Author: RR (page 2 of 2)

Love Letter.

Often times, studying Arabic, studying the language of the Qur’an seems like a daunting task. Many people will take a step, take a small course etc but may feel discouraged, lose motivation, wonder what is the point even? At the end of the day, there’s translations, right? Is studying Arabic still as important and relevant in our times? These are all valid questions that people ask themselves when starting their journey towards the Qur’an. The other day, Ustadh Adam shared with us a beautiful parable that was so motivating for all of us to remember the purpose of why we are on this journey to begin with.

He told us that if someone you really loved sent you a letter, wouldn’t you want to know what it says? Perhaps the first time or the second time you’d maybe try to get it translated or have someone read it to you but if this person you loved kept communicating with you, if the letters kept coming and coming, wouldn’t you yearn to read them to see what this person who is close to you, is saying?

In this way, Allah (swt), who is above and greater than any human comparison or analogy, He has sent us a letter. He has sent us a love letter that was written for you and I, directly to you and I, full of treasures, full of guidance, and mercy, and healing, and love and that is the Qur’an. Page after page, He has sent it down in a language that is so beautiful and eloquent, so wouldn’t we want to unlock and understand what our Beloved, subhana wa’tala has sent to us? It’s not a matter of have to, but rather above that it’s a matter of love. Our Creator, our Sustainer has sent us a 600+ page love letter and the one that yearns for it, travels for it, stays up nights struggling and crying for the sake of understanding it- is on the road towards achieving and receiving the pleasure and love of their Beloved.

May Allah make us people that strive towards understanding the language of His Book no matter how many bumps we face along the way, make us amongst those that recieve His pleasure and love through the process, and raise us amongst the Ahlul Qur’an!

Nothing like Him.

Today in class, we learned about the third category of words in the Arabic language- the Huroof, which are letters that don’t make sense unless there is something that comes after it. Specifically, we discussed the huroof of jarr which simply are a set of letters and words that force the word after to make a particular sound, it forces them into a particular status (most basic explanation). Ustadh Adam told us that even though some of them just seem like letters, they are actually used very commonly in the Qur’an and can have a profound meaning. One letter can change the meaning of a sentence, just one letter can add so much depth and meaning in the Qur’an, subhanAllah. That’s just how profound and precise the Qur’an is.

One such example that we discussed is in Surah Ash-Shura, Ayah 11 where Allah says: لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَيْءٌ – a rough translation: there is nothing like Him. If we look a little closer at at كَمِثْلِهِ, it’s a little bit interesting because the ك is one of those special huroof and it means “like”. Then the word مثل also means “like”. That ك doesn’t seem to be exactly necessary but Allah has placed that there for a reason and just with that one letter, there is so much depth that is added. Allah is telling us that there is nothing even like the like of Him. The  ك creates distance between Allah and everything else that is in creation; There is absolutely nothing like Allah. And not just like Allah, but nothing even that could be compared to comparison of Him. He is Above, He is Greater, above any imperfection or human comparison.

And all that depth is added just by Allah placing that single letter there. SubhanAllah.

Words of Wisdom.

The year has officially begun here at Bayyinah and things are already in full swing, Alhamdulillah. On Day 2, Shaykh Abdul Nasir Jangda came to visit us at Bayyinah and gave us incredible words of advice from scholars of the past and from his own experiences.

“In regards to knowledge, Allah (swt) says in the Qur’an: “Allah will raise those who have believed among you and those who were given knowledge, by degrees.” [58:11] Being a student of knowledge is an incredible opportunity because knowledge, especially knowledge of the Qur’an is irreplaceable. It’s incredibly valuable because the Qur’an is the fixture. The opportunity to study the book of Allah is a blessed opportunity, it’s a gift. Do right by this gift by valuing it and giving it your all.

The scholars of the past would quote a set of advice frequently to students seeking sacred knowledge:

You will not acquire knowledge until you implement six things:

1. Be focused. Bring yourself totally and completely to the table. Make this your primary objective; seeking knowledge requires undivided attention. Bring focus.

2. Desire this more than anything else. This has to be #1.

3. Be committed and apply yourself.

4. See things through till the end. Finish what you started. Often times, in the course of seeking knowledge, different tests and trials will come, negative influences will arise, or half way, you may just want to give up. But Commit yourself, finish what you started.

5. Take the instruction of a teacher. No one has ever learned beneficial knowledge without the instruction of a teacher. Our scholars of the past always had a teacher, a mentor. It is absolutely critical in the pursuit of sacred knowledge.

6. Time is essential. Commit Time in the accordance to the benefit that you want and want to give to others. Sometimes we are always seeking a fast, quicker, better solution but when it comes to knowledge, there is no quick solution. In order to achieve something, you have to work hard. Because has anything worthwhile ever been achieved without putting some work in?

You are here for an objective. You are here to learn the book of Allah. Be focused. Based on your sincerity, Allah will bless you with even more opportunities. Based on your focus and ihsan, Allah will grant you more. Value the knowledge. Value your teachers. You are blessed to be here. You have been chosen.”

Packing.

In the process of leaving my hometown and preparing to settle into Dallas for the Bayyinah Dream Program, the past month in a half has consisted of decluttering, boxes stacked up, bags piled into corners, stuffing this here and stuffing that there. I never thought packing and then unpacking could be so labor intensive not to mention picking up the pieces, saying goodbyes, leaving home was much more difficult than I expected. I have never been away from home for more than 30 days and this was definitely my first time experiencing what traveling and resettling felt like, though its relatively temporary.

This process of packing and unpacking and resettling made me reflect on some very powerful advice that my shaykh told us once in a halaqah. He said that every single one of us are travelers, though sometimes in our homes, in our cities and in the familiar, we get very comfortable, we feel like we “permanently reside” and though in a sense it may be a fact, in the grand scheme of things, we are travelers, we are all on this journey through the dunya, through this life and we came from Him, and we are all on a journey trying to return back to Him, our Master, our Lord, the One who Created us, the One who sustains us, the Most Generous and the Most Merciful.

We are all travelers and even though majority of our life isn’t spent physically packing boxes and suitcases, in a sense we are always packing- we are packing our metaphorical suitcase as we pass through as travelers. In this suitcase, we can either put in things that will benefit us in our journey- good deeds, salah, du’a, seeking knowledge, trying to have ihsan in all our affairs, trying our best to live like the Prophet (sws), trying to pack our suitcase full of good that will bring us benefit in the Hereafter. Or, we can put in things in our suitcase that would be of no use, that simply take up empty weight to an extent where it even becomes a burden. It may hinder the travel and pose no benefit at all to us and those things are sins, the bad deeds. Whether we realize it or not, every day we are packing and traveling- either we are packing good deeds and getting closer to Allah, or we are packing sins, and perhaps potentially taking us away from Allah.

We are all travelers, trying and struggling to make it back Home. May Allah allow us to constantly fill our suitcases of life with good deeds and protect us from packing in sins and allow us to return back to Him in a state that He is pleased with. Ameen.

Week 1.

Today is Saturday and I still can’t believe that a week has already passed. We are slowly getting into the routine of always being on the go, slowly trying to pick up and establish habits of students of knowledge, trying. One of my personal goals when coming here was to start my day at Fajr and so far in the rush of mornings to get to class on time, it has been pretty successful. Our day starts at Fajr followed by some time for Qur’an and then scrambling around to eat breakfast, get lunch packed, grab all notebooks, and racing out the door as soon as possible to make sure that we are able to get good seats.

We start off the day with a little bit of review after which Ustadh Adam teaches us grammar till 11:00am. I am always humbled by his patience and dedication in making sure we understand the concepts. In just a week, we have heard so many stories from him about his own personal studies and the journey he took and subhanAllah it always amazes me how much our teachers have sacrificed and continue to sacrifice for the sake of Allah and His religion. May Allah accept from all of them and elevate them.

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Rewind…

It was Ramadan of 2010, after my freshman year of college. After 18 years, I had come to the masjid, willingly, eagerly, without being told. I wanted to change. After many ups and downs in the past years and a spiritual awakening of sorts, I found myself ready to make this Ramadan different from the rest. The imam starts reciting. As we delve deeper and deeper into the Qur’an, I hear the sister beside me start to weep, her body starts shaking besides me. But Why? I didn’t get it. It was just taraweeh. It was just Qur’an, right? Little did I know in that moment, though, that her tears, her shaking, was a crumbling of her heart from the power of God’s words, which at the point I could not understand. But afters seeing her like that, night after night in Ramadan, a fiery passion began to grow. I wanted to break and crumble from the power of the Qur’an, too. I wanted to understand God’s words too. I wanted to be an active listener, an active receiver of His words, too. I wanted to learn and comprehend and transform every time I stood in salah, too.

And so the journey began there. It began with a passion, with a yearning, with a realization that I had spent 18 years of my life doing everything but seeking to learn the one thing that could be the means to my salvation in this world and the next. I found myself begging Allah to help me understand His words, because there was nothing I had heard that was more beautiful. There was nothing that I had read that was more beautiful than it. There was nothing that was more life changing than it.

Almost five years later, I am so humbled and grateful to Allah for opening the doors for me to study His book through Bayyinah Institute’s Dream Program. It truly is a gift that He has given and I pray I am able to appreciate every moment of it and make the most of it. The Qur’an in and of itself is a gift, it’s a huge blessing to us and any opportunity to read it or to study it- whether that be through a local halaqah group or tafseer circle or through programs like Bayyinah etc- it’s truly, truly a blessing and an honor. May Allah make us people of the Qur’an and allow any knowledge that we seek in regards to it, be a means of transformation and betterment of our own selves first and then allow it to transform our communities and societies at large, Ameen.

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