Writing on paper: Give clarity to your thoughts

Education Contributor
Today's Focus
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Writing is an integral part of Islamic history

Writing isn’t something extraneous to Muslims or Islam. In fact, putting pen to paper features heavily in our history. And this is the major reason why we have bound copies of the Quran, as well as hadiths of Prophet Muhammad (SAW).

Through the act of writing things down, experiences and knowledge are preserved for us to benefit today. From stories of old and what is to come long after we have expired our time on Earth, the companions of the Prophet (SAW) penned knowledge before modern research discovered the benefits of putting pen to paper, which include: improving memory, gaining clarity, retaining information, maintaining physical well-being, and increasing creativity.

In fact, more than 1400 years ago, Almighty Allah with His infinite knowledge and wisdom taught us that it’s through the pen that we gain knowledge.

The value of the pen in the eyes of Islam

“Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous. Who has taught by the pen. He has taught man that which he did not know.” [Quran-96:3-5]

This verse teaches us two key points:

We inherently possess no knowledge and know nothing until Allah grants us knowledge. This is reinforced by the fact that Prophet Adam (peace be upon him) knew nothing of creation until Allah taught him their names.

We are set apart from other creatures in that we possess the knowledge, and Allah has taught us to enlarge and preserve what we know through the art of writing through the use of a pen. Through writing, we learn, expand, and grow from one generation to another.

The scientific benefits of writing

The benefits of writing on paper is great and every one among us can reap its benefits whether we consider ourselves to be writers or not. It is revealed from research that the physical act of writing with a pen or pencil increases activity in certain sections of the brain.

It’s also very important to note that these benefits come from the action of writing by hand as opposed to typing on a keyboard or touchscreen device, which has become too common in these days.

Here are some ways to involve in writing:

1. Switch from screen to paper

If you’re in the habit of writing everything digitally especially on your phone, make a promise to yourself for switching to writing things on paper. After being so habituated to tapping on a screen, in order to develop a new muscle of writing on paper, take a moment to pause the next time you are about to write digitally. This pause gives you space to choose differently for yourself. It is the point you can consciously put pen to paper. The more you practice pausing before writing on your phone, the easier it will be for you to break out of the old habit into a new one.

2. All the time carry a pen and a small notebook

Writing all the important things is a key component of being able to write when the time calls for it. There is nothing worse than a wave of words hitting you, crying to be written down and you are forced to crawl on your arms with your nails! That might be a bit of an extreme example, but it’s always a great idea to have a writing resource on-hand, so you can write down your thoughts, observations, and even things to remember. And if you do not have a small notebook and pen, now it’s time to invest in one.

3. Find reasons for writing

Through writing, you can serve any purpose you want. That’s why non-writers can also write. You can benefit from writing insights you gain when studying the Qur’an. Maybe you can’t understand a word in the translation, or maybe you want to remember a particular verse or hadith connected to another verse in the Qur’an. Even a simple list of things you want to realize in a day transfers words from your often overcrowded mind onto paper. So, operate yourself with a clear head and with greater focus.

4. Personalize your writing tools

If you find it difficult to write on glaringly blank pages, why not decorate them? Just like people design their laptops, and phone cases to put their own flavor into the design. Decorating your writing paper or notebook will make a difference. Simply check out a stationery shop to explore what fits your taste and style and start decoration.

5. Accept everything that flows

When putting pen to paper, there is no right or wrong. Placing pressure on yourself to write perfectly in fact, a way to hold your pen hostage. Give your mind permission to accept all the words that flow from you. And if they make you cringe at first, that’s not bad. Just like babies stumbled a hundred times before finally walking with ease, you can improve over time InshaAllah.

When you feel overwhelmed, pause, put pen to paper, and unload.

Writing is a powerful tool that comes with lots of benefits to learning, clarity, creativity, and connection. So, it’s time to start writing from now.

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