Last week was one of the toughest weeks in my life.
As a teacher, I never knew that the short time having known him in class with orientation sessions briefing would be so significant in my life. I knew he was a gem even in the first ‘lecture’ for my subject where I had to brief the course outline and stuff related to some other university’s procedures, rules & regulations. Being me, a game popped out of my head which was arrangement of students according to birth dates which would require them to mix around, communicate with new found friends rather than being complacent with the same gender, ex-schoolmates or already known housemates.
After the instructions were given, I was delighted that a student stepped forth taking action to solve the problem thus helped me save my time. Part of me smiled as I observed his wittiness and innocent gesture to take lead of the task. From that instance, I knew he’d be a leader and a student which I would be fond of as his characteristics showed uttermost confidence, with a sense of humour and a sense of responsibility. Not many students are brave enough to jump in to lead in the first class especially in a new environment with new classmates. So, what more can a teacher ask for instead of some sheer luck from someone who can help out in task management. I was pleased :)
The second meeting for his class, we played another missionary game of interviewing one another. He didn’t have any partner and joking mentioned that he wanted to pair up with me. I asked him to pair up with the girls near him as I had to monitor other students. That was the biggest regret I had and “If only I had” or “I wish I had” probability continues to linger in my mind ever since as that was the last class he had on that day before the accident.
Recalling moments like these shakes me and questions will never be answered. I know it’s Allah swt plan for me to feel his presence even for a while. His death affected me tremendously until I felt a part of me was shattered. I know that Allah wants me to be strong and it’s one way to make me a stronger and a better person. I thank God for the sweet memories I had with all the students especially him.
I will remember his birthdate as that’s the first game we played in class.
I will remember the word Intelligent which he would like people to call him before his name.
I will remember the book he recently read was the Bible where he’d explain similarities of the Bible and Al-Quran.
I will remember his poise and contribution in class really made the class alive.
I liked him because of that. Now, what I can do is remember him because of it.
His short presence marked many wonderful memories.
I’ll miss him and I’m sure his friends will miss him too, hopefully for all the good reasons, InsyaAllah.
A week passed by and the steps towards entering his class felt like the longest walk I had to endure. I had to drag my feet and compose myself as many thoughts were lingering in my mind, the thought of not entering was also an option which I didn’t know how it crossed my mind. Anyways, I didn’t want to show any sadness as I know his classmates would be sad, I didn’t want to be all quirkie and happy as I was feeling sad. The fact is I didn’t know what to do because they don’t teach you these things in the teaching profession. All I know is that it needs to be addressed and I finally managed to talk about it. I hope I did it in the most gratifying manner as one of our final respects to him.
Let’s all send a little prayer for him so that Allah swt will bless his soul and place him among the pious and strong believers of Allah swt. We all will eventually leave this earth as our presence here is temporary; hopefully we will all meet in heaven one day insyaAllah…
Al fatihah to Muhammad Irsyad Atif. (30.12.1994 – 8.6.2012)
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