Quills of Wisdom

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There was a time
When the universe ended
At the walls of my room.
But when the veil was lifted
And my horizon expanded,
I became lost in the vastness
That was laid before me;
I marveled at wonders
That entered my sight.

I found wisdom like a sea
That irrigated both
The named and unnamed.
I picked lessons like fruits
From trees of stories.
My days were reflections –
Shared and received.
I saw everything as pages to
The book of the world.
I saw speech as a gateway to
The reservoir of experiences.
So when I walked
Through these libraries
In my newfound realm,
I walked amongst giants,
And from their high shoulders,
I could perch to explore.

I plucked a feather from
Every goose that flew by,
And I built wings from
Harvesting the quills of wisdom.
As I spread them out far
And soared to newer heights,
I saw only the Qur’an,
The best above all –
The most complete of guides,
An incomparable miracle.
At this, I was humbled before the One
Who may increase me in knowledge,
Who may allow me to learn
From the fruits of most benefit.
With hopes of betterment,
I submitted myself to
The All-Knowing, the King, the Truth.
Whose speech not only invites me
To success in this world,
But more importantly to the success
Of the eternal Hereafter.

This poem depicts an understanding about the nature of wisdom. Our perception expands with wisdom. A closed and lacking mind limits us to that which is immediate. Only when we break this restraint do we realize that our own realm is simply an atom of the entire picture, and that the true magnitude of wisdom is beyond anyone’s comprehension.

The poem describes different places where wisdom can be found. One reason for the various avenues is that wisdom does not discriminate against any particular group. It is equally due to the people whom we read or study, the people whose names are long forgotten, and the people of today, which is why I state in the poem, “I found wisdom like a sea that irrigated both the named and unnamed.” Every story or event that has occurred or that will occur holds some significant good that allows us to gain a deeper understanding. A lesson can be learned in numerous ways through simple acts of sharing. Dialogue for example, allows one to access others’ wisdom as well as opening their own. All in all, the different means and places for wisdom are like libraries in the sense that they are collections of information, and we can learn more from these “libraries” as we can learn more about our surroundings from the view from a “giant’s shoulder”.

As we realize more about the nature of wisdom, we may naturally be humbled. What we learn can be the means to more holistic understanding – like “plucking feathers” and “building wings” to reach other places. However, if we were to truly gauge this gain, we have to understand that the Qur’an is the one undisputed source that can never be ignored. This is the book that has been given to us for guidance, and it is a book with the best of stories. In order to gain the most of wisdom, learning from the Qur’an is imperative. To achieve this, we need to seek wisdom from the One who bestows it to whomever He wills. The most beneficial wisdom is the one that leads us to the Qur’an, humbleness, and submission. This particular part of wisdom is what we should strive to achieve so that we may better our Deen and work towards success insha’Allah.

“Then high above all is Allah, the King, the Truth. And be not in haste (O Muhammad s.a.w.) with the Qur’an before its revelation is completed to you, and say: ‘My Lord! Increase me in knowledge.’” (Surah Taha: 114)

A Bangladeshi descent from the sakura trees of Japan, the golden prairies of Iowa, and the windy days of Chicago, Muhtasham Sifaat currently lives in New York City as a student of William E. Macaulay Honors College at the City University of New York. He found his passion for writing at the Bronx High School of Science and took this practice as a discipline for fruitful reflection and self-expression. Alhamdulillah, Sifaat was able to develop his writing through numerous competitions such as the Muslim Interscholastic Tournament (MIST) and with irreplaceable support from his friends and family. He intends to write for MYM to better himself as a Muslim and as a writer, inshaAllah. Besides writing, Sifaat likes to draw, take afternoon walks, and practice martial arts/wrestling. He is a disciple of Hoshinkido Hapkido, a Korean martial art, which he practices alongside Taekwondo during his free time.


  1. Masha´Allah! The idea is deeply profound and very interesting! I never understood Aristotle when he said that the beginning of wisdom is to know that you know nothing, but now I suppose that what he said may be true.

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