I am a weak and poor slave, servant of Allah who is in desperate need of Him and His mercy. I’m searching for Him, searching for the truth, searching / seeking for knowledge (of Him). A slave, servant who wants to learn and fear Allah and who wants to put his hope(s) in Allah. “Whoever knows himself, will know his Lord” – as the hadith goes – is what is on my mind in my (re)search. Now I’m (Sunni) muslim (I converted / reverted several years ago) but I don’t know – only Allah knows – if I’m going to end as a muslim. May Allah give me a good ending, I hope and pray I will die as a muslim. The search continues…with His will some veils between me and Him will be lifted…
My name is H., in my thirties. I live in the Netherlands.
I’m seeking to tread the path of those who seek knowledge (talab ul-‘ilmi) – I’m literally still at the basmala. Furthermore, I have started to translate islamic texts (books) from English to Dutch for a publisher.
I have a masters degree in Dutch (criminal) law and specialized in islamic law by following a course on islamic law at university and writing my masters thesis on the application of islamic criminal law (‘uqubat) in the Sudan. I took two introductory courses in Arabic at university and for six months I had almost daily private lessons in Arabic and islam (introductions to grammar, morphology, ‘aqida, ahadith, fiqh and tajwid) with personal teachers in Kenya. At the moment I’m continuing my studies in the Arabic language by taking several courses, also online. Furthermore, I took several islamic (also online) courses (of which I didn’t complete some due to several reasons) which I’ll continue to keep doing.
Next to this I’m mainly an autodidact muslim who a spends a lot of his free time reading and studying books on islam, doing research and visiting lectures and conferences.
One word:books (and reading them)! I collect books (especially on islam but also on other subjects, including literature; in several languages) and have a small, moderate – academic – collection at home, a small library. Secondly, I like to travel and have travelled all over the Mediterreanean and some countries in the Middle East with my backpack, from Portugal to Jordan. I’m a true admirer of imam ash-Shafi’i – rahimahullah – and hujjatullah imam al-Ghazali – may Allah have mercy on him and sanctify his secret – and their writings, which deeply inspire me. Furthermore, one day I would love to go and study Arabic and islam somewhere but Allah is the best of planners and He always does what He wants so I don’t know where and when this will take place.
“Seeking knowledge is obligatory for every muslim” or in another translation: “To seek sacred knowledge is an obligation on every muslim” (talab ul-‘ilmi faridatun ‘ala kulli muslim). (Source: Ibn Majah) There are two kinds of knowledge: That which we know will always be smaller than that which we don’t know. That which we don’t know is actually the biggest part of all knowledge in this world and this will stay like that until the Last Day. For me this is actually a big motivator to keep seeking because what I know is so little. Every day is a new opportunity to increase in knowledge.