IMPORTANCE OF STUDENT WORK
Students are a very important segment of the society. They are intellectually alive, are dynamic, idealistic, and can
afford the luxury of looking at issues without being under the pressure of being in the field. Skills and convictions acquired
by students are a valuable investment for future community leadership. Work among students helps not only to identify potential
leaders but also to train and promote their leadership potential.
CHARACTERISTICS OF STUDENTS:
Students have the following characteristics: idealism, openness, strong convictions, taking strong actions on convictions,
tendency to take extreme positions. Students have a wide range of issues that affect them both inside and outside the institution.
Most student activists tend to gravitate to controversial issues. Within the institution students are concerned with the following
issues: academic policies, physical facilities, and services. Outside the institution students are concerned with the environment,
social issues, economic issues, and international affairs.
Students may have social apathy or social dynamism depending on their socio-economic background. Students in affluent
free societies with no pressing social problems tend to be satisfied and difficult to organize because of apathy. Students
in societies with social repression are apathetic because they have little hope of changing their fate.
Students are most active where there are issues that affect them as students or as citizens and there is reasonable
chance of meaningful change. Too much idealism can cause some students to back away from social activism when they realize
the imperfections of 'real life'.
A balance needs to be established between social activism and academic achievement. You however should never forget
that the main purpose is to learn and study. Student extracurricular activities should never interfere with studies. Students
have to be good students first before they are anything else!
CHALLENGES FOR STUDENTS
Students face many challenges: academic, ideological, and cultural. They are also concerned about ummatic issues: economic
development and human rights. Students grow up in homes and communities where they receive Islamic knowledge and culture to
varying degrees. They attend educational institutions that impart euro-centric disciplines of knowledge some of whose paradigms
are contrary to what they learn from their communities. Students are acutely aware of the gap in science and technology between
their societies and the industrialized world and many of them are aware of the reality that their education may not equip
them to ‘catch up’ or even if it did there are forces that will not allow them to make their societies stronger.
Students are bombarded daily with ‘isms’
ROLE OF STUDENTS:
According to the late scholar, Abu A’ala al Maududi, students have a major role in Islamization of knowledge.
They have to learn and transmit Islamic heritage to the next generation. They have to engage in an intellectual struggle against
other ideologies. They have to fight corruption to preserve their morals and those of society. They must get practical skills
needed to succeed in an increasingly technical society.
FUNCTIONS OF STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS: Student programs may be social or dawa oriented inside or outside the
university campus. Programs for students on the campus include: worship, tarbiyat
and training, academic support, entertainment, career or study counseling, counseling on social life, protection of Muslim
student interests, and dawa. MSAs should receive and initiate new students on arrival
or if possible even before coming to the University or college. Routine activities of MSA include: lectures, question forums,
study groups, competitions, projects, drama, exhibitions, visits to hospitals, charitable visits, Islamic newsletter/magazine,
video shows, practical demonstrations. The usra type of training is the best for
students. A specific plan must be followed to ensure that there is continuous and balanced tarbiyat all through the course of study at the university.