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Virtual Tour

Let us Read


‘Read’ is the first word that descended on the prophet of Islam Mohamed, Peace be upon Him. This is a clear indication of the importance of reading in human life so the nation of Islam gives it the attention it deserves. This is route that leads to knowledge and science.

No doubt that reading is the food for the mind and the soul. Through reading, we learn about the experience of others, the news of the past and the present and equip ourselves with the knowledge which is useful in our scientific, professional and personal lives.

It is regretful that many among the youth moved away from serious and intellectually enriching reading towards the trivial. They abandoned useful reading in favor of reading that only entertains and kills time.

Reading has always been the most significant fruit of the human mind. It is the largest source of knowledge and the widest means of intellectual nourishment and rejuvenation. It leads to human development and opens before the reader the path towards progress. If you ignore it, it leads to the decline of the mind and the darkness of ignorance. Moreover, it pushes human being backward at both the individual and social levels.

An important duty of any family is to encourage children to read and allocate time for it. In this munificent country, there are hundreds of libraries spread all over, offering an anchor for those who are greedy for knowledge.

To sum up, reading is the window through which you view the beauty of life. This is an invitation to you all to return to useful books, which are more often than not more beneficial than even friends as Mutanabbi rightly said: “The best companion in these times is the book.”

Let us read so we progress in knowledge.

Self-Confidence and not Vanity


Deliberately or inadvertently, many people conflate between vanity and self-confidence, especially when they are unable to differentiate between the two.

Vanity is a pest, and a blameworthy conduct. It makes one feel superior and disdainful towards others, and to disparage them. It makes her feel she is better than all others and that one can resemble her or be like her. Self-confidence is a commendable and lovable trait that raises a person’s esteem, winning her the love of the people and giving her the ability to interact nicely with them, regardless of their material or social status. In the end, these qualities help her win love and respect from all.

I recently met a friend and asked her: “Do you have self-confidence?” She answered without any hesitation: “Of course! My self-confidence is limitless.” I told her: “How is that? It goes without saying that everything has limits.” She said: “I meant that my self-confidence is very strong.” I told her: “What is your evidence for that? And how could you determine the extent of your self-confidence is that high?” She replied: “I do not bow to the opinion of others. I trust my opinions, my capacities and my intelligence. I trust my ability to think and take decisions.”

I said: “What is the connection between your self-confidence and all that you said about your refusal of others and your lack of concern for others’ opinions?” She quipped: “Because my opinion is better than theirs.” I told her: “That is vanity and not confidence. There is a sea of difference between confidence and vanity.”

She asked: “How is that?” I said: “Self-confidence does not prevent one from seeking the opinion of others, especially if yours is less correct that that of the others. This does not mean you need to shake your self-confidence. It merely reflects your belief that my opinion, which I think is correct, may possibly be wrong. And what I consider to be the wrong opinion of others may probably be correct.”

Self-confidence does boost a person’s morale and pushes her towards positive deeds always. It helps her eschew lethargy in achieving her goals and attaining her hopes. It also helps her avoid chaos and marginalization. Vanity destroys a person and pushes her towards focussing on herself, thinking of herself as the best. It blocks her from success and progress. Many people fall prey to illusory vanity. Let us all make sure that we distinguish between self-confidence and vanity so we become successful in our life and keep failure away.

Are Our Varsities Learning Organizations?


No doubt we all – fathers and mothers – dream of the day our children graduate from the university and find their own way in life through a prestigious job worth their and our efforts. The role of universities is vital in supplementing the national economy with educated human resources that add value. In order for the universities to play this role, they have to keep pace with the new trends that we see in every sphere. There is an astounding boom in technology and communication in the media. From my experience in four universities earlier, I feel that the universities are far removed from keeping pace with the tremendous developments that we pass through. And what is the impact of this detachment on the ground?

The graduates that come out of the universities are not equipped for the job market. Companies do not want to employ them, not merely on account of lack of experience, but because they lack the basic skills, such as solving problems or even writing their own CVs. I have seen the CVs of many post graduates and Ph.D. holders, reflecting poorly on their capacities. As the saying goes, one who lost something cannot give the same. The universities cannot provide effective educational experience benefitting the graduates and the job market, since these universities themselves lack the basics of learning!

I see that there are many opportunities for improving the way the universities are run. They need to transform themselves to learning organizations, benefitting from the experiences of their employees and other. There is also a pressing need to develop the role of the authorities that grant licenses and academic accreditations, especially those dealing with private universities that focus only on profits without allocating real resources for scientific research. Concerned entities can benefit from the experiences of collaboration between universities and business houses. Similarly, more flexible legislations can be passed, allowing universities to be held by businesses. There are success stories in Finland and Scotland, both of which achieved universally acclaimed success. A country like Scotland with 19 universities is home to 28% of all start-up companies in Great Britain. Likewise, the quality of varsity graduates from Scottish universities has begun to attract foreign investment to Scotland, with the result that the contribution of universities toward the economy has reached more than 6%.

We need to learn from this kind of experiences so there is a mechanism to follow the work progress and measure advantages, instead of confining to mere visits and protocol-dictated memoranda of understanding. Not necessarily a ‘cut and paste’ job, but we can tailor these experiences to our culture and context in our environment. Let us follow our prophet, may Allah bless him and greet him, who said: “Whoever hits a road and seeks knowledge therein, Allah will make his road to heaven smooth.”

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