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Addressing the Importance of the Youth Seeking Knowledge - Interview with Sister Majeedah

What stood up the most to me when sister Majeedah contacted me was when she said, “I want to be able to serve this ummah in all possible ways.” I just knew then that I had to interview her. She’s a blogger, a teacher, and a student. She’s passionate about spreading Islamic knowledge and addressing problems faced by the Muslim youth. Why don’t we talk to her directly?

1. Umm Sumayyah Assalaam ‘alaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh sister Majeedah.
Majeedah: Wa'alaikum Assalam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu sister.

2. Umm Sumayyah How are you doing my dear sister?
Majeedah: Alhamdullilah I'm doing good. 

3. Umm Sumayyah It’s a pleasure to interview you today and I sure do hope you feel the same. So, I’d like to start by having you introduce yourself briefly; please.
Majeedah: Firstly, I feel very humbled and honoured to be able to get in touch with Global Muslim Writers, Alhamdullilah.
Ever since my school days, I used to attend a number of Islamic classes, but in the year 2012, I met this beautiful woman who happened to be one of my teachers in those classes. It was through the way she would teach, address the problems we as Muslim teens would face, provide solutions for it and give us opportunities to express our thoughts, I found my inner zeal to work and dedicate myself to the deen of Allah. It was her who encouraged me to put up these feelings of mine into words, start blogging and helped me climb the first step towards my aim, Bi idhnillah. By the grace and mercy of Allah, there was no looking back since then. The more I would learn about the Quran and the Sunnah, the more I would fall in love with it and get addicted to learning more. 

4. Umm Sumayyah Teachers can surely leave a big impact on students. Subhanallah, one can only imagine the reward she may be getting for leaving such a positive impact on you. I love your zeal for learning and spreading what you learn; Allahumma baarik. 
You are a blogger who loves to write about problems faced by the Muslim youth, you’re a teacher, and a big believer in seeking knowledge. Please, tell us a bit more about that.
Majeedah: Yup that's true indeed! May Allah reward her and her family abundantly! 
So, when I experienced the transition from darkness (i.e. not gaining knowledge) to light (i.e. learning and implementing the teachings of Allah and His Rasul), I decided to share this experience with as many people as possible and help them turn their negative emotions into positive ones through the Quran and Sunnah, Bi idhnillah. When I started this journey and interacted with the Muslim youth, I figured they have a desire to live a peaceful and blissful life, without any sorrow and trials but they couldn't figure out which path would lead them to it. I decided to address their problems, its solutions, their desires and needs through the Quran's perspective, and thereby connect each and every aspect of their lives with the Quran. This way they would know Who to approach in their times of trials and needs, In sha Allah.

5. Umm Sumayyah Ameen to the du'a. And what you do is amazing, Allahumma baarik! 
Do you work with the youth face to face or online? Do you do that through classes or other community services?
Majeedah: I prefer a face to face interaction because I believe there are a lot of emotions that can be conveyed through the eyes and the expressions that sometimes our words might lack which is exactly what I do now. When I teach young girls, I try to highlight their problems and its solutions in the light of the Quran and the life of the Prophet (saws) and his companions. Subhan Allah I notice that with every class, the desire in these girls to learn more and to change themselves for the better has only increased. Nevertheless, I also answer the queries of young Muslim girls and ladies through my email to the best of my knowledge.

6. Umm Sumayyah That DOES make sense. 
What makes you passionate about seeking knowledge and Muslim youth problems?
Majeedah: When I started learning about Deen and experienced the difference it created in my life, how it transformed me into a person who is more humble, patient, kind and positive and above all to keep cool in any situation and have unwavering faith in Allah and His plans is what makes me passionate about seeking knowledge. I know for a fact that a majority of Muslim youth feed on negative emotions and have a vague idea of what true happiness and contentment is which is very sad. I believe it is them who are the foundations of Islam and they need to be addressed with kindness and patience and shown how beautiful and comforting their Deen is. 

7. Umm Sumayyah I totally agree. The youths are the present and the future of Islam. Throughout the history of Islam, they have always been the ones firmly holding the banner of Islam through their resilience, courage, and energy that Allah granted them. So we should definitely invest more in them. What goals do you try to achieve when you address Muslim youth problems?
Majeedah: I couldn't agree with you anymore sister Umm Sumayya! Whenever I speak or write about a problem that is commonly faced by the Muslim youth, I give them a solution for it that is mentioned in the Quran and the Hadith. The Quran is a Book for all ages and generations. It has been a solution to the problems faced 1400 years ago and it still is the solution to the problems we face in the 21st century. That's one of the reasons why the Quran is a miracle of Allah swt. I want to be able to make the Muslim youth establish a connection with Allah through His Book - the Quran, In sha Allah.

8. Umm Sumayyah Rightfully so. That’s how it should be. The Qur’an is more than just a book that should be read; it comes with a message. And we can only truly understand Islam once we start connecting with the Book of Allah. 
Do you think there’s a relationship between Muslim youth problems and seeking knowledge? If so, what do you think it is?
Majeedah: Yes. There's a major connection there. As I was saying, seeking knowledge helps us mold our thinking into a positive one. For example, if we're going through any difficulty or a trial, we're going to be patient and positive and endure the trial with complete trust and faith in Allah because we would have learned that Allah is The One who tests those who believe, either with comfort or with difficulty. Each one of us is tested based on our level of faith and tolerance because Allah has promised that He will not burden us with more than what we can bear. And Allah is with those who patiently endure. When we have these things in mind, we'll only be positive and expect our reward from Allah at the end of the trial. On the other hand, lack of this knowledge is going to cause us anxiety, frustration, depression and hurt us emotionally and physically. For every problem there is, whether it be peer pressure or poverty or obesity, you will find its solution in the Book of Allah.

9. Umm Sumayyah I agree with you, but just for clarification, do you think having knowledge necessarily takes away the possibilities of having anxiety, frustration, depression, and the likes? 
Majeedah: These negative emotions are a part of life just like the positive ones. Even Rasulullah (saws) faced sadness when he lost his beloved wife, Khadija (ra), his uncle and his children, when he faced humiliation in Taif or when the Muslims lost many of the Believers in the battle of Uhud! But it was only through the Words of Allah, he found solace and strength to move ahead in life. It was through the implementation of this knowledge and his sincere intentions that made him and his efforts for the Deen victorious! As Allah swt says in Surah Al Imran, verse 139; "Do not lose hope nor be sad. You will surely be victorious if you are true in faith."
So challenges and trials are faced by every human being but it is our choice if we want to give ourselves into them, increasing our sadness and anxiety or rise above by having an unshakable trust in Allah, His plans, and His wisdom. 

10. Umm Sumayyah: Got it! So, in general, why do you think seeking Islamic knowledge is important?
Majeedah: Firstly, there is a Sahih Hadith that states, "Seeking knowledge is obligatory upon every Muslim" [At Tirmidhi, 74]. Seeking Islamic knowledge is going to make us aware of who our Creator is. Yes, He is the Lord of the Worlds and He is The One who created the entire Universe and everything in it. But apart from that, He is also the Lord who is The Most Kind, The Most Wise, The Most Just and so much more. When we learn about Allah, His Might, and His attributes, it makes us more humble and this characteristic will reflect in our Salah. And when we're cautious of Allah in our prayers, then every other matter in our life in this world and the Akhirah will be settled and be personally taken care of by Allah Himself. What more can one ask for when all his problems in this world are taken care of by The One who runs this world? Subhan Allah!

11. Umm Sumayyah Now THAT was powerful! Jazaki Allahu khayr for mentioning these important points. 
Who wouldn’t want to seek knowledge after reading that? 😊 
What steps do you think a person could take to seek knowledge?
Majeedah: Alhamdullilah! So the most important thing to do is to seek knowledge from the right and authentic sources. In my opinion, one should start small. This will help one be consistent and regular in learning about Islam. After all, the most beloved deed to Allah is the most regular and constant even though it were little [Sahih Bukhari, vol 8, book 76, hadith 471]. Islamic posts, articles, videos have benefited me to a great extent Alhamdullilah. But it is the Quran that has the power to sink into our hearts and soul. As a student of knowledge, I believe just reading the translation of the Quran may not be that beneficial as supposed to understanding the Quran with its Tafsir. 

12. Umm Sumayyah I’m glad you mentioned Tafsir because I believe we often overlook it, and that goes for both those who speak Arabic and those who don’t. Translation just tells us the meaning of the words and sentences. But, Tafsir elaborates on what exactly was being addressed, the circumstances around what happened, who and what it was speaking about, when it happened, and the lessons to learn about it.
Are there any drawbacks when it comes to seeking Islamic knowledge? Is it an easy road?
Majeedah: True that! I was someone who thought that reading the translation would be good enough to understand the Quran but Subhan Allah when I started Tafsir, it totally blew my mind away and I was so fascinated with the event around which the verses were revealed! 
Coming back to your question, I would be lying if I say "no"! When we do something for the sake of Allah and try to come closer to Him, His Book and His deen, there is someone out there who is not liking it. And he is going to try his best to put you off the right track. And if he cannot get us to sin, he is going to make us do something worse, and that's wasting time. So, whenever there is an urge to do something that Allah dislikes or if it takes us away from the remembrance of Allah or if we simply feel lazy, we know who the culprit is. Drive him away by immediately seeking refuge in Allah and ask for Allah's help against him. Keep making Dua to Allah to help you walk on the path of knowledge and In sha Allah it will be easy. 

13. Umm Sumayyah That is true. Nothing good in life is easy, to begin with, so one can only imagine how much more challenging it can be to seek authentic knowledge that draws us closer to Allah. What would you advise a Muslim who wants to seek knowledge? And what would you advise Muslims in general in relation to seeking knowledge?
Majeedah: As I have mentioned before, it is an obligation upon every Muslim to gain knowledge. Another important thing that I'd like to mention here is the importance of our intentions when we seek knowledge. First and foremost, we need to learn about our deen with the intention to please Allah alone and fulfill our obligations towards Him. Because when we walk on the path of knowledge, Allah makes the path to Jannah easy [Sahih Muslim, 2699]. There may be times when our Iman would be in the highest level and sometimes there might be a dip in oour Iman, whatever be the situation, we must never stop seeking knowledge. It is this knowledge that will help us walk on the straight path and come closer to Allah and His mercy, Bi idhnillah. 

14. Umm Sumayyah I was waiting for the word ‘intention’ and surely, you said it! I like that you also talked about iman going up and down but we should never stop the journey. Once we convince ourselves to stop, that’s when we usually lose the battle; subhanallah. Consistency, even at a slower pace is better than stopping indeed!
Are there any last words you would like to share with us?
Majeedah: Exactly! Consistency is the key. In the end, I would like to say that when Allah tests us, it is only for us to call out to Him, ask Him for relief and it is also a means of purifying our sins. These tests is what makes us stronger, wiser and worthy of Jannah. Every problem we face, has a solution to it. Allah has provided the solution in His Book. It is only up to us how often we pick this Book up and read it. May Allah make us among those who recite the Quran abundantly and consistently and also understand the Quran and implement its teachings in our lives, Ameen!

15. Umm Sumayyah If I say I’m not more inspired to do more after talking to you, I would be lying. This is why I love interviewing others to share their knowledge, tips, and experiences. Not only do I benefit, imagine how many more people who read would benefit. Subhanallah. I’m pretty sure some of our readers would love to know where they can find you. 
Please, share with us the best place they could find you.
Majeedah: You can find me at my blog, which is Revive Faith.
This is where I post my articles. Also, you can get to me on my email for a one on one conversation.

16. Umm Sumayyah BarakahAllahu feeki sister Majeedah for taking the time to talk with me. I truly appreciate all your wonderful and beneficial advice and I’m 100% sure others will too, in shaa Allah. I wish you all the best in your journey to making a difference in the Muslim ummah.
Majeedah: Jazakillah Khair sister Umm Sumayyah for this consideration! I'm totally inspired by your work in the Global Muslim Writers and for providing opportunities for young writers all over the world. May Allah accept from you and me. 

17. Umm Sumayyah Ameen! I guess that makes two of us! I’m just as inspired (if not more) by your work and dedication! Alhamdulillah.
Assalaam ‘alaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh.
Majeedah:  Wa'alaikum Assalam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu. 

Umm SumayyahNow if that didn't inspire you to seek knowledge, I don't know what will! This interview left me thinking, "What am I doing? I HAVE to start doing more!" That's a good thing. We can be too comfortable sometimes and easily waste previous time that we could have used to benefit ourselves and others around us. But, it's never too late (except after death) to do even the bare minimum. And as Sister Majeedah said, "intentions!" I'm focusing on that word because it speaks volume. May Allah purify our intentions and help us in the path of seeking knowledge for His sake, and implement what we learn. 

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