Experience of education in the UK with Dr Ayat BashirJul 30, 2021
So this week I'm joined by Dr. Ayat Bashir and she is an academic clinical fellow in diabetes, Mashallah, and works in hospitals across the Northeast of England.
Asalamualaikum Warahmatullahu Wabarakatuhu Dr. Ayat and welcome to the show.
Walaikumusalam Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuhu
So Ayat is one of my old friends Alhamdullilah so I have known her for quite a while. How's everything going with you?
Alhamdullilah it's been very strange times, but you know, this year or 2020 and 2021, my life's kind of changed considerably. I am so lot less me. With a daughter she's now nearly eight months Alhamdullilah. And it's been, you know the biggest challenge, the biggest blessing, but also a biggest, biggest challenge.
Awesome. Yeah. So to our listeners, me and sister Ayat mashallah had had a baby girl. Same day.
So they're our twins, Alhamdullilah and they were both born on Eid day weren't they Ayat. So it's Ayat's first daughter, Subhanallah, how do you feel like your life's changed Ayat since you've had your daughter? This is your first one. How has motherhood been for you?
I think for me personally, because I was always so career driven and you know, life was all about, you know getting to the next day, you know, working really hard. And that was sort of my priority. And apart from the Islamic lessons, classes, all of that. But now, you know, I've got this new priority and this, this kind of a human being that's completely relying on me which is such a strange feeling, but, you know, it's, it's such a blessing.
But you know, yeah, it just means that, you know, my life is not all about me anymore. It's about it's about her and her journey. And you know, how. To, to kind of bring her up and yeah, so it's completely changed my complete GMO view on life.
Mashallah. So if we can just take you back Ayat. So Subhanallah, you've been involved in the masjid as well as. Obviously, like you said, advancing academically very excellently Alhamdullilah. So if we just take you back, you, your mum's Subhanallah, one of the teachers in our madrasah as well and teaches Qur'an, and you are also one of our teachers and you also helped me with, with the teaching, the ladies in the Saturday class.
So you're very, very involved in the masjid Alhamdullilah, but at the same time, you know, you've become a doctor. And I know when you were younger, you did particularly well in your exams. And I think you scored 99% in your Arabic exam at the same time excelled in your GCSEs. So how did you manage to, do you feel, do you managed to balance, you know, your, the inside of your education and the Duniya side of your education, is there anything in particular that you felt helped you.
I think since the age of four and then, you know, everyone kept saying to my parents, it's crazy that you're sending your child to two schools. They're going to be really tired. But but actually the Arabic school and the Islamic studies memorizing the Qur'an that kind of helps me excel in my studies at English school. Because number one, you know your Islamic studies in the grant itself gives you guidance. It gives you the it gives you the strengths. It gives you the motivation because we're always taught to try and excel in whatever we do, and we're taught that Islamically.
So it meant, it meant that, you know, I had that kind of motivation to in English school to try and, you know, be the best as I can. And the same time, you know, the Islamic studies tell you to kind of respect your parents and it, it. Oh, you know, you're all important lessons in life. So once you've got that as a foundation, it means that everything else that you do is it has it, it has meaning, and it has purpose especially memorizing Qur'an and actually has a blessing itself, but it helps you if you're able to memorize.
Memory memorizing, anything else becomes becomes easier because so it's, yeah, it's a blessing in itself. So yeah, so I felt that the Arabic studies or in the Islamic studies complimented my English studies and it didn't hinder it at all. Actually it didn't, you know, I never felt that I kind of was struggling with time.
Subhanallah I think it put, you know, learning, memorizing, learning Qur'an and all these other studies barakah in your time. So it makes you, it makes you use your time more wisely without even noticing it sometimes. So, yeah, so, you know, I never felt I was doing two different things. I felt like it was all kind of part of, complimented it yeah.
Alhamdullilah so what advice would you give to any sort of fellow mum out there? Ayat who's probably, you know, maybe got children out there. Who are trying to study academically, but also keep up the Deen side of things, which can become tricky for children, especially the ones living in the west, or even elsewhere in the world to be honest. Is there any advice you can give to those parents about keeping that balance with the children? Cause like you said, you found it incredibly useful and almost as if it came naturally and easy to you.
Yeah. So I think my first advice is for parents not to be put off by, you know, thinking that it's going to be too much for their kids in terms of, you know, having to go to school in the morning or being homeschooled and then having to then have extra Islamic classes, not to be put off by that and children are incredibly resilient and actually can do you know, can do both. So that's number one and number two I felt really I felt like I belonged. So whenever I went to Arabic school, I met other children who, similar backgrounds, they were also Muslims and it was really nice to be able to then talk to them about you know, because sometimes, you know, if you go to the English schools, it's not, sometimes it's easy to find people that have the same background as you and follow the same religion. So it's really nice for them to be able to see people to different children who are also Muslims. And, you know, the feeling of belonging can be really important.
Even if it's not that they, they go to specific Islamic classes, but if they go to Islamic events, I remember I used to go into. So Ramadan in the mosque, they used to be like kids activities in the back room. And they're seeing, you know, seeing other Muslims and other Muslim children. It just, I felt like I finally belonged somewhere and it didn't really, sometimes it didn't matter that, if there weren't any Muslim children in my class, because I knew that I was going to see them in Arabic school.
So that was, that was it. So from a socialization perspective, it's really important. And then if you kind of tell your kids that, you know, memorizing the Qur'an and reading the Qur'an, and learning and following what the current teachers it's going to help you in life is going to help you excel in your studies.
It's going to help you. If you, if you tell them that way, it makes, you know, There's it makes it more appealing. So there's kind of three dimensions to it, you know, that's what, that's how I see it. But but most importantly, because a lot of people, you know, they used to criticize my parents and say, why are you doing this to your kids?
Subhanallah yeah. Cause it's like almost in today's society that you go, you find people who go through one route or the other and maybe abandoned, you know allowing their children to get one side of the education at the expense of the other, because like you said, there may be thinking it's too much of a burden or it's not needed.
I mean, in your opinion, do you think it is needed? Do you think children should have a balance of, you know, the Islamic education as well as, you know, pursuing a career outside of Islam, you know, in the Duniya yeah. It's it's it's I think it's so important and it's really needed because you know, Islam is always the most important.
So if you, if you lose that, then no matter what you're doing in how much you excel academically, otherwise you become a, you know, the world's best scientists. If you don't have kind of a meaning to your life and purpose and something to work for too, in terms of your The hereafter it's, it's, it's going to be, you know, there's no point so you just kind of working for your Duniya and that's it. It's going to end one day and that's it. But then if they, if they've got that guarantee that, you know, they've learned all about all, about their religion and they follow what the, you know, the religion is taught, then, then at least the, you know, the guaranteeing both the, the, this life and the next life. So I think that's the only way in the, especially the west, to be honest, you know, even in, you know, the middle east countries, Arab countries. Absolutely. Yeah. They're struggling because although they get access to Islamic lessons here and there, I feel like we're, where are we? We're more privileged because the kids actually go to the masjid and they know why they're doing it is because they need, to have these lessons for their, for, you know, for the akhira and for the, you know, to get to paradise. But, you know, sometimes they just feel like it's just integrated in their education anyways, and it might not, they might not be able to differentiate why they need to learn.
Yeah, totally. No, no, I totally agree with you. I've seen that as well with my own eyes. It says it's like the children here, when they go there, they've gone out of their way to enroll in. And to seek out that knowledge, especially, and it's not, you know, readily around them. They're not submerged in it, but actually because they've chosen to do that.
And those parents have chosen to put them in that environment in extra Islamic classes or extra Islamic activities, or be that extra people, you know, that are similar to them that, that that's much more profound and has a much more better impact on them Subhanallah. So if you can come towards the fact that I know because you're a doctor and I'm going to ask you a health question.
So, you know, especially during this COVID and this lockdown, a lot of people have been affected, you know especially mentally because of being locked down as a doctor. Is there any sort of clinical advice or one piece of health advice that you can maybe share to our listeners out there that could maybe support them, especially in, during this time.
Yeah, it's, it's been a really difficult time. And I think mental health is one of the biggest things that's being affected. And there could be several reasons for that. One is a lack of socialization, lack of seeing people, lack of doing, you know, the activities that you were were doing previously. And the other thing is the life style habits that you, that kind of happen when you're locked down.
You know, kind of having an effect on your mental health as well. So from a socialization perspective, obviously would be difficult. We can't go out to see people as we did in the past. A lot of people now are doing things online. So it's, it's really useful sometimes to be able to kind of if you, if you've got a group of friends to have a catch-up over zoom or over any you know, online platform or, you know, making sure that you've got regular contact with people by the phone is really important for people you know, if you haven't heard from someone for a while to pick up that phone and give them a, you know, have a chat because that might be completely lost and completely alone.
But if they, if they know that someone else is thinking about them, it has it really positive impacts on their mental health. So if you haven't heard from someone in months and just pick up that phone and ring them, and how are you feeling? How are you doing is anything that we can do to help and, and, and using, you know, the online platforms can, can sometimes help people. Now what, what a big piece of advice to me is, is, is diet and an exercise. It has it a really tremendous impact on your physical and mental health and people aren't exercising as much. So even, you know, for example, my brothers, what they've done is they've set up in the living room, they've, you know, they've made this makeshift kind of like, gym, they have have got no equipment, but yeah, like they do like an exercise circuit every day and that occupies nearly an hour of that day.
It's a change in their routine and they both work in that and that's kind of, that's keeping them kind of physically, mentally healthy. So, you know, they just kind of do it, do a little circuit and then kind of healthy foods because it's just, you know, it's really easy to then. Eat unhealthily. Yes that's a, that's a big concern. Isn't it? In today's sort of society with everything readily available. Yeah. Yeah. Healthy eating. And it just kind of encouraging the family to, to sit down together. As much as possible to have a meal together, we're actually sometimes blessed in a, in a way that we're locked down because it was getting time to spend with our families.
Absolutely. Cause you've been forced, you've been forced to get together when maybe you might not have. It's the first time in a while that we've actually kind of managed to all be at the same place at the same time and have dinner and be able to have lunch. And it's kind of like the pairing lunch together. It's just, it's completely new.
Yeah, and properly exercising. Those two things can have a big impact. And because of the vitamins and minerals, especially trying to if know, we're in the middle of a pandemic and trying to keep your immune system working as best as possible. Is, is the best thing. So, and, and I'm a big fan of vitamin D.
It's really important because we're not seeing the sun outside really important to be able to get vitamin D from any other source milk yogurts or supplements. Those, those are my big things. Oh, Subhanallah lots of key pieces of advice. Doctor Ayat, thank you so much for taking time out, to give us such valuable advice and to share your opinion and your journey on motherhood as well Inshallah
so I am not going to take any more of your time. Thank you for joining us today, Asalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuhu.