Being a medical student, given the opportunity to study in South Africa’s admired universities holds in its own regard a commitment to perform. There is although a defining factor that distinctly enriches the deep understanding of how to take care of the world and that is Islam and the exposition of a being Muslim student.
In conjunction with the IMA, the MSA Wits Medical School and Education Campus held its very first event on the 29th March for 2016. This served as a induction to the committee, the aims and objectives for the year as well as the plan of action. The welcome was held in the Marie Curie Lecture Hall and offered students an insight into the work of the IMA and how we as students can get involved. Having the IMA present was great for the students since it opened new conversations and discussions on how we can get more involved.
We may not realise it, the Islamic world has had a remarkable influence on health and wellness from as early as the 8th century. Take for example, Al-Walid bin Abd Al-Malik (chief Muslim civil and religious ruler). He was the first to construct a purpose-built health institution, called the bimaristan. The introduction to these “hospitals” led to developments that have strengthened the very nature of the health practice system. Early Muslims were so progressive that we continue to benefit from their work today. The existence of a Muslim Students Association on a campus is therefore crucial to ensure our Muslim brothers and sisters are exposed to as much from their field of study so that they may pursue in the efforts of our Rasullulah (peace be upon him) to strengthen the Ummah and serve as custodians to the Almighty’s creation.
The MSA’s involvement in the IMA ensures that students are exposed to the reality of our current health care system. It enables students to realize the living conditions of the bulk of our population in SA and how we can contribute as a health care practitioner. It allows the students to get practical experience in the field. It helps students to understand the role of a Muslim health professional and their contribution towards improving the health care system in SA. The IMA has opened its doors for us students and it goes to show that especially as Muslims students we need to work together in unity. We need to work with those with experience and knowledge in the field. The role and contributions of the IMA are without doubt an asset in helping develop future leaders and pioneers in the Health Sector. It serves as a reminder of our faith and how we as Muslims can extend our helping hand to the rest of the population in South Africa.
The MSA sends a warm thank you to the IMA during our orientation week events. We thank the IMA for the knowledge and guidance imparted on us and we hope that the future bears a fruitful relationship with students and graduates. BY: Naeem Shaik