Ustadha Mariam Bashar once shared a story of one of her students who kept on missing classes. One day, the student went up to Ustadha Mariam and apologized, complaining about how her many duties as a wife, a mother and a host of other roles were occupying her time so much so that she consistently found herself having to sacrifice her religious classes to make way for other activities.
Ustadha Mariam’s answer to her was simple,
When you yearn enough to seek ‘ilm, Allah will open the doors for you to seek ‘ilm. Your time will be free, your transportation will be provided, everything will be made easy for you because He made it such that you will walk to class with His feet!
Likewise, if you don’t yearn enough, the doors will be closed for you. So when you find yourself too busy, constantly having too many excuses for not attending a gathering of knowledge, look back to your heart. That is all there is to it – Ustadha Mariam Bashar
The advice, simple as it sounds, made perfect sense to me in explaining the predicament I was in.
Three years ago when I was in Singapore, I attended gatherings of knowledge almost every day, fueled by my new-found zeal to learn the religion. Fast forward to today, despite being in an Islamic university, the number of religious classes I attend per week add up to the grand number of one. I have always used my busy schedules as excuses, but Ustadha Mariam’s insight hit the right spot – my desire to learn simply was not as high as it was before.
As disheartening as the revelation sounded, I believe that every reminder that someone passes to me happens only because Allah SWT wanted me to realize it. Perhaps it is time for me to look back at my heart and truly ask myself if I really wanted to learn and what my intentions are in doing so.
And perhaps, if you too have found yourself missing from religious classes, it is time to look at your heart and ask yourself the same questions too ;)
May Allah, the Turner of hearts, keep all of our hearts in the deen of Islam. Ameen.