How one tahfiz conquered his mountain to get to medical school at Management and Science University (MSU)
Muhammad Syakir Abd Halek was in his mid-teens when an uncle of his passed on from illness at the age of twenty-eight. Though it struck him speechless at the time, the experience moved something in him – a mountain of challenges that he steadily scaled.
Seeing Muhammad Syakir now at the Management and Science University (MSU) International Medical School (IMS), in his second year on the MBBS programme, one can never guess just how high he had to climb to get there.
MSU Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) student Muhammad Syakir Abd Halek
The Johor lad who has his heart set on emergency medicine and trauma surgery had had no high-school science education to back the ambition. Up until the day his uncle died, religious education had been his focal interest, by his own choice memorizing the Quran since he was thirteen.
Syakir found his foothold in the support of his parents. When he told his dad about the medical-school dream, the family of five relocated so the aspiring medical student could go to a school that would, and could, accept the challenge of getting him up to speed with a science education, fast.
One-and-a half years on, Muhammad Syakir Abd Halek graduated high school with all As across eleven subjects including those that he needed to register on the MSU Foundation in Medical Science (FMS) programme – Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Additional Mathematics – from the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia examination 2014.
“My tahfiz training in memorizing the Quran had taught me how to read, how to see, and how to listen,” offered Syakir, when asked for study tips.
To learn how to read, to see, and to listen is Syakir’s study tip
Surgery’s precision and the calm-under-pressure disposition demanded of trauma and emergency had appealed to Muhammad Syakir. At Management and Science University (MSU), he found whole new worlds that would soon expand his quiet personality.
The member of MSU’s International Medical School Association (IMSA) learned to dive just so he could see for himself whether the starter corals on the IMS MyCoral programme were ok. He is also a member of MSU’s International Seni Silat Gayung Fatani Organization (ISSGFO), where he is learning the Malay art of self-defence. Since his FMS days right up to last Ramadan, he has been calling out prayers as muezzin, and leading congregations as imam, at the MSU Islamic and Cultural Centre (ICC).
“To not only be a doctor but also a teacher who gives back is my father’s wish for me; and from my mother, to keep to the vision. My muezzin/imam duty is one way I give back for what I have gained from my education.
“Being at MSU and IMS, I have learned to make time for everything. It has developed my time management as well as communication skills. The people here will go all out to help you. MSU is such a happening place to transform your life and enrich your future.”
Tahfiz, muezzin, imam, and future medic Muhammad Syakir Abd Halek of MSU International Medical School