Fruits for the Week

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Our local environment, indeed of the whole world, is constantly changing. Every day people are making new developments in every area of knowledge that change the way we live. To be able to keep up with the pace and grow together with the environment, we need to be more aware of what to learn each day so that we will not become stagnant or too stressed in the current of change. The right and essential knowledge is important for survival.

First of all, the Muslims have to have a lifelong interest and thirst for knowledge. Our Prophet (SAW) said: “Learn from the cradle to the grave.” This means that there is no stoppage in education and training. In the past, the lack of opportunities for education and training had led many Muslims to remain uneducated and unskilled, but there is no excuse for this to happen to you today. If a Muslim student becomes a school or institute/college dropout as a result of mixing with bad hats, playing truant, or failing in examinations, it becomes a great loss to the Muslim ummah.

Even after a person completes his education and training at whatever level, be it at secondary, post-secondary, or tertiary level, and enters the world of work, his learning, in the formal or informal way, must go on. Indeed, today, stopping your education at the secondary level to work is unwise. You should proceed further in academic studies or technical training. You should upgrade your qualifications for a better future. If you are unable to take up a full-time course for some unavoidable reason, you should pursue it part-time or through distance learning. There are many government-backed and private institutions offering such opportunities for acquiring diploma and degree qualifications. This is the age of computers. So, no Muslim youth of today should be lagging behind in information technology, for instance. Learning continues. So always indulge in lifelong learning.

If you are already working, it is very important for you to go for training courses to update and upgrade your knowledge and skills on your own initiative. You should not refuse any good opportunity given to you to attend any in-service training and development programs arranged by your employer. Training is a tool to equip yourself with the latest skills and you should be highly motivated to receive it.

Nowadays, knowledge is so wide and technology is so advanced that it becomes necessary for one to keep abreast of knowledge and skill to be relevant and employable. New or upgraded knowledge and skills will increase your productivity and the quality of your work. You must be willing to learn new knowledge and be trained in skills that will help the country stay competitive.

Continuous education, training, and development programs should become a kind of positive reinforcement for the growth of one’s personality. This, in turn, will serve to enhance the productivity of the organization and the nation at large.

With education and training, the quality, discipline, and efficiency of the workforce would be enhanced. And with continuous education and upgrading of skills and knowledge, the nation can sustain enhanced productivity and full employment while the workers can earn high wages. Educated people working with strict Islamic principles, would certainly be an asset to the progress of the nation. Look at the countries which do not put a strong emphasis on education and training: the ordinary people suffer, many of whom do not even have a proper meal a day.

So, if you are a student or a worker, stress the need to develop your capabilities quickly to cope with today’s changing situation in the workforce or economy. Work smart in order to boost not only your productivity but also your image as a Muslim.

Involve yourself in teamwork. Be co-operative. Get trained or retrained so as to be equipped with the knowledge and skills needed for the job of tomorrow. An important component of professional competence is a thorough knowledge of your work or the product or service of your organization or company, and to do your work well and productivity. Cultivate an attitude towards pride and professionalism.

Like halal work, education and training are ibadah. It is part of the living process. Hence, you should not underestimate the value of education and training for worldly success in whatever area, be it in academic, and technical pursuit, scientific research, industrial work, administration, agriculture, medical studies or building construction, etc.

Your interest and outstanding achievements in these areas mean strength and respect for the ummah and your country. So, strive to increase and update your knowledge and skills to meet the increasing economic demands of your country.

by Shaikh A. Kadir

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