I started learning Arabic in 2012. It was the 7th of January 2012, on a Saturday, here in the UK. I studied it for about a year and a half, and I went to Kuwait in 2013.
My first journey was actually in December 2012 to Jordan. I met some of the scholars there, and I even saw Shaykh Al Albaani’s son, rahimahu Allah, in the masjid. I thought subhaan Allah, I was starting to see the fruits of knowledge.
And the journeys that come! I’ve travelled so much now, and I’ve met different types of people just because of Islam. And now that I know the Arabic language it’s just opened the doors even more. When I go anywhere, I have access to everything and to everyone.
For me, I couldn’t read about Islam in English. When you look at an English book about Islam, I feel like the authors, or the translators, want to show off language. It’s not easy language, it’s always complicated to read, so I never enjoyed it. When I started learning Arabic, I said to myself, “I am never going to read a book about Islam in English”. Right now, my whole library is all in Arabic, I don’t have an English book. If I have, it’s not apparent – it’s behind another book. For me, that was the greatest feeling. I only read Arabic, and I learnt Islam in Arabic.
When I went to Kuwait for the three-month intensive course, I was one of the first ones to go in 2013. More people are going now. I thought it was for Arabic mainly, but I was wrong!Because I had done the Madinah books already, and I had done some of Bayna Yadayk, I took a placement test and got put in the highest level. This was because the test was for reading and writing, but I couldn’t speak properly to save my life, so I was in the deep end.
I realised it was only four hours a week of Arabic. Everything else was Islamic Studies IN Arabic. For the first two weeks it was over my head, and I was struggling. But then after that it became easy. I was studying tajweed, seerah, hadith, tafseer… and I had never done this before in English, let alone Arabic! So from that time it was like “alright, let’s go!”
I played basketball for about 10 years solid, chasing a dream. I feel that Allah gave me Arabic as a replacement of that. Sowhen I left off basketball for Allah’s sake, He gave me the Arabic language. And because I love the Arabic language so much, when I came back from Kuwait after the first year and a half of learning the language, the first thing I wanted to do was to teach it. I wanted to help others to get the same feeling that I get