"When the Qur'an is read, listen to it with attention, and hold your peace: that ye may receive Mercy." - 7:204
When I was little, Maulvi Sahab used to come to teach us how to recite the Holy Book. It used to be a three-hour class, with five of us cousins, each reading a different siparah i.e. chapter. We were children and thus impatient so were always successful in coaxing Maulvi Sahab to end the class an hour earlier. I don't know about the rest but this habit of mine continued till I reached my teens. Whenever I would think of opening the Holy Book to read, sluggishness would fill me up like termite in wood and Satan would lure me into doing other "fun" things.
Until I met her.
She was my Quranic Studies teacher in eighth grade. She used to translate and explain the verses of the Quran. One day, we had a recitation class and a volunteer was required for reading a few verses. I sat lower in my seat so my name wouldn't be called out since I did not know how to recite. As fate would have had it, I was told to stand up for recitation. And you can imagine the rest. The words stumbled out of my mouth as if I was a beginner. I was told to read the Holy Book regularly so I could do better next time.
I cannot do justice to my teacher's personality but she was probably one of the first few persons who had faith in me. She knew I could do it. She knew I had the potential. And so, in order to keep myself from disappointing her, I woke up every morning for recitation and gradually got better at it. Today, I can recite the Holy Quran without getting stuck, among all the other good habits I picked up from my mu'allima.
You see, this was just a tiny example of faith. It might not matter to you but it matters to me. I am sure most of you have been through some sort of spiritual experience so you know how much this five-lettered word - faith - would hold value. We do have some of it inside us but you see, we're human beings. We need a push. We need a mentor to guide us, to tell us what next to do. We have the Quran and we have the Sunnah but we need a teacher - and that teacher could be you!
To get our Ummah to rise from the ashes, we need some motivation, some faith. You know that you could be the one to encourage someone for a good deed and from that person onwards, the good deed will pass onto generations to come. It doesn't have to be anything huge. A tiny word of wisdom or praise. A little action telling someone that you're there with support is all one needs to recharge their rusted brain cells. You never know when a miracle might occur, by God's grace.
You could be the one to ignite a fire, brighter than all the stars in the galaxy... Because at the end of the day, faith is all we need.