Interview with Sarah Basar – An Aspiring Lawyer

Jul 10 - Interview with Sarah BasarTell us in detail how you managed to complete your studies, and especially how you took your exams.

I studied in a special school for the blind, so I was provided all the facilities a blind student requires. Fortunately, my family has always been extremely supportive, and with their help, I managed to pursue my studies further. In school (till grade 8), I took my exams in Braille. As far as board exams are concerned (from grade 9 to graduation), I took exams with a writer, who used to write while I dictated. I had a little trouble in mathematics, but, Alhumdulillah, it all went fine. I always carry a tape recorder to record notes and lectures, which later helps me in compiling my notes.

How do you manage to access the Internet?

I work on computer with the help of voice software called Jaws. I can browse and find my notes, cases (I am currently a law student), check my e-mail, use Skype, download anything, Alhumdulillah. I have absolutely no problem in writing what I am writing!

What are your interests and how do you pursue them?

I am very much interested in current affairs and sports. I am one of those fortunate people who have access to Braille books, and I love reading. I keep track of the news regularly and keep myself updated with the latest happenings in politics.

Tell us about Braille, and how it has helped you?

Braille is a special system devised especially for the blind. It consists of six dots and is read by finger touch. Braille has helped me a lot in studies. I used to use a slate and stylus. You put the paper between the slate and with the help of a stylus punch holes in the paper. Then I got my very own Braille, which is more like a type writer. It speeds up my work.

What is the reaction of your classmates to you being a special student?

Alhumdulillah, I have always had very good classmates, who have been very understanding and supportive. They have never showed any hesitation in interacting with me or helping me, or asking for help.

What can the youth do for the needs of special students?

I think youth should be given more information about the people with special needs. There are schools which need volunteers to help such students gain confidence and feel connected to the outside world. There are many children who are not as fortunate to get in touch with a lot of things I have. I would definitely encourage younger generation to volunteer at schools for visual, physical and mentally impaired people.

How does your family support you?

My parents both have worked twice as hard on me, as they had to go an extra mile for me. My mother learnt Braille especially for me. My siblings and relatives also support me in anything I do.

What are your plans for the future?

After I graduate, I plan to do my Masters degree. Then, I would love to practice as a lawyer independently, Insha’Allah.

Interview with Abdullah, a Young Imam

Vol 7 - Issue 1 Interview with a Young imamAllah (swt) has bestowed honour upon Abdullah, an 18-year-old Imam, who has been leading the Taraweeh prayers for hundreds of men in Sad Bin Abi Waqas Masjid, Karachi.

Tell us something about your early education and your journey to becoming an Imam.

I started my education at Bright Star Academy. Simultaneously, I also began my Quranic education at Sad Ibn Abi Waqas Masjid. My father was an Imam there. Then, I enrolled into Madrassah Bait-ul-Islam as a full time student of Hifz (memorization of the Quran).

I studied in the Madrassah from morning till Isha and in the next 9 months, completed my Hifz programme. In 2005, I learnt to lead Taraweeh prayers with the help of another senior Imam. In 2006 and 2007, I was assisted by another Imam in leading Taraweeh prayers. Alhumdulillah, for the past three years I have been leading Taraweeh without any assistance.

How did you conceive the idea of leading Taraweeh prayers?

My father was my main inspiration and guide, who sowed the seeds of love for the Holy Book in me. Unlike other households, we never even dreamed of watching television or listening to the radio. Since the Quran was all that we ever heard as children, there were various Surahs and Ayahs that we learnt by heart, before even beginning our formal education of Hifz.

At the age of 9, my father encouraged us to practice leading as Imams in the Masjid. Alhumdulillah, mainly due to consistent auditory learning at home under my parents’ guidance, I developed an interest in all my exercises of the Quran and began leading Taraweeh at the age of 13.

What are your future plans? Would you like to become an Imam in a Masjid, following in your father’s footsteps?

I do not worry too much about my future. I have trust in Allah (swt), Who will guide me to the right path.

As for my career as an Imam, firstly, I wish to lead a life of a responsible Muslim now and in future too. Secondly, it is my desire to be associated with the Masjid. I don’t want to impose myself on anyone. If the Masjid requires my services, I will do that. I would love to be associated with it in any way I can to please Allah (swt).

Would you like to leave a message to our youth?

I would only like to say, what the Prophet (sa) said: “In the difficult hours of Yaum-e-Qiyamah, there will be seven kinds of people, who will be granted shade under Allah’s (swt) throne. One of them will be the youth, who committed their time to obeying and worshipping Allah (swt) and following His Messenger (sa).”

This doesn’t mean that a Muslim youth is expected to hibernate in the Masjid. Rather, our Messenger (sa) used to encourage and pray for young people to engage in trade and earn lawful means of sustenance.

Nowadays, youngsters forget that they are not here forever. They ignore the Shariah, indulge in forbidden stuff and use all available tools to acquire what they want, daringly disobeying the Lord.

Another important matter is to ensure that the good deeds done are in accordance with the ways of the Prophet (sa) and not self-created or prescribed by a certain spiritual leader.

May Allah (swt) grant inspiration to others to follow in Abdullah’s footsteps and give to our Ummah young, well-guided and dynamic leaders. Ameen.