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There are few that have walked this world that deserve such celebration that awards are given in their name, and their stories are honoured and told so that we may learn from their strengths and gain inspiration from their struggles.  We have selected few individuals of the present and the past that we felt were worthy of recognition.

Some you may recognise, some you may have never heard of and others that you may not have realised their worth. 


THE YOUTH


Primary Student of the Year 

Inspired by Kim Ung-Yong

Kim was born in South Korea in 1963, a member of a small family whose father was a professor. Kim displayed amazing feats of intelligence shortly after his birth; conversing fluently by six months and being able to read four languages by the time he was two.  He excelled in his studies and knowledge so greatly that at the young age of three he became a guest student of physics at Hanyang University, and five years later he was invited by NASA where he conducted research work for 10 years.  Kim was known throughout the world for his intelligence, his remarkable IQ and thirst for knowledge, but it was his bravery in seeking his own happiness that he most shocked the world with. Having experienced so much in his childhood, he returned to his homeland and surprised everyone by switching to civil engineering and choosing to work in a business planning department at Chungbuk Development Corporation.

He valued diversity of talents and abilities, proclaiming that "Society should not judge anyone with unilateral standards, everyone has different learning levels, hopes, talents, and dreams and we should respect that."

Secondary Student of the Year 

 

Inspired by Philo Farnsworth

Philo was born in 1906, the first child to a couple who were living in a log cabin in the Indian Creek in Utah.  A dedicated and helpful son, he began working in order to earn income for the family. From a young age Philo was amazed by electricity, and would often tinker with different equipment, not just to study them, but often to restore them to use. At the age of 11 Farnsworth began experimenting with electricity, and At the age of 12, he managed to build an electric motor, producing the first electric washing machine his family had ever owned. In 1920, whilst he was still in high school, Philo conceived of his ideas for television, and at the age of 14 he displayed to his high school chemistry teacher a design he had made for an electronic television.

He later became the first inventor to transmit a television image comprised of 60 horizontal lines and created the basis of all current electronic televisions.

He famously also criticised the programmes that would come on to television saying "There's nothing on it worthwhile, and we're not going to watch it in this household, and I don't want it in your intellectual diet."

University Student of the Year 

Inspired by Helen Keller 

Helen was a remarkable lady. Born in 1880 in Amercia, it was at the age of one and a half years that she become extremely ill, and due to this illness she lost her vision and hearing. She learned to speak when she was ten by feeling her teacher's mouth when she talked. And when she was 20, she entered Radcliffe College, the women's branch of Harvard University, having already learnt five languages in braille.

From 1946 and 1957, she went around the world visiting 39 countries, speaking about the experiences and rights of people who are visually impaired.

She was a woman outspoken in her principles, she inspired changes in public attitudes about the capabilities of people with visual impairments. As she pushed for revolutionary changes in the law, people with disabilities were able to transition into mainstream education and employment. Helen Keller inspired future generations of people with disabilities to live life to the fullest.

Overall Student of the Year

Inspired by Muaadh ibn Jabal 

Around 1400 years ago, there was a young boy named Muaadh ibn Jabal, who not only loved to study, but was the best pupil of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him). It was Mu'aadh's ability in juristic reasoning and the courageous usage of his intelligence that enabled him to master intricate rulings, excelling all other students and even the scholars of the time. His knowledge bore the stamp of authenticity, and the best certificate that he could have received came from Muhammad (pbuh) himself when he said: "The most knowledgeable of my nation in matters of the lawful and unlawful is Muadh ibn Jabal."

The excellence that was witnessed in Muadh was astonishing not only in his studies, but also how he portrayed the knowledge that he learnt, as it is recorded in history that his colleagues would say that it was "as if light and pearls were emanating from his mouth rather than speech."

Muaadh mastered the studies of his time, helped and governed his fellow people with justice and sincerity.  He was known generous, well-mannered and good-natured.  If anyone asked him for money, he would readily and gladly give it to him, such that his generosity made him spend all his money on charity and aid.  Muaadh was the overall student of his time.  

Achievement in Sport

 

Inspired by Pele

Pelé was born in Três Corações, in Brazil in 1940. Originally named Edson, he gained the name Pele during his school days, somewhat as a jest of how he had mispronounced a name, and through time this name remained with him. Pele’s father was a footballer, and it is recorded that Pele would practice football with rolled up socks. A hardened fan of the sport, Pele joined a youth squad coached by a former member of the Brazilian national soccer team. Pele finally left home to play for Santos professional soccer club when he was 15, and his excellence and skills led to him being selected for the 1958 World Cup in Sweden. At only the age of 17 he became a superstar, scoring three goals in a 5-2 semifinal win over France, and then scoring twice more in the final against Sweden, enabling the team to win 5-2. Pele continued to excel and amaze the football scene with his skill determination and excellence and went on to retire from foortball in 1974. Pelé was awarded the International Peace Award for his work with UNICEF, and served as Brazil's Extraordinary Minister for Sport and a United Nations ambassador for ecology and the environment.

Achievement in Islamic Studies 

Inspired by Abu Hurayrah

Abu Hurayrah was a young boy, although poverty stricken, the hunger for knowledge weighed much higher in his desires than the hunger for materialistic wealth.  Through Abu Hurayrah’s prodigious efforts, hundreds of ahadith or sayings of the Prophet Muhammed(pbuh) were transmitted to later generations. His is the foremost name in the roll of hadith transmitters, and Muslims owe a debt of gratitude to Abu Hurayrah for helping to preserve and transmit the valuable legacy of the Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace.

Once Marwan ibn al-Hakam wanted to test Abu Hurayrah's power of memory. He sat with him in one room and behind a curtain he placed a scribe, unknown to Abu Hurayrah, and ordered him to write down whatever Abu Hurayrah said. A year later, Marwan called Abu Hurayrah again and asked him to recall the same ahadith which the scribe had recorded. It was found that he had forgotten not a single word.

Achievement in Community 

Inspired by Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He strongly disapproved of slavery, and the spread of slavery to new U.S. territory in the west. He spent much of his political career opposing this, stating that he “cannot but hate it. I hate it because of the monstrous injustice of slavery itself. I hate it because it deprives our republican example of its just influence in the world ...".

A man that stood for what he believed in and made a difference to countless oppressed in the West, and by that is admired by people the world over. 

 

THE COMMUNITY


 Community Person of the Year

Inspired by Abu Bakr

Abu Bakr established himself as a successful cloth merchant very early in his life, in the Arabian peninsula, through which gained both wealth and experience.  He was the quickest to rush to any good deed, and he would often give away most of, if not all, his wealth for the people of his city. He was a champion for the oppressed and downtrodden, and would spend a lot of his wealth in freeing slaves in order that they lived better lives.

When he became the Caliph Abu Bakr looked after the wants of all the poor people. During the winter he would distribute clothes and blankets among the poor whilst he himself lived in a meagre salary. There is narration that in an out of the way street in Madina there was a blind old woman. Umar would go to her house every morning, but he always found that someone else had anticipated his visit and supplied all the wants of the old lady. One day Umar went to the house of the lady earlier than usual and found that the man who visited the old lady every morning was none other than Abu Bakr.

  Neighbour of the Year

Inspired by Abdullah Bin Omar

Abdullah Bin Omar was the son of the the second ruler of he Umaah.  He was known for his excellent manners; his awareness of others was to the extent that he never ate food without feeding a poor along with himself.  Whenever the dining mat was laid for him and by chance any person passed by, his family used to request him to join in food. He was the epitome of a perfect neighbour.  

Friend of the Year

Inspired by Umar Bin Al Khattab

Umar was the second ruler of the Ummah.  He was one of the best friends of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

It is narrated in countless sayings that the Prophet would confer with, walk with and spend his time with Umar, he was one of the most trusted to the Prophet.  

Volunteer of the Year

Inspired by Asma' bint Abu Bakr

Piety, farsightedness, intelligence, courage and integrity and generosity - all these praiseworthy attributes could be found in this one woman. 

Asma' was born twenty-seven years before the migration of the oppressed Muslims to Madina.  When her father and the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) took refuge in the cave of Thawr during their migration, it was she who volunteered to go far in to the wilderness to deliver fresh food to them.  It is well known that her bravery in getting information to them, providing food for them and keeping harmful individuals away from them were key factors of her father and Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) making it to Madina.  Asma's passion for community, her family and those close to her is an example for us all in the selflessness of volunteering.

Charity of the Year

Inspired by Uthman ibn Affan

Uthman was the third ruler of the Ummah.  He was a very rich man, however the wealth did not affect his character. Uthman is remembered as a pious, gentle, and kind man, known for his modesty and shyness, and admired for his generosity.

Throughout his life he always looked for ways to spend his money for the benefit of the community, once buying a well in Madina, whilst water was scarce and Uthman gave his water to the people freely and never reminded the people of his charity. 

He was humble and modest.  It is narrated that he rarely wore the same clothes twice, as there would always be someone that would ask him for his clothes, which he would donate to them the very day.  Historical Islamic stories mention that every Friday Uthman would buy slaves for the purpose of setting them free and that although he was wealthy he was often without servants because of this habit.

 

BUSINESS, LEISURE & LIFESTYLE

 

Achievement in Science and Engineering

Inspired by Ibn Al-Haytham

Abu Ali ibn al-Haytham, who is also known by his Latinized name of Alhzen or Alhacen, was a prominent scientist and polymath from the ‘Golden Age’ of Muslim civilization.

Ibn al-Haytham made significant contributions to the principles of optics, as well as to physics, astronomy, mathematics, ophthalmology, philosophy, visual perception, and to the scientific method, being the first to use experimental evidence to check his theories, which was unusual for his time because physics before him was more like philosophy, without experiment.

Neuroscientist Rosanna Gorini notes that "according to the majority of the historians al-Haytham was the pioneer of the modern scientific method." From this point of view, Ibn Al-Haytham developed rigorous experimental methods of controlled scientific testing to verify theoretical hypotheses and substantiate inductive conjectures.

Achievement in Professional, Legal & Accountancy

Inspired by Luca Pacioli

Pacioli first published the description of the method of bookkeeping that Venetian merchants used during the Italian Renaissance, known as the double-entry accounting system. The system he published included most of the accounting cycle as we know it today. He warned that a person should not go to sleep at night until the debits equaled the credits. His ledger had accounts for assets (including receivables and inventories), liabilities, capital, income, and expenses — the account categories that are reported on an organization's balance sheet and income statement, respectively. This was originally devised to reduce bookkeeping errors, Double entry book keeping is a method of recording transactions, which allows a check on accuracy of the recording.

He is widely considered in the West as the "Father of Accounting".

Achievement in the Creative and Media Industries

Inspired by William Faulkner.

William came from an old southern family and grew up in Oxford, Mississippi.  A keen writer, he temporarily worked for a New York bookstore and a New Orleans newspaper.

He invented a host of characters typical of the historical growth and subsequent decadence of the South. The human drama in Faulkner's novels is built on the model of the actual, historical drama extending over almost a century and a half, each story and each novel contributes to the construction of a whole, which is the imaginary Yoknapatawpha County and its inhabitants. The personages in his books live not according to how he wrote them, but with a further life, unaccountable to genius or other machinations of ego.

Faulkner received the Nobel Prize for Literature for 1949 and he received two Pulitzer Prizes, for "A Fable" in '1955 and "The Reivers", which was published shortly before he died in 1962.

Achievement in Education

Inspired by Ibn Taymiyyah

Ibn Taymiyyah acquainted himself with the secular and religious sciences of his time and he devoted attention to Arabic literature and lexicography as well as studying mathematics and calligraphy, leaving a considerable body of work (350 works listed by his student Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyya[28] and 500 by his student al-Dhahabi[29]) that has been republished extensively in Syria, Egypt, Arabia, and India.

Those that met him would say "When I met Ibn Taymiyyah, I saw a person who had all the types of knowledge between his eyes: he would take of it what he desired and leave of it what he desired.

He acquired so much knowledge such that he would write books requested to him within hours straight from memory.  It was said that "The jurists of all groups, whenever they sat with him, they would benefit from him regarding their own schools of thought in areas they previously were unaware of…whenever he spoke on about a particular field of knowledge…he would not then excel the specialists of that field and those who are affiliated to it."

Achievement in Medicine

Inspired by Al Zahrawi

Abu al-Qasim Al-Zahrawi descended from the Ansar tribe of Arabia who had settled earlier in Spain and was born near Cordoba, when it was part of the Islamic Empire. He was a physician, surgeon and chemist.

It is clear from El Zahrawi's life history and from his writings that he devoted his entire life and genius to the advancement of medicine as a whole and surgery in particular.  He is best remembered for his encyclopedia of medicine, the al-Tasrif, which is composed of thirty volumes covering different aspects of medical science.  The more important part of this series comprises three books on surgery, which describe in detail various aspects of surgical treatment as based on the operations performed by him.  This became a standard reference in Islamic and European medicine for over 500 years

A remarkable man in the field of medicine, he introduced over 200 surgical instruments, many of these instruments were never used before by any previous surgeons and many of which are formed the basis of modern surgical equipment.

Achievement in Hospitality Industry

Inspired by Hasem

The title Hashim was given to 'Amr al-ʻUlā ibn 'Abd Manaf, as he was generous in providing bread to poor people and travellers.  This Hashim was the great-grandfather of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and the progenitor of the Banu Hashim clan of the distinguished Quraish tribe in Makkah.

Hashim was given the responsibility for providing water and food for the pilgrims of the Ka'bah.  Without any formal responsibility he worked to bring water and collect food for the pilgrims, for a number of years and some time later upon becoming the Chief of Makkah and the caretaker of the Ka'bah.  He always made new arrangements for the comforts of the pilgrims of the Ka’bah and thus become known for his hospitality as he started to give the pilgrims more substantial food than what had been previously offered.

Achievement in Politics

Inspired by Nelson Mandela

While facing the death penalty his words to the court at the end of his famous ‘Speech from the Dock’ on 20 April 1964 became immortalised:

“I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

Nelson Mandela never wavered in his devotion to democracy, equality and learning.  Despite terrible provocation, he never answered racism with racism.  His life has been an inspiration to all who are oppressed and deprived; to all who are opposed to oppression and deprivation.

Achievement in Sports

Inspired by Muhammed Ali

Muhammad Ali was a former professional boxer, generally considered among the greatest heavyweights in the sport's history

Who would've thought that a stolen bike was the key to the beginning of the Muhammad Ali story, where within weeks of enrolling in boxing, 89-pound Ali had his first bout‚ and his first win. For the next 27 years, Ali would be in that ring. Even in his youth, he had dreams of being heavyweight champion of the world.

Because of his powerful legs-maybe the strongest in the history of boxing - he literally floated in the ring.  He invented the "Ali Shuffle;" a foot manoeuvre where he would elevate himself, shuffle his feet in a dazzling blur, and sometimes deliver a blow while dancing.  He became an ambassador for sports, representing on many world stages.

Entrepreneur of the Year

Abdur-Rahman Ibn Awf

Abdur-Rahman was a very much a successful merchant and rich man.  He was the wise believer who refused that his portion of this life would sweep away his portion of religion, or that his fortune would make him lag behind the caravan of belief or the reward of Paradise. He would generously sacrifice his fortune and feel satisfied.

Trade for Abdur-Rahman Ibn ‘Awf t was not greed or monopoly.  It was not even a desire to gather money or riches.  It was work and duty whose success made him enjoy them and urged him to exert more effort.  He used to have an enthusiastic nature so that he found comfort in any honorable work, wherever it was.

Ibn ‘Awf was master of his money, not its slave. The proof of this was that he did not have trouble gathering it.  He used to gather halal money with much ease.  Besides, he did not enjoy it alone, but together with his family, relatives, brethren, and all his community.  He was so generous and hospitable that he used to say, “The people of Madina are partners of Ibn ‘Awf and his money.  He lends to a third of them, pays the debts of a third, and strengthens his ties of kinship and gives away a third.”

Religious Advocate of the Year

Inspired by An-Najjashi

An-Najjashi (Negus - the king of Abyssinia (Ethiopia)) was a fair and just ruler of his people and helper of the oppressed.

Facing persecution & torture for their beliefs, groups of Muslims started to leave for Ethiopia; upon the recommendation of the Prophet Muhammed (pbuh), where there was a Christian King who would offer them asylum and protection.

Even as a man of different faith, King Najjashi (Negus) welcomed the Muslim immigrants and allowed them to live in Ethiopia in peace and safety.  A contingent of the persecutors came to the King bearing gifts as part of their mission to get the Muslims back to Makkah and to continue their persecution and torture.  They told the King that these were people of different faith to himself and that they should not be protected.

The King rejected their gifts and repliedthat the Muslims are his guests and they were free to live in his kingdom for as long as they wished.