One of my students is a 55 year old brother from Trinidad whom I’ve known for over 10 years. His name is Yasir. Alhamdulillah.
For many of those years I have watch Yasir go from masjid to masjid trying to learn how to read the Quran in Arabic. He felt he was too old to learn, and his age was the reason he had difficulty learning. Pulling him to the side, I shared with him it’s not his age that was creating difficulty learning Quran, but the way he was being instructed.
After the help of Allah then having spent an hour a week for two years studying with me, my dear friend Yasir learned to read the Quran, and now I am able to see Yasir reading Quran by himself. Yasir accepted my advice to be steadfast in his learning and to manage his time effectively. This included not only studying with me once a week, but what Yasir does by way of reviewing his lesson even for 20 minutes each day. Alhamdulillah it worked for him.
Yasir is now undertaking the worthy task of learning the understanding of the Quran in the Arabic language. His steadfastness has motivated me to tailor lessons in a way that would benefit him and other older students facing difficulty learning Arabic (or you can put a new language). A good teacher is known for having the ability to take a difficult concept and share it in a way that even a child can learn and understand it – taking the hard and making it easy. Finding ways to make things easy for students to understand is something I am constantly thinking about. Insha’Allah I will continue working to teach Arabic and to develop a curriculum for individuals who feels their age is a barrier to learning Arabic.
This reminds me of those whose works and efforts produce nothing do to their lack of sincerity. Teaching and calling to Islam doesn’t mean that many people will follow you. Rather, sincerity with Allah, sincerity in dawah, and consistency in actions may afford one or two of your actions to be beneficial to the people even if you have limited followers or students. This example can be seen in the hadith of the Prophet Sallahu wa alayhi wa salam) when he mentions: on the day of Judgment some Prophets will come with many people [like Musa (alyhi wa salam) and the Prophet Muhammad (Sallahu wa alayhi wa salam)]. Some prophets will come with little followers and some prophets will come with no followers. This is a sign that the people of dawah do what they must no matter if a small amount of people follow or no people follow.