This week at Bayyinah, we’ve delved into an ocean of information by learning how to use multiple Arabic dictionaries and how to access them in a quick, efficient way. Now, we don’t just have to just rely on our weekly vocabulary list- we can now search up words and do research on our own and the feeling is incredible. As the program continues and we start to open up more and more resources, I am just floored at what an endless ocean this study is and how much effort has gone behind compiling such works.
As we were going through the different dictionaries on the database, Ustadh Adam would give us a brief background of the people behind the compilation of such incredible works. The story that struck me the most was that of Edward William Lane who compiled the Arabic-English Lexicon, also known as Lane’s Lexicon. Lane’s Lexicon is an amazing resource because it not only provides definitions but examples of how certain words were used in classical Arabic, some expressions, names of Allah, and even examples from the Qur’an. It is so, so detailed and so thorough- it made me wonder what kind of dedication it must have taken to research and compile such a work. Ustadh Adam then told us a little bit about William Lane and said that when Lane was working on this dictionary, he would just lock himself in his room amongst all his resources, surrounded by many books and would never come out of his room. His dedication to this work was so much so that his servant would even slip food through the door and that’s how he would eat.
Hearing this account made me appreciate Lane’s work so much more but above that, I was really inspired by his passion and dedication- that an individual can love something and be so driven by a cause to put so much time, sweat, and effort into it is just absolutely remarkable and made me reflect on my own journey here. There are points where I can notice the exhaustion taking a toll, where the fuel seems to be running out and motivation seems to be dwindling but just hearing such stories of dedication and effort fills the tank a little bit more each time. I have to remember why I’m here. I have to retrace my steps. Anyone on the journey towards a goal at some point will have to refuel, recheck intentions, reset themselves- what am I working towards? Why am I doing what I am doing? Why did I start this endeavor to begin with?
If I really am passionate about the book of Allah, if I really believe in the power of the Qur’an to transform lives, if I really believe that this Book is the solution to my problems and for all of humanity, then I have to pour my heart and soul and energy and effort to this cause, just like Lane did in his Lexicon when he really, truly believed in what he was doing. May Allah make us people of work ethic, or dedication, and resilience and allow us to pour our heart and energy for His sake to serve Him and above all, accept our efforts and allow them to grow beyond expectations. Ameen.