“First things first” lecture by Dr. Bilal Philips

Hassan Essa
Hassan Essa

The great Muslim scholar, Dr. Bilal Philips, and founder of Islamic Online University (IOU)-online based university that has offices over 228 countries, paid a lecture at the University of Hargeisa on Sunday evening. A lecture that was attended more than 1000 students, was amoral beginning for the students.

The lecture was entitled as “First things first” which addresses proper planning, doing things in steps effectively and putting most important first and least important back.

“Islam calls us proper planning as it’s built on five pillars; declaration of faith(Shahadah) comes first, as other pillars next to it,” said Dr.Bilal.

“Initial requirement of every Muslim is the prayer after Shahadah, since the prayers are established five times a day, unlike Fasting and Zakah where there is no critical order between them.” Dr. Bilal added.

The words were touching and inspiring that every attendant felt boosted and motivated. I was very lucky that I was there and now made initial amendments to myself.

The scholar, then asked students; why did they choose these particular faculties they are studying?

“If our goals are the richest, house, and a car. Then we have to pass exams, get degrees and get a job- these are the steps to get this goals. But this is not the way of Islam.” Dr. Bilal insisted.

“Do your faculties to give your abilities, knowledge and skills to help society, applying prophets Hadith [The best of people are those beneficial to society]. This is the noble reason and the perfect way.

Personally, I largely resisted to this advice, “Do your faculties on the basis of benefiting for society”. This is the right intention that Allah wants from us.

Dr. Bilal recommended that students have to change the goals of houses and cars to Jannah. That’s what Allah wants from us and fellow our prophets.

One problem, however, is all university administrations complain about cheating. Strictly speaking, Dr. Bilal had sworn students not to cheat. [He who cheats is not of us] prophet said.

Cheating is not the characteristics of Muslims and cheating will undermine these goals as corruption will exceed.

By all means, after all attendants made sworn statement, Dr. Bilal urged them to stick to this commitment.

“Allah can make you the basis for change, and be major factor for society.” Dr. Bilal concluded.

All things considered, Islamic life properly is real faith based on belief and action.