As Muslims, we must be proficient in whatever we do: be it our worship, our career, or our academic lives. The Muslims in the so-called ‘Dark Ages’ excelled not only in Islamic sciences, but advanced sciences of medicine, astronomy, and mathematics. The host of contributions in that golden age could not have been possible without their self-discipline in both their ‘Ibaadah(worship) and in their academic routines. Both in our quests for Islamic knowledge and that of the worldly sciences, we must make the most of the resources available to us. The time spent during school lectures is the best time to glean and retain information – so how can we make the most of this time? Read on!
- Pray– First, pray sincerely to Allah to grant you knowledge. Here are two du’as that you can incorporate into your routine:
- On waking up in the morning, read the following du’a: Allaahumma ‘innee ‘as’aluka ‘ilman naafi’an, wa rizqan tayyiban, wa ‘amalan mutaqabbalan. O Allah, I ask You for knowledge that is of benefit, a good provision, and deeds that will be accepted . [i]
- Read the following du’a from the Qu’ran (Surah Taha, verse 114): Rabbi Ziddni ‘Ilmaa. My Lord, increase me in knowledge.
- Be Involved – During the lecture, try to be as actively involved as possible. Ask questions if you don’t understand something, or offer your opinion on any of the points mentioned. This will help you retain and understand material much better than if you just listen passively!
- Focus – Don’t be afraid to sit in the front row – it helps you avoid distraction. Needless to say, your cellphone must also be safely tucked away so that you don’t get tempted to text someone (or to Google the lecture material)!
Dr. Hany El Banna is the founder of several charities including The Humanitarian Forum, Islamic Relief, and the Muslim Charities Forum. He is also a board member of the Center for Interfaith Action on Global Poverty (CIFA). He has visited over 60 of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable countries on behalf of these organisations.
Dr. El Banna originally trained in Medicine, both in Egypt and the UK. Amongst his many achievements, he has been awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE), the Ibn Khaldun Award for Excellence in Promoting Understanding between Global Cultures and Faiths (UK) and the UK Muslim Power 100 Lifetime Achievement award.
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If you’ve been through a particularly busy period where you were super productive and then suddenly took a long restful break, you’d normally find it difficult to get back into the productivity mode afterwards. I faced this issue recently as I was starting work after a much needed Eid break and it took me a couple of days to get into my productivity mode. So, how can you get back to being productive again?
Here are 3 tips to help you:
15 AYAAT. 15 PRODUCTIVITY POINTERS.
“And [they are] those who, when they spend, do so not excessively or sparingly but are ever, between that, [justly] moderate” [25:67].
You look at your desk. Papers piling up. Emails unread. Still so much work to do. The room full of toys. Dishes on the worktop, dinner still needs to be cooked, and the kids are screaming. It’s not even duhr yet. You feel so tired.
In this ayah you will find the most productive formula of spending. We shouldn’t be extravagant, spending more than we need, nor should we be miserly towards our families, not spending enough on their needs. But we follow the best and fairest way. It sounds ‘standard’ but stop a minute and think about the things in your life you actually spend more on than you should? And think about the things you are NOT spending on as you should – even giving a date in charity is loved by Allah (glorified and exalted be He). How merciful.
Now, did you ever think of this moderation in spending…your TIME?