A Message to University Graduates
Graduation day is the culmination of 3-5 years of studying a particular subject in depth at degree level. You have spent these years studying because you realise that education is a means to attaining a good career and perceive it to lead to a better way of life.
At this significant stage in your life, you are experiencing the transition from being a student through to a professional who will soon be working in the ‘real’ world. With this transition comes the need to prepare yourself in dealing with issues that may arise in the workplace, not due to trivialities such as race etc but mainly because of your religion.
If during your university days, you were unable to ‘get involved’ with the Muslim community, make this the starting point of change in your life.
“The one who treads a path seeking therein knowledge, Allah eases his path to the Garden.” [Sahih Muslim]
We must fully realise that our ultimate purpose in this dunya is to serve Allah Ta’ala and that our ultimate goal is to reach Jannah in the akhira (hereafter). Therefore your focus should now, be on adopting the means to achieve this eternal goal, i.e. adopting the teachings of Islam and following the Sunnah of our beloved messenger Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم).
Whilst we have covered the importance of learning about our religion to benefit us in the hereafter, it is also necessary to learn about Islam so that we may be in a position to answer any questions that non-Muslim work colleagues may pose to us genuinely or out of curiosity.
Graduation also means that you have acquired a certain status in society as well as now being able to place certain letters after your name. One should, however, remember that in Islam there is no superiority of one over another except through taqwa.
“…Verily, the most honourable of you with Allah is that (believer) who has At-Taqwa. …” [Surah Hujurat V13]
After graduation some of you may return to your home town/ city whilst others remain living away from home to continue studies or work. We should reflect on how we travelled away from home to acquire our worldly education and if need be we must prepared to travel to acquire ‘deeni education’ and benefit also. We are aware of how our pious predecessors would travel years and years to obtain deeni knowledge, but that was a sacrifice that they were willing to make. We have vast arrays of modern technology to aid us, not only that; we have Masjids and Khanqahs where we can learn from the pious. Make the most of the means and resources that Allah Ta’ala has blessed you with.
I pray Allah Ta’ala fills our working lives with blessings and they are not a distraction to us from striving to achieve taqwa and, ultimately, jannah in the hereafter.