Adapted from the discourses of Shaykh Maseehullah rahimahullah.
When I visited England, where there are two very famous universities, very high calibre universities, world famous. I went to see both universities – viz. Oxford and Cambridge.
There was an Englishman with me and he carried some keys with him. He went and unlocked the doors of the rooms and showed them to me. I saw the libraries of both universities. These were huge buildings, several storeys high. Nothing like these exist here. All our Arabic kitabs were in these libraries. There were several copies of every kitab.
The tafseer of Hadhratwala Maulana Thanwi’s “Bayánal-Qur’án” was also there. The elucidation of the “Mathnawí Sharíf”, “Kalíd-Mathnawí”, was also there. All the Arabic textbooks that are studied here, were all there. The names of all the kitabs were written in massive catalogues.
After having climbed two storeys I got tired. The Englishman started climbing to the third floor. I told him, “I am now tired. I am unable to climb up.”
In any case, I saw both the universities. There were boarding facilities, what we call “Darul-Iqámah”. As for cleanliness… Do not even ask! Absolutely clean!
As for the system of administration, no visitor from outside could come into the boarding to meet somebody. A father cannot meet his son. I witnessed this with my own eyes. A doorman is present. He asks, “Who have you come to meet?” The father says. “I have come to visit my son.” The doorman then goes to call the son and brings him to meet his father.
If the person is one whom it is necessary to allow to go into the building, the doorman will say, “Come with me.” The boy will be informed. The boy will leave his room and go to a nearby smaller, empty room to sit and converse with his father. Or else he will be told to go to the veranda. Table and chairs are placed there as well. There is no question of sitting on the ground.
This is what we saw over there. We saw the libraries as well. We saw the students as well. We saw the doorman as well. The person entrusted with the keys was with us. Also, we had to take him with us to see the university. One could not just go in just like that. It was not like freely entering the university – not at all. There the doorman will stop you. He will enquire, “Have you a visitor’s permit to enter?” If not, then one would have to go the principal and obtain one. We knew of this system, therefore, when we went to see the university we went with the permit.
(Adapted and shortened from ‘For Friends’)