Memory is a strange thing. We can remember the very old but not something that has just happened one or two years ago. So I can remember a few things that happened about 26 years ago. I remember how my father took me to school when I was 4 years old. The Divisional Public School for kids had a gate that was too high and too broad for 4 year olds and a gravel path that led to the building of the school. At that moment I felt and behaved the way every 4 year old on his first day to school would feel. The sight of school gate made me burst into tears and the feeling of being away from home and my mother was so intense that I can’t describe here. So blubbering I came across my first female teacher who gave me a slap straight away and I went straight to sit on a vacant chair without further grumbling. So that’s how my first day at school as far as my memory goes was.
My First Lesson:
The teacher asked: What is your name?
My name is Rai Fazal Abbas.
Then the teacher asked: What is your religion?
My religion is Islam.
Then again the teacher asked: What is the name of your Prophet?
My Prophet’s name is Muhammad (SAW). I knew nothing about Islam except Muhammad (SAW) and Allah the merciful.
So that was the first interview I appeared in and Alhamdulilah got through successfully.
That slap and that interview has left an indelible impression on my personality. My faith is my whole personality.
As I grew up I got to learn a few more things about Islam and Muslims. When I compare my first innocent lesson at school to the current state of affairs in Muslim countries I am left with nothing but despair and humiliation. I ask myself what has gone wrong with Muslims. Why are the Muslim societies in a state of upheaval? Why are they being targeted everywhere? Is it a foreign conspiracy as people say or have Muslims become something else? Have they forgotten the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (SAW)? These questions have confounded me but not shaken my faith.