Assalamualaikum, my dear brothers and sisters.
Adam cornered me after dinner and started telling me about how muslims must exercise vigilance in ensuring all their Islamic resources are valid and authentic. Wow! I’m not sure, but I think my jaw dropped… (he’s 10!) He reminded me to find a hafiz who knows and understands the Quran when I want to learn more about what is written in the Quran. I was reminded of a verse in Surah Al Baqarah, verse 121,’ Those to whom We have sent the Book study it as it should be studied: they are the ones that believe therein: those who reject faith therein,- the loss is their own.’
This has been a principle I’ve held to since my journey to seeking the Truth. In the beginning, I was confronted with so many materials, references and resources on Islam and many of them contradicting one another that I began to cautiously shift through my resources very carefully, relying on the author’s reputation among his own peers and checking his ‘chain of knowledge’ i.e. who/where he received his knowledge. I learnt this from the young Egyptian da’i, Brother Moez Masoud on one of his speaking engagements at a local mosque. This habit has stood me well over the years, especially in guarding me against taqlid or blind following.
I do not know everything and my knowledge is minimal compared to others in the community but I am sincere in saying that when we hold to Al Quran and authentic hadiths on the Sunnah (the way/the examples) of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. as our primary resources, we will find answers to life’s questions. Many times in the past had I prayed for answers during my darkest hours and had found those answers in Al Quran. SubhanAllah. I would like to share with you my doa before I begin reading Al Quran; ‘ May the knowledge, guidance, comfort, healing and truth of Allah’s Holy Words reach my heart, my mind and my soul and may my recitation be correct and pleasing to Him.’ Then, I kiss the Quran and sometimes I hug it.
Would you think it is a wonder that I am sometimes overcome by reverance for the Book that I start trembling, tears falling down my face, holding Al Quran in my hands..? (even now as I am writing, my heart hurts and tears come to my eyes because I think my words are not doing justice to what the Holy Quran has been to me in my life) I have experienced such humility in my heart for being able to read Al Quran openly and freely when I know my brothers and sisters in some parts of the world are beaten, tortured and killed for reading Al Quran. I feel great humility to be able to hold Al Quran in my hands when I know some of my brothers and sisters have only had glimpses of the Book and some not even seen Al Quran in their life.
By this, I also refer to the non-muslims. I say they are my brothers and sisters because we are all the Children of Adam: Surah Al A’raf, verse 172, ‘ When thy Lord drew forth from the Children of Adam- from their loins- their descendants, and made them testify concerning themselves, (saying): ” Am I not your Lord (who cherishes and sustains you)?:- They said: ” Yea! We do testify!” ‘. I must feel sorry for them because no one has shared Islam with them. I must remember that Allah All Mighty showed His Mercy to me by letting me be born into a muslim family. I must never forget that there are others not given this blessing so it is my responsibility to see that they are reminded of the Covenant they took with their Lord. I must be afraid that when I do not share Islam with my brothers and sisters, I will be asked to account for my failure to fulfill my responsibility on the Day of Judgement.
Thank you, Adam, for your timely reminder. May Allah All Mighty bless and love you for sharing your knowledge.