It has to be admitted how touching I was to let Taariq, my 13 year old son, to be away from home. But that is what I have to pay for wishing Taariq to be trained as an ulul albab - the Quranic, encyclopedic and ijtihadic scholar - when he has to enroll himself into Imtiaz School of Excellence in Besut, Terengganu on 7 January 2007.
I told Taariq: "I am sorry and sad to let you go. I know very well that you need my care and love by being together at home. But this was what I had asked Allah, to bestow me with children that could continue to uplift Islam. It could not happen unless you are being prepared for that, and Imtiaz, I think, is the place. You have to be away, yes, but this is our sacrifice for Allah s.w.t. and Islam. May Allah s.w.t. rewards us for this. This is the struggle and you would not only seeking the knowledge, but most importantly, serving Allah s.w.t. Every second would be considered by Allah s.w.t. as ibadah, InshaAllah".
I have discussed this again and again with Taariq. He smiled and seemed to be very courageous, though inside him I could observe a slight sadness. But Taariq is strong. On the eve of the day he was going to Besut, after our family regular Tahlil on Thursday night, I repeated the above in front of my wife and all children. Taariq's eyes were watery, but he smiled and laughed jokingly, trying to hide his sadness. Such an incident also happened when we were departing from Imtiaz to leave for Penang, leaving Taariq at the School. He smiled and laughed as if nothing is going to happen, but his eyes were full of tears. He controlled his emotion very well and this is one of the very characteristics of a great scholar, I am sure.
Taariq stepped out of home for Imtiaz School of Excellence
Taariq registering his enrollment at Imtiaz (Besut) on 7 January 2007
During the registration at Imtiaz too Taariq was very convincing. He looked happy, strong and confident as the above pictures show.
Briefing by Imtiaz's Headmaster after the registration
At the corridor of Taariq's dormitory before saying goodbye to him