By Traci Wells
Our brains are amazing. Mind bogglingly (is that a word??!) amazing. It is the central organ of our nervous system controlling everything our mind and body thinks, feels, sees and does. It grows continuously with knowledge, yet shrinks back to allow room for more. Subhanallah!
It thrives on knowledge. Lives and breathes new information, keeping it alive and kicking.
And in a society that demotes knowledge and promotes ways to “switch off” and “chill out,” it is little wonder that our generation and the next knows very little about, well, anything. Unless you class Love Island as being in the know!
I was a product of my environment. Growing up watching movies, American teen shows, listening to music at every opportunity, it allowed me the escapism I wanted from classes, teachers and homework. Nothing inspired me or excited me, my “couldn’t-be-bothered” attitude got the better of me and once I reached the ripe old age of 16, I left the education system, relieved to be free of the imprisonment I had to endure for all those years. No wiser in anything other than that I loved to read and write, Alhamdulillaah!
Knowledge is a gift. It is what makes us human. Our ability to absorb new information and keep it stored for us to grow as individuals. No other species on earth has this ability. SubhanAllah, we were created to learn.
For me the most important thing in life is knowledge. It is powerful. It is life altering. Once you have gained it, there’s no going back. Your brain finds it, processes it and holds on to it like a life jacket in a unpredictable sea of predators.
The right knowledge in the right hands can change the world as we know it.
Our Prophet (pbuh) chosen by our Almighty Lord to share the knowledge of the Holy Quran, knew without a doubt that he needed to treasure this information, the word of God, and ensure that it was recorded exactly as it was received by him. The importance of transcribing it for it to be stored and saved without any mistake or error was vital, and for Muhammad (pbuh) the fact that he could neither read nor write would not deter from his mission. And the result is a Quran 1500 years later that is exactly as it was then. Word for word.
The power of the human brain is remarkable. Subhanallah!
Due to knowledge, my journey to Islam has been enriching and enlightening. Sometimes hard to digest and difficult to process, yet always making complete sense, in my heart and soul, and of course, my mind.
For those still on the search for knowledge here are a few tips to get you on your way:
· Reliable, trustworthy, respected sources.
I scrolled through google like a starving animal through a rubbish bin, desperately trying to find answers to my questions only to be disappointed and sometimes disturbed by what I read. This led to a serious low point in my imaan. A feeling of hopelessness and sadness that I couldn’t find what I was looking for.
Finding the right sources for you to learn the CORRECT knowledge is absolutely crucial. I learnt the hard way that not everyone that claims to be a source of knowledge is giving the right message of Islam.
· Opinions are just that…opinions!
No single human being on earth is all knowing, all wise. Only Allah (swt) is worthy of such attributes. Even our prophet and the prophets before him only knew what God had sent to them.
The scholars can sometimes espouse a varying difference of opinion that is confusing and frustrating for the new revert. Have patience and keep making duaa for guidance, and remember that there is mercy even in the varying of opinions. Keep your heart sincere and do your best to come to the truth, and it will surely come, with the permission of Allaah.
At the end of the day, there will always be opinions about certain matters that we cannot change- as long as you know and have belief in your own mind about what is right, I always find at the end of the day I have peace of mind knowing that Allah (swt) knows best.
“I know things you do not” ( Quran, 2:30 )
· Take it a day at a time.
The amount of information is sometimes overwhelming and intimidating. I can still get disheartened by the amount I have yet to learn about Islam, and worry that I will never be able to learn it all! When such a big chunk of your life missed out on the message of Islam, it can seem like a lot to get your head around. So I remind myself that Allah (swt) knows my intention, He knows what is in my heart. Just take it a day at a time.
“Verily the one who recites the Quran beautifully, smoothly, and precisely, he will be in the company of the noble and obedient angels. And as for the one who recites with difficulty, stammering or stumbling through its verses, then he will be rewarded twice.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari).
· Keep it simple.
Following on from the previous tip, keeping it simple is sometimes the epiphany to the knowledge you are seeking. Islam can seem very complex and in some ways it is. Yet it is also very simple. It makes sense. Not always at first, but when you use logic and reasoning to override the niggles in your head it always makes so much sense. Allah (swt) wants the best for us. He gave us free will in the hope we choose the right path. The rest is up to us….
“Those who look for seashells will find seashells; those who open them will find pearls.” Imam Al-Ghazali
About the author:
Traci Wells Ali lives in the beautiful Derbyshire countryside with her husband and 2 children, with another on its way alhamdullillaah!