A Pictorial Summary of the amount of knowledge that all of us started with…
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
So, how much did we all start with, you ask?
Well, we started with:
وَاللَّـهُ أَخْرَجَكُم مِّن بُطُونِ أُمَّهَاتِكُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ شَيْئًا وَجَعَلَ لَكُمُ السَّمْعَ وَالْأَبْصَارَ وَالْأَفْئِدَةَ ۙ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ
“And Allah has extracted you from the wombs of your mothers not knowing a thing, and He made for you hearing and vision and intellect that perhaps you would be grateful.” [Surah An-Nahl (16) : 78]
So, that’s how all of us started life: without knowing anything.
That’s how all the laymen started life and that’s how all the scholars of Islam started life. Everyone got the same starting point.
A few words of advice:
1) We always have this assumption that people were born in a certain way, so we assume that we cannot become that way.
So, we’ll read the book of a certain shaikh and find him to be a man of great knowledge, yet it never occurs to us that this shaikh was also ignorant once upon a time and that he had to STRIVE to attain all that knowledge. He wasn’t born with it.
So, because we never realise that he did not get a head start, it never occurs to most of us that, with the help of Allah, we could also get to the same level as that shaikh, or perhaps even more.
On the contrary, we say things like “Oh but that person has so much knowledge” in order to excuse ourselves from doing more.
2) Many Muslims feel embarrassed about not knowing much about Islam.
Well, as you can see, we were all there at one point in time so that’s not an excuse not to do one’s best to learn more.
Don’t worry about the past, just focus on the future.
3) The ayah clearly states why we were granted sight, hearing and intellect.
Why? So that we would be grateful.
How is one grateful to Allah? By worshipping Him alone and by being obedient to Him.
Seeking (Islamic) knowledge is a great act of worship and it teaches one how to perform the other acts of worship.
So, what’s stopping us from seeking knowledge?
PS. This issue was one of the steps of Project “Recover Ramadan” but I want to reemphasize this point again due to its great importance.