Inspiration for Aspiration- Sharing Student Stories

Name: Malika Jaffer Mukhtar
Degree: Doctor of Medicine
University studied in: Hubert Kairuki Memorial University
Location of University: Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Jamaat: Dar es Salaam

There are few days in human life when one is truly elated.   The first day in college is one of them. When you are getting ready, you feel a tingling in your stomach. What would the auditorium be like? What would the teachers be like? Who are my new classmates? – There is so much to be curious about. I call this excitement, the spark within you that makes you feel truly alive. That’s how it was for me.

Where do these sparks start? I think we are born with them. My 3 year old niece has a million sparks. A little splash toy can make her jump on the bed. She gets thrills from creaky swings in the park. A story from daddy gets her excited. It is same for us all, such that when I was little and my mom would take me to a doctor due to a fever, a few minutes spent in that room with a lovely lady sitting there caring for me and being so kind sparked in me the passion to become a doctor.

As I grew up my grandma told me Islam is all about service to mankind for the sole pleasure of Allah (swt). This made me firm on my direction of becoming a doctor. The verse of the Holy Qur’an, which so comprehensively covers this concept of service to humanity, reads: O people of Islam, "You are the best people ever raised for the good of mankind because you have been raised to serve others; you enjoin what is good and forbid evil and believe in Allah." (3:111).

You will remain the best as long as you are service-minded; promote good and welfare of the society. If you fail to do this, you no longer have a right to boast of the superiority of Islam and the Muslim Ummah. A society which is insensitive to the suffering of other human beings and is not always inclined to serve the cause of humanity cannot be described as an Islamic society, no matter how much it adhered to other aspects of Islamic teachings.

For my choice of career and as a girl, I did face a few challenges where people would object and say, “It’s a long journey” and for a girl there are many more responsibilities and hence my choice is not a good choice. However, thanks to my supportive parents and family I had the courage to move past it all and say, as a muslimah, I hope to be treated by a female doctor and so by becoming one I shall serve the purpose of giving comfort to my fellow muslimahs and thus serving the Imam Of Our time, Imam Mahdi (atfs) as my little contribution.

It’s been a rough journey; medical school is a difficult path. I remember crying my heart out at Mwananyamala Hospital outside the Pediatric Ward when we lost a five year old patient despite trying our best and that is when a friend said, “Dr., it won’t be your first loss but look forward to the hundreds you will save.” My professors, family and friends have been a great support throughout.

The fundamental qualities that we must all acquire to serve mankind or to develop a passion to serve mankind are: love for humanity, kindness in our hearts for others, a charitable disposition, humility, honesty, a thirst for knowledge, a desire to share knowledge with others and a constant desire to strive in the cause of Allah (swt). All these I have experienced in my past four years of medical school.

Now being in my last year and being awarded as Best Student for my fourth year has been truly encouraging and a boost to work harder and strive to be competent in my field so that one day I proudly can say I am a Medical Doctor ready to serve and save lives.  My vision is to do my Masters in Obstetrics and Gynecology, with the help of Allah (swt), and in the near future be able to be there for women of our community as a help and mentor other young doctors for the better future of our community. As they say, ‘the hands that rock a cradle rule the world.’ My role model in this time and age is Sayyida Fatima (a.s) who was and still is a great inspiration – a wise, intelligent and determined service provider to all of her community. This is what I try to do in whatever little way I can.

The Education Board of Africa Federation congratulates Malika for her achievements and appreciates her sharing of her thoughts and journey with other young students within the community. We pray for her success in completing her studies with many more similar accolades in the future InshaAllah. 
EB Secretariat

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