A bit of a brain lesson to start off with. 🧠
The human intellect is an AMAZING thing. Did you know, just a couple of years ago, the 4th most powerful supercomputer in the world at the time, took a whole 40 minutes to simulate just one second of one percent of human brain activity?
Your brain can store 2.5 million gigabytes of data - that’s the equivalent of 39,000 smartphones - or to look at it from a different perspective - if you were to record your life from the moment you were born in ultra HD quality - you have enough storage for around four lifetimes worth. Not bad, eh?
It can process 10 trillion operations per second, faster than the worlds fastest supercomputers. And we all have access to one of these, given to us free of charge when we were born.
We are capable of so much but we often do not utilise even a fraction of these superpowers. At the same time, our brain is designed for continuous growth, and is naturally wired to crave new things to learn, and therefore rewards us with a 'feel good' hit whenever we do. Have you ever noticed that?
All this tells us, is that the human faculty to learn is absolutely unrivalled.
Throughout history, people have taken this capacity, and coupled it with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, which subsequently led to world exploration, huge advances in science, art and technology, and free, empowered communities. That impact and legacy has always been something that has inspired me hugely.
Which is why it honestly saddens and disappoints me that nowadays we have lost that natural love of learning. Too often today, we only learn to make more money, for status or because we are told to by our school, or our employer. Whatever happened to learning for its true purpose, to build our intellect and to learn about the world? Just to ponder. Just to be curious.
After all, the Quran places immense importance on the capacity of the human mind to reflect on the signs of Allah that are spread all round in nature. The Quran constantly implores humans to think objectively, competently and purposefully. This is aimed at learning and discovering the natural truth.
We believe therefore, that it is our human purpose in life, to know.
Once you know, you can do.
Profound Muslim thinkers of the past such as Imam al-Ghazali, ibn Sina and ibn Arabi were the kind of people who know. So were Ibn Khaldun, al-Kindi and Al-Khwarizmi. (Alliteration not intentional... okay, maybe just a little bit!) :)
They had a profound impact on Islamic thought, especially philosophy, metaphysics and science, at a time when seeking all forms of knowledge was celebrated and considered a means of worshipping Allah. They recognised that the more they learned about the world, the better they would understand and impact their religion - and vice versa.
This is something we deeply believe in. That when you combine spiritual and Islamic knowledge - led and underpinned by the Qur'an - with 'wordly' knowledge of business, the arts and the sciences - we start to understand the world more deeper, more holistically and this is where wisdom and insight is enhanced as you begin to connect the dots. This can then lead to positive action, impact and maybe even changing the world!
Currently, of course, as an Ummah in general, we are sadly very far removed from our rich intellectual past. That said however, this is a unique time for Muslims. The dissemination of knowledge is unparalleled with anytime in its history. Young Muslims, both from the East and West have more access to resources than any of our previous generations and therefore it is important there is a platform to go to that can provide trustworthy information that can build substance and understanding in both spirituality and the sciences and allow us to truly cultivate our intellectual and personal development.
This is where we come in.
At KNOW, we see it as our role to provide a platform and ongoing content for anyone who wants to truly grow, learn to think and to start putting that supercomputer brain of theirs to work!
A lifelong learner, avid reader and passionate writer, I am the founder of KNOW and a serial entrepreneur.
I am a huge believer in personal development and am also the co-founder of Muslim CEO.