We often attend weekly circles, talks, gatherings and lectures, but how much do we really benefit. Is the benefit just for that short period of time or is it something we can benefit from again and again?
Firstly, before going we should look at our intention. Why are we going? Is it because our friends are going, is it because we want to boast to our friends that we went to a talk by so and so, is it because we want to upload our attendance onto social media so that people think highly of us and think we are “religious”, or is it for the sake of Allah, so we can increase our knowledge so we can implement in our lives and perfect our deen? So remember first and foremost our intentions should be correct, Allah will help us to benefit from the lecture and instil it into our hearts if we go for the right reasons. Also go with wudhu as you will feel refreshed and feel like yes you are going to do ibadah.
Before attending the event; go prepared for the talk, be fresh and ready to learn. There is no point in attending a talk tired, hungry and with a lot of things on your mind as you will be sitting in the gathering thinking about all those things, not concentrating and so will not benefit as much as you could. Have a snack before you go, if you know you will get hungry throughout take something small that doesn’t make a lot of noise and have it during the talk. Have a short power nap before you go you will feel refreshed and be able to stay awake. If there is a lot on your mind, make a checklist and find a time you can sort it late so that won’t bother you in the talk.
If we want to really benefit, we need to go with a clear and open mind. Sometimes we go to a talk and the speaker says something we disagree with and we automatically begin to dislike them, deny what they say, switch off, decide to leave the gathering etc. However, we should really hear them out and try to understand where they are coming from. If we still don’t understand what they were saying or where they were coming from, then after the talk is over we should approach them and politely ask them to explain it to us. If you are too shy to ask then find out if they have an email address which you can email them with or ask someone you feel comfortable with.
We should go with a notebook and pen really. Make notes for the things that you feel will benefit you or things that intrigue you. That way you can go back and refer to these notes whenever you feel the need to. Sometimes we also learn and remember things by writing them down as they have been processed in your brain and sometimes it helps us to understand better too. You may say that talks and lectures are now readily available on YouTube after the talk so there is no need to make notes. Ask yourself the lecture was (say for example) 2 hours long, are you really going to listen to it attentively while doing everything else you are doing for 2 hours? You probably won’t unless you have a lot of spare time. Compare this to the 2 sides of notes that you could have wrote during the talk it will only take you around 5 minutes to read and will refresh your memory on it!
Finally, leave the talk with the intention that you are going to act on what was said in the talk, that you want to make a positive change in your life for it and hoping Allah will reward you for that time you spent in his path and hoping that he will allow this talk to benefit you and that it will bring a change into your life.
I hope this helped, if you have any other tips leave them below inshallah.
And Allah knows best.