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This blog has been designed most for the benefits of my students. I am interested in spiritual intelligence because I believe it leads to happiness and resilience. If you want copies of my published research (conference papers or articles in journals), feel free to contact me.

Ridhwan (

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Feedback on the assignment of al qadar

Generally, everybody did this assignment well. Many of you learnt how to flip problems and seem to enjoy the process. Believe me, when you do it for the first time, you can only manage to flip small problems. When a really big problem hits you, you go back to a state of anger and frustration. However, if you practice flipping small problems, you become better and better. I had one of my master students flip a really big problem. Her mother had died of cancer some years back and she found that very difficult to closure. After doing the assignment on al qadar, she was able to see the good side of what happened and complete the grieving process.

I was quite interested in your ratios of good things to bad things that happen to you. I didn't have time to count but the majority of the class (maybe 80%) had ratios that were 2 to 1, 3 to 1 and 10 to 1. Some students had 15 to 1. Other students had 1,000 to 1. I need to do some more research in this area but I assume that people who have a ratio of 15 to 1 will be much better at flipping problems that students who have a ratio of 2 to 1. I like one student who said, "We only have one problem in life, that is perception". Another student said that they could only count the material things but not the spiritual ones ..... but aren't the spiritual things more important.
Consider this. Each and every one of you is luckier than Bill gates..... That is amazing, isn't it?

Feedback on the Happiness assignment

Generally, the class seemed to have enjoyed doing the assignment (although everybody said it was hard work). About 90% said that they benefited from the assignment and 10% said that it made no difference.

I spotted 4 assignments that were copied. Unfortunately, these people will have to face the consequences of their actions.

When I started this assignment, my assumption was that Muslims needed to seek knowledge all the time. I have changed that assumption. Even I get bored listening to Islamic talks every week. I think that when things are good, you don't need to do this kind of activity too often. However, when things get bad (break-up with a friend, car accident, divorce, somebody in the family dies ,....), I believe you do need a spiritual boost to avoid falling into depression. Now, I believe that people should be able to monitor their physical / psychological / spiritual well-being. When things start to get bad, that is when it is time to boost your eeman.

Two comments:
a) Some people said that they felt frustrated because they were still unsure about their direction in life. According to Erik Erikson, people go through 8 stages in their life. In their youth, it is normal for people to be still exploring their identity of their own self. Their identity only becomes complete after they complete their studies and start working. So don't worry.
b) Some people said that they felt guilty because by doing this assignment they realised that they committed a lot of sins in the past. My comment is that you should not feel guilty for being a human being. Only angels never make sins. The nature of a human-being is that we make sins every day (whether small sins or major sins). But a human-being who is aware of his mistakes returns sincerely to Allah on a daily basis. He realises that Allah's Love and Mercy is without limits so as long as we are trying our best, we hope for the best.

Another soft skills session