The Exemplary Couple for Lifelong Learning and Value of Appreciation

The Exemplary Couple of Lifelong Learning and Value of AppreciationHajji Borhan Said and His Wife, (MakCik) Hajjah Latifah

Alhamdulillah… Infinite thanks and praises are due to the Almighty Allah who created in man the sense of inspirations so we can inspire one another. I send peace and blessings upon the most inspirational man, Sayyidina Muhammad, his household, his companions and all those who follow his guided path.

This article highlights an ‘Uncle and Auntie’ who have demonstrated a unique love for lifelong learning and quality of appreciation. That has inspired me and moved me, and hence, this article.

Islam has always emphasized the significance of knowledge and the importance of seeking it. Hence, it has encouraged mankind to seek knowledge at all times. It even goes further to make the pursuit of knowledge an obligation upon every Muslim. To that effect, Allah says in Sūrah Al-Zumar, 9

“Say (unto them, O Muhammad): Are those who know equal with those who know not? But only men of understanding will pay heed”.

Imām al-Tirmidhī reports from the narration of Sayyidunā ibn Mālik raḍiya Allāhu ‘anhu that the Prophet ṣallā Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

“He who goes forth in search of knowledge is considered as struggling in the Cause of Allah until he returns.”

It’s worth indicating here, that the term ‘knowledge’ here refers to the knowledge that keeps one’s belief and religion accurate and updated.

I first shared this article in a form of Facebook not with my FF friends. It is a reflection of what I have humbly experienced since I started having Quran recitation session with Hajj Borhan Said and his wife Hajjah Latifah.

As of 2009, Hajj Borhan is 58 years old, and Hajjah Latifah is 54 years of age. They couple stand as a living example of adults who appreciate knowledge at all costs and thus, adopt the style of lifelong learning. They have been reciting the Qur’an with me for the last seven months or so. I remember telling them in the beginning; “Hajji, you are good readers already, and may not need to repeat reading the Holy Qur’an again and again with me”.

But they insisted! “Since you insist, please allow me to be very strict with you, as I am in teaching the Qur’an recitation, as far as tajwīd rules are concerned, and you will have to bear with me; if you won’t mind,” I said. They agreed. I told them that because they are already no longer beginners in recitation. They are even better that some intermediates.

Masha Allah, since we started, they never fail to attend the one-to-two session, unless there is an emergency. Even when I’m very busy and may not be able to attend to them as per our usual schedule, they will still be patient and wait for me to finish and attend to them. Subhana Allah!

Looking at them reading, with full of passion, patience and focus, I become motivated towards teaching and learning (upgrading myself) rather than motivating them to keep up the lifelong learning.

They never hide their eagerness for knowledge! A good example is the way they put their questions very precise. They always make sure they have done their homework (practice) properly before attendance. Allahu Akbar! I was not up to that level of hard working when I was in school; even now that I’m still schooling, I’m yet to work as hard as they do!

They never finish pouring words of appreciation after each lesson; by mentioning this, I will always remember some students in Madrasah Wak Tanjong Al-Islamiah who always taught me an unforgettable lesson whenever I finished having classes with them; they would come to me after lessons to say “Ustaz, Thank you for teaching us…” Subhana Allah!

Words that have always touched my heart to the bottom. This way of appreciation is one of the values that I almost forgot until I met those brothers and sisters (students) at Madrasah Wak Tanjong Al-Islamiah. It kept on reminding me of the days when I was in school and in the university. To put this value, which I don’t want to lose, into practice again, in my daily and practical life, I try to go to my lecturers at Informatics Computer School, at the end of every lesson to repeat the same sentence,“Mr/Mm (… ), Thank you for teaching us…”. Subhana Allah, and you can imagine the facial reaction of the lecturers!

I believe a knowledge seeker needs to combine the above-mentioned values (eagerness for seeking knowledge, being gratitude after receiving it and showing respect for the knowledge itself and for the teacher) in his or her study life to become an exemplary knowledge seeker or scholar. Knowledge, as knowledge, can be good or bad. Because it can be used for either intentions, until it is polished with some values that will definitely make it blessed insha Allah.

At the end this note, I would like to thank Hajj Borhan Said and Hajjah Latifah (my MakCik) for the indirect motivation they give me anytime we have the talaqqi session. Also, I would like to thank the following students from Madrasah Wak Tanjong Al-Islamiah (just to encourage and motivate them to keep up the good habits and values. No intention to praise them, though they deserve to be praised), some of those students are: Aminnursalihin, Mu’az Bin Mohd Abdul Halim (Funny in his own way , btw, hehe2) Muhd Nurhakim Rezawan, Muhd Hannan, Muhd Hariz, Syafeeq Mardi, Zahratur Rofiqah, Ihsan Ghazali, Abdul Haqq (P6, 2009), and to those I cannot recall their names at the time of writing this note; you are also included! These are those who were able to verbally express some of their feelings. I know, and I am aware of some who did express similar feelings in their own way; You are all included.. and you have been noted

These are those who were able to verbally express some of their feelings. I know, and I am aware of some who did express similar feelings in their own way; You are all included.. and you have been noted insha Allah.

I make du’a that Allah subḥānahū wata’ālā guide us and all Muslims at all times. May He purify our hearts from all sort of evil thoughts and fill them with true faith, bless our deeds with sincerity. And may He bless our life with good relations with Him and with His creatures (Hablun min Allah, wa Hablun min Annas).

Allah knows best.
Allahu Hafiz 🙂