MUS1101E: The Sequel is a follow up, to complete its predecessor ‘MUS1101E: What does it mean to be a Muslim Student?’ For a start, the former was brought into existence to motivate and equip students with the right learning intention, attitude and skills needed of a Muslim student just at the right juncture when midterms and assignments were pressuring the students, possibly so much so, clouding the true purpose of being a Muslim student.
The true meaning and concept of education and knowledge in Islam were further clarified and the significant relationship between the “religious sciences” and the supposed “worldly” knowledge as perceived separately today was highlighted. Through the sequel, the fact that Islam is the key ingredient in achieving success in this world and the hereafter, was translated to the student, and this was the main difference between the sequel and its predecessor.
These were some of the main learning points shared by the participants:
- The biggest takeaway for me from Ustaz’s talk is the misconception/misuse of the terms duniawi and ukhrawi with regards to segregating the ‘types’ of education we are exposed to in Singapore. I believe it applies to the rest of us as well. It says a lot about how much we are taking things for granted, and how we are not being critical enough of the current education system/s (secular and madrasah) here in Singapore. I feel that Ustaz has pointed out an important flaw in secularism in Singapore, which not many of us are aware of. Now I’ll be more careful with using these two terms, and will strive to read more about this topic, insyaAllah. I am also glad to have learnt of this new perspective from Ustaz, and it only humbles me to know that knowledge from Allah is infinite, and there’re still a lot more out there that I do not know.
- I feel that the talk really affirmed my identity as a Muslim student. I had previously thought that whatever I am learning right now has no applications in Islam. But I was apparently wrong, and I am glad about that. Ustaz’s talk made me realise that as a communications student, Islam has been in it all along. From my reflection with a fellow communications major, we came to the conclusion that the Prophet saw is the best communicator worth emulating. With that, we actually became more motivated to do our best in school.One of my favourite moments from the talk was when Ustaz touched on the relevance of the Quran. He first questioned why there is even a distinction duniawi and ukhrawi. It prompted me to think that why is it when religion is concerned, we refer it to as investments for the afterlife? Yes there is truth in that, but that is surely not what Islam is all about. That is also definitely not what the Quran is all about. What about now? Why and how have we been conditioned to think that all things pertaining to Islam, including the holy book, only has its significance for the afterlife? Ustaz made me realise how the saying “Islam is a way of life” holds so much more truth then I previously thought. Islam does not just concern our destiny in the afterlife. Islam is in every breath that we take and every moment that we live. We should stop this conditioned mentality that Islam is merely about heaven and hell. Our beautiful faith encompasses our existence and life on this earth, besides the life that we will lead after our last breath in dunya.Another favourite part of the talk I like is when Ustaz explained the different branches on academia in Islam, and its connection and/or applicability with the various fields of study us current undergrads are pursuing. It again affirmed the justification that indeed my identity as a communications student is something ‘Islamic’ as well. Alhamdulillah!
- I learnt that there are actually links between what we are studying right now and Islam. For example, learning biology is related to increasing our faith Allah as it shows how Great and Wise Allah is.
- Ustaz highlighted a very simple yet profound definition of Success: “To be successful is not ending up in Neraka.
- I realised the importance now in tying back whatever I learnt with Islam, and to keep consciously evaluating on the information being taught to me in lecture – whether it is in line with what Islam says.
Again, on behalf of the NUS Muslim Society 50th Executive Committee, we would like to express our sincere gratitude to Ustaz Zhulkeflee Haji Ismail for delivering a such a valuable talk for us and also to his family for taking their time to attend the event. May Allah reward him and his family with the best of rewards in this life and the hereafter according to His Generosity. Not forgetting also the facilitators and the participants who helped make the event a successful one. May Allah teach us beneficial knowledge and may Allah also make benefit the knowledge that He has taught us. Alhamdulillah, Jazaakumullahu khairan katsiran.
Human Enrichment Team
50th Executive Committee
NUS Muslim Society
Reflections by participants