READERS ARE LEADERS; A CALL TO AWAKENING THE UMMAH ZEAL OF READING By Abu Maryam Ibn Is’haq (Abumaribi)
READERS ARE LEADERS; A CALL TO AWAKENING THE UMMAH ZEAL OF READING!
It is no joke that good readers of good books are actually the ones that strike the leading path as models for others to follow their footsteps in life. A person with a good reading habit will always be informed on the situation of life, and the reaction to meet the situation. An investment of one’s time in reading beneficial books will always be a means to guide one’s action in lifetime. This is because; ‘a reading mind is a reasoning mind’.
Without an iota of doubt, reading is an essential part of human life. Reading provides one with the knowledge and insight to be in light. Reading good contents enhances the development of one’s intellectual asset, as one move from the path of the ignorant to the path of the learned. Just as reading good and beneficial books serves as a source of understanding and wisdom, reading bad and non-beneficial books also serves as a source of confusion and illusion.
Reading cuts across all aspects of life. For someone to be well informed and knowledgeable, one has to invest in the acquisition of knowledge, of which reading forms an important part in achieving this knowledge. Striving and seeking for knowledge enhance the development of one’s thought and reasoning ability. People that make reading an habit will always have their brain and mind working on something meaningful and will try to make effort to get reasonable judgement from any event before making conclusion; as most of their decision usually go through reasoning stage.
Many scholars of Islam have tried to make themselves available and beneficial to people, by putting their knowledge, understanding and wisdom in written for the students of knowledge to benefit.
The Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) said: “The seeking of knowledge is obligatory for every Muslim.” – (Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 74). Knowledge comes easy for people nowadays, as the advent and the advancement of technology has made it easier for a seeker of knowledge to get the knowledge of some of the Ulema (Scholars) at the comfort of ones bedroom.
Nowadays, in the wake of electronic, mobile and internet devices, one can store and save enormous resources on ones device, at a little or no cost, for one to appreciate and gain beneficial knowledge. The advent of eBooks can allow a student of knowledge to have walking (mobile) library with many great books of Islamic authors to drink from the pool of their knowledge at their convenient time.
Allah has made all these things easy for us so that one will not complain of uneasiness in gaining and striving for beneficial knowledge. It’s only left for us to Ākhirahe favour of Allah wisely.
Surah Az-Zumar, Verse 9:
ِ قُلْ هَلْ يَسْتَوِي الَّذِينَ يَعْلَمُونَ وَالَّذِينَ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ إِنَّمَا يَتَذَكَّرُ أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ
…Say: “Are those who know equal to those who know not?” It is only men of understanding who will remember (i.e. get a lesson from Allah’s Signs and Verses)
From this, it shows how important knowledge is for everyone, and also show that knowledge is linked with understanding. A person that engage in reading beneficial books will also gain an insight in the process, if one read for benefit. Reading along with reasoning build ones intellect in the process.
A good example can be found in the leadership of our last Prophet, Muhammad (ﷺ). The first activity for his prophet-hood was learning how to read.
As he was instructed:
Surah Al-Alaq, Verse 1-5:
اقْرَأْ بِاسْمِ رَبِّكَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ خَلَقَ الْإِنسَانَ مِنْ عَلَقٍ اقْرَأْ وَرَبُّكَ الْأَكْرَمُ الَّذِي عَلَّمَ بِالْقَلَمِ عَلَّمَ الْإِنسَانَ مَا لَمْ يَعْلَمْ
“Read! In the Name of your Lord, Who has created (all that exists); Has created man from a clot (a piece of thick coagulated blood).; Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous.; Who has taught (the writing) by the pen; Has taught man that which he knew not.”
We all need to invest in reading beneficial books, especially on the knowledge of the deen of Islam, and enjoin others to trail on this path. This we should do so that people of our Ummah will be informed with the knowledge of the deen and will be able to express themselves and also enjoin good on the others. A lots of forces has been developed by the chief deceiver to ride people away from the thought of seeing any usefulness in the knowledge of the deen.
Islam is a complete lifestyle that makes it a necessity for everyone to seek knowledge, and use the understanding of the knowledge as a light to guide us on the straight path for the benefit of this life the utmost reward of Ākhirah (Hereafter).
Allah has set many examples in Qur’an emphasis on seeking knowledge, it ranges from various clauses (translation) like; “know…, if they but know…, know that…, if you but know…, ask those who know…, know you not… etc. This is an eye opener on the impact of knowledge on mankind.
This is a reminder to me first and everyone to utilise our ability and capability for the development of the deen before a day we will be compelled to read; as Allah says:
Surah Al-Isra, Verse 14:
اقْرَأْ كِتَابَكَ كَفَىٰ بِنَفْسِكَ الْيَوْمَ عَلَيْكَ حَسِيبًا
(It will be said to him): “Read your book. You yourself are sufficient as a reckoner against you this Day.”
Activities of life should not distract the seeker of knowledge in striving to attain beneficial knowledge. You just have to keep on learning and keep knowing till the time of your departure on the face of the earth. Knowledge is light:
Keep on reading;
Keep on learning;
Keep on knowing;
Keep on growing;
And just keep the light glowing.
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