It dawned on me, very late in life, that one must value the role of education in one’s life. Yes, I did attend school in South Africa, did my homework, got decent grades, but for the most part it was a perfunctory performance and drudgery.

The Iranian revolution made me giddy. I was a theological student at the Nadwatul Ulama seminary in India at the time, and barely twenty-one. My optimism about the revolution met cold blasts of Sunni pessimism from the teachers and leadership of the madrasa who were deeply hostile to Ayatollah Khomeini’s ‘Shia’ – ‘not Islamic’ – revolution.