When we think about starting to study of Islam, it’s like planning to climb a mountain.
We look up, and hope to get there. It’s that first step that’s the hardest of all.
Here are 7 steps to help you get going on the path of knowledge.
Time to Yourself
We all have different things to do each day. If we think about our days, we can probably find time to sit and study.
When we consider how much time we waste on things like social media and TV, all we need to do is cut back on those a little. Then we’ll find that time we can put aside.
We can use this time to read something. Listen to a short lesson.
Even if it’s just 5 minutes, this can become a regular routine.
Put Aside Distractions
Now that we’ve got our time set aside, we have to put away our phones, or the other things that distract us. We have to concentrate, and really focus on what we are studying.
If you disagreed with me about the previous point, then your time is really precious. That’s all the more reason to make the most of that time.
We’ll get more out of a focused five minutes than a whole hour of divided attention on a lesson.
Get your mind ready to learn, and open your heart to the guidance of God. Then you can make a study plan.
Just like that mountain is not climbed by jumping forward, we take our study in small steps. Baby steps.
It’s so much better to focus and apply on small lessons. If we overload ourselves, we may not catch everything. And we might get overwhelmed, and leave study altogether.
Breaking up a topic into small parts makes study easy. We focus on just one lesson at a time, and think about it until we have study time again.
Study, Break, Repeat
Even though we’ve broken up our topic into smaller chunks, it is all new.
We are new to Islam, so we won’t have a frame of reference to go off of. It will take time to really sink in.
So we take breaks. Just like that mountain climb, breaks are necessary…healthy, even.
Our brains need the break to process what we learn, and our hearts need space to open up to the knowledge and wisdom.
This isn’t just any topic, it’s our way of life.
Then, we come back to it and repeat the lesson.
Repetition is a huge key to really learning and understanding anything. If lessons aren’t repeated on a regular basis, they may slip from our minds.
Slow and Steady
If we race up part of the mountain, and then stop for a week, it will be just that much harder to start going again.
It’s the same with studying Islam. We can burn ourselves out. And if we take a really long break, we might not get back to it.
We start out slow, and we keep slowly going through our lessons. Remember “The Tortoise and the Hare”?
Slow and steady wins.
Learn at a steady, slow pace, so that it becomes a daily practice.
Practice means repetition+consistency.
And we know consistency is good, because the Messenger told us God loves it.
The Messenger of God said, “Take up good deeds only as much as you are able, for the best deeds are those done regularly even if they are few.”
Lifetime of Learning
Let’s say we make it to the top of the mountain. Then we see many other mountaintops that are much higher.
While that might get us down, we could accept is as a challenge.
No matter how much we’ve studied a lot about Islam, there’s always more to learn.
Many great scholars died, wishing they could have studied just a bit more.
The thing is, we’ll never know everything about Islam. The journey is supposed to take our whole lives.
That’s the point: that climb. The reward is in the climb. The goal is to keep going.
Never give up
Sometimes when you have done all you can, and you’re exhausted, you want to just sit still.
It’s just too hard sometimes to keep going. The test seems like too much.
But what is the purpose of a test? To exhaust us and defeat us?
Nope, a test is there to qualify people to get to the next level.
Are you ready for the next level? To get closer to God?
When our knowledge helps us come close to God, we’ve already won. And the more we learn, the more we understand Him.
The more we build a link with God, the easier the tests will be.
At the top of the mountain the sky is clearer and the path behind you well worth the climb.