Assalamu alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuhu dear graduates, our students and distinguished guests of the 9th Convocation Ceremony of the International Open University (IOU).
It is a great pleasure and honour for me, on behalf of IOU, to congratulate our most recent batch of graduates, Fall 2021 and Spring 2022. This is indeed an extraordinary moment in your lives as you complete your formal education and step into the world as graduates of the International Open University.
The key here is to remember that you are special. You are special because you understand the value of seeking useful, beneficial knowledge. The knowledge is only complete and beneficial if it makes you a whole Human Being whose education helps to earn a decent living and live a respectable life.
We at IOU emphasise nurturing your appreciation for useful knowledge. The knowledge that would help you to be better citizens of your countries, better human beings and better in various ways.
The knowledge you earn should inculcate certain core values in you: do your work honestly, respect Allah’s creation, make wise decisions, adopt approved attitudes to everything, and most importantly, be guided in the way of Allah.
I also want to highlight that your studies and qualifications earned at IOU are very important to us. We have been relentlessly working with NAQAA, the accreditation authorities here in The Gambia, where the IOU headquarters are based. We are glad to say that we are doing very well in this regard. We have successfully completed the accreditation process for all the undergraduate programmes and have embarked on the accreditation of the Masters’ programmes.
A number of our alumni, your predecessors in IOU, are getting admitted into different prestigious universities around the world, notably in the USA, the UK and Malaysia, to name a few. Many others are excelling in their jobs or joining prestigious jobs.
I hope and pray the same for you. For your success. And when you progress in your educational and professional career, always focus on the good teachings you acquired, remember that useful knowledge sets one apart from others.
My sincere advice to you is that you stay focused, stay humble. And read. Read beneficial works, as we have a long legacy of scholarship in Islamic Studies and contemporary beneficial works. Stay in touch with others who share your vision. Build a community and connect with the global community using the knowledge you have gained. Be the Ambassadors of IOU. Remember that it does not matter how much you are educated, if it does not shape you to have the characters we should emulate in our Prophet, if it does not make you the person everyone can look up to with confidence for advice and emulate you for your honesty, humility, and decency, then you would have failed.
Let your education make you among the best of mankind.
And finally, I congratulate all of you once again! Today is your special day and my best wishes to you and your families!
I extend special appreciation to all the IOU Staff and Admin for their excellent work in guiding you to this stage. May Allah repay all abundantly.
Barak Allahu feekum
Assalamu alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuhu