We’ve been having SH Abdul Nasir Jangda teach us hadeeth since Sunday, and so, we have switched gears from learning Arabic as a language to learning the 40 hadeeth collection of Imam Suyooti. Today, SH ANJ said something that I think maybe made some of us teary-eyed.
In 6 months of Dream, look at what we have accomplished so far. Where were we before in terms of Arabic knowledge and where are we now? We put the effort, we came every day, even when we felt like throwing in the towel. Look at the great blessing Allah has given us, that we are able to open up the book of Allah and be able to at least know what it’s saying at the first level. We have more to learn, but at least we know what it’s saying for the most part.
I think of my classmates who started Dream not having even learned Arabic before. Some didn’t even know how to write Arabic letters. These are the ones I feel in utmost awe of. Masha Allah! Then there are those who have somewhat of a basic knowledge of Arabic before they came to Dream. Then there are those who have a little bit more Arabic background.
In the words of a famous TA (who shall not be mentioned) [taken from one of the emails sent to us], “Students get out of the program what they put in.”
Sh ANJ talked about his own experience at realizing what a really huge blessing it is to be able to open up the mushaf and read it easily. It makes me think subhaanallah….it truly is a huge blessing. That we may take for granted because it is so readily available to us.
It also made me think about why I wanted to learn Arabic in the first place. Quran was my main motivator. If it wasn’t for Quran, I don’t think I even want to learn Arabic as I have no interest in acquiring mastery of foreign languages. Speaking foreign languages is really not my thing, which is why to this day, I am still not speaking Arabic. I know. I know. Maybe later in sha Allah.
What have I accomplished so far in this program?
Well, one thing that really stood out to me is my interaction with the Quran. Before coming to Dream, I already pretty much know the rough translation of the Quran thanks to Al Huda Taleem course. I knew the root words and since word analysis was my favorite subject, I can easily recall Quran vocab.
Now, I noticed that when I’m reviewing my hifdh, harakah is easier for me. Basically, before this, I’d have issues with harakah when memorizing. I didn’t have any sense of grammatical correctness before, so I’d always mess up the harakah in certain places. But now, when I would make the same harakah mistakes in an ayah as I used to, I’d either automatically correct myself, or I’d look at it, realizing I had made a mistake and when I look at it, I’d nod my head in why it’s a dhammah and not a fathah for example, because I now understand why it’s grammatically a dhammah. Subhaanallah!!
As I was looking at the pages in my mushaf just now, I saw the highlighted parts that I had trouble with. With the grammatical knowledge I have now, those highlighted parts seem so easy. I noticed that before, after a fi3l mudhari3, I’d automatically nasbify the next word, even if the fi3l mudhari3 is majhool, and that is one of the places where I always mess up. Now, as I correct that mistake, I get a second level of data entry in my head, in that, it’s passive form, so this is what it means.
That is only at the grammar level. Then there is the balaghah level. This is where I would spend time literally staring in the mushaf at certain ayaat again and again. At times, it’s wondering why a certain word is used here and why another word is used there. At other times, it’s wondering why the order of something is like this here and like that there. At other times, it’s wondering why there is a sudden switch of topic after a passage about on particular topic. I realized that I’ve been doing this since before Dream, but now, I am able to find the answer.
I also realized now that I can actually understand the children’s Arabic books I had bought for my three older kids eons ago. Last weekend, I read some of them to Z. Z wasn’t even born yet when I bought those books! I remember when I would wistfully look at those books and try to understand them with the Arabic background I had from high school, but to no avail. I kept them thinking,
“One day in sha Allah, I’ll be able to read those books to the kids.”
Little did I realize that it wouldn’t be the kids for whom I bought those books I’d be reading them to. Rather, it’s their baby brother. Subhaanallah…
I’m also able to understand Salahudeen! I was able to pick up certain stuff from it before Dream, but now, it has significantly improved! Of course, vocab is a huge thing too.
I remember being frustrated when reading along the sharh in Logical Progression. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m guessing that I can probably make out at least 50% of it now if I go and try to read it.
So, I entered Dream having Arabic background. Have I put enough effort to reap the harvest that is proportionate to my level before entering Dream? I honestly don’t know. I hope I have, but I am always extra hard on myself so I will say that maybe I haven’t. Then again, I believe in graduality. My learning curve has always been …. I’d say regular. I feel exhilirated when I get a concept. So I look forward to continue being exhilirated in the future because learning is a lifetime process. It doesn’t end when Dream ends.
I realize that I’m also able to actually help my kids learn Arabic. Before this, it has always frustrated me that I’m not able to teach them Arabic. We’d buy books, hoping I’d learn along with them, but of course, I never did. But now….subhaanallah…the doors are open. I can actually teach Z! The older kids are probably better off doing Dream themselves, but at least with Z, I can do with him what I’ve always wanted to do with the older kids when they were younger!
Alhamdulilah…I had a vague idea of what I wanted out of Dream. I wanted it because of the Quran and Islamic Studies. I recently remembered that I also wanted direct access to Islamic sources in Arabic. I left it to Allah to put barakah in it because I personally don’t even truly know what to ask for because I don’t even know what to ask, so I just asked for barakah, trusting that Allah knows what there is to attain.
Our 3rd quarter is almost done in sha Allah. We still have 3 – 4 weeks of advanced grammar left before we end the quarter and then 4th quarter we will be doing tafseer. In sha Allah!