This essay DEVELOPING AN ISLAMIC PERSONALITY has a total of 883 words and 5 pages.
DEVELOPING AN ISLAMIC PERSONALITY
I have been giving this assignment since 2010. Over 1,3 00 students have done this assignment so far. 75% of my students like this assignment, the rest don't. Most students tell me that as a consequence of doing this assignment, their relationship with Allah سبحانه و تعالى) ) improves and they are better able to handle stress. Here is what I would like to stress:
In your life, you will have to deal with a lot of stress. You will face many problems. By asking you to do this assignment, I want to show you a systematic process to improve their imaan . That boost of imaan will give you the extra spiritual strength to handle difficult situations in your life, inshaa Allah .
Maybe you will not use this process after the semester is over, but in one or two years (or five years), when you face unexpected difficulty, you will remember this assignment and use the same process to find the spiritual strength to deal with these problems in a positive way.
Developing imaan is a process
Allah سبحانه و تعالى) ) has promised in the Qur'an that if we call on Him, He will always respond. In the hadith, it is clear that if we try to get closer to Him by a little bit, He will get closer to us by a lot. There are two ways of looking at hidayah
Hidayah is an event -it "falls" like miracle from the sky. No doubt, this happens sometimes because Allah سبحانه و تعالى) ) does what He wants.
Hidayah is a process -by learning a little bit more about Islam every week, we gradually come closer to Him.
Since 2010, my experience has convinced me that Muslims can systematically get closer to Allah سبحانه و تعالى) ) by surfing the Internet and watching YouTube.com
What do you need to do?
This is an individual assignment. Once a week, you watch one Islamic video of a reasonable length (i.e. more than 15 minutes) . YOU CAN CHOOSE THE TOPIC. However, here are the following guidelines
Choose an English speaker who is known to be following the position of Ahl Sunnah wa Jamaah
Write a one page report where you a) describe the content and b) discuss your opinion about the content.
Write a report every week
At lest half the talks must be tafseer of the Qur'an
At the end of the semester, submit all the reports with a conclusion. In this conclusion, discuss whether or not you feel that doing this assignment strengthened your imaan or if there was no difference.
Since 2010, I have had over 1,000 students do this assignment. I have tried various experiments. In some classes, I have asked them to only listen to "regular" talks. In other classes, I have asked them to only listen to " tafsee r". I have found no difference. What seems to make a difference is,
Most students have one (or more) important question about Islam. Finding the answer to that burning question is often critical for them
Most students know surprisingly little about surahs that they recite regularly-like surah al fatihah, surah al ikhlaas, surah al kafiroon
The quality of the speakers are very important- people like Nouman Ali Khan, Suhaib Webb, Bilal Philips are always popular. Personally, I am rediscovering old names like Yasir Qadhi and Hamza Yusuf.
Try to listen to different people about the same topic- every speaker talk about the same topic in a different way. Sometimes, getting a diversity of opinions over one topic gives you a better understanding of that topic
How to read a book
Sometimes, there are videos that just make you think. One of the videos on Youtube is "How to read your book" by Hamza Yusuf. This seems very important for all UIA student.
Over the years, I have had many reactions from students. One student told me that before doing this assignment, he used to drink alcohol and he didn't pray. Now he had changed. I was happy for him but I was quite embarrassed that he told me about his previous sins. I didn't need to
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