Channel: Sulaimaan Ravat
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Mr. McMahon, Mr. Heyman?
Firstly, let me just say that when I was watching the different presentations, and the different performances by these very impressive young children, it reminded me of a quote that I read somewhere recently. And the quote says, if you want to be happy in life, then spend more time with those people who are above the age of 70. And under the age of seven,
those above the age of 70, I'm in good company, right? Those above the age of 70, will give you the wisdom. And those under the age of seven will remind you about the innocence of life, the purity of life, it is when you are with children that you truly de stress it, they may be cute, but at the same time, they still impressionable, and they are so impressive. And we unlock the particles element, each one of these young boys and girls through flagbearers of Islam. So Sunday morning, it's raining, but let's have some life in the army, the kids do not need.
Actually, you know, I go to a number of shelters and programs and you have two main challenges. One is to keep the children attentive, and the other is to keep the better, half attentive, or the you know. And I will say that I'm very impressed that the kids here have been really focused, Mashallah, they have been very disciplined. So I want to make a deal with them. You just been through exams, right? So you listen attentively to whatever I have to say, for the next few minutes. And you go home this afternoon and take your parents exam. You sit down at the table lunchtime and separate time and say, right, mom, dad, what do you wanna speak about, we want minimum five points, and see
how accurate they are. So you take the exam, my address in this particular session is to the parents. And I just want to say a few things. I don't want to keep it too lengthy, no, too formal, but just a few thoughts with regards education, because this is what it's all about, whether it's the the nursery phase, or whether it's the primary phase. And in order to do that, I think we need to go back, we need to go back to the era of janelia, the era of ignorance you boys know about earlier, you studied in medicine, right? So we know what that era was synonymous for. You had people making the loss of the copper naked, you had people burning their daughters alive, you have people
fighting wars for years on end, without any proper or justified reason. And the list goes on and on to such an extent that even the superpowers of the time as we know as we have learned from the time that we were young, even the superpowers of the time did not want to rule over the Arabs of Arabia, they were so backward. They was so you know, bad in terms of their behavior in terms of the customs in terms of the rituals, and 600 years that passed from the time the last Nabhi had come to earth. He Salli Salatu was Salam. So 600 years, no communication from Allah, no revelation, and human can come to this very low level. We have father who take his daughter who's alive and bury her with his
own hands, put a pin in the soil. Today, Allah forbid for those people who go through the process of whose children pass away. They find it so difficult to put the corpse into a ground because this is my own child. And yeah, you have a live, breathing, smiling daughter, and humanity had come to such a level that you are willing to put their own daughter, that piece of flesh, that smiling talking human being into the ground, just imagine for a moment, what was the state of humanity, and that was sort of less than the money, goes into the cave of Hira and receive the first revelation. Now you and I, we would have thought that Okay, the first revelation is coming now. The people are
worshipping idols. They put idols in the Kaaba, they making tawaf of the Kaaba, naked, what this respect, they bring their daughters alive, how inhumane, maybe the first revelation will be a condemnation of idol worship. But what's wrong with you? How can you worship idols? What's wrong with you? How can you play your daughter's life or make the top of the Kaaba naked? We would assume logically and understandably, that the first revelation would be about talking with regards the evils with regards the different challenges facing the time. But the first revelation as we know a lot about a quota. Let's face it, Allah read recites, because education is the foundation for you to
solve the problems of the Arabs and education will take you and make you leaders of humankind. So it all starts with education. It starts here. Some of us as adults, it may be a little you know, we may 3d this is now a bit kind of boring for us. Some may find it cute when it's your own son or your own grandson, but after a while, it becomes tedious. But the amount of effort that they put in is something we need to acknowledge number one, number two, this is what is making an impression on these young children. If you
want them to be united despite the diversity, and it these these kind of plays, they talk their language, that make them understand that irrespective of your language or your culture, your race, or your background, you are one. And especially if you say the kalama, La Ilaha Illa, then that is the bond. And that is a relationship that's stronger even than the blood relation, and even the relation of family. So education is the foundation for all success. And education is the solution to all problems of the community. That's why when Mandela came out of jail after 27 years, and they asked him, what's your plan of action? What's your plan of action? He said, education, education,
education. And then he elaborated and said, education is the most powerful weapon, which can cause you to change the world. And that is exactly what the Quran said 1400 years ago that it
don't we don't the Quran doesn't talk about the different ills in the society, educate yourself. And that becomes the tool with which you solve your problems. And that sets the foundation for all success and all prosperity. So congratulations to the students, to the teachers, to the parents, to all the administrators for the hard work for the accomplishments because it's a great investment. It's an investment in education. Having said that, let us ask ourselves the question we are Muslims, right? What I've told you is a basic preamble to the whole concept of education. What does Islam say? What does Islam say about education? I'll share with you due to the brevity of time what is one
Hadith? the ayah is a rhetorical question. And what is rhetorical question when you ask the question, and the answer is obvious. So unless it's cold, hell yes, the will levena Yala moon will leadin Allah, Allah moon, those who know meaning those who have knowledge, those who are educated? Are they equal to those who don't know those who don't have knowledge, those who are not educated? They even give an answer because there's no need to give an answer. The answer is obvious. And then there's the famous hadith of Rasulullah, sallAllahu, Alayhi, wa sallam, thiruvalla, elemi, farinata, Nanakuli, Muslim and Muslim to seek knowledge is compulsory upon every male or female. Now, just
give me your attention, especially because there's always this confusion about the different types of knowledge and how to prioritize, and how to synergize between the two types of knowledge. And it's really simple. If you just bear with me, give me your undivided attention for two and a half minutes. They are primarily two types of knowledge. The first is and I'm trying to go beyond the semantics. So it's either what people call worldly knowledge or secular knowledge or non revealed knowledge. That's the first category. And the second category is what they call Dini knowledge, or religious knowledge or revealed knowledge or Islamic knowledge. Now, let's understand both we take
the first one first, what is worldly knowledge or secular knowledge or non revealed knowledge? It's Firstly, there's two layers. The first layer is to learn the basics, to learn how to read, to learn how to write, to learn how to count, this is compulsory. Why, because these are required for you to function as a human. For you to function as a human, it is compulsory for you to know how to read, how to write, and how to come these simple aspects. So when you send your child with that intention, even though it is seen as a worldly knowledge, but it's important, it's necessary for these to them to have these tools. The second aspect is the higher level of knowledge, like what we would call,
say, high school, or even university or tertiary education, that Adel keyfile, meaning it may not be compulsory upon every individual, but it is compulsory upon the community as a whole, to have that knowledge as well why this is a key point. Because if you do not have Muslims who are proficient and who are experts in different fields, you as the Muslim community will not be able to become independent, you will always be dependent on others for skills for expertise, and for professional, professional resource. So if we look at the height of the glory days of Islam, we had our own doctors, our own technicians, our own engineers, our own everything that made us independent of
others, therefore, we will not let will leave we will leading now when we when we fall behind in those error areas, then we become dependent on others then rather than us leading them, they lead us because in order for us to prosper as a community, as the oma, you live in this world, you need all of that infrastructure, you need all of those sciences to benefit you. So therefore you become dependent on others. So that's the first category called working knowledge secular knowledge or non revealed knowledge. Then you have the other category, which we call t knowledge or religious knowledge or revealed knowledge. The one is necessary for you to exist properly in this world. The
other is necessary for you to be successful both in this world as well as
your Dini knowledge is imperative. In as far as your salvation in both worlds are concerned, number one
Number two, when we say we are Muslims, what does it mean? It means that at every juncture in our lives, we need to do what Allah wants us to do. Whether you're in business, whether it's in your marriage, whether it's with your children, whether it's interaction with your friends, if you don't have religious knowledge, how will you know what Allah wants from you at every juncture in your life, so that
a Muslim and non Muslim applies, that each Muslim doesn't mean you have to become a scholar necessarily, but each Muslim male or female needs to know that much that they can live their lives as a Muslim, that in every aspect of their existence, they know what Allah wants and what Allah doesn't want. And this is the beauty part this is an aspect of Tini knowledge, you need your religious knowledge to be able to guide your worldly knowledge. Otherwise, what what difference will it be between a Muslim doctor or a non Muslim doctor, a Muslim architect in a non Muslim architect, the difference will be this, that the Muslim will have the right intention, he will work within the
right parameters, he'll have the right goals and objectives within the profession. Why? Because his religious knowledge will guide his worldly knowledge. So both are important, they need to work in tandem, and you get reward for both. Islam does not only say that you get rewarded for that which has to do with your idea or the spiritual side of your existence. If you send your child to crash to nursery to primary school, to read and to learn how to read and write into all of those things are going to help them with Koran, it's going to help them with Islamic literature, it's going to help them in terms of their functions on this earth. So for that, if your intention is right, you get
rewarded for that those teachers if their intentions are right, it's not just really a job, it's an education process, you get rewarded for that, but understand the role of both. And understand that obviously, the religious aspect is going to get priority, because that guides the worldly aspect, and then has to do with the celebration of very often. I always give this one example and a wrap up on this point. I say to parents, you cannot take pride in your child if they become the foremost expert in their field. But the Salah is not in order. They are making such mistakes in the salon, it's breaking the salon.
By all means give your child the best education, let them go into the field that they desire. Because as Muslims, we need experts. And we need leaders in every field in every environment for us to prosper. But they need to be equally passionate, and they need to have the equally minimum and adequate knowledge of Islam. So be the best doctor, architect, lawyer, politician, whatever you want to be, but you must know the fundamentals of your faith, it cannot be that you are the master of your science, when you come to the master general performing your Salah correctly, when you reading the Quran, you're making such mistakes, that's changing the meaning. So that's the second point.
That is one third point. And that's the last but perhaps the most important point that I want to share with you. But you know, again, it's a Sunday morning and it's all the weather is is somewhat glum and gloomy. So let me share with you when I was sitting I was thinking of one incident that took place when I was in school and I want to share this with you on somewhat of a lighter note. When I was in the thick I don't know what you guys call it here. But that's the last year of school right? So there was the last holidays which was the June July holidays and after that the trial exam starts and then the main exam starts. So our science teacher Rahim Allah was a very pious man, very
involved in the effort of doubting the bleed and he was the one in school already who inculcated and this is the importance of teaching. Well, I can remember one word of signs that he told me not one word, but I can remember his dedication to him. I can remember how every day second break all the boys he would round us up and take us to the masjid and we'd make our own Jamaat because the mercy Jamaat would not stop and he wouldn't accept any excuse he would say but when was when he said at first break separate no Mark me to instance they will get both in the first place. But second break, you will come with me and you will perform salsa anyway. He said was use of sushi and he told us
Okay, now you guys don't embarrass me in the matric exam. So June, July, you're going to come for tuition. I'm going to give you free tuition, just to prepare you for the exams one hour every day. Okay, what times tend to live in. So the first day we picked up the whole class is they except one guy. His name was menzi was from Soweto. The teacher says swizzy. So we don't know. He comes in 10 minutes before the end of the lesson. So the teacher suits he looks at him and tells him What's wrong with you. I'm giving my free time in the holiday to give you tuition and you come late. So hence he looks a bit confused. But he doesn't say anything he sits down. So the next day we start
the lesson again. 10 o'clock. We all there. Everybody's there except Menzie. And just before the lesson ends, he walks in again. So Mr. Suji, erupts. And he lets go and he lets loose and he tells him a whole lot of things. And hence he looks at him and says But you said tend to live and it's not 10 to 11 it's 10 minutes before 11.
So sometimes the stitches you know, we must make to give them the benefit of the doubt they didn't understand what we thought that they understood. It was like the teacher who said plus tell me how was my lesson. So the one youngster and I mean youngsters can be cheeky and they can
They can have a very sharp tongue when they want. I was saying last night, the biggest shift we'll have in life is young children. The way they'll make your slide set you sleep like nobody else can. So this one chap puts up his hand, the teacher said, How was the lesson? See, so it had a happy ending. Everyone was happy that it ended.
My third point, and perhaps the most important point is what is the role of parents in education? I think the world over the problem is this. Parents have abdicated their responsibility when it comes to education. As parents, we tend to think also parents that okay, I send my child to school, I send my children to madrasah I send my child to useless, I pay the fees. So I have now by virtue of the fact that I'm paying, everything is about money. So because I am pay, it's now the ultimate and hold and exclusive responsibility of the teacher. If the child does well is my child. If the child the child doesn't do well, it's the fault of the teacher. It's the fault of the school, you will get
some people back in South receipt. Your child is like 13 years old. My wife is also in education, she runs amok. And sister You know, he's already fixed with the restaurant. Every time something goes wrong with the child, the parent cannot say, you know what, maybe I need to check in house must be the teacher's fault. It must be the mother of stressful to move the child. And every time they come to new medicine. You know, my child is so intelligent. My child is so talented. I don't know what was wrong with it. You try? And if a child does well, okay, you great if the child doesn't do so well, we move on. So we have abdicated our responsibility as parents, but they don't realize
education is a three way alliance in South Africa. We like to use the use of the word tripartite Alliance, AMC secp. And casado for those of you who follow politics, right. So it's the teacher, it's the student, and it's the parent, and each one has an equal role to play. Now we understand the role of the teacher and we understand the role of the student. But as parents, we don't want to understand our own role. Firstly, we need to start with our intention. Why do you send your child to school? Why do you send your child to mothers? or Why do you want to have your child educated so that they can get good marks and bring good a good profile to the family? Perhaps Okay, no problem
with that, so that they can educate themselves, get a degree and earn a livelihood. That is a correct intention, but it is an incomplete intention. It is a correct intention. But it is an incomplete intention. There's nothing wrong in saying my child must get education so you can get a degree so you can earn a livelihood. So he's not dependent on others, but it's incomplete. Why? Because Islam sees things in a much bigger picture of a greater prison. It's not saying so what you must study for 10 years at school, now the seven years in medical college, and the only objective is to earn a livelihood know
the objective needs to be broader than that, then how am I as a doctor? Or how am I as a lawyer or an accountant or whatever? How am I going to make a difference to the lives of others? Why are we known as hybridoma Quantum
reject the mass, the speciality and the hallmark of this oma is that you make a difference to the lives of others. Firstly, the lives of your fellow Muslims, and then other humans as well the entire creation of Allah. That is the intention with which you need to send your children to seek education, both worldly education as well as religious education that my child was come out and my child was have a greater purpose in life. Make money by all means, make yourself financially independent, but also see how you will utilize your wealth and your your knowledge and your expertise to make a difference to the lives of others. If that is the intention of the parents, and
if there is the drought, the parents, Allah will put Baraka and inshallah the child will turn out to be a good teacher, there is no greatness in earning livelihood for yourself making mega bucks, and it stays between you and your progeny. There's no greatness in that fight. Fair enough. He didn't stretch your hands to others. But greatness is when you can take that wealth that accrues from the profession, or when you can take that expertise and make a difference to others because then it will bring you success in this world. But it will also be your profession, it will be a worldly profession, but it will become a means for you on a daily basis to invest in your skill of good
deeds. And if that was the intention of the parent, the child goes out and fulfills that role. The parent will be long gone in the grave, but every day in the existence of that child, there will be reward accruing in the book of good deeds of the parent because the intention was right. And the approach to all of it was was right. So that should be our our approach in terms of parents right. And there's one more aspect that I want to touch on another conclude under the same aspect of the role of parents in education. It is very difficult you can send your child to the best teacher to the best school. But if your environment at home, if your example at home is not in alignment with
what is being taught at school at madressa then you're fighting a losing battle. is no use the child comes here and does a play on respect for the elders and the same child goes home and sees that
The mother is gossiping about the mother in law, which is the child's grandmother, and the kind of words that have been used. And the kind of defamatory descriptions that have been used, your mother in law may be wrong, but in front of the child, what example are you setting? It's no use the child comes to school, and is told that you shall not lie. But in the home lies are being spoken between the parents, parents are lying to each other. So if the environment is not there at home, you see it many times As parents, we fall into this mistake, we only worry about the report card. How many A's how many bees first place the second place? But what about therapy?
What about the conduct of my child? What about the values of my child? What about the good habits in the life of my child, that's also part of the education process. Actually, that's the most important part. If your child comes out with an average mark, but they have good conduct, the therapy is solid, the values are solid, they have a strong identity as Muslims, because today we live in a very hostile world, ideologically, it's a global village, everything is shrinking. You can be sitting in Zimbabwe, but what is happening in America has an influence on your child. What's happening in Europe has an influence on your child, you cannot totally separate them from the rest of the world,
the only way you can protect them as if they have a strong sense of Islamic identity. In other words, they don't see Islam as a burden. They don't see Islam as the police force that I must check this to in that way and see what is the next injection that's going to be the fall that falls upon me. No, they see Islam is the passion. They are proud to be Muslims. They understand the value in the different teachings of Islam, and the different prohibitions of Islam. And the greatest role play there is not the teacher. It's not the syllabus. It's not the school, it's you, the parent, and especially the mother. And
if you want to make your child through investment of Islam, you have to play your part in the alliance of education. How sad it is today, that we have to tell the man who's in public aid, don't judge Islam by the conduct of Muslims. Don't judge Islam by the conduct of Muslims. Look at Islam in terms of what the Quran says in terms of what the student says, to look at our actions. It's an indictment against us. What's the how I used to be opposite Sahaba didn't have to open the Quran. They didn't have to share any statements of Rasulullah sallallahu Sallam the way they did business, the way they did business, and they conduct and they brought Islam to Africa. If you read about the
history of Islam in Africa, it was via the trade caravans of Sahaba and their progeny, they fairness and justice in business dealings, they leniency and they miss in interacting with others the o'clock and collecting showed their values as Muslims in what is what impressed the non Muslim they after then once they are impressed they come and say teachers put on teachers who's the Nabhi teachers the Sunnah of Rasulullah sallallahu sallam. So Sahaba could say don't read Quran, look at our lives. And you see what Islam is today. We have to say don't look at our lives quran quran if you want to know what is through Islam, because we are not living Islam, why are we not living Islam? Because we have
faltered at this stage. We have faltered in the education process, and we have halted in the process. I'll conclude Firstly, on a lighter note, and then with a serious message, you know, they say that this student came to the teacher and said, How could you give me zero? I don't think this is fair. How could you give me zero I don't think this is when the teacher says I agree with you. He said I couldn't find any number lower than zero. I couldn't find any number lower than zero.
The key message this morning that I want to share with you is about the role of parents in education, and about instilling in the child more than the knowledge or the theory from the books. It's about the values of what it is to be a Muslim to be human, the character of Islam so that they can become through flag bearers of Islam and and visit of Islam. No matter which career path they choose away in the world we go, I read a quote, which kind of encapsulates this, and I'll conclude with this it says, education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school. Education is what remains after what you have forgotten in terms of what you learned in school. I
can't remember a word of what was taught in that science lesson. But that man's picture that man's image, that man's character, that man's dedication, that man's instruction on Salah is, is imbibed within me it's inscribed in my heart, in my mind, in my psyche, it remains an example probably till I will leave my last breath. So if we want young Muslims to emerge to have the right values, we have the right character with the right mindset, we have the right attitude, and we have the right intentions, who will be the next generation of good Muslims, who will make a difference not only to the robot will take humanity out of the doldrums, then we need to approach education from a
perspective of values and tarbiyah. And the foremost player in that regard is the parent may or may not have as the topic was
while others Special Thanks for those wonderful words. And I'm sure