Apropos the article “The importance of Reading” (IV Dec 2022) by Mr. Tahsin Ahmed. The author has painstakingly stressed the importance of reading. But how long can we hold the people from bidding goodbye to the PRINT WORLD? Digitalization is picking up very fast. Information Technology is opening up new vistas every day. With the fast-changing trends, it looks very difficult to make our youth continue with what we had in our days and what we have been and are used to. Libraries are being digitized so fast that many premises are facing the danger of turning into graveyards of books. Typewriters have already become museum pieces.
Huge volumes of Encyclopaedia Britannica are available on a very small chip and so is the case with six volumes of Tafheem ul Quran, In the shade of the Quran, and many other tafaseer. Similarly, great Literature in many languages is also digitized. Our youth will therefore certainly like to have access to all this reclining in his armchair instead of going to a library which is at quite a distance. We felt that the library gave us the perfect atmosphere for reading. But the likes and dislikes of today’s youth have changed with the changing times. Even we have been changing. We have moved on from typewriters to mobiles, Laptops, and everything else. I would suggest that we should not be very sensitive about this and take things as they come. What cannot be cured can only be endured.
Karnataka State Minorities Commission. .
In today’s world of screens, whether it be Smart TV, Computer, iPad, or a Smart Mobile Phone, Tahsin Ahmed in Dec 2022 issue of IV raises the topic of “The importance of reading”. He starts with the penchant we had as young children to read comics, whether in the form of books, in newspapers, or in magazines No comics or cartoons were left unread. It gave sheer enjoyment, mental relief, and satisfaction.
“Read” is a simple word. Easy on the tongue and lighter on the ears but when put in practice, carries a lot of weight with a great impact on the mind. The first step of human beings toward literacy starts with reading and learning the alphabet. Allah chose the first word “Read” to reveal Qur’an on our beloved Prophet Muhammad (saw). Knowing very well that Prophet was an “Ummi”, Allah could have chosen many other words like “Say”, “Tell”, “Repeat” etc. But NO. The chosen divine word was “Read”. This alone should be enough to tell us the importance of reading. It may also give a thought that the word “Read” proclaimed by Jibraeel (as) to Prophet (saw) would not make any sense in the absence of the book. Allah in his infinite wisdom knew this first word “Read” would lead to the entire holy book Quran, a guide to all mankind. Many millions will be pursuing this one-word “Read” to understand, seek guidance and memorize the entire Quran.
The writer bemoans how the younger generations are losing interest in reading books in print and paper. Even if they do, it is only limited to their syllabus. Reading books on various subjects be it fiction or nonfiction opens up the mind to think at a higher level and in different directions. Be it in the field of arts or science. Reading has a good and greater impact on the brain and thinking power. It encourages to be creative and innovation giving birth to new thoughts and ideas.
The lack of reading has created such poor communication skills, rightly suggested by the author, that even a graduate today cannot write a simple letter. Weak vocabulary, misspelled words, improper grammar and sentences are the main reasons for avoiding reading in print by youngsters.
The writer ends the article in a beautiful manner. Suggesting starting the day by following Allah’s command to “Read”, read HIS Book Qur’an with word-to-word translation and its summary to understand what Islam is and seek HIS guidance.
I thank the author to bring forth this simple word and its impact on both the worldly life and spiritual life. If only we can understand and try to reach the depth of it.
Qazi Minhaj Azher,