Fountains of success – By T. Baker

Dr. Anthony Baker otherwise known as Abdul Haqq is a part-time lecturer at the University of St. Andrew in Scotland. He studied his PhD in counter-terrorism and through personal projects and initiatives aims to reach out and steer youth into the right direction. Usually found at the head of numerous business ventures, Dr. Baker is also head of a large family. He also happens to be my father. We sat with Dr. Baker to give our readers an insight to how he did it and what the real secret to success is…

Fountains of success

Q: You’re a British Muslim revert living in KSA, pioneering your own projects and business ventures all whilst keeping a regular daytime job and bringing up seventeen children in the meantime…what has kept you motivated?
A: I think being a Muslim and living in a country where Islam is so strong…and I think when Islam is actually lived better than anywhere else I’ve actually seen is one of the motivating factors because that gives me a peace of mind mentally, spiritually and emotionally…But also, I think that the other, main motivating factor is my wonderful children and granddaughter. I think those are things, two factors that keep megoing.

Q: Tell us a bit about your past?
A: I converted to Islam 24 years ago. Having worked in the legal profession and having had a very good life as a non-Muslim, I think that when I was guided to Islam and realised how beautiful the religion was and that it was something that I’d needed in my life for a long time…that was a very inspirational time for me and so I think from my past coming into Islam, the transformation was quite a natural one and so it just gaveme more focus…there’s a lot about my past which some I’ll go into and some I won’t go into but everything has lead to where I am now, and Allah has been the sole factor that has guided me to where I am today.

Q: We all have those moments when we feel like giving up? How did you overcome difficulties?
A: I’ve actually never felt like giving up. I think when I look at my children, when I look at how wonderful [they] are and where they are [in life] and how Allah has blessed me with them, there’s never been a moment…at any stage in my life as a Muslim where I felt like giving up.

Q: Have you always been this driven?
A: Yes. I think I have always been this driven. And that continues the more I see how my children grow, the more I see how much the blessings are that I can count. Obviously there are blessings I can’t count, but when I look at my children and I look at how they’re growing as young Muslims, I continue to be driven and inspired.

Q: Tell us a little about STREET? What were the motives behind it?
A: STREET as the name indicates was directed for youth development and to help the youth. It stands for Strategy to Reach, Empower and Educate Teenagers…Looking at some of the problems the youth are facing today and looking at the fact that the youth don’t seem to be as grounded or have as much sense of direction or purpose as I did when I was younger, I felt that instilling some of those values back into the youth via this organisation which they themselves could contribute to and help develop was a motivating factor for starting STREET.

Q: What would you advise people who are on the ladder to success? Any do’s and don’ts?
A: One of the things I’d advise them to do is to look at the reason for why they’re doing what they’re doing and then I would say to them that integrity and sincerity are very very important. And from a spiritual perspective, they should always stay in touch with their spirituality and thank Allah regularly, often for the success that’s been granted, because without Allah giving them that success they will never have it.

Q: Would you say that you have achieved all your goals or is your journey to success a lifelong journey?
A: I think I’ve achieved many of the goals that have been put in front of me. I think there are {still} a few ones that I’d like to achieve like at long last learning Arabic and I think that that’s going to have to be the lifelong journey, as well as trying to make myself a better person as a Muslim so that I can please my Lord.


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