If you are reading these words, you are probably a prospective or newly enrolled student. Very likely, what is at the forefront of your mind is forms, finance, curriculum, classroom – in other words, the down to earth daily drudgery of starting a course of study.
But sometimes, in solitary moments, the thought must have occurred: Why education? Why study at all? Many might say: Because I must earn a living and this will improve my chances of getting a better job, or making a better living. But does that mean the fortunate few who don`t need to do that, don`t need an education? Surely there is more to education than mere materialism? – however important that may be, and, indeed, is.
The most basic thing that separates man from the rest of the animal kingdom is the ability to think, to have rational thoughts, to ask questions, to seek answers and to exercise choices. Education is more than just learning facts; it is learning how to learn. It is not only getting answers, but also learning what questions to ask. Yes, classes, books, research, tests, exams, degrees – these are all important; but as a means, not an end. In the final analysis, what we hope for is not only knowledge and learning, but wisdom.
What we, as a University can do, is to provide the best possible means the environment, the courses, the teachers, the equipment. It is for you to make their best use to reach the end for which you are striving.
The Founder of your University (in fact, of Hamdard Pakistan), Shaheed Hakim Mohammed Said, set an example for us all. The way to reach your goal is through hard work and integrity. From two rented rooms some and rented furniture, he made Hamdard what it is today: a national organization with an international reach. He never charged any fees from the millions of patients he saw; only sold his herbal medicines at very moderate price. And, when he reached material success, he converted his organization into a Waqf or Islamic trust, the profits of which go to help the needy: widows, orphans, the poor in need of health care or livelihood or education. And along with the field of philanthropy and health, he realized his dream of spreading education from school to university level.
My prayer for you is: May his spirit inspire you. And may Allah guide you to become good human beings. Ameen!