This whole week, I have been attending many farewell events among those are MUSCOM Farewell Night (aka Wida'), Garnet Farewell Party, and Ms Madeline Farewell Tea Party.
I am going to leave KYUEM soon.
Although my time here is just 2 years, but I have tons of memories and learning points.
Studying in a boarding school, the question of 'ikhtilat' is not really a matter of concern because everyone understands it. You can easily take care of that. The environment in school also helps towards achieving that.
But going to KYUEM is indeed like going to a different environment. I would say it is a mini UK. You can get all sort of experience that you will most probably get in the UK though to a lesser extent. I think this is something that really taught me a lot.
With regards to food, in school, you don't really have to question people in order to know the authenticity of its 'halal'. But in college, you have to be very careful. In a way, it forces you to take a deeper look into the teachings of Islam to be absolutely sure about things.
It's not just about food but also 'ikhtilat', prayer times, activities being held and etc.
I learned how to balance between protecting my faith and getting along with the society.
I admit that I am not perfect and I am still in learning process.
However, one thing for sure, whatever approach you take to balance these issues, you can never apply it to your own environment.
To illustrate this, let me give you an example.
When I went to Aberdeen last December (it was roughly on December 2011), I heard from Zulikhwan, a senior from KYUEM who studied medicine in Aberdeen, that occasionally, medical students held events in bars and pubs. See. This is problematic to us right? How are you going to go about it? Are you not going to be alone and not joining with them? Initially, I was skeptical. I think it is better to just clearly say to them that I am a muslim and as a muslim, we don't go to places like these. It might sounds good but in terms of practical, it's not.
Considering that you are the minority, it is a good idea to get along with other medical students. However, I can't compromise my faith. So, what I think is that, before they ask me to join them in such events, what I think I will do is I will spend my lunch time eating with them and socialising while at the same time making clear my stand. If it is not compulsory to go to such places (i.e. you need to go to obtain credit hours or likewise), I would try my best to avoid it because I don't think I would be able to control myself.
I think, that is why, mutual understanding with friends is the crux of the matter. I need to gain trust and understanding from my fellow course mate before they ask me to do such thing so that I am not in the position that I could not say no. Thinking about it, I think this is very difficult. This is one of my struggles in UK later on. I will definitely utilize class time to socialize during day time and get along with them. It sounds so not practical, and on top of my introvert, this is perhaps the most difficult task for me. So, if you think I am out of limits, please remind me. Task at hand: overcome introvert, build understanding and trust among course-mates.
What I mean by not applying to your own environment is that it might be OK to sit and chat with girls in university openly (and I should keep in mind that this is wrong), I can never make it as a habit in my own environment. I have to keep reminding myself that it is wrong to do so but considering the ultimate aim, it is more important to foster these understandings. Nevertheless, I should make continuous attempt to correct this as time goes on. To do on my own, it is very difficult.
Problem solved? Not necessarily. I still have to find circle of friends that are able to continuously help me to be on straight path. This is where 'usrah' comes in. My stand is simple with respects to 'usrah'. It is a great medium for me to enhance my knowledge of Islam and practice Islam but it is not going to be my ultimate aim in UK. In other words, 'usrah' is a significant part of me but not as siginificant as my academics. It is a medium to teach Islam not a medium to force me to do something or embrace on some sort of political ideology or likewise. Everything is up to substantial consideration.
Done with this.
Moreover, experience in KYUEM taught me to question everything. Even Brother Shahkirit encourage us to continue questioning things. Of course, with regards to things beyond our ability like heavens, hells, satan, angel etc, extra careful must be in place so that our aqeedah will stay healthy. In the attempts to find the answers, you cannot simply use your logical thinking but you have to pursue the knowledge. Therefore, any approach to find answers to questions is not solely by logical thinking but through detail pursuit of knowledge.
It is never wrong to question things but it might be wrong if your approach is not right. The more you ask, the more confident you will be and don't rely on single person. The more people you ask, the more reliability it will be. It is best to refer back to Al-Quran and As-Sunnah.
That is how I am going to move on. Question things and find answers to them by meticulous study from reliable sources.
Anyway, I guess that is it for now.
May Allah bless us with His blessings!
Till we meet again!
Work smarter and harder! University life is so different than secondary school's life!
Operate outside your comfort zone to get the best out of yourself.
P/S: I might continue writing about this tonight after my final End of Semester Dinner 2012.
Dr SyafQ.92 - 4A* - (^-^) 私の文書を読んでくれてありがと。