One of our readers sent us this review about one of the most widely known Islamic Time Management Programs online: Time Traveller Master by Shaykh Muhammad Al-Shareef. She retells her personal experience and judgment on the product’s content, delivery, customer service and more. If you like to sign up for the course click here!
Review of Time Traveller (3.5 out of 5 overall)
I consider myself somewhat of a time management system/productivity/personal development junkie. I have read the countless books out there and thought I knew just about all there was to learn on the subject. So when I heard about TimeTraveller, I was intrigued because I thought there wasn’t anything else the program possibly could teach me and just had to find out if this system would work unlike all the others one I had tried. I hoped that this program would be the one that promoted success since a Muslim would be teaching, Shaykh Muhammad AlShareef, and approaching this issue from an Islamic perspective.
Content (4 out of 5)
I was impressed with the amount of footage you get with the videos (about 8 h 10 min) for the price. Here is the breakdown:
Chapter 1: Time Targets (53:47)
Chapter 2: Brain with a Breeze (39:07)
Chapter 3: Ice Berg (73:15)
Chapter 4: Life Wheel (53:18)
Chapter 5: Spectacular Seven (13:41)
Chapter 6: Taking Action (24:13)
Chapter 7: Success Psych (64:51)
Chapter 8: 80/20 Rule (20:32)
Chapter 9: RPM (46:15)
Chapter 10: Weekly Planning Process (59:07)
Chapter 11: Conclusion (30:46)
Chapter 12: Conclusion (10:55)
There is also a Resources tab for worksheets, and a tab for “1 on 1 – Private Coaching.” We were also promised additional occasional bonuses.
I recognized much of the content from other systems, but reworked; for example,Time Targets is a reworked Steven Covey quadrant square, Brain Breeze is similar to what is found in David Allen’s Getting Things Done, and the Life Wheels are also another fairly common tool. It bothered me at first that the sources of these concepts were not acknowledged, but overall the modifications have definitely improved the tools. I’m a scientist and also well-read in IPR and while Intellectual Property Laws have not been violated, I still think it would have been nice to let people know where the ideas come from and that they were not made up by himself. Also, I did find some of the worksheets to be aesthetically unprofessional, and some of the footage irrelevant.
I was also pleasantly surprised that much of the content was actually new to me, and I found the RPM and ‘pancaking’ (which are frequently mentioned) to be especially beneficial and frankly ingenious. I think it is great that the Shaykh is providing this great service; I’ve spent years learning and trying to apply these concepts, and he has taken the best of the best and disseminating the parts of systems that work – 8 hours of footage that could save you years!
Overall, I’d give this part 4 out of 5.
Delivery (3 out of 5)
The videos are accessed through a private members area on a website. They are not available for download for piracy reasons, and as far as I know, they are not available in a physical DVD form. I was personally affected by this as I did not have high-speed internet, and had to wait hours for the videos to load and faced additional issues if I lost my internet connection and reload from the beginning. You have to be connected to a high-speed internet connection of have a decent experience. To be fair, it is clearly stated that you will have to view them online when you purchase. However, I did not realize how slow it would be with my normal broadband (alhamduillah, I have since upgraded to high-speed internet at home). I can imagine that someone with dial-up or a slow DSL connection would have similar problems.
There is no introductory video, so the course jumps right in. The video-editing felt somewhat choppy and at times I felt like important information had been left out or the opposite had been left in. Since we did not get any roadmap of the videos to know what to expect when, I was sometimes left wondering ‘Why is this here? How does it fit in with what we just learned? ’ Similarly, I had trouble recognizing which worksheet when I originally began. There seems to be excess talking at times, and this could be due to the fact that this was a live course so the online viewers do not have the context for it.
The video quality is good, though the colourful background was distracting. It was hard to see the flipchart and what the teacher was writing, and most of the time I could not hear the questions/comments from the audience. There was also no way for us to interact with the instructor and ask questions or clarification about the content; however, most programs like this do not include such a service since we are just paying for the content. There is a mechanism for adding comments below the videos to interact with others on the program, just not the instructors. It would be a nice feature to add to improve the product.
What saves the delivery component is the presenter and teacher, Shaykh Muhammad AlShareef. He is a joy to watch as he is obviously passionate about what he is teaching. He knows what he’s talking about and is great at presenting. He’s also practical and you can connect with him because he shares personal stories, gives real-life examples, and shares his mistakes and vulnerability with us – and he knows we are human too and doesn’t expect us to be perfect (in fact, he deals with the issue of perfectionism a lot which I found very beneficial). He is very encouraging, engaging, and fun, mash Allah; I was impressed. At times, as a convert to Islam, I could not personally relate to the examples and suggestions that seemed to be geared more towards first- and second-generation immigrant Muslims (as that is his background, and I assume that of most of his viewers).
Overall, I’d give this a 3 out of 5.
Promotional Materials (2 out of 5)
The website intrigued me but did not give a breakdown of the content, contact information (here’s the contact form), or reviews.
It seemed like the program was for those who already knew Shaykh Muhammad AlShareef and his works, and not about attracting those (like me) who had never heard of him. I instantly felt like I was not part of the “club” and was put off by the hype and lack of focus on content (there are claims about 6x the results without any proof). It’s a beautiful website, well-made and, designed to sell, but again not receiving much insight into the content made me hesitate in purchase. I had to do some research online to find more information. It’s out there, but scattered (his blog, his Facebook page, and DiscoverU.
I’d give it 2 out of 5.
Customer Service (1 out of 5)
When I finally found a link to email someone with my questions, it took over two weeks to receive a response (with some of my questions still unanswered) and even after purchasing, you should expect 1-2 weeks for them to get back to you.
1 out of 5.
Overall Experience (3.5 out of 5)
This was my first encounter with Muhammad AlShareef, DiscoverU/Al-Maghrib Institute. While I was not impressed with customer service or their advertising/promotional materials, I was impressed with the content and Shaykh Muhammad AlShareef himself – these alone are worth the purchase price. Despite its shortcomings, this program has made me want to invest in other programs as well (I want to try the Millionaire who Went to Jannah next insha Allah).
The program kept true to its promise of having an Islamic focus and I truly believe he has found the best advice out there on time management and packaged it up for us nicely. Things could be improved (like the above concerns), but overall it was good.
As for how it has improved my time-management, it is too early to tell yet. I have gone through all 12 videos twice now; the first time I just watched to see what it was all about, and the second time I made extensive notes. Now I’m starting with the first exercises and working my way through them, so I haven’t gotten to the more exciting and practical stages yet. I will have to update the review in 6 months or so and see how I’ve progressed.
I would definitely recommend this program. I give it a rating of 3.5 out of 5. It would have gotten a much higher mark (maybe even 5 out of 5) if some of the issues I mentioned were improved. I do want people to be aware, so they can make an informed decision when they purchase and so they know what to expect if they do.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author’s, and do not necessarily reflect ProductiveMuslim’s view of the product.