NEW TO ISLAMIC STUDIES? HERE ARE SOME GUIDELINES TO HELP YOU GET STARTED AND STAY ORGANIZED
By: Zaghra Savahl
Have you embraced Islam but unsure of where to start when it comes to learning more? Or maybe you’ve practiced the Deen your whole life and want to increase your knowledge? Or are you a non-Muslim genuinely interested in learning more about Islamic Beliefs?
For those that were raised Muslim, the foundation of Islam often gets taught from a very young age. It is common to find that children learn about Islam and its teachings even before they start school. For those who found Islam later in their life, particularly during adulthood, the knowledge and practice can be intimidating and overwhelming. Embarking on a journey of Islamic studies can be daunting, but with the right guidance, it will be the most rewarding experience of your life.
Here are a few guidelines to help you get started and to keep on track.
Start small with the intention of doing it for the sake of Allah (Subhanahu wa-ta'ala - The most Glorified, the most High)
When you do things for the sake of Allah (SWT) no matter how small the act may seem, you are already on the right path. Now, I know that “starting small” means something different to different people. What I mean here is to start with something that you're comfortable with and that works for you as an individual.
Depending on the area of Islamic Studies you wish to learn more about, dividing it into smaller sections will make it less overwhelming. An example could be to start by reflecting upon Qur'anic verses and Hadiths which will strengthen the spiritual connection of fulfilling your studies for the sake of Allah (SWT). It will also increase your focus, motivate, and mentally prepare you for your journey ahead.
Find an Islamic Scholar, a registered Islamic School or a trusted Muslim friend/ family member that can guide you
There is plentiful information about Islam just about everywhere – whether it be on the internet, in books, or on television. However, for every authentic teaching about Islam there is also plenty of false information as well. It is highly recommended that if you are interested in finding out more about Islam then you should approach an Islamic scholar, a registered Islamic school, or a trusted Muslim person that you know can guide you.
If this is too intimidating and you just want to do some basic research on your own to begin with, a good way to start would be reading through published Islamic books or viewing videos about Islamic Lectures posted on authentic websites. Our recommendation for a great place to start is watching YouTube channels of Islamic scholars such as Mufti Menk (full name: Ismail ibn Musa Menk) and Imam Omar Suleiman – you can find his lectures on the Yaqeen Institute YouTube channel. Their channels also provide links to their other social media pages as well as their website, where you can find out about recommended reading material.
We also encourage that if you are interested in Islamic studies and need some guidance, feel welcome to contact us and we will try our best to help.
Plan and set reminders for yourself
Once you've decided on which approach you will be taking with your Islamic studies, mapping out a plan that works for you will bring a sense of order to your learning. To start, a notebook or a planner can make a huge difference. Set weekly goals for yourself and then divide those goals according to what you can manage in a day. The most important thing here is to make sure that it is manageable for YOU. To help you stick with your daily goals, set reminders for yourself. This can be an alarm on your cellphone or a calendar that can alert you when it's time to work on your goals.
Enjoy the Journey!
Islam is a beautiful religion. When embarking on this journey with the right intention, it will lead to your life being more meaningful, rewarding, and fulfilling. Immersing yourself in your Islamic studies and believing and practicing what you learn is the ultimate way for you to stay committed, organized, and focused.
There is a verse in the Quran that says: God will Raise up, to (suitable) ranks (And degrees), those of you Who believe and who have Been granted (mystic) Knowledge. and God is well-acquainted With all ye do (58:11)
This verse is one of many that emphasizes the importance of seeking and gaining knowledge. The more you learn about the Deen, the more you will become elevated spiritually. The more elevated you become spiritually, the more you will be prepared for the Hereafter.
What has been your experience with Islamic Studies? How do you keep focus and stay organized? We would love to hear your comments in the section below!
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