Category Archives: Learning

Your Gifts

by Bashir Oyetunji

Once, I was called upon by this young and vibrant youth to help with something. I had thought that work would be an exhausting work so I felt reluctant to answer the call. After meeting with this guy, however, I was astounded and I reflected. He actually wanted a help with a writing that, to me, is so simple but, to him, was a mountain.

There I thought about this writing ability I’m gifted with and from there the reflection came upon me, what if I don’t know how to write, surf the internet, use a communication device, etc., would I have incurred any sin to my account when I don’t know these things? Now that I know them, wouldn’t I incur sins to my account when I fail to use these gifts in the right way? I asked myself further, should my gifts be an advantage for me or a disadvantage? How am I using my gifts?

Extensively, I got myself thinking about what we all are gifted with. It’s not only about a skill but it extends to even our existence. Is our existence not worthy of been explored to gain good rewards for ourselves? What about our gifts of hands, legs, eyes, and other parts of our body? Shouldn’t those parts be used to gain rewards instead of being used to incur sins?

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Most times, we tend to use our concrete and abstract gifts to commit sins. This is a wrong thing to do. Those things should rather be used to gain good rewards for ourselves.

Your beauty shouldn’t be used to destroy. Rather, it should be used to please your legal partner.

Your money should not be used to destroy individuals, families, nations, or the world. It should not be used to show off to those who don’t have it. Rather, it should be used to help, save, and acquire good rewards.

Your children should not be used to make those who don’t have yet cry by whatever bad way. Rather, you should worship through them.

Your devices should not be used to indulge in sinful acts. Rather, they should be used to acquire knowledge and gain things.

Your knowledge should not be used to look down on people. Rather, it should be used to save people.

It is a thing of joy to own a car. Isn’t it? But should that car be used to commit evil acts? No, it shouldn’t. Think about when someone doesn’t have a car, will such a person have any sinful reward to his reward bank? So now that one is in possession of that car, should it be used to even acquire bad rewards?

Imagine, however, how that car would be a plus for one when one uses it well. One would even be higher up in terms of reward gaining and benefiting people with it.

Wait here, no one is saying that you should discard your gifts. No, that’s insane. No one is saying that you should feel unhappy for your gifts. No. We all want good things of this world, definitely.

However, use those gifts to help, save, and gain rewards. Don’t hide them unnecessarily and don’t flaunt them unnecessarily. Rather, express them and make them known so you would save humanity with them.

I use to envy people who spend on others. This is a virtuous act. Some others, instead, hide their money so people won’t request it from them but that shouldn’t be.

Some others, meanwhile, flaunt their money on nonsenses even though people out there are starving. This is not right as well.

Isn’t it nice to make someone happy? It’s nice my dear. It’s a reason to live.

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A point of note

Now, you might be wondering, “why am I gifted this thing?” No, don’t do that. It’s a blessing and a plus. Also, you might want to over pull yourself. No, be gentle on yourself.

What I would advise, however, is just to try to, as much as possible, use your gifts well. Also, whenever you make a mistake, try to recall yourself, ask for forgiveness, and follow bad deeds with lots of good deeds.

 

So, be thankful for your gift and rise up to save someone with it today. You’ll feel a sense of happiness within you I tell you. Use your gifts to gain good rewards today, don’t use them to incur sins.

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How To Deal With Your Mistakes

by Bashir Oyetunji

Have you made this one mistake that you think is so severe to the extent that you brood about it all day? Have you made this one mistake that you think is so serious and that you believe you wouldn’t be able to deal with it?

Relax my dear. Would you believe that you’ve got companies in the mistake-making thing? Yes, I make mistakes too. And for your information, my dear, most people do, too.

Now, let’s go into the imagination land for a bit.


Let’s imagine you have fifty more years to live on earth and then at age twenty you make a mistake that makes you see yourself as worthless. Let me ask you, will you allow the mistake you make at age twenty to shatter the entire remaining fifty years of your life? Would you allow that embarrassing event you encountered to jeopardize the entire remaining fifty years you are to spend in life? Don’t you think those remaining years are worthwhile?


Just as you wouldn’t want to jeopardize your remaining fifty years of life with a single mistake, so also must you not take every other mistake, pitfall, sad experience, or embarrassment to heart. You must discard them, put them behind, and never allow them to negatively determine even the next day of your life.


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Why you must leave your errors behind

If you keep nagging on a mistake you made yesterday. You keep doing so till a whole week runs out. You got so embittered by the mistake that you still keep brooding on it for a whole year. In fact, you think that you will never ever stop thinking about it every single day of your life.

OK, now think about it. Would the gravity of brooding about the mistake even bring back the event? Definitely, no. It has gone and gone forever. However, you can only make yourself better by doing some things which will be subsequently discussed.

A day that’s gone can never come back again. Even if you wail, cry and tear your body, the day has gone forever, and you will only see the breaking of new days.

Moreover, those you think were involved in the past event will go by. Young ones will grow old. But what about your life? Will you allow the event to destroy it?

Assuming you were given the chance to go back and amend the mistake you did, do you realize that you might still make another mistake before you return to the present. And will you keep going back all the time?

It is in our nature to make mistakes. The only advantage you’d do to yourself, however, is to learn from each mistake. When you do so, then subsequently, your mistakes will be getting minimal.

Think about it, if you didn’t make the mistakes you’ve made in the past, do you think you’d be worthwhile today? How did you get to walk? You stood up, fell, stood up, fell, and you stood up again.

Same as when you’re learning how to drive. You know you have to start somewhere and you’ll then be moving up and up from there.


What you must do instead

Now that you’ve agreed to leave behind your mistakes, there are some things to do instead in regards to your mistakes. Here they are.

Learn

Yes, you must learn from your mistakes. You would be unfair to yourself when you don’t learn from your errors. You shouldn’t lose on two ends, should you? Agreed that you got control of your mistakes by getting over it, won’t you then want to know how to avoid making the same mistake again?

For example, when you fail as regards your conduct with someone, then try to take initiative from the experience. How should you subsequently be relating with people?

When you learn from each mistake, you’ll be growing gradually, consciously or subconsciously. If, for instance, you make one hundred mistakes in a year, then for each of the hundred mistakes, you’d have learned another one hundred ways of success, of strength, of knowledge. Imagine that!

So, always ensure to learn from each mistake as that’d be your asset and your takeaway.


Make necessary corrections

You should also try and correct your errors if there is a chance for you to do so. If, for example, you were wayward to someone and you later realize your conduct, there is nothing wrong in amending your ways with the person by apologizing, perhaps.

You might have behaved badly to your wife or husband. Instead of brooding on the mistake or making it consume you, just go and make the necessary correction with him/her.

You might have committed a writing error in an assignment? If it is possible to change it, then go do so before your chance will elapse.


Move on

Whatever you do, you just must make sure you move on after your mistakes. You must never let the mistakes consume you by making you stagnant. Take the mistakes lightly and forge ahead. If you commit another, still forgo the mistake and move on. Do not give your mistakes the chance to take over you.


Never brood

Brooding on your mistakes is dangerous. It can even lead you to commit suicide. Whatever you do, let go your mistakes all the time and try to move ahead in life. You’ve committed them and there is nothing you can do to go back in time. However, there is the present which you can use judiciously and the future which you don’t know about. So brace up and get up after your mistakes.

So, what have you learned about your mistakes? Feel free to share them!

Give Yourself Some Time

by Bashir Oyetunji

“I can’t know this subject!

“This language is too hard for me to learn!

“I just can’t master this work!”

These are what you chant every time, and then you make these feelings overcome you in the course of your works. Afterward, you give up and stop learning.

You’ve been giving chance to a thief to steal your important life process. Stop and relax. There is one important recipe you need in the course of your learning. That recipe is time.

Journeying through learning

As a student of knowledge, you will be faced with challenges in the course of learning. A major one you’ll encounter is the arduousness in learning. It’ll seem hard. You’ll feel like stopping. You’ll get bored. You’ll try to memorize but they’ll fly off.

Know that these feelings are normal at the start. If it is possible, you can ask scholars if these feelings still abide with them after they’ve been called scholars. But know for sure that at the initial stage they didn’t just develop magnet in their brain.

Know that the people you now call scholars persevere to know what they know today. They underwent hardship. They experienced headaches, pains, and they burned midnight candles. Ultimately, it is Allah’s favor on them.

So, you too should follow their footstep. Pray to Allah to enrich you with knowledge and its sisters. Then think not that you’ll know everything within a short period of time from when you start. The basic fact, though we’re gifted differently, is that knowledge acquisition takes time and patience. Give yourself these.

Being in a haste too much will dampen your morale. Why? That’s because it will make you feel like you’re not getting anything you’re learning. Ultimately, it’ll make you want to stop. When the feeling of stopping descends on you, then all you’re working for is gone.

Time, Time Management, Stopwatch

Sailing their ship

Scholars of Islam (may Allah be pleased with them all) are people I admire so much. These people know thousands, even millions of Hadiths (Prophet’s – peace and blessing of Allah be upon him – narrations) in addition to knowing the whole Qur’an by heart. I wonder, do these people started and ended in a day. Of course not.

These scholars are easily perceived as “Oh, gifted. Blessed.” But do you think the knowledge just dawned on them? Definitely not! It is a result of perseverance which Allah has favored them with.

The piece of advice

Learning, of course, is not easy. You’ll need to read and memorize. Do not despair. Do not think you cannot know. Essentially, give yourself some time, you need it.

Whenever you’re being pulled down by a block, try to relax, then try again, then relax, then try again, and continue till you know it. Pray always for Allah’s ease through your tasks. Also never be pompous with whatever knowledge you’re gifted with. Know always that it is Allah’s favor on you.

Moreover, do not learn for money alone. Learn because you want to know.

 

As you relax and give yourself time while being hardworking, sip from this quote by Sheikh al-hadith Muhammad bn ‘Aliy ādam Al ītiyopii (hafidho u Llah) (translated by a dear brother):

نَصِيحةٌ ذَهَبيَّةٌ لِطالِبِ العِلمِ”

قال العلَّامة المحدِّث محمد ابن علي آدم الأثيوبي-حفظه الله تعالى- :

” فيا أيها الطالب اللبيب، والراغب الأريب، اعلم – أسعدك الله تعالى – أنَّ هذا العلم بطيئ اللزام، بعيد المرام، لا يُرى في المنام، ولا ينال بالأوهام، ولا يُورث عن الآباء والأجداد والأعمام، ولا يناله كسلان ولا يُوفَّقَه نومان، ولا يُلقَّاه من قطع نهاره بالاجتماع، وليله بالجماع؛ وإنما يُعطاه من بذل كلّه في سبيل الطلب، ولم يبال لما يناله من كدّ وتعب “.

الفوائد السمية (14/2)

 

“Golden advice for student of knowledge

Sheikh al-hadith Muhammad bn ‘Aliy ādam Al ītiyopii (hafidho u llah) said:

So I call on you intelligent students of knowledge who want goodness. Know (may Allah make you successful) that this knowledge is a slow obligation, far envisaged (not achieved in a day) , is not seen in dreams and is not achieved through deceit and is not inherited from parents and grandparents and uncles. And it is not attained by a lazy person and not achieved by the sleepy. And not achieved by one who cuts his day with social meetings and his night with intercourse. It is only given to one who use or sacrifice everything on the path of knowledge acquisition, and doesn’t care when he will achieve it in labour (hard work) and tiredness.”

الفوائد السمية (14/2)

One Essential tip for Your Success

by Bashir Oyetunji

The belief that you would be successful is awesome, and it makes you one step closer to greatness. Theodore Roosevelt said,

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.”

That belief you have might have started to trigger you to act like your model innovator and do all sort of things.

Wait here! There is, however, one essential ingredient to becoming great which you must never forget no matter what you do. That ingredient is “learning.”

Why learning is essential to your success

Is it possible to dream of becoming a great person and then those dreams transform themselves magically into reality? No, that wouldn’t happen. Rather, what is normal is that you will push something forward for you to achieve your prospects.

Imagine if you want to know how to drive, what would you do? Definitely, you would have to learn driving. So also if you want to be a tailor, you must learn cutting and sewing, and for you to be a pilot, you must go through training. Whatever you want to be, you won’t get them on a silver platter; you will have to learn them.

Puzzle, Learn, Arrangement, Components

How to uphold this ingredient

Frantically, learning is uneasy, and this “uneasy” attribute of learning is what scares people away. Some even get scared and quit after they might have already started.

To learn effectively, however, you must have three attributes: perseverance, consistency, and diligence.

  • Perseverance is the ability to continue even when things get tough. With perseverance, you would be determined to get to the finish line right from the day you started. This determination will make you resist any hardship in the course of learning. It will make you continue whenever criticism, jest, or weakness arises.
  • Consistency is the ability to be on and doing every time; it will inspire you to be punctual and time conscious. Being consistent would make you avoid wasting time – wasting of time which could result in wasting your life. When you’re inconsistent, you’d be on and off, and for this reason, you’d tend to forget things that you previously know. This will make you go back often, and this is bad for your learning process.
  • Diligence is the ability to move at your own pace without waiting for the teacher. Go on self-study; explore, and don’t wait for yourself to be tutored or directed every time. Read widely, expand your scope, follow updates in your field of knowledge, and don’t stay on a spot or wait to be spoon-fed.

Benefits of learning

You’ll be ever prepared when you learn. You will be prepared for life opportunities. When you know, for example, and then you’re called upon for an assignment, you’d have something to bank upon. In contrast, when you don’t know and an opportunity surface, how would you rise up to tackle such an assignment?

And like they say, learn and success will come your way. This is true when you know. Who knows, you might be hired someday, and you’d have to revert back to what you’ve learned.

Conclusion

It is not just enough to dream success or act success; rather, the especially important recipe for success is that you must know. When you know, then life opportunities await you.

Wouldn’t you rather brace up and start learning today?