– Apa Zaahira Karrim, 3 May 2021

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

اقْرَأْ بِاسْمِ رَبِّكَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ

Iqra/ bi-ismi rabbika allathee khalaq (Transliteration)
Recite in the name of your Lord who created – (Translation – Sahih International)
(The Noble Quran, 96:1)

Iqra! Read! These were the first words revealed on a distracted nation in 610CE. As we know, first impressions last. It is noteworthy that the beginning of the new era of Islam did not begin with an introduction or name. Rather, it began with a simple yet profound command from Allah, the creator of the pen. It began with the command to “Read!”.

You see, dear reader, the more we read, the more we understand. Reading is where love enters our hearts not through force but rather through understanding. Growing up, we are taught that each individual possesses a unique finger print. This makes us different from one another. As we read we point at words with that very unique finger. As we read, we gain a unique understanding of a book or text that may have read by many other, who each have gained their own understanding.

From the tip of the pen, to the unique finger prints that we we use to point out what we read and to the mark that reading leaves within us…reading is a powerful tool used to broaden minds. Whilst our children are still impressionable and a trust from Allah, let us instill in them the value of picking up a book and enlivening their senses.

There are secrets in the pen. There are secrets in reading. Find them and soar… like Abu Ubaidah!

Ust. Zaahira Karrim is the founder and director of Ummah Heart, an online and physical madrassah centered in Johannesburg. Ust. Zaahira has graduated from Madrassah Mueenul Islam Lil Banaat (Zakariyyah Park) and holds an Honours degree in psychology. She is a co-founder of Hijab Support Group and has been appointed by the Jamiatul Ulama South Africa and Islamic Careline as an Ambassador for gender based violence (GBV).


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