This post was unplanned.
The posts that were supposed to have been written after the last one were planned. I was supposed to have chronicled my Dream journey. I didn’t. It was so much to take–so much good, so much hardship, that I took that time to understand it and just could not write about it. It’s funny how we think we can share things with people. Then we realize that we have so much to say that it can’t be said.
I have several notebooks filled with notes and gems from various classes at Dream and other lectures I was blessed to attend in the area. I have only begun to comprehend even one-tenth of what we learned. Let alone share that knowledge with someone else, I haven’t even begun to fully comprehend it. It’ an ocean. It’s an ocean in which you dive again and again and pull out a different pearl every time.
The biggest lesson I learned at Dream is that knowledge truly only gives you a little of itself after you give it all of yourself (this is a statement that I heard often in Islamic circles but did not ever understand until I went to Dream). During a particularly difficult period of my studies (both academically and emotionally taxing), our teacher, Shaykh Abdullah, gave me valuable advice. He said, “You will not learn what you want to learn when you want to learn it.”
“But Shaykh,” I argued. “We have so many milestones we have to meet here. A quiz here, a test there. How will I ever move on to the next module if I don’t understand the lessons in this one?” He smiled and said, “That’s fine. You take whatever understanding you have and you take it forward. And when the time is right, you will understand what you need to understand. It will all come to you later.”
I sighed but made myself relax and move forward.
I didn’t feel like the puzzle pieces fit until we were on our last module. Slowly, a dim light bulb began to shine brighter and I had not one, not two, but multiple aha! moments. It felt truly magical. I was really truly happy for comprehending the beautiful language of Arabic in a new light (no pun intended).
Anyhow, it’s now 2017. A new year.
I haven’t even recuperated from the sudden lack of Arabic and Qur’an immersion in my life. Regular life seems…regular. Not intense. Not academically challenging. Not spiritually immersive. But I know what I want–Dream made my goals clear. Going to Dream and coming back made my goals clearer. That life of immersion is what I want. Immersion in something so powerful and fulfilling as the Arabic of the Qur’an, the richness of its language, the depth of its meaning. It’s beautiful.
It makes life beautiful.