Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: I’ve studied Arabic intensively since the beginning of this year. I’ve improved a lot since I started, but I get discouraged because I feel that when I move one step forward in my studies, I jump 10 steps back. In other words, I’ll learn something new and it will stick with me like glue, but my memory is so weak that the old material loses its strength. This is very discouraging for me. Alongside consistently reviewing, are there other steps that I can take to help my memory? And general advice to help maintain my himmah even when things get rough?
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I hope you are in the best of health and spirits, insha’Allah.
Sidi Ibn `Ata’illah al-Iskandari said, “No matter is difficult if you seek it through your Lord, and nothing is easy if you seek it through yourself.”
Difficult times are to be expected. This is the dunya. However, with patience, perseverance, and a little realization, there is always a way out.
Allah Most High says, “And whoever is mindful of Allah, He will grant them a way out, and will provide for them in ways unimagined. And whoever places their trust in Allah, then Allah is their sufficiency. Allah’s affair will surely come to pass–and Allah has made a clear decree for everything.” [Qur’an, 65: 2-3]
Realize this and take the best possible means of attaining unto the goal. Consult more often regarding how and what you should review. What steps should you be taking to really benefit from the knowledge? How does it relate to other topics/subjects? Try to study/review with other students. And do everything you can to cement the material down. With time and sincerity, it will come, insha’Allah. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) reminded us to seek the assistance of Allah and not to deem ourselves incapable.
Make a point to renew your intentions, seek forgiveness for yourself, parents, family, fellow students, teachers, and the entire umma, give a little in charity, strive to consistently fulfil all of your obligations, pray out of neediness, ask in blessed times and places with focus, sincerity, and conviction that you will be answered, and finally be grateful for what you already have. Allah Most High says, ‘If you are thankful, I will surely increase you’ [Qur’an, 14:7]
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And Allah alone gives success.
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani