Channel: Fatima Barkatulla
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Bismillah Alhamdulillah wa salatu salam ala rasulillah dear brothers and sisters, salaam aleikum wa rahmatullah wa barakato. This is your sister Fatima Baraka tala here. And in this episode of the podcast, I'm just going to be putting up for you a recording of my graduation speech. So Alhamdulillah, just the last last weekend,
I finally graduated from a Salaam Institute. And I received my Shahada, I lemmya
Alhamdulillah. It's been a long time coming in the sense that, you know, when I was 16 years old, I went to Egypt as a student, my father helped me to get there. And my intention from the age was to graduate to complete my studies, you know, in Islamic Studies.
And, of course, seeking knowledge is a lifelong journey. And it's something that you've got to be in for the long haul, right.
But obviously, you know, as a student, you look for milestones along the way. So and Hamdulillah, this was a very important milestone, for me.
I actually graduated from two Institute's this year with two Alameda degrees.
And so it's kind of a strange feeling, I guess. Because, you know, for all those years, I've been working towards Reaching this milestone. But at the same time, I wasn't only looking at the qualification, for me was really about authentically seeking the knowledge, seeking out great scholars, experts in their fields, who I could study with, and making sure that I studied Islam in a structured way. But also making sure that I covered the subjects and topics that are essential for a Sharia student to cover. Right. So that sometimes meant that I had to seek out courses and shoe you're from different Institute's
in order to do that.
But anyway, hamdulillah I'm going to leave you with my graduation speech. It was such a lovely event.
shove a crumb nadwi was there my teacher for the last years, a few years, you know, Mashallah. And chef Alia was there as well, who, for those of you from the UK, especially, you'll know that he was
he's a key key person, you know, when it came to
dow in the UK, especially in the 90s. And although he often downplays his role, I think a lot of us growing up in the 90s were, were really positively in many ways affected by the dour that Shaka bwalya gave, so it was kind of
it was it was kind of strange, but it's kind of nice, you know, to have shockable Alia there as well.
And also, some other you know, senior students have shared chrome with their some other teachers and my family, so it was a really special day. I was especially grateful to Allah that my parents got to witness my graduation because,
you know, I know that my my dad, he really worked hard to help me to be able to go to Egypt. He really did his best. And it wasn't, it wasn't all plain sailing, you know.
But he had the intention of helping me to
become a scholar and 100 a lot. I felt like
the graduation he saw the fruit of you know, his efforts materialize in front of him so Alhamdulillah for that.
Without further ado,
my graduation speech.
Next, I welcome Fatima Baraka to lockleaze
Bismillah Alhamdulillah wa Salatu was Salam ala rasulillah dear brothers and sisters, teachers, scholars, elders, assalamu, alaikum, warahmatullahi, wabarakatuh
25 years ago, I was having a conversation with my father of the barkatullah, about what I would do in the future, what did I want to be? And I told my father that I wanted to be a doctor. I think it's because I watched some movie. And it sounded like a really cool and meaningful thing to do.
And he said to me, all those years ago, what about becoming a scholar,
he said, there are many doctors of the physical body in the world, we need more doctors of the spiritual person.
And from then onwards, it was my dream, to pursue Islamic Studies. So today's milestone means means a lot to me. And hamdulillah I praise Allah subhanaw taala
for taking me on a very long journey, which started when I was 16. And I went to study Arabic in Egypt, and has culminated in today, every step of the way, I felt a last presence. And I want to thank my parents,
especially my mother, who introduced me to how to connect with Allah Subhana Allah. She's the one who really instilled in us a passion for a respect for scholars. And my father, who connected me with the Quran, and showed me how the Quran spoke to me years ago when we were on omura, when he used to stay up late at night, telling us stories from Surah Yusuf. And since then I fell in love with the Quran. I want to thank my husband, my husband is also my teacher. He's also my mentor. He's supported me, since we've been married 20 years nearly Mashallah,
in so many ways, I can't list the number of ways that he supported me. And he's also infused everything with a great sense of humor to help me and I know, the brothers who know him will testify to that.
And he's helped keep our family happy and light.
I would like to thank my children who've had to be patient, my four children use of yahia, Soloman, and rakia, who've had to be really patient on Sundays when I attend the classes. And I used to arrange different things for them. I think they were quite happy that I've left actually, to be fair.
Well, I'm back now has finished Mashallah.
I want to thank my siblings, two of whom are here today. I see my siblings as role models, that achievements never cease to inspire me. Thank you for your support, and your desires. And I must mention my little nieces who are here as well, Lorna and Sophia, thank you for coming, and being excited about your auntie graduating.
There are so many other people like to think I've had many teachers over the years. I've actually studied in other Institute's as well. I can't mention all of them. But I wonder if any teachers from other Institute's are here today who have taught me I'd like to thank you as well. And I turned to a Salaam Institute
Mashallah one of the dreams I had, was to study abroad, and I began studying in Egypt, but I couldn't stay studying as her. Instead, I had to come back to the UK and handle I got married and I had to pursue my studies here. But looking back, I can see that it was really a blessing. It was a blessing that Allah did not answer my daughter of me going abroad and being able to live abroad and study. Because if I had gone abroad, I would not have benefited from the likes of chef Akram. I would not have sat in classes with my own father and the scholars that we benefit from right here in Britain. Mashallah. So, I feel as though a lot of panatela
created a situation such that I did not have to go abroad, and yet, I got a world class Islamic education right here. So I want to thank chef Akram. I want to thank all of our teachers and all the people
Behind the scenes at a salon, thank you for all your hard work.
And I will leave you with five words, five things, and this is for my fellow students at different stages of their studies. I'll leave you with five things that I've learned along the way.
five key things. The first thing I want to say to my fellow students is the fact that you are sitting here today the fact that you are on the path of knowledge. See that as a sign that Allah subhanaw taala already wants Good for you. Because a loss of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam told us that when Allah wishes good for a person,
He bestows upon them understanding of the deen and you are upon that path. So know that Allah wants something good for you.
My five words are perseverance, courage, self reflection, openness, and critical thinking. That's just think of that as one word, critical thinking, perseverance.
along this path, there are going to be times when you feel like giving up when you feel like the studies are too much. When life happens, you know things happen in life. Obstacles come your way, and you feel like stopping, or you feel like you won't be able to carry on. But know that the people who achieve things are not necessarily the most talented people. They're not the ones who are born with a silver spoon in their mouth. They are the ones who push through those difficult times
and persevere. So my fellow students, persevere, have subber and persevere through those difficult times. Courage.
As a student, you need to have courage, the courage to question so many times I've been in a class, and I'm the only one who's asking lots and lots of questions. And after the class, the students will say to me, thank you for asking the questions. You know, it seems as though many students are very shy, to ask questions. And it's true. When you ask a question. It's a risk. You feel like you know, people might think you're stupid, or it might be a stupid question or whatever. But you see, the only way to gain knowledge, the only way to make sure you understood something, is to ask those questions.
So have the courage to speak up and ask questions, and have the courage to speak the truth.
In our society, there are many ideologies, many vying for each other vying for our attention, and our obedience and our allegiance.
As people who are seeking knowledge, it becomes our duty to go out there and have the courage to present Islam to others, to show people another way to show people another way of thinking. So we need to have courage as people who are seeking knowledge, self reflection,
bringing oneself to account is key. As a student, you know, knowledge brings with it a lot of honor. People respect you, people look up to you. But we can never forget that Allah subhanaw taala, he knows our reality. He knows our faults, he knows our shortcomings. And so we as students must keep making an inventory of, you know, our strengths and our weaknesses, we must be very conscious about about that, and how to improve them. As one of my former teachers used to say, if your knowledge is above average, you're above that should be above average. And we need to hold ourselves as students of knowledge to a higher standard
self reflection, openness, openness, the will the willingness to consider other ways of thinking, other points of view.
That's one of the wonderful things about a Salaam Institute, that we're not just focusing on one particular group, or one particular way of thinking one particular school of thought, there is a respect for the plurality of schools of thought, in Islam. And so as a student, if you come to class thinking you already know everything, thinking making up your mind about everything, and then critiquing the teacher, or the class with that mindset. You'll never, you'll never learn. You'll never be able to benefit fully from what the teacher has to offer, and you might miss something that you actually need.
a new way of thinking.
So you must be open minded and willing to study with numerous teachers. And again, one of the great things that chef Cochran said to us was, he's never forced us to follow his opinion.
And that's quite refreshing. Because I've been to classes where you're kind of dictated to, then you've got this is this is it, it's my way or the highway. But with Checkout crumb, if you argue or critique something that he said, he always says, Okay, do your research. You say, you know, do your own research. This is my conclusion. And I found that very, very refreshing.
And hopefully I'm going to take that with me when I become a teacher.
or as chef Akram always says in class, think properly.
I know everyone's laughing because we've heard it so many times, right? Think properly, check out chrome says, and I think that's another