loftier. We ought to strive for nobler things besides the temporal ones. As Muslim students, we must realise that the life of this world is a temporary one which is nothing in comparison to the life of the hereafter. We dedicate one-third of our lives on an average to the pursuit of studies so that the prospects for the rest of our lives are brighter. At the same time we should not lose sight of our larger objective which is to succeed in our hereafter; to save our necks from the torment of hellfire, the fuel of which is stones and humans. We surely cannot succeed in that unless we realise and uphold our responsibilities towards the Ummah.
As students our first responsibility towards the Ummah is to realise that we belong to it entirely. Like we realise almost universally that we belong to our family and ought to serve it, similarly we have to realise that we owe it to the Ummah as well that we serve it. While we study we aim to achieve heights knowing that it will inevitably bring honour and material benefits to our family. Similarly, we ought to aim to bring honour and material benefits to the Ummah in the firmament of nations. We ought to put our best efforts in our studies knowing well that it will bring laurels to the Ummah.
The Ummah today needs rebuilding, it needs power, and power comes from Knowledge as does the honour. Our aim as students should be to excel in our respective fields and to march ahead of others. It does not befit the upholders of the ultimate Truth that we follow others and not lead them in the field of Knowledge. It is a matter of sorrow that we have lost political power in the world. But it is a much bigger grief that we have long lost the leadership in the field of knowledge.
As Muslim students, it is our responsibility to try our utmost and to excel in the field of knowledge so as to achieve parity with other nations and to ultimately earn back the leadership in the field of Knowledge.
Secondly, it is our responsibility to safeguard our identity as members of the Ummah. We are the best of nations for we uphold the truth and hinder the falsehood. We call for virtue and stand up against the vice.
“You are indeed the best nation that has ever been brought forth for [the good of] mankind. You enjoin what is good, and forbid what is evil…” ( Quran 3:110).
Our achievements in our respective fields will be of no use if we forget who we are in the process. Just imagine if we were to forget our families while we excel in our studies, what a catastrophe would it be? Forgetting the Ummah, losing our identity, our faith, our belief system is a bigger catastrophe than anything else. It guarantees gloom in both the worlds.
In our educated class, we see many a people who, because of their weak basics and faith, lose the connection with their roots in terms of belief and identity. They get lost in the glamour of the temporal world. They try to imitate the other nations in all the matters of life. It is our responsibility to guard ourselves against such possibilities. We must strive to safeguard our identity, to strengthen our faith and to remain attached to our roots. Our eyes must not get enamoured by the glitter and glamour of other nations and for that to happen we must be strongly grounded in our faith and identity.
As we strive in the fields of worldly knowledge and science we must not lag behind in the Knowledge of our faith. It is this knowledge which will help us make this life more beautiful as well as it makes our hereafter successful. We live in a system where the formal education we get is insufficient and even absent to help us in matters of our faith. As such it is our responsibility as Muslim students to try to fill this void by non-formal means. We must be as well versed in the matters of our ‘Deen’ as we are in mathematics and science and for that, we must make efforts.
We ought to work with people and organisations who are working for this very purpose. We ought to develop an interest in Islamic literature and make it a part of our routine besides our formal studies. This is the way we can stay attached to our roots and excel in the world and the hereafter. Not only that we ought to take utmost care that we do our best to perform our obligations as Muslims.
Last but not least it is our responsibility to take the message of Islam to others. As students, we must not lose sight of our duty of dawah. Each of us is a caller towards the path of Allah (SWT) towards the only way of life acceptable to Allah
As such we ought to be a good example to others and to call them towards the truth with the force of our character and manners. It is our responsibility to spread the word of Allah and to call others towards the truth of Islam using beautiful manners and wisdom. We need to strive to make our fellow students aware of their responsibilities as we ourselves strive to fulfil them.
To summarize, as Muslim students it is our responsibility to strive hard to be good practicing Muslims, to learn the knowledge of Islam and to practice it, to excel and lead in our fields of study, to safeguard our identity, to stay connected with our roots, to serve the Ummah in whatever way we can and to spread the word of Allah and raise high the banner of Islam in every field.
Author is pursuing bachelor’s honours in political science at Aligarh Muslim University.