(What you are about to read is a nostalgic flashback of a onetime freshman and now a to-be-graduate. There is something you must read in this. But you can’t know if you don’t read to the end!)
The journey of a thousand miles, they say, starts with a step. I could remember how it all started; it was a Friday after Jum’at, a man – whom I later got to know very well and worked with – announced after the Chief Imam has spoken that the Amir and other executive members of MSSNUI would like to meet the new university intakes. They spoke to us, welcomed us to the university, and introduced the society to us. It was then that I got to know that there are only two requirements needed to be a member of the society: to be a Muslim and also, a student of the university. That was almost five years ago, and that was how it started, my journey with MSSN.
I would forever be grateful to those who started the Circle of Prelim Muslim Science Students (CPMSS) as well as all those who kept it running till I met it. CPMSS was the pool of knowledge from where we drank in multitude and it will amount to a high level of ingratitude if I do not acknowledge the circle for my good academic performance which formed the foundation on which I built what I will graduate with, God willing. The circle contributed to my spiritual uplift at an early stage when it was more needed, inter-personal relationship development, public speaking, tutoring as well as leadership skills by giving me the opportunity to serve. I say thanks to all my tutors, my colleagues, those we served together and then, those I am always happy to call my ‘students’.
On the same side with CPMSS was the Circle of Learning, our very own “ile kewu” which teaches not just Arabic but also many aspects of Islam. I could remember how I would rush down to the dome after ODE classes on Saturdays to catch up with Adaab class and how anxiously await every Sunday’s contemporary issues class. It was such a great memory, a place where learning was fun. All I know about Islam apart from the recitation of Quran which I owe to my Uztadh are all based on the foundation built at our very own Circle of Learning. My tutors will not be forgotten; I will forever remember the coordinators of the circle as well as my colleagues who inspired and motivated me, I say thank you all.
I will never forget Adh-Dhikr Press Organisation, the press who made me. I have always wanted to write but it takes more than a pen and a paper to write. I had nowhere to turn to other than Adh-Dhikr which accepted me for who I was, and that was the start of my journalism career. I remembered the faces on the day I was screened and how they “ridiculed” me, it was a challenge and I so much love challenges. Adh-Dhikr took me, trained me and made me; all my achievements in this career was built on the foundation laid by Adh-Dhikr; the one who was almost screened out now boast of being the head of a press organisation. The Editors were wonderful and to fellow pen pushers, who challenged, motivated and inspired me to write, I say thank you all.
May Allaah continue to bless the people who have been at the helms of affairs of MSSN for the society’s programmes and set of organised activities. Some will argue that the programmes are numerous but I will say, they all worth it. The Dawah Enlightenment and Spiritual Night Programmes constantly replenished our Eeman, the Surahs we memorized on Saturdays are there for life and a lot of issues have been clarified during the Question and Answer Sessions on Sundays. The Post Subhi Talks instilled the culture of reading, researching and presentation into us and this was annually watered with the Paper and Power Point Presentation Competition. The Sisters’ Circle holds our sisters in unity and brothers have a forum to discuss and interact. The Finalist Forum also sees to the affairs of the finalists.
The society is a well organised one, a complete system. With the Al Ansar Foundation overseeing the welfare of the indigent students and providing for their need, our corporate social responsibilities are dispensed through, among many others, Prison Yard Visitation Committee and Hospital Visitation committee who respectively do more than pay visitation to the prison yard and the hospital. The security unit is ever gallant. And one is always sure to get the best and the cheapest from the Business Committee. I could remember the Orientation Week Committee who welcomed us to the school, providing guide and support as well as the Jihad Week which comes once in a year and always fully loaded. The members of Ramadan Planning Committee will never know how much they are doing till they meet their reward with Allaah, God willing. Always providing free iftar for all Muslim students on and off campus throughout Ramadan, may Allaah bless all those who have worked with the committee. Aside dispensing responsibilities, thus serving Allaah through the society, all these committees provide opportunities to develop a lot of skills, particularly leadership skills.
The journey that started then did not end till I was able to explore the whole system of the society and finally, like in every other place, I found myself, worked and walked my way to the top. As tasking as it was, and still is, there could have never been a better opportunity to serve Allaah on campus, develop and exhibit leadership skills, take and dispense responsibilities, mentor and be mentored as well as develop many other skills including interpersonal relationship, management, administrative, time management, and presentation among many. It was indeed a very wonderful experience, the long hours of meeting and the bond of brotherhood. Jihad Continua, Al-Jannah Ascerta has always been the driving spirit.
John F. Kennedy said that at some point in our life, we need to pause and thank those who have been part of our lives and we all know that he who is not grateful to people will not be grateful to Allaah, thus as we sign out, it is apropos that we acknowledge our source –the pool from which we all drank – and give honour to whom honour is due. All thanks and adoration are due to Allaah who has been so merciful and raised our standard, making it possible to work and walk from the student who was told about MSSN to a level, through and beyond that of those who lead and make decisions for the society, to that of those who decide those who lead and make decisions for the society. It has indeed been a great blessing and the greatest of all honour.
I will ever be grateful to all my teachers and mentors, the good brothers and sisters we looked up to and never looked down on us, everyone I worked with and all those who have held me in high esteem. The friends that will not let go despite my behaviours and those whose actions have impacted my life. You have all been instrumental to who I am today, I learnt a lot from your actions as well as inactions, your speeches as well as your silences, and your love and hatred for the sake of Allaah cannot be more appreciated. As I sign out, though the journey does not end, a milestone is reached, I say jazakummulahu khayran. It’s a small world out there and hopefully, our path will cross soon.