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On Seeking Knowledge

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Feels a bit weird being back here quite so soon, but being able to share things on the blog always reminds me of just how much I enjoy writing for others to read. Often when I write for myself, they are very personal reflections which focus solely on addressing the discrepancies in my being and refining my character. Writing on this blog however allows me to explore my own feelings within the remit of your personal experiences and it’s a much more wholesome experience because it allows me to do what I always set out to do when I started taking up space on the internet, be the safe space that I myself could have turned back to when I needed it.

That been said, I’ve had a lot on my mind since I woke up this morning – yes, I can actually say this morning and not this afternoon because I gave my body the gift of sleep last night (and yes, it was amazing) – but mostly, it has been to do with seeking knowledge and in turn, exercising this acquired knowledge. I know in the grand scheme of things and the context of my blog posts, this feels like a bit of a curve ball, but hear me out. There’s some logic in what I’m about to say (she says hopefully).

There’s a saying I came across recently, and it goes like this:

How can you seek to know what you do not know, while you do not practice what you do know?

Dhu’l Nun al-Misri

If you look up the saying, you’ll find that it’s a very small excerpt of a much wider quote, but these few words were striking enough to stop me in my path. For most of my life, I have been a lover of the world of academia in all its forms – some may even say that I’ve been a little bit of a nerd over the years, but I digress. This love of academia has always been the driving force to seek knowledge in every way I possibly can, in every place I possibly can. But, it is in this past year that I’ve realised that all this accumulated knowledge is nothing but hot air if I don’t know how to appropriately practice and implement it in my own life.

If I cannot put into practice what I already know in life, how dare I seek out newer knowledge?

Think of it like an onion. On average, an onion has between 8 and 13 layers (depending on its species) – you wouldn’t skip all of these to go straight to the core. The process lies in peeling its skin and working through its many layers to finally reach the centre because it is in the way it is layered that the onion itself is beautified. In the same way, when you learn new things and put it into practice, you add a new layer. You then learn newer things based on those practices and yet another layer is formed, and the process goes on. Do you see what I mean? The core never holds the substance itself, just like you as a person aren’t simply a vessel for knowledge to be accumulated in.

Honestly unsure at this point why I chose the hill of a layered onion to die on here, but there we are. The point I was making was this: I have spent a lot of my life learning and in fact, I plan to be doing it for a lot longer, but I also need to start acting on these things.

Ramadan is a good month as ever to use as a blueprint for how you want the rest of your days to go, so in these last few days as we begin to bid farewell to this blessed month, consider the following: what nuggets of wisdom can you actualise and put into practice in your daily life? They don’t have to be major things, nor do they have to be so dramatic that you need to transform your whole life to accommodate them, rather be consistent in your small efforts to keep doing and being better than you already are.

May we all be blessed with the opportunity to complete this blessed month and may we leave it far better than we entered. May we all be the love and light we need in our own lives, but most importantly, may we all be inspired to be the change we wish to see in the world.

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Ayesha Khanom

Sometimes a teacher, sometimes a student, but mostly caffeinated. This blog is a terrible attempt at writing out my thoughts - think of it as the 'comments, complaints, and suggestions' section of my brain. Nevertheless, I hope that some of these words will find a place in your heart and will stay with you even when I do not. If you'd like to get in touch, send me a message on Instagram or leave a comment on one of these posts and I'll get back to you at the best possible time.

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