It was not an easy journey, especially for someone of so little talent as me. During the five years, there were two major faculty restructurings and several minor ones. Suffice to say that I had to move office twice ☺, which means that I had been in three different rooms (in block H) as head of Softam ( that was rather confusing for some of my students over the years 😃).
The most challenging aspect as the Head was to find ways and means to motivate my colleagues to move in tandem with the needs of the university. This essentially means research and publication. I do not think I had succeeded in doing just that...but I do hope I had managed to make all my friends in Softam realize the importance of knowledge via research and dissemination of knowledge, via publication.
Equally challenging was to foster harmony and synergy between colleagues both professionally and personally. Since no man is an island and since meaningful research cannot take place without proper collaboration between colleagues (from within Softam or outside), harmony and synergy are two main goals to aim for. I do hope with some of the activites carried out by the faculty and Softam and also via the research labs, each one of us can find ways and means to put aside our egos and idiosyncracies so as to work as teams to achieve greater good. I hope we are able to be tolerant towards each other, accept each other's weaknesses, capitalize on each other's strengths and move together as one.
Over the years whenever I feel down and out, the Quran has never failed to lift up my spirits. There are many favourite verses but during my term as the Head of Softam I keep reminding myself of the following:
1. Be it students, colleagues or support staff, we always need one another and the verse that is always on my mind when dealing with any situation is:
Ađ-Đuĥaá:10 - Adapun orang yang meminta (bantuan pimpinan) maka janganlah engkau tengking herdik;
2. Life is hard. That is the nature of this thing called life. So, always learn to take things in your stride and remember that if you are doing good then Allah is with you as promised:
Ash-Sharĥ:5 - Oleh itu, maka (tetapkanlah kepercayaanmu) bahawa sesungguhnya tiap-tiap kesukaran disertai kemudahan
3. We are here to serve Allah. I have to keep reminding myself (still...and always) at the fact that on this earth there is no time to waste. Here we have to work tirelessly in order to serve Allah. In sya Allah we will rest in Jannah (aamiin ☺). So, always be reminded:
Ash-Sharĥ:7 - Kemudian apabila engkau telah selesai (daripada sesuatu amal soleh), maka bersungguh-sungguhlah engkau berusaha (mengerjakan amal soleh yang lain).
Last but not least I believe that in whatever decisions that we make, whatever rules or process that we impose, it must be based on three words. Is it kind? Is it helpful? Is it merciful? As is so eloquently stated Dr. Bilal Philips:
Be kind so that He is kind to you
Be helpful so that He is helpful to you
Show mercy so that He shows you mercy
Remember Him so that He remembers you
---quoted from Dr. Bilal Philips