People of Substance II
I wanted to share some of the practical suggestions that came out of the lecture - People of Substance. These are ways in which we can move forward to becoming people of substance.
1. Fundamental education in Islam
We MUST study the Quran, cover to cover, with a teacher who can help explain the tafseer and the Arabic language to facilitate our learning experience. There are many places offering weekly, daily and monthly classes in English and in Urdu. Grasp the opportunity today so you become a more informed Muslim for tomorrow. We must be interested in understanding the Quran in Arabic because it is guidance for all of us not just for a select few. Without understanding the Quran first hand, you will never appreciate anything about Islam.
2. Read the Seerah of the Prophet SAWS
Once we are connected with the Quran, we cannot stop ourselves from knowing every possible thing about the Messenger of Allah - Muhammad SAWS - our role model. There are wonderful books available on his life and his sayings so make the best use of this resource and get to know him so you can consciously love him and emulate him. Read books from different authors so you get to experience different facets of his life.
3. Pursue the Arabic language
There is no doubt in the fact that Arabic is a beautiful language that has unparalleled depth. When you read the Quran, you cannot ignore the beauty of this language and its eloquence. If we want to improve our appreciation of the Quran, we must pursue basic Arabic to further our understanding. When you know basic grammar, it's like someone unlocked a door in your mind - it's nothing short of fascinating. There is a reason why the Quran is the finest piece of Classical Arabic to date - it is from Allah the Almighty.
4. Make knowledge your forte
We should also think about studying sociology and psychology because youth counselling is a great need everywhere. Unless some of us are qualified to deal with their problems and offer them solutions today, they will be a lost generation tomorrow. We cannot afford that to happen. If you are studying currently in a University, then take up courses in Philosophy or Humanity to help widen your understanding of the human psyche.
5. Make Pakistan a Center of Learning
When we want our kids to have a good education, we have no option but to send them abroad. Why? Because Muslim countries shifted their focus from learning to lethargy! There are very few well-recognized institutions in the Muslim world and we need to fix this. The Brain-Drain has to stop if we want anything good to become of Pakistan. But the only way we can stop our brains from going to the US or UK is if there are worthy Institutions in the Muslim world.
6. Start a Quranic Circle or join one!
A great way to find like minded people is to start a Quranic circle. It's a group of people who get together to either study the Quran or Seerah together or just share thoughts, ideas and solutions for everyday life. Being part of one personally, I know that this is the best thing you can do to keep your engine roaring. Not all of us are lucky enough to have supportive families so start a small group to stay on track and get a moral boost every now and then.
7. Get good company
Make sure your kids have good company because that defines their character. Do the same for yourself. This doesn't mean that we leave all our old friends and find new ones. But it does mean that if your old friendships prove counter productive then it's better to part ways before getting influenced the wrong way. Good friends will energize you to think bigger and better.
8. Have an open-door policy
Appreciate your family and don't forget to tell them. So many times, we think it's silly to say "thank you" or "sorry", when really small words can sometimes make a big difference. Communicate with your family and just talk to them about real things and issues. Only when we will have strong families will we develop a strong society that is capable of living in the real sense.
All these practical suggestions can help us move towards being better people. So, in the words of Nike - Just Do it!