Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | Speaking Tree Blog | 26 October 2020
In one occasion, several disgruntled Muslim youths stood in an agitated group outside the University Offices loudly bewailing the fact that they had not been admitted to the various academic courses they had chosen. Without exception, they blamed circumstances for their failure to gain entry to the University. Some also blamed the environment for their having remained out of work for so long. An elderly gentleman, who was sifting close by, could not help overhearing their lamentations. Finally, he could contain himself no longer, and said to them, “I am sure you feel your complaints are well-founded, but why compete at a level where the seats are all bound to be taken already? That will get you nowhere. You should attempt to enter at the top, for that is where you will find the vacant seats. Produce distinctive qualifications and there will be no question of your being rejected. There are always places at the top for people of distinctive merit. Be you a student, a businessman, a lawyer or a doctor, try to distinguish yourself in whatever field you have chosen, for that is the sure way to success. The real mistake is to produce the same quality of goods with which the market is already flooded. It is pointless to do this, then complain about being discriminated against. If you work hard and bend your brains to producing something superior in design and quality to what is already in the market, people will flock to buy it.
“No society is ever free of prejudice and narrow-mindedness; it is just one unfortunate aspect of community-living. The difference in this from one society to another is only one of degree. But these are barriers which can definitely be surmounted through diligence and application. Let us suppose that you have passed an examination with 45 percent marks, giving you a very slight advantage over a rival who only has forty percent. In such a case, it is quite conceivable that prejudice could come in your way, and your application could be rejected in favour of your rival’s. But let us suppose that you have eighty percent marks. All the walls of prejudice would then have to crumble and fall in the face of superior talent. No one would then dare deny you your rights. Does it not make sense then to try your best to reach the highest pinnacles of academic success? It is only a question of working much harder than your rival. Then the world will be convinced that you have not only set yourself the highest standards but have also lived up to them.
Once launched upon life with superior knowledge and skills, there is no question of your failing to find the place you deserve. Every door will open to you, because it is invariably the highly qualified who are in demand.”