Dr Said Bouheraoua

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

He is my lecturer. An Algerian by nationality (he has the look of Zinadine Zidane), he is an unusual Arab. His wit is seldom to be found on someone of his scholarly stature. I was told that he is a footballer, playing in Kuala Lumpur League (Liga KL). He speaks fluent English. He uses simple arabic in his class.

His Wits
It was a small class, the first time I joined his lecture. For those who come late, they must recite poem, be it in any language. So one of my friend had once recited "dua tiga kucing berlari." We couldn't  help ourselves from having a good laugh at our friend, as much as Dr Said was asking what are the meaning of those words to share the joy of laughing.

In one afternoon tutorial class, I found myself a bit dull (it was a class immediate after me waking up from a good nap). He suddenly asked me:
Him: اعطيني خمسة فرق بيني وبينك (Give me 5 differences between you and me).
Me (last answer): انت تلعب كرة قدم احسن مني (You play football better than me).
He responded: !!هذا الأصح (This is the most correct!!). 
He then asked me whether I play football, I answered "no". He remarked "ahhh...it's like comparing Ronaldinho with orang kampung".

In one of the class when we studied Uruf (custom / adat), a chapter in Usul Fiqh, the air conditioner stopped. It happened usually since the air conditioner was programmed to shut down every hour. He then said, "since the air conditioning stops everytime in this class, going by uruf (custom / adat) the nearest to the switch must turn it on."

On another occasion, my friends and I went to see him during the early days when we got our job. We met him to convey the good news. He welcomed us with greetings, hugging and mentioning each of our name. "Azhar," then he hugged, "Muhammad Noor," then he hugged. There was one who did not study under him, he said "You...., I don't know you," then he hugged...

He had once spoken of going back to Algeria, so I did ask about his plan of returning back then. He told me "The university already employed my wife to teach here, so now the plan is like being thrown down from level sixteen."

His Scholarship
He taught me Usul Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence), Fiqh Al-Muqarran (can be read Muqarin too - Contemporary Fiqh) and Asbab Al-Ikhtilaf (Reasons behind the differences in legal rulings). He memorizes Quran. He taught us as if the subjects are simple. His explanation reflects his vast knowledge in the subject. He cherishes differences in legal opinions. We often hear people speak of Mazhab Zahiri (the literalist) in a mocking tone. However, he explained to us the richness of the Zahiris School and one of its leading propounder, Imam Ibn Hazm Al-Andalusi Az-Zahiri. He takes differences with arms wide open and it makes me to be like him too, the one who is tolerating differences.

One day, in the midst of discussing hadiths,  he spoke of Abdullah Ibn Umar, Radiallahu Anhuma. He said Ibn Umar is one of the most strict companion, who tried to do and imitate whatever he saw the Prohet had done. In one occasion, Ibn Umar lowered his head while walking, and those who were with him gave him an odd look. When Ibn Umar was asked why he lowered his head, Ibn Umar told that he saw The Prophet did that when He passed that area...the reason being, there was a shady tree, perhaps the Prophet lowered his head so He would not bum unto the tree. But Ibn Umar did because of another reason. After the Prophet demised, the tree did grow and it wasn't shady anymore, Ibn Umar still ducked down...not to avoid any tree but because he saw the prophet did that. Out of sudden, Dr Said couldn't hold his tears and the class ended. We were stunned. I am deeply touched by that incident. We must love the prophet, and our teacher had shown good example for us to follow.

Another side of him
I had once seen him when a trouble befell upon me. He said things which I couldn't accept. I took it and I left. The matter was then referred to someone else who is known as expert in the area. He asked me to come back after two days. Surprisingly after two days ,the expert told me the exact things Dr Said had told me earlier. I wish if only I could write more detail on this.

On one night of Ramadhan, while curiously seeing an amazing young boy, Aslam, he saw me and he approached his student (while it should be the other way around), he said nice words to Aslam's father about me. I pray may his doa come true. His humbleness is something I admire.

He is not always wearing his light personality robe, at times, even after making some jokes, he heartlessly said to his student "You must study hard or you will FAIL...FAIL!!!!."

.....don't know what to state.....
I hope Fadilat Al-ustaz will always be in good health. I cant repay him for what he had taught and the kindness he had shown. I will always remember him and pray for him and his family. Perhaps when we leave, we would meet again beside haudh of the beloved Prophet.



husniyyah said...

I wish i have a chance to study in iium so that i will have the opportunity to learn from lecturer around the world. Lucky u

Noor™ said...

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