Every day at Bayyinah, between our group sessions, we break to pray Dhuhr and then resume back with the rest of the periods of the day. A few weeks ago, as we were lining up for Dhuhr prayer, taking off our shoes by the shelves, one of our Ustadhas commented on how the shoes were lined up so neatly and she said something that really struck me. She said- “Your knowledge is showing its effects on you.” It took me a second to understand what she meant but then I realized that even though it was just a neat row of shoes, on a bigger scale, it was a reflection of character, which is something our teachers had been stressing since Day 1.
We were all here to learn the book of Allah. Day in and day out, week after week, we unfold and go through another concept, another set of homeworks and quizzes and exams, another piece of the puzzle that is put in place as we strive to understand the Qur’an but at the end of the day, all of this is to make us better people, to make us more pleasing to Allah. The more we learn, the greater the responsibility becomes, and the higher the standard of character is. Our teachers often remind us how knowledge can either be a witness for us or against us and sacred knowledge isn’t just information. Rather, It’s transformation. It’s meant to better our relationship with Allah first and foremost, but also better our interactions with people, our parents, and loved ones. It’s meant to humble us and make us more compassionate, merciful, and ethical people in all aspects of life even down to the way we line up our shoes before we pray, subhanAllah.
This thought always lingers in the back on mind as we go through the program and becomes heaviest every time I go back home for break, back to my family and community. Between the span of each break, how has that knowledge improved me? With each time I return home again, am I a kinder individual? Am I more willing to help? Am I able to stay calmer when provoked? Am I am able to better manage my anger? Am I better to my parents, more willing to serve them? Is the transformation happening? The questions are endless. And there’s always more work to be done. Always.
May Allah allow knowledge to constantly transform us for the better and make us people who constantly strive to embody the Qur’an and the life of the Prophet (sws) in our attitudes, character, and interactions, Ameen.