My Sustainer, Increase my knowledge. (Q. 20:114)
This time of the year brings convocations for both high school and university students and I would like to extend my deepest congratulations and prayers for success to all new graduates. At this pivotal time in your life, it is important to stay focused, monitor and measure your progress and check yourself regularly. Seek the guidance of God through prayer and reflection. Seek the advice of your community elders, parents and teachers.
Education is transformational and it will change the course of your life. It is the most powerful way to erase arbitrary and oftentimes oppressive divisions of class, race, ethnicity and in some cases gender.
Your course of education or your career path may not be the set plan you so desire, but know that pitfalls and detours are common at every stage in life. Do not be disheartened; there is good in it that you may not yet be aware of. Remain disciplined and dedicated and continue working hard each day with patience and gratitude. The Prophet Muhammad, upon him be blessings and peace, taught us: “Allah has ordained excellence in everything.” We have in the Prophet, upon him be blessings and peace, the most excellent of examples, refer to his blessed life often.
May your education and chosen career path increase you in wisdom and open a new world of experience and opportunity for you. May we continue learning and implementing our knowledge and skills in the best of ways throughout our lives. May all our tasks, efforts and achievements be ultimately, to serve God.
It has been said that the best form of religion is that which is most beneficial to others. May God grant us the blessing to use our talents and ability for the common good of all, especially for those less advantaged than ourselves.
Imam Zaid Shakir
"Education is transformational..." - I'm nottotally sure about that. Yeah, it's fluid, and should be. But there is something to be said about keeping structure on the macro scale. James
There are many American Muslim leaders. The press does not show them to maintain a foreign image of Islam, but I would invite you to consider there is much that is not shown to sway your opinion. Check them out for yourself, before you answer. http://www.alimprogram.com/scholars/badawi.shtml Some of their names include: Dr. Sherman Jackson, Dr. Umar Faruq Abdullah, Hamza Yusuf, Imam Zaid Shakir and on and on
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