A 17-Year Old’s Epiphany

Iqra; to recite and to read, was the very first word of the Qur’an, a Muslim’s guide to living, Gabriel delivered to Muhammad. Recognized as the most important manuscript in Islam for being believed as God’s own words, Muslims all over the world open the hundreds of pages of this Holy Book in search of enlightenment for their faith.

Don’t take this the wrong way, I am not here to preach, but just to share my idea of what iqra would mean. It just occurred to me a few minutes ago in the shower how unusual Gabriel’s first message was. The beginning of the documentation of one the most influential books in man’s history was one simple word, no more no less. Before the instruction for having faith, or to build the five pillars of Islam, God ordered us to read and recite. The more I thought about it, the more I find this fact insanely astonishing, hence pushing this silly brain of mine to figure out an explanation why.

And as if God heard how noisy my head started becoming due to an attempt to answer it immediately, He brought me here to Medium. A friend told me to read an interesting article here, and so I read it. I was in awe after I read it. It was so well-written that it somewhat inspired me to start doing the same thing, to write. And because of this I gained interest on this new social media and later on found this beautiful quote:

“The world has reached a saturation point of shallow, thoughtless content, and half-skimming through these pages of filler is increasingly unfulfilling.”

And as I read this sentence, I cannot help but realize that I am turning one of the people of the subject. It starts out simple. More time is spent on “studying” and movies and lesser is spent on books. A little down the road, I suddenly realized that through the time my books have become dusty and untouched on the shelves serving no purpose in my room other than, well, shelve-fillers. I remember a time during my Junior High School days when I was an avid fan of novels, and not like the Mag Cabot or Rick Riordan type, but was the George Orwell or Paulo Coelho types. I used to love reading allegories or philosophy or even old English! It tingled and twitched my brain pushing it to the verge of desperation of comprehending the literature piece. I loved doing that. Most people would be amazed on how my books’ qualities were. I was a much sharper person then. I had much more content thoughts and values contained in this tiny head of mine back then compared to the present day. Much younger, but I believe was a mature person than what I am today. My leisure time these days are usually spent on idly scrolling through net-a-porter or sephora dreaming of a glorious future where spending hundreds of dollars for a pair of pumps or on overpriced clothing goods wouldn’t even be a sweat. My brain is precipitously turning into a useless piece of pathetic sap and I don’t even bother taking any actions!

And through this realization, now, more than ever, I have one too much question about myself, who I am, and in extent, what purpose do life serve for me.

Does reading really affect the way I think and on my values? How important is reading that God has put it first and foremost before all other else? Does this mean that everything we do in life starts by making sense out of a bunchof letters and later on rally whatever form of knowledge we gain out of it to another person? And in conclusion, are these two correlated activities what takes a person far in life?

The answer is I don’t know. After all I’m just a bewildered 17 year-old girl.

I’m only going to start small. I will start by trying to build a romance with my books once more as I had so before. Also, I will try to once more dedicate my time on simple blog posts like this one in an attempt to recite the thoughts I have within me. Forgive my rusty English writing skills in advance for I haven’t done this kind of thing in a really really long time.

What I’ve decided to do serves no purpose for anyone but me, in the hope of gaining a better understanding of myself as a whole. Even so, I can’t lie that it would be nice if more people would do the same thing, in order to save the world from being occupied by “shallow, thoughtless content people”.

-S

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