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Memories of the mentor.

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MEMORIES OF THE MENTOR "A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops." Henry B. Adams (1838-1918), U.S. historian. The Education of Henry Adams, ch. 20(1907). Often in our lives comes a person who leaves us completely changed and different, even to ourselves. In my life such a role has been played by a number of individuals combined but one of them whose influence was maximum was late Mr. Salim, my English teacher during O Levels. May Allah bless him a place in Paradise. I have never met such a person in my life, so gentle, so broad-minded. Even now when I remember him smiling, a smile appears on my face as well and I pray for him. He was a unique man; unique in, perhaps, every sense of the word. I had known him before I came to O Levels. He had been my Oral English teacher during the 8th class but he took only one period every week and hence we knew very little about him. When I entered O Levels he was our Class Teacher as well as our English teacher. He was aware of the fact that we were not very good in English and that we needed a lot of hard work. He gave us a nice little lecture about the new challenges we were going to face and how we were going to deal with them. ...read more.


If it had been just the love of English, I would never have written this article. He gave us a lot more than that. The outstanding among them is the broadening the horizon of my way of thinking. He was old, but he was not orthodox or conservative. He was a liberal and modern person. He understood the requirements of the modern age and he spoke fluently about it. Often, his views on Islam created disturbance among the 'orthodox Muslims' of our class. Topics like 'Music, Nationality, Hadood Laws and Taliban' were a cause of heated discussion. He had a weak and gentle heart. He couldn't bear unjustice to anyone, even to his enemies. He was highly against the 'Maulvies' and called them ,'Semi-illiterate, half-educated mullahs, they want to keep us in the past, centuries back.' He was aware of the fact that the people are apt to use their emotions rather than mind, especially in matters of religion, and this is, perhaps, his greatest contribution. He taught me to use my brain, not my emotions, for emotions are blind. He developed in me a hatred for rage and emotional acts. Yet, he was believer of freedom of speech, and whenever any student of the class objected on his views, he would allow them to say whatever they wanted to say. He would say to them, "I respect your views but I do not agree with them." ...read more.


I remember it clearly, every moment of it. He never gave me any special treatment, he treated me like any teacher would treat a normal good student but the way he has influenced me is astonishing. I love that person. His death was a big loss, a big loss. I sometimes feel that I never got the time to tell him how much thankful I was to him, and that how much I owed to him, and that how much I loved him but he went away, unaware that he had changed the whole life and way of thinking of a person. At times when I remember him, I feel that he can see what I am doing and that he is happy. I feel that somehow he knows that how much I loved him and how much I am grateful to him. I know that some of his ideas were wrong and in some points he misunderstood Islam but I also believe that it was all due to his gentle and nice nature and he had no bad intentions, and I also hope and pray that Allah would forgive him for his mistakes because he did them in good faith. I believe that Allah is gentle with gentle people, and Mr.Salim was certainly a gentle person. Through this article I just want to thank him because I feel that he is reading this article. I just pray that Allah blesses him with a place in Paradise. ...read more.

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