For the longest time, I would be overly obsessed with my thoughts, my ideas and emotions. I was always consumed by how I personally felt about things and what I was going through at any instant. It was almost narcissistic, but not really. Alhumdulillah, I feel like I’ve moved passed that stage and it’s made me a better person, a better thinker. Looking back, I guess I was just bored with life and I didn’t exactly know how to make the most of my time; I didn’t have a focus and my goals seemed to go as far as doing good in school and praying on time. This Summer has been different. I’ve thoroughly appreciated the free time I’ve had and though I may not have taken full advantage of it (how many of us can really say we spend every second of our lives doing something meaningful, not many I’m sure), I know I took a step forward and went beyond what I was used to. Most of the time, it’s not even that I don’t know how to use my time, I just feel soooo overwhelmed with how much I could be doing that I actually end up getting nothing done. That’s probably hard to understand, but it’s just how things have been for me. I started off my Summer with Fiqh of Salah, my first Al Maghrib class (of many to come InshAllah) and it was literally, THE highlight of my vacation. SubhanAllah, I met amazing like-minded people, I purified my intentions, and I took a few leaps forward…not just with my Salah, but with my life. I came home from that class and thought of some concrete goals and ambitions I had for life. Most of them ended up being long-term, but I was just glad to have something on paper, something I would work towards to better myself and benefit those around me bi’ithnillah. Almost everyday, I focused heavily on Tafseer, dhikr, memorization of du’as, and Seerah. Tafseer and Seerah definitely took me to a new level and really helped me put my life in perspective. For Tafseer, I got through about 7 juz with Dr. Farhat Hashmi (May Allah raise her and bless her with high ranks in Jannah). 7 juz probably sounds like very little, but SubhanAllah, it takes about 25-45 minutes to go over 4-6 ayah’s. My initial goal was to do 5 juz, but Alhumdulillah Allah made it easy. For Seerah, I was blessed to have a 25 minute commute to work and co-workers who actually encouraged everyone to have an ipod while working (because no one talks to each other, like ever….unless it’s urgent. I know, it’s weird but I kind of liked it). So I got through the Makkan period and the Madinan period volume 1. SubhanAllah, I often found myself trying to hold back tears in my little cubicle because of the countless lessons Imam Awlaki described from the life of Rasulullah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam). I highly recommend the series; I actually think it’s a great idea to listen to each seriese twice because the second time, you can really solidify the information and get a good understanding of the Seerah holistically. As for dhikr and du’as, I just followed the heart wheel journal by Sh. Muhammad Al Shareef (hafidhahullah). Most just dhikr chunks throughout the day and a few du’as here and there…which I memorized finally Alhumdulillah. And lastly, I feel like I unknowingly became a huge fan of Blogistan. I’ve found soooo many amazing blogs and writers this Summer, and sometimes it’s super hard to keep up with all of them. There’s never a dull moment when I’m reading something now because I actually have good stuff to read. The links I have posted are only a fraction of the blogs sites I’ve started keeping up with.
But you know, one of the greatest things I can take away from this Summer is that knowledge without amal (action) is just information, and it’s practically useless in that sense. One can attain knowledge of all sorts and just have it stored, but humility takes a lifetime to learn. I remember when my dad would read hadith with us as kids, he would read each hadith twice and then about a week later, he would repeat the hadith. A few times, my sister and I would say “We’ve heard this one already” and all he would ask is “Have you acted upon it already?”….and we’d be quiet lol. I had a habit of forgoing any piece of advice or hadith that I had already heard of thinking exactly that, “I’ve already heard it”….but did I act on it? Did I reflect? Did I pass it on and make it a consistent part of my life? Chances are, the answer was no. Essentially, what I’m trying to say is that humility takes a lifetime to learn, and if Allah blesses one with humbleness, then SubhanAllah, they are truly blessed. If we just wait for any possible moment where we can say “Oh I already know this”…then that shows that we’re just collecting knowledge and not necessarily applying it or and thoroughly reflecting on it. How many times have we heard hadith about remembering death, about be good with our family, about showing mercy and forgiveness even when we’re upset, about following the Sunnah…yet more often then not, we find ourselves falling into the same traps over and over again. This is mostly a reminder for myself. May Allah azzawajal make us among those who are humble in seeking ‘ilm and those who remain steadfast on Surat-ul-Mustaqeem. Ameen.