Amina’s message on Uganda experience to the students of Manchester University

‘’Allah makes the way to Jannah easy for him who treads the path in search of knowledge.” [Muslim]

‘’Alhamdulillah, this summer I was privileged to have had the opportunity to work in a school in Uganda. They hardly had anything in that school; even pencils and paper were precious to them. But the kids were so, so happy with the little that they had and so eager and ready to learn. Part of my job was to see the teaching and share some of the things that we do in the UK that they can implement.

When I was asked to write this post I really struggled with what I would say because there are so many lessons to be shared from my experience in Uganda. I lived like the villagers so now that I’m home I suddenly appreciate the small things in life, like running water, but I guess these are stories for another day.

If I could share one thing specifically with the Muslim community, it would be this… When I went to Uganda I didn’t realise how many Muslims there were there and they were so excited to see a mazungu (white) Muslim! One of the biggest eye openers for me was how little means they had to get Islamic knowledge compared to us here in the UK. Here we have internet, apps, TV channels, so many classes and countless books that we can easily access, all of which were rare where I was. Every night I would be given questions in a book that I would find answers to, to the best of my ability (I have very little Islamic knowledge and I really wish I was more knowledgeable so that I could have shared more things with them). After my long days at the school, I would spend sleepless nights writing and writing as much as I could until my hand hurt and my eyes couldn’t stay open any more. I remember I took a book called “Stories of the Prophets” with me which I gave to one of the Muslims. That book is now being passed around and they are reading it in awe. I really had no idea how valuable that book was.

Many people that I’ve spoken to at Uni really want to do Islamic classes but don’t end up doing them because of the workload of their course. I know that there is someone out there reading this that was really interested in them Arabic lessons or that Quran class but put it off. Studying for a degree is amazing and if you do it with the right intention you will be rewarded for it, Insha’Allah. But don’t let studying for this world delay gaining Islamic knowledge that will not only benefit you in this world but also in the next. This is me telling you that it is possible. When you give time for the sake of Allah, Allah puts baraqah in your time and it will actually make your Uni life a million times easier. When you give time for the sake of Allah, he only ever increases you in that time.

This is my message to the students at Manchester Uni, but most of all a reminder to myself. Take on as many things as you can. Learn as much as you can and pass it on because, believe me, there are people around the world that would do anything for the opportunities that we have and we don’t even realise it.’’

– Amina

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