Before I left my home town to start the Dream Program, I visited one of our community’s scholars to seek his advice before beginning this journey of seeking knowledge, of seeking to study the language of Allah’s Book. His advice was very interesting; he told me to remember three things, three pieces of advice:

1. Purify your intentions. Always, always remember that you are going for Allah, that’s it.

2. Don’t ever give up. Don’t ever give up. Don’t ever give up.

3. And remember that Shaitan is at the steel door.

I looked very puzzled when he said this last point of advice but he paused and then continued to explain. He said that the beginning of the journey to study Arabic is like trying to get in a house that has a steel door at the front but the rest of the house is made up of twigs. The beginning is the most difficult part of studying the language and at that steel door is where shaitan is sitting. You have to push past, you have to struggle through that door, and you have to never give up. Once you get through that steel door, once you get through the initial hurdle, and keep going, everything will start to click and make sense. The beginning is the most difficult part. But once you get past that hurdle, its just like the rest of the structure which is made of twigs. It’s just come together smoothly. At which point this happens, depends from individual to individual. That overcoming of the hurdle could come a month in, it could come six months in, or perhaps even at the end, eight or nine months in. But remember Shaitan is at that door trying his best to prevent you from getting through. You have to keep going, you have to keep pushing and working and never, ever, ever give up.

It will all slowly start to make sense, piece by piece, twig by twig. You just have to get through the steel door.