Oh, My Most Beloved Seekers of Knowledge!...

  (The Current New Age has presented many challenges to religions in general and Islam more specifically. Everyone member of the Ummaḥ has to face it with excellence in learning)

  *Read only if you are serious about your future*

 Before I go to the subject matter of this paper, I must explain that the source of all knowledge and information is “Ilm “ and “Hikmah”. I will not try to explain the intricacies of these two terms. Suffice to say that the source of all knowledge is the “Wahi” given by Allah (SWT) to Adam (A), when Allah (SWT) said in the Quran that Allah (SWT) gave all knowledge of everything to Adam (A) and through him to all human being. So now no new knowledge is created by any human being. They are simply digging out doing research and finding out what is already existing there in one form or the other. This is called study, learning, research, and education at different levels of human life, this is their civilization, culture, and relationship with the Creator. 

 With this short preface, I try to pass on my thoughts and opinions to my friends engaged in learning in different stages and positions. Before I proceed, please refer to the following Āyāts from the Holy Quran : (1)58:11. (2) 2:282. (3) 20:114. (4) 58:11. (5) 2:11-25. ( 6 ) 7 :11-25. (7) 2: 30,31,32,33 (8) 18:49 (9) 18: 109. I could give Arabic text with translation. But I want the keen students to search for these holy Ayats of the Quran by themselves.

There is no hard, quick and fast magic to gaining excellence in learning and education. However, some basic and important principles can be considered necessary for obtaining success in education, and learning experience, and thus gaining a reasonable level of excellence in any field of studies, training, and research. It is not intended to discuss education in the primary and middle stages. In this note, in simple language, the opinion and advice will be offered for the “take-off” level students. It is not possible to convince a student to change his mode of study with a receptive attitude. I am therefore not addressing those who feel that they know all and have chosen their ways and methods for addressing their excellence in education and chose the discipline of study. My thoughts are a result of my experience in teaching in Japan and my study and research work for my PhD. It is possible to disagree with me but I suggest that learners may read this paper with an open mind and with a wish to learn. Let us study how to be special and unique. Dear Students, please read this article with dua for Hidayah and guidance. Better don’t read if you think you are already a scholar.

  1. Love your subject. A student is someone who loves (not just like ) his subject and loves the books on the line of studies. This means you are on the march to making your personality. So you have to pay attention to yourself.
  2. You are being watched by people, family, friends, and above all by The Creator of Knowledge and information. He wants to see how the knowledge given by Him is read.
  3. It is reasonable to think of a career. Be bold to face challenges and be investigative. We thrive only concerning one another. We rise and discover the best of course.
  4. Having a thriving passion - a burning desire to be number one in your field. One has to decide for himself. This quality will give you the energy to work hard.
  5. Study time is important. It is to be decided by the students themself. There is no alternative to opening a book (Computer or phone) where your knowledge is hidden. You have to share the time. Some people stay up late at night, while others prefer early morning hours, when you are fresh after Subh prayer.
  6. Share your thoughts, concepts, and opinions with others. Talk about solid things, but save your energy. A good idea is to " talk less, eat less and sleep less ". All of These must be reasonable and good for your health.
  7. You cannot change the world in the university system where you are a student. You cannot change the method and curriculum, the arrangement and rules, etc. You have to adjust yourself to the circumstances and the situations.
  8. You cannot have a perfect world as you wish. It is not your world. Others have their likings and preferences. If you are looking for a defectless and best situation, you will never get it. I read somewhere that if you are looking for a beautiful, young, educated, earning, rich, expert kitchen master, knows three languages, good actor, good dancer, and a religiously devoted wife, chances are that you will die single/unmarried. You cannot get 100% of what you wish.
  9. Remember, you are unique. There is no one quite like you. Your nature, habits, and school or university, your temperament make you unique. Keep this uniqueness and use it for your progress and advantage.
  10. Be away from pressure, stress, and strains. This can be done by doing things at a proper time and with punctuality. This includes salat, Quran study, early going to bed and early rising and doing a walk, physical exercise, etc. This is called “time management”. Time is wealth.
  11. Remember you are preparing yourself for contribution to world peace, work for progress, and your country and society.
  12. Remember, your educational college or university is not concerned with your earnings and economic status after graduation. It is your responsibility. The university simply defines your ability.
  13. You have to decide what you are doing with your life. Do what you won't regret. For this object, you have to be creative.
  14. Wanting to get wealthy is not bad. But you have to learn how to earn and how to spend rightly. Opportunities don’t come knocking at your doors, you have to go out and find them.
  15. It is a wise way to discover by trial and error. Do not make blunders and regret it in the end. You are your own greatest investment. Do not curse or beat yourself for what you haven’t done yet. Look to the future.
  16. Another important thing to be careful of is not to be emotionally invested in potential opportunities at an early stage when everything looks fantastic.
  17. Set yourself, reinvent and renovate your qualities. Stop complaining and blaming others for your failures if any. Be bold to take responsibility for what you say and write and be frank to admit your fault. This will make you great. Try to be a new person with high spirits.
  18. Some students do not take up a project or a mission as they are afraid of failure. Trying and failing is better than not trying at all. Something is better than nothing.
  19. Try not to tackle too many problems at once. It is better to focus on delivering five things brilliantly rather than ten badly and poorly.


Closing remarks

I hope that the serious and talented student will get some useful hints from what I have recorded off-hand, based on my efforts, experiences, desires, and dreams. It is up to each student to accept and reject what has been stated in the 19 points. There may be some repetitions or overemphasized matters. I consider myself no more than a person still in the process of learning at the age of 85 ( I got PhD from IIUM in 2014 ). The students may accept and adopt what they like.


Note: I made a short survey of 20 random students at handouts to find out what is the main objective of education and the result is given in table below:


Objectives of learning




How many students make it is a Top priority

Second priority

Third priority


Gaining knowledge





For a good job





For attaining dream/passion





Stable life





Just for fun





For family’s honour





Serving humanity





For the goodness in the hereafter





Now I want to close this article, with some solid advice to students of undergraduate and postgraduate (Ph. D) classes:

  1. Relationship with the supervisor of the department is essential. It must be cordial and respectful.
  2. Commitment to learning is necessary. You are learning from teachers and you are not teaching them.
  3. Make your answers and presentation and reports charismatic, authentic and with suitable references.

Remarks for the Serious Attention of the Students:

  1. a) Good education and research are measured by their contribution to learning.
  2. b) Good research has neither a final nor exact definition. It has different criteria. Many scholars have included the following points for good research.
  3. c) The researcher has to make a contribution to knowledge, prove something, change the understanding or raise new questions.
  4. d) The research must achieve something that matters, is beautiful (not ugly) beneficial for society, its values, and ideology.


With the remarks given above, I come to the end and leave to the readers how much they benefit from my thoughts.

(Dr. Mohammad AbdurRahman Siddiqi is the Chairman of the International Muslim Center Japan (IMCJ). He obtained his PhD in Usuluddin and Comparative Religion from International Islamic University Malaysia)


The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily mirror Islamonweb’s editorial stance.

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