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Multiple Intelligence at School [Part 8]

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The 8th part of multiple intelligence at school deals with a Self smart or an Intra Personal learner who understands himself or herself. In the fast paced lifestyle we live today, there is time to take off for personal growth, contemplation, inner reflection and being aware of personal strength and weaknesses.  A child with this intelligence is aware of his/her goals and pursues them with great passion and zeal.

INTRA – PERSONALlearner

What is in a NAME?

How many of you are aware of the meaning of your name? What if your name is Rizwan and somebody told you that it means the “Keeper of Heaven”. Or if your name was Rayyan and you come to know that it is one of the gates of Jannah through which the people who fast will enter. What is the meaning of Sumaiyah, Maryam or Ayesha?

For many of the amazing names you’ve heard and thought about its meaning, or searched for your name and were curious to find its meaning, you can be classified as a SELF SMART learner. Your name is not simply a title you use on a business card but it affects your personality and attitude as well.

Prophetic Guidance: Good Names

The Prophet of Allah SAWS laid great emphasis on having good names and showed considerable interest in naming people. This is not surprising because a name is often the first thing that gives an impression of a person. If you have a good name and invite others  towards optimism, people feel pleased to address you and speak to you. By contrast, a person with a bad name may invite bad associations and create a negative impression. Hence, the Prophet SAWSmade it clear to his followers of all generations that choosing good names for their children is a duty upon every parent.

A hadith mentions that a child born to Abu Ussayd was brought to the ProphetSAWSwho took him and placed him on his thigh. Then the Prophet SAWS was distracted by something. The father told someone of his folk to take the child away, but its removal alerted the Prophet SAWS who immediately asked: “Where is the child?” The father told him that he was taken away. The Prophet SAWSasked what he was named. When he was told of the child’s name, he said: “No! His name is Al-Munthir.” 1.

In another report by Abdullah ibn Umar mentions that the ProphetSAWS changed a woman’s name who was called Aassiyah. He said to her: “You are Jameelah.” Here, the need for the change is quite obvious. Aassiyah is the female version of Aassi, both of which mean “disobedient.” The ProphetSAWS points out here that such a name is unacceptable because it stresses a quality which is associated with rejecting the faith or being rebellious. The Prophet SAWS gave her the name Jameelah, which means “pretty.”

[Note Asiya, wife of Fir’awn has a different spelling than Aassiyah that’s mentioned in the aforementioned hadeeth.]

In fact, he renamed Madina which was originally called Yathrib, which means “barren” to Tooba which means something that is beneficial. Bottom-line keep good names and tell your children about the meaning of theirs.

‘Self Smart’ Learners Profile:

The ‘Self Smart’ learners are people who know themselves well. They are able to make smart choices in life, are not influenced by peer pressure because they don’t care much about what other people think of them and don’t want to do things that interfere with reaching their goals.

They show this intelligence by keeping a journal, working through a problem in life, creating a plan for the future, spending time regularly reflecting on life, learning about this Deen of Islam and going deep into analyzing the self feelings of others around them.

Get Set GOAL

Another great way of being a self smart learner is to understand your goals in life.

Ask yourself these questions?

What do I want to do to achieve?

Are you ambitious enough?

Are you determined to overcome the obstacles?

Are you willing to look at the great examples and learn from people around you?

What is a GOAL?

Getting Organized About Life

  • Goals give you direction in all areas of your life – Personal, Career, Spiritual, Material and Contribution
  • Goals give you a reason to get up early in the morning and go to bed late at night
  • Goals will put drive and passion in your life
  • Goals are something that you want to achieve in the future. You set goals so that you can get better at more things, aim for something in the future and achieve more during your life.
  • Goals are specific things, tasks or accomplishments you must complete in order to achieve the kind of life you desire.

Why write down your GOALS?

No goal is a GOAL if it is not written down!

Take a leaf from the hadith about the ‘First creation of Allah’

Narrated ‘Ibadah bin Al-Samit: I heard Allah’s Messenger SAWS saying: The first thing created by Allah was the pen. He said to it: Write. It said: O Lord! What should I write? Allah said: Write down the destiny of every thing until the Final Hour (as per my will). 2

So writing is not something prescribed in MBA books or management self-help gurus, rather our Lord mentioned in the beautiful hadith Qudsi about writing the goals of the entire creation from the beginning to the end.

A goal not written down is a mere wish!

Goal – Memorize the Qur’an

For example, let’s say that one of your goals is to memorize Quran.

You would write: 1st Goal: Recite Surah fluently.

Each Goal should include the three “P”s. It should be Personal, Positive and Present.

Personal – Make the goal yours. Include I, me, my and mine.

Positive – Instead of using words like not, no and never, phrase your goal in the positive tense using powerful verbs and adjectives. The more emotional the wording, the more mental energy you’re applying to the goal.

Present – In your goal statement, assume that you already have the goal. This will tell your subconscious mind that your goal should be part of your life beginning now.

Your goal will take time to manifest; however, you are painting a mental picture of who you are and how you will be when you have completed the goal.

Self-Evaluation

A great quality of self smart learner is introspection or self-evaluation. Take 5 minutes off from reading this and sit and reflect on how you spend your day? Is it worth it? Did you do anything admirable? Did you help the needy? Did you come close to Allah SWT?

One of my favorite nasheeds is one titled which says, “O Allah, what did I do today?”

Taddbur – Contemplation

The Qur’an focuses a lot on self-evaluation to aid in our own growth. The Arabic term for contemplation is TADDABUR and TAFFAKUR.

Tadabbur is to understand the meaning of the words of Allah SWT by reading the Tafseer, think deeply and contemplate over the meanings of the verse, accept its guidance fully and completely and mold yourself according to its guidance. Look at each passage of the revelation like as if it’s addressed to you. Put yourself in the same state (similar situation) [i.e. ask yourself whether you have gone through a similar situation or not].

After that, act upon it, putting it into practice by praising Allah SWT, seeking His forgiveness, etc. 3. This will help you develop an inner response to the Ayah. 

Dhikr for Self Growth

If you read the amazing Seerah (the biography of our Prophet SAWS), you will notice that he went to Cave Hira to meditate before the revelation of the Qur’an. However, Islam is a social religion and it wants us to shun celibacy and live in the society. Dawah is an important aspect of our deen. However, Islam also wants us to focus on our inner self.

Thus, Allah SWTcreated ways and means to re-connect. You can learn a lot from the lives of great people to achieve greatness by reflecting on their inner self because courage comes from within. Tawakkul or trust in AllahSWT comes from building a relationship with AllahSWT through personal reflection time.

One of my favorite quotes is by Barbara J. Winter: “When you come to the end of all the light you know, and it’s time to step into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing that one of two things shall happen: You will either be given something solid to stand on or you will be taught to fly.”

Allah SWTencouraged the ProphetSAWS and the companions to get up in the middle of the night. This night prayers or  Tahajjud / Qiyam al Layl was to enhance their conviction, give them an emaan boost and prepare them for the struggle in the path of Allah SWT.

In Ramadan, we are encouraged to spend time in Ithikaf (the last 10 days in the Masjid). There are duas for morning and evening. Thus, Dhikr is the oxygen our heart requires to remain healthy and connected with AllahSWT.

Here is a quick activity for you. If you have to describe yourself with one adjective, what would it be? Would it be angry, moody, lonely or would it be happy, joyful, courageous or positive? Think about it. That’s your first step in becoming a SELF SMART learner.

Summary:

  • Your name is not simply a title you use on a business card but it affects your personality and attitude.
  • The Prophet of Allah SAWS laid great emphasis on having good names.
  • Qualities of a Self Smart learner – keeping a journal, working through a problem in life, creating a plan for the future, spending time regularly reflecting about life.
  • Great way of being a self smart learner is to understand your goals in life.
  • Create ways and means for reflection by pondering on the verses of the noble Qur’an.

 

In the next article, we will discuss the following: Are you able to hum the first tune you heard on the radio or the jingles are too sticky to get them out of your mind? If you answered yes, you are a Rhythmic learner. We will find  how we can leverage this learner style to memorize the noble Qur’an as well as learn the confusing periodic table from our Chemistry class!

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below. 🙂

  1.   Bukhari and Muslim
  2.   Musnad of Ahmad
  3.   Kitab Al Fawa’id by Imam Ibn Al Qayyim

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