As I was sitting in my room, wondering and mumbling to myself, after visiting my friends and Guru, something crossed in my mind…Something I would like to share with the readers, but 1stly I’m seeking forgiveness as my English consist of errors either grammatical or in using terms. I’m forcing myself to write in English cause of certain reasons..hehehe… Hope it is understandable.
I have gone through for two years in IIUM and I learnt many things where it increases my maturity. The thing I liked the most is where we have to mix with the international students. It gave me exposure about their cultures, languages etc.
However I’m facing difficulties in communicating with them as I’m using broken English and my English seems to be rocky. Arabic? I only got basics in Arabic although for 5 years I’m carrying it in my bag. Unfortunately, because of rarely used, the skills vanished.. Thus I considered myself as zero in Arabic.
The climax of my probs is when I can’t express the beauty of Islam to my foreign friends. Although some of them from Arabic spoken countries, they‘re not as people who are in the circle of Tarbiyyah. Totally different!! It happened to me when 1 guy from Saudi Arabia couldn’t speak English at all. Only Arabic. Our conversation nothing!! Most of the time we used signals either by hands or facial expressions. Funny eh?
It is getting worst when I met with Turkish. Some of them can’t even speak English or Arabic. Sometimes most of them are looking forward with our opinions and understanding about Islam, but I can’t emphasize it as my languages both English and Arabic spoiled. Easy to say, both parties couldn’t understand each others.
But, what I liked the most, IIUM is using English as the medium of learning. So, in class, all lecturers will deliver lecture in English although all of the students are Malays. Furthermore, my faculty trains the students to speak in front of the public as we have to present our projects etc. As from department of quantity surveying, we also have to present during portfolio. Quite tough because we have to present what we have learnt for the whole semester to the external assessors. They come from various backgrounds i.e. contractor, professional QS, external lecturer, QS from public or private sectors etc. It gives me great opportunities to sharpen my skills in communication. The toughest time during Q and A sessions. Lots of questions been thrown and need immediate respond and answers.
Besides, we have to take leadership and management subject which is compulsory to all IIUM students. It is University requirement subject. Cannot graduate without not taking this subject. Here, we learnt how to deliver speech, management, interview for job etc. This subject has no written final exam, however we have to present our working paper or proposal for a particular program/ project which we have prepared it during the whole semester.
I also learnt the skills of listening in English. I still remember how we were been tested for listening skills during MUET. It is a lil bit different because here, we have various kinds of pronunciations. Arabs, Africans, Bangladeshis, Indians, Chinese, Turkish, Bosnian, Albanian, Moroccans etc. have different dialect and pronunciations. At the beginning, I’m quite afraid to mix with them because I can’t understand; however, I switched my mind that we are in the process of learning. Thus, nobody superior over others.
Now, I have a lil bit courage to speak in English.. Practice make perfect eh? What I’m trying to stress here, skills is importance. Don’t afraid to make mistakes. We learnt from it. One more thing, if you have the opportunity to master languages, grabs it. Maximize your ability during campus life. Once you have graduated, it’s difficult to gain such knowledge and opportunities.
Bear in mind that our duty as Dai’e and Murabbi need lot of skills. How are we going to spread Islam if we can’t communicate with others? Ordinary people benefit himself while unique and special person beneficial for himself and others.
I’m not saying that I’m good in English. All of us have the potential to succeed. I learnt from the hard way. I didn’t go for English class, tuition etc. but I hold firmly the saying “where there is a will, there is a way”. I hope all of us will try our best to improve our languages, step by step.
Let us enriching ourselves with knowledge!!!