Learning- A Life Long Journey
The 1st 5 verses to be revealed to our Beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) exhorted Mankind to read. As revealed in Surah Al Alaq, Chapter 96 (v1-5):
“ Proclaim or Read in the name of Your Lord and Cherisher, who created man, out of a leech like clot. Proclaim! And your Lord is most Bountiful. He who taught ( the use of) the Pen. Taught man that which he knew not.”
It is thus crystal clear that Allah (SWT) has made learning obligatory on both males and females equally.
After earning my BSc, I decided to pursue my MBBS and my mum just said, you are so like your dad, studying in adulthood. My late father didn’t get to enroll in English classes until he was an adult student, yet as the eldest son/child of 10, he ensured that his youngest brother received the start of a preschool education by rounding up the village children and teaching them their ABCs at the Masjid. My uncle would later become the 1st from the village to graduate from a university.
At the time of my decision, I believed it was a legacy of my dad’s, but when I told his brother about my plans, the reply was: why not? If you are still keen, just keep going. Apparently it was my late paternal grandma who had instilled in her children the value of education as a means of improving socioeconomic status. She was so adamant about it that when her brother back in Malaysia denied his daughter an education, she took it upon herself to bring her niece back to Singapore and sent to school.
Following my MBBS, I went on to pursue a postgraduate diploma in family medicine and although I’m not practicing now, I am constantly learning: not just related to my medical field but many other areas as well. I am learning how to support my children in their studies and I realize that knowledge can be acquired in fields beyond our academic interest or profession. My current passion is to cook healthy meals, sans sodium loaded sauces, hence, I am learning about herbs and spices. Gardening is a new hobby borne out of a desire to obtain organic vegetables and fruits so I am also learning during this process. In fact, the more you learn, the more you will realize how little it is we know. Life should be a continuous journey of improving oneself through acquisition of knowledge for knowledge is indeed power.
My top priority of study is learning Arabic and Quran and it seems that this legacy of my late grandmother has lived on through her grandchildren and great grandchildren who have now chosen to leave Singapore in pursuit of their dreams; and this was learned from an enlightened lady who lived in the 1940s.