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Enlightened Learning

Learning is an iterative, long-term process. As human beings, from the moment we are born until the moment we die, we continue to learn and develop. Real learning, takes time and doesn’t happen overnight. Real learning is something we practice, hone, and most importantly, repeat.

While not immediately obvious, repetition is perhaps one of the most intuitive principles of learning. Through repetition, we glean new perspectives and experience the same content in different ways. And ultimately, our understanding and appreciation of what we are learning – and our teacher – grows.

Take a landscape photographer, for example. She can travel to the same forest and photograph the same tree countless times, and yet, each photograph would be unique. The camera lens, angle, time of day or the season could change, but the essence and the core of the photograph – the tree – remains the same.

In the same light, every year during Ashara Mubaraka, we hear Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS recount the same narratives, most of which we have heard since our childhood. These include the stories of Haarith Hamdaan, Ziyad bin Aswad, Bani Riyah’s slave and during today’s waaz, the story of Maulatena Fatema’s AS shawl (pichhori) narrated by Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA. We may have heard the zikr before, but today we revised and relearned it, as Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA emphasized the importance of how the noor that emanated from the shawl left the Jewish couple  incredulous and awestruck, ultimately guiding them towards Islam. Through these iterative narrations, we continue to marvel at Maula and Awliyaa Kiraam’s AS shaan and our faith is reaffirmed.

The noor of Maulatena Fatema’s AS shawl that Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS himself radiates leaves us in awe. In his every recitation of Imam Husain’s AS shahadat, Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS conveys the vivid imagery of the heart-wrenching events that occurred on the sands of Karbala. We may know these events by heart, but each narration invigorates within us a new sense of sorrow, and fills each of our homes with this eternal light.