My Journey: Dr Anika Arshad

Five years ago, when I was approached by a friend to join Sacred Texts, the overwhelming feeling was ‘will I be able to do it?’.

Working full time, running a business, being a mother and wife, it seemed a mammoth task to undertake, but within the first lesson, the knowledge and kindness of the teachers made me realise that this is what I have wanted to do all my life. The journey did require effort, without which no fruit is sweet, but the rewards, in the end, cannot be explained in words.

Every Muslim has a deep connection with the Book of Allah. But the meaning of this word ‘connection’ has completely changed for me after these past few years. This Ramadhan, as I listen to the beautiful recitation of the qa’ari at tarawih, it’s not just the melodies that enrapture me, but how the Qur’an comes to life. I understand what is being said. Some verses take me to the second year where we learnt how to grammatically relate one word to another in the Ayah, while other Qur’anic verses make me ponder on the Usul of Fiqh relating to them as taught in the fourth year. The way the Qur’an was revealed, compiled, the literary I’jaz of it, the various recitations and much of what we learnt in the third year alongside the beautiful Seerah of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), put into context why it is imperative to learn the Qur’anic Arabic. Without it, one cannot really ‘connect deeply’ to the Qur’an. It’s not just contemplating the Qur’an, when asked a fiqh question, my mind is trained to first go to the principle (usul) related to that particular topic. I use my knowledge gained in Ulum ul Hadith and Usul ul Hadith lessons of the third year and only then work my way towards answering a question.

The end goal of learning Traditional Arabic is ultimately understanding the Qur’an, as it was revealed, without a translation, and Sacred Texts Syllabus is one of the best courses available to give you this precious ability.  

Dr Anika Arshad (Year 5)

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