Work is life,

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 01 May 2005

Prof Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi

As a child I dreamed of becoming aphysician. But as fate would have, it Iended up studying the nooks and cranniesof the law. When the opportunitycame in September 1971 to teach atInstitut Teknologi Mara, I accepted thechallenge. 

I was 24 then. Thirty-three years lateras the shadows lengthen on my career, Ithank God for all that has been. 

I have met thousands of students inthe valleys of their youth and haveaccompanied them on their journey tomaturity. As we traversed the mountainslopes together we saw vistas that I didnot know existed. 

My students helped me to grow. Theytaught me that education is a two-wayprocess. It is a life-long journey and nota destination. 

As an educator I have had the privilegeof touching thousands of young lives andbeing touched by them. I have developedthe conviction that everyone hasthe right to education and everyone isinvested with the capacity to learn. 

I agree with Whitehead that the purposeof all education is to promote activityof thought and receptivity to beautyand humane feeling. 

In legal education the specific aims areto acquaint students with substantiveand procedural aspects of the law and tohone their abilities to think clearly andlogically and to communicate thoughteffectively. 

The law programme must impart factsas well as ideals. Law is not only aboutrules. Behind rules stand purposes. 

Beyond rules lurk consequences. Weneed to explore not only what the law isbut what it is for and what is actuallydoes. 

As a worker in the evening of mycareer, I believe that work is life and lifeis work. Robert Frost’s immortal wordsare close to my heart: “The woods arelovely, dark and deep/But I have promisesto keep/And miles to go before Isleep/And miles to go before I sleep”. 

I hope to have many more WorkersDays in my life. On this Workers Day Iwish to tell all wage earners that work isa form of worship and deserves similardevotion. Whatever our station in life,we should take pride in our roles. Themost admirable of people are those whodo ordinary jobs in extraordinary ways. 

  • Prof Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi is Professorof Law at UiTM

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