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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 (

My other blog is:

Saturday, April 28, 2012

A vision to make a difference

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Advice to teenagers - excellent

Friday, April 20, 2012

Contribution from a student: What goes around, comes around"

This story was emailed to me. I have done some editing but it is based on a true story. I changed the original title to “What goes around, comes around” A young girl applied for sponsorship to continue her studies. To convince the sponsors, she decided to lie. She was called for an interview. In the interview, she started to explain that her father was no longer available to sponsor her due to his health problem. She showed them some fake documents which said that her father had a heart operation and was not allowed to work for a long time. The documents satisfied the interviewers to sponsor the student. Once she got the money, she started enjoying life by spending the money to buy all kinds of things. She started travelling, shopping, hanging around and so forth. After two months of enjoyment, she had a phone call. She was told that her father had a heart attack and the doctors send him to the hospital to get an operation. Surprisingly, it was the same hospital that she used to prepare the fake documents to persuade the interviewers to sponsor her. Then, she immediately went to the hospital. While she was waiting for her father to come out of the operation, she was questioning what she has done: ‘Do not ever lie! Especially, if the reason of lying is to take other’s rights from their hands. I have taken someone else’s scholarship which was zakat and used to improve my life while others suffered. I guess this is a warning from Allah to show me how bad lying is and taking human rights. I believe it is a kind of miracle that what the story I told in the interview came true and even much worse than that. If the warning of my behaviour is making my father suffer in the operation and the bill that we are going to pay is treble price than the amount of my scholarship which I could even pay the tuition fee for four years and save same of it. So, I am afraid to imagine how such behaviours going to be punished in Hereafter.’

Monday, April 16, 2012

Contribution from a student: Story of my teenage life on prayers

Note from Dr Ridhwan: This contribution was emailed to me. I believe that authentic stories can motivate people to become better. I only changed one word (it was not rude but it bit too slang) Here is her story

I went to three stages of prayer in my life. First stage is the naïve, obedient, no hardship when it comes to praying. Second stage is the ultimate rebel, full time lying, and total refusal to pray. Third stage is having sense of responsibility, world is better with Islam and committed to loving Allah and Rasulullah s.a.w.

Up until I was 12 years old, I prayed side by side with my mother so she knew that I prayed and she taught me everything that is to Islam. I was a simple kid who almost has everything. Praying does not mean that much to me I just know that I need to pray and I am not bothered by the details. Probably, my interest was not on Islam but more to cartoons, animals and the universe. I was occupied with learning what I adore than showing interest on Islam.

When I was going to be 13, my parents let me stay with my cousins for 2 months. They were those cool city girls who live in KL and I am just a kampong girl but still was exposed to city life through television. I was the cool girl among my kampong friends. Next to them I was as lame as a rock. So the story was they influence me to not praying as praying is not cool. English music was cool, coupling was fantasized and everything close to illegal in Islam. I still have my conscious. What I believe on, I stand on my ground. Like how they did not wear tudung and whatnots. Till the very end I was strict on not exposing my aurah and they respect that. But I know they think I was so lame.

Those were the start of my rebellious phase. I stop reciting Qur'an as I recently khatam it. I do not pray, I talked with KL slang, well basically everything changed. I feel I was cooler and praying is a waste of time. I started to procrastinate big time. I did not study at all. I was the second last in my class for my finals. All I did was have fun all the time. No worries about the world or my studies or anything. I stop caring and rationalising. I had 2 years of that oh-so-called-“fun” period.

My third phase happened when my mother decided to change me to her school. She was a teacher there. I was okay with it and up for new experience. This was in fact the changing point of my life. I love the new school so much. The teacher was better, the environment was twice greener but the student was ten times worse. But they did not bother me because I dress badly and I have a scary teacher as a mom. I learned their background and become humbler. The teachers there were amazingly supportive and the school provide tons and tons of motivational talks to us. I started to fully pray when a teacher threaten to rattan student according to the number we skipped prayers for yesterday. I remember the feeling of utterly terrified and panicked because I do not like pain. I rarely get beaten from my parent so I am not immune to pain. The teacher never got the chance to come to our class but from that moment on I swear I will pray 5 times a day because of the fear. Then things started to get serious from that moment on. I have a purpose in life, I know what I want to do with my life, I studied whenever I get the chance to study, I utilised time happily and so many other changes in life. My ultimate purpose is I want barakah from Allah.

Life was much happier after that. I got straight A’s for PMR, 9A’s for SPM. Life is good. Although I did become a victim of black magic that was targeted to my father but I got a piece of it, it makes me closer to Allah because I was relying on His protection. It was terrifying but with a silver lining behind it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Leadership training at Taylor University on 9th April 2012

Alhamdulillah, I facilitated a leadership training at Taylor University on Monday. This training was organised by my friend. He used "Friday Night at ER". In this game, participants have to manage a hospital. There are four departments: emergency, surgery, critical care and step down. Participants can get so busy managing their own department that they forget about the hospital as a whole. Or, if they are good, they manage their department in a way that benefits the hospital as a whole.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Maher Zain and cognitive strategies

The lyrics to this song are an excellent example of a cognitive strategy. If you can't figure it out, ask me in class

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

An email from a student

Assalamu'alaykum Dr Ridhwan.

I found this meaningful story about a manager. Hope you can share with others as well so that al of us could benefit! InshaAllah

One young academically excellent person went to apply for a managerial position in a big company. He passed the first interview, the director did the last interview, made the last decision. The director discovered from the CV that the youth's academic achievements were excellent all the way, from the secondary school until the postgraduate research, never had a year when he did not score.

The director asked, "Did you obtain any scholarships in school?" the youth answered "none". The director asked, " Was it your father who paid for your school fees?" The youth answered, "My father passed away when I was one year old, it was my mother who paid for my school fees.

The director asked, " Where did your mother work?" The youth answered, "My mother worked as clothes cleaner. The director requested the youth to show his hands. The youth showed a pair of hands that were smooth and perfect.

The director asked, " Have you ever helped your mother wash the clothes before?" The youth answered, "Never, my mother always wanted me to study and read more books. Furthermore, my mother can wash clothes faster than me.

The director said, "I have a request. When you go back today, go and clean your mother's hands, and then see me tomorrow morning.*

The youth felt that his chance of landing the job was high. When he went back, he happily requested his mother to let him clean her hands. His mother felt strange, happy but with mixed feelings, she showed her hands to the kid. The youth cleaned his mother's hands slowly. His tear fell as he did that. It was the first time he noticed that his mother's hands were so wrinkled, and there were so many bruises in her hands. Some bruises were so painful that his mother shivered when they were cleaned with water. This was the first time the youth realized that it was this pair of hands that washed the clothes everyday to enable him to pay the school fee. The bruises in the mother's hands were the price that the mother had to pay for his graduation, academic excellence and his future. After finishing the cleaning of his mother hands, the youth quietly washed all the remaining clothes for his mother. That night, mother and son talked for a very long time. Next morning, the youth went to the director's office.

The Director noticed the tears in the youth's eyes, asked: " Can you tell me what have you done and learned yesterday in your house?" The youth answered, " I cleaned my mother's hand, and also finished cleaning all the remaining clothes'

The Director asked, " please tell me your feelings."

The youth said, Number 1, I know now what is appreciation. Without my mother, there would not the successful me today. Number 2, by working together and helping my mother, only I now realize how difficult and tough it is to get something done. Number 3, I have come to appreciate the importance and value of family relationship.

The director said, " This is what I am looking for to be my manager. I want to recruit a person who can appreciate the help of others, a person who knows the sufferings of others to get things done, and a person who would not put money as his only goal in life. You are hired.

Later on, this young person worked very hard, and received the respect of his subordinates. Every employee worked diligently and as a team. The company's performance improved tremendously.

A child, who has been protected and habitually given whatever he wanted, would develop "entitlement mentality" and would always put himself first. He would be ignorant of his parent's efforts. When he starts work, he assumes that every person must listen to him, and when he becomes a manager, he would never know the sufferings of his employees and would always blame others. For this kind of people, who may be good academically, may be successful for a while, but eventually would not feel sense of achievement. He will grumble and be full of hatred and fight for more. If we are this kind of protective parents, are we really showing love or are we destroying the kid instead?*

Another soft skills session