As I was moving back to NJ after the course was finished, I packed up all my books and shipped everything back home. When I got home and started ruffling through my items and sorting everything out, I couldn't find the notebook....It wasn't anywhere to be found! I had people go back to my apartment and look around, sort through the trash, check behind the furniture, etc. But it was gone! :'(
To this day, I still haven't found it. Every time I think about the notebook, or hear a gem from the Qur'an which I know is written in that notebook, I feel like someone is stabbing me in my heart at that very moment. But of course, everything is from Allah.
After going through this ordeal, I remembered a story which one of my teachers told me a long time ago about Shaykh Anwar ul-Shah al-Kashmiri (رحمة الله عليه), a leading scholar of hadith of his time and founder of the Deoband madrasa in India. Shaykh Anwar was once visiting a library in one of the Arab countries. He came across a very beneficial manuscript which he wanted to bring back to India. After speaking to the caretakers of the library, he was not allowed to take the manuscript out from there nor borrow it and bring it back later. Shaykh Anwar being the enlightened man that he was, ended up memorizing the manuscript and rewrote it word-by-word when he got back to India.
Many times we become engulfed in taking the best notes possible for a class but forget that the purpose of those notes are for them to be in our heads, not left on paper.
The lesson I learned from losing my notebook is that knowledge must be something which comes into our hearts and becomes practiced through our actions. If we keep it simply on paper forever, how do we expect to change ourselves; or for that matter, the world!