Channel: Mohammed Hijab
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As salam Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh, guys, how are you doing? I came across this fascinating video fascinating, at least to me, because it puts things in perspective, and I wanted to share it with you and react to it for you. So let's first take a look at this video, and then come back and comments on it.
Libraries also have evolved, the Assyrian library of Esther bunny, Paul had 1000s of clay tablets, the celebrated Library of Alexandria in Egypt, consisted of almost a million papyrus scrolls, great modern libraries, like the New York Public Library contain some 10 million books.
That's more than 10 to the 14 bits of information in words, more than 100 trillion bits. And if we count pictures, it's something like 10 to the 15 bits of information. Now, that's more than 10,000 times the total number of bits of information in our genes, something like 10 times the total amount of information in our brains.
If I were to read a book a week, for my entire adult lifetime, and I lived an ordinary lifetime, when I was all done, I would have read maybe a few 1000 books, no more in this library. That's from about here.
to about here,
but that's only a 10th of a percent or so of the total number of books in the library.
The trick is to know which books to read.
But they're all here.
Alright, so basically, when I was looking at this video, for the first time, I think it really relieved me. And it puts things in perspective. Because I mean, for me, honestly, like when I used to go into book shops and libraries used to be quite a stressful experience for me, because I used to think to myself, wow, I've got all these books that I haven't read, and where am I gonna start? And all those kinds of things. And just like many people do with me nowadays, I used to ask a lot of people can have reading lists, can I say, What book do I start with, I want to become cultured, I want to increase my cultural capital, I want to, I want to become more all rounded when it comes to
reading, and knowledge and all these kinds of things. And then I realized that this was actually the wrong kind of approach, in the sense that I think a lot of us just want to know everything or want to be able to converse with people on any topic. That's not really how it works. How it works is first you have to admit that you won't be able to do that. I mean, this video really puts that in perspective, because you can't be a specialist in every field. I mean, I remember reading, in fact, I love as Ali said, our scholar Alpha Zelie. He said that in two years, he was able to kind of exhaust the philosophical canon of his day.
That's two years. I mean, nowadays, that's basically impossible to even trying to exhaust the film, the Western philosophical canon in 20 years, is pretty much impossible. So because of the sheer level of amount of information that we have nowadays, it's not really possible to exhaust anything. The real question you should ask is the following. What knowledge contribution do I want to make in this world?
And that relates to knowledge production. So what do you want to make even and knowledge contribute? If not, then maybe there's another question which is, what do I want to know? Okay, what do I want to know? Obviously, from our perspective, as Muslims, there's nothing that defeats or can be better than or supersedes the Quran and the Sunnah. Firstly, the Quran and the Sunnah. And in fact, it's verging on the disrespect to almost think that you will find wisdoms greater than to be honest and it's hard to believe this, the Quran or the Sunnah, because we believe this is the ultimate kind of guidance, anything that is outside of it will not provide us with guidance that's not in the Quran,
or sunnah. So that's our perspective. If you spent your whole life just reading the Quran, and Sunnah you would not be wasting your time. So this whole perspective, obviously, as non Muslims are watching this, I would say, even from your perspective, if you haven't come across the Quran, and Sunnah or the seer of the prophet or the lifetime or biography of the Prophet
It would be kind of absurd to live a whole life, not knowing what a quarter of the world's population believe and see a sacred, this would render you actually culturally uncultured, weakened from a cultural capital perspective. So reading the Quran and the Sunnah. And of course, the religion or the religious books of other great faiths is something where everyone can can do it and should do it.
Having said this, though, going back to the two questions I asked, number one, what knowledge contribution Do you want to make? or and or what knowledge do you want to acquire? Once you've got this question, then you can reverse engineer the issue. So what book should I read is a secondary question to those most important questions. What do I want to do? And in fact, I would say put it into timeline format. I mean, we have 168 hours in the week, we have 24 hours in the day, we have 365 days in the year, where are you going to be in the next five years or the next 10 years? Where do you want to be in the next five years or 10 years? If you don't have a plan for yourself, then
you won't get anywhere, if you fail to plan plan to fail.
So you need to reverse engineer the process. I want to know this, I want to know that I want to know this, why do you want to know it, because if you have a why, as Nietzsche said, than almost any how it's possible,
that's have a strong justification for what it is you want to learn. And then you have to reverse engineer your learning process. And you will know what books to read. Now, having said that, looking at this video, you will realize that you can't read all the books. In in, say, for example, one subject, if you're a physicist, you cannot read all you cannot exhaust all of the physics books, if you are had this, someone who had these specialists, you cannot read all the books of Hadith with the with periphery books in that books of Ireland, this book and the other books of ritual, you will not be able to do that. So then you have to start becoming selective smart worker.
And that requires a skill in and of itself. There are some books which you can read and will read or should read cover to cover and other books where you won't be able to do that. And if you do that you'll be spending your energy in the wrong places, it will be an inefficient
kind of use of resources. So you have to start knowing how to use content pages and indexes. You have to start looking at okay, this is what the reader what this is what the writer wants me to know. But what do I want to know from the writer
or the author of this book? What do I want to know from the author of this book. So you have to start approaching books, especially the voluminous, compendious you know, books in that way. Once you started to orchestrate that, then you actually start to carve out for yourself a knowledge production, which will be beneficial not just to yourself, but to all those around you. But once again, if you don't have a plan for the next five years, or 10 years of what you want to achieve, then unfortunately, you just going to be a free floater, you're going to be an individual in the in the sea,
on the ship, letting the wind take you wherever it may, you're not going to be steering the direction where that ship is going to go. You're going to be a helpless swimmer, or not even a swimmer, but in fact, a floater in the ocean of major waves. But you need to learn how to swim and the only way to know how to swim is to have a destination in mind. So from that perspective, plan your direction. Once you do that, and once you know for me personally, when I did that, I realized that quite frankly, life started become a bit more organized. I felt more and more achievement in my life, reading what I need to read. I didn't feel like reading was a tedious or laborious
or difficult enterprise. It was something which led to my steady development and led to an ultimate objective or goal, which I obviously still haven't achieved and and that's something which you could continue renewing every five or 10 years.
I hope this this video was interesting to you. Because I found that particular video very, very interesting because looking at things from a macro perspective, puts things in perspective was salam aleikum wa rahmatullah where Muslims in Norway are now establishing a masjid and our center to enhance the Norwegian Dawa. If you don't need to disclose you will insha Allah reap the rewards of 1000s of Muslims coming back to Islam and many of those who become guides and invite slam so click the link and donate now and share the video for extra rule