Books are truly amazing, each time you open a book you enter a mind of a faraway author. Concepts and ideas that you have never even imagined thinking of suddenly are at the door steps of your brain. The moment that you open the door and let them enter fireworks explode. Suddenly, experiences that feel completely different become linked and mysteries and puzzle solve themselves. It is truly a wonderful experience and all a person needs to do is it pick a book. Well, yes one also needs to pick the right book, but that about it.
Thinking about this wonderful and marvelous experience I am going through made me think of my Prophet (peace be upon him) who more than 1400 years ago received the following revelation:
“Read, O Prophet, in the name of your Lord who has created!. He has created man from a clinging clot. Read! For your lord is the Most Gracious One, who has taught by the pen, has taught man what he has known not! : (The Holy Quran 96: 1-5)
These were the first verses to ever be revealed to our Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him and how marvelous they are. Allah tells us in one word that he has taught by the pen, taught us what we know not. WOW….
Okay, you are probably saying what up with this dude. It just amazing what books can give you. They honestly make my brain go spinning and give me a deeper appreciation for what I am experiencing and help me resolve my struggles. Of course there is no book that provides a total solution or is complete. Also, a person might not even agree with everything that a book says. But that’s it; each book helps you to take one step higher towards understanding yourself, the world around you and most importantly your relationship with your Lord. In the end you have to do the thinking and processing and reaching your own conclusions, the books just open doors for you and make new bridges where you thought was not possible. It is no wonder to me that the libraries were the first buildings to be destroyed when an army invades. No better way to destroy a civilization than to destroy their books.
Like everything in life, to become an avid reader one must take steps. Slow baby steps. One starts with reading baby books with lots of pictures and very little words. They then transitions to comics or to short story books, then to story books with in-depth storyline and finally to books that really open your mind. I think I have finally made that last transition. Not that I do not like stories or fiction, I still love them and read them I just have a deeper appreciation for books that now give me an Aha moment.
So why did I ever stop? I claimed I was too busy and instead got my entertainment from TV (youtube for me :), anasheed/music, news or other games. While each form of entertainment is entertaining and can be even considered beneficial to yon they pale in comparison to books. Think about it, in books you control the speed of the show, you control what significant by pausing at it or what useless by skimming over it. They act as a reference that you can go back to anytime you have questions or want to ponder a concept more. In TV, even the most educational ones, shows are made for your entertainment and to keep you busy. They throw fact after fact at you, but give you little time to ponder over the significance of that fact. Lastly your options are extremely limited. I am not bashing TV, it is just completely pales in comparison to books. Yep, to all the books in the world, I am coming after you.
In a shout out to a friend of mine, it reading the books that give the Aha moment, not buying them 😉
For my avid readers, I will soon create a list of books that I recommend reading and hey maybe we can spawn an online book reading club.
Lastly, I strongly urge you to pick a book and read. Let it be on a subject that you have strong interest in, but little knowledge about and get ready for a journey of a life time (My selected topics now are nature and love ) and please do suggest a good book in the comments. I would love to read it.