The right way to excellence

Rokiah Mahmud

Paving the way to become an excellent student, one needs to be a ray of light that can brighten others in the darkness. Hence, having a strong aqidah or faith along with proper practices are the key pillars in moulding students’ characters, personality and knowledge.

This was shared by the recently appointed Visiting Professor at the Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA) Professor Dr Abdul Somad Batubara, delivering a special lecture on ‘Becoming an Excellent Student’ at the university’s auditorium on January 28. Some 500 students attended the lecture. The visiting professor, who is a renowned speaker from the Republic of Indonesia, also reminded the students to have strong determination in their studies while at the same time to balance between the needs of duniawi and ukhrawi.

In the quest of knowledge, the certificate or degree that they obtain serves as evidence reflecting all their hard work and efforts to seek for knowledge that later on can be shared or spread among others.

The lecture also advised students to each continuously have a strong motivational mind so that they could excel in their studies and not to be misguided with any deviant teachings that could affect them and their journey towards excellence.

The professor also believes that, with UNISSA’s firm mission and vision, the Islamic higher learning institution could excel and become a prominent university in the Malay Archipelago and in the Asian region.

Visiting Professor at the Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA) Professor Dr Abdul Somad delivers his lecture. PHOTO: ROKIAH MAHMUD

In this modern world where social media has become a medium for many to interact and seek information and knowledge, students need to be aware that not all information or knowledge that they browse or look for can be taken as sources.

Therefore, students still need to refer or ask their lecturers or refer to other rightful sources such as books and manuscripts that have been written by famed Islamic scholars such as Imam Al-Ghazali. If they just digest information from the Internet, it could open doors of doubts with the teachings or information that are not according to Ahli Sunnah Wal Jama’ah school of thought.

At the same time, to become an excellent student, one needs to strengthen their aqidah (faith). In sharing on his study years, the professor explained that they needed to write all the knowledge and information given by their lecturers. But nowadays, with the advancement of technology, the students just need to record and refer back to what they have recorded.

The professor advised that the students need to value and appreciate with the world they live in today.

At the same time, he also advised the students not to be misguided with all information on social media, adding that they need to uphold the Ahli Sunnah Wal Jama’ah teachings, regardless of whatever deviant or misleading knowledge or teachings that they being encountered. He also reminded the students to always practice being humble in their life, even if they hold positions in society.

This is one of the characters of ‘being humble’ commended by Allah the Almighty. The professor also shared how Islamic scholars were humble, not only for their personality and character but also for continuously seeking for new knowledge, to understand more about Islamic teachings and the science of knowledge.

These shall be made as examples for students who really want to achieve excellence in their life. The professor also advised UNISSA’s students to always practise being ikhlas – sincere and accepting – in their quest to seek Islamic knowledge, while at the same time students should take the renowned Islamic scholars as their example. The professor reminded the students to always refer to, write and read books and manuscripts that have been written by Islamic scholars famous during their times.

Professor Dr Ustaz Abdul Somad was recently appointed as Visiting Professor at UNISSA for period of two years.

With the appointment, the professor hopes to lead and assist this Islamic university in upholding its vision to become an Islamic higher education hub in Asia.