(Exam Fever Campaign: Senior- Article: Studying Tips and The Meaning of Success)
قَدۡ اَفۡلَحَ الۡمُؤۡمِنُوۡنَۙ ﴿23:1﴾
الَّذِيۡنَ هُمۡ فِىۡ صَلَاتِهِمۡ خَاشِعُوۡنَ ۙ ﴿23:2﴾
وَالَّذِيۡنَ هُمۡ عَنِ اللَّغۡوِ مُعۡرِضُوۡنَۙ ﴿23:3﴾
1. Successful indeed are the believers.
2. Those who offer their Salat (prayers) with all solemnity and full submissiveness.
3. And those who turn away from al-Laghw (dirty, false, evil vain talk, falsehood, and all that Allah has forbidden).
These are the first three verses from Surah al-Mukminun, taken from the Holy Quran. Why is this mentioned?
First of all, you can read the translation of Surah al-Mukminun to see the other characters of a successful person depicted by the Quran. However, we want to highlight that we find it’s very interesting how Allah depicted that those who are successful are those who believe (mukmin), and those who believe are those who pray with full submissiveness and are those who leave behind anything that Allah has forbidden.
The fact that the secret of being a success is to be a great believer first, is an aspect of life that we often overlooked. Therefore, as the current final examination of the Sixth Year Faculty of Medicine for Boys and Girls al-Azhar University has already started, Academic Bureau feels obligated and is very thrilled to share some of our studying recommendation to all the members of PERUBATAN al-Azhar Chapter. We do hope that the studying spirit echoes and we hope our members understand what the true meaning of a success really means.
First and foremost, we frequently are told to figure out our studying pattern from almost everybody around us whenever we ask for advices on how to study, right? There’s one thing that we need to realise regarding this matter, that there is no fixed way of studying! However, we realised that it is very effective when you learn to teach. It is some kind of an “Art of Giving” thing. When we study as if we want to teach someone, we’ll try to find a lot of ways on how to really understand, relate, arrange and also how to remember the topic. Eventually we will figure out a method to effectively understand and explain it to other people. Having the ability to explain correctly, means you have understand it. Hence, discussions in study groups would help a lot!
A summary of a research conducted by Dr. Keith Sawyer shows that, when they were examining eye gaze they found that students who were learning the material at a deeper level looked up and at other members of the group instead of reading off the page. Making conversational connection seems to be a key factor in why study groups are more effective. Study groups promote critical thinking and creativity as there will be questions, debates, explainations and healthy discussions. “Too many cooks spoil the broth”- meaning that a study group turns out to be inefficient if too many people take part of it, as it becomes more difficult to coordinate, communicate will all members and maintain the necessary study discipline. Thus, an ideal size of a study group is around three to four people.
However, it’s not always rainbow on our everyday life right? Therefore, it is actually very important to find your motivations and strengths throughout your daily life. Look back at the reasons and how long you’ve come, keep on going once you have find them. Next, give yourself an overview on how many topics do you have to finish. List them all and put your target date to finish beside each topic. You’ll be on track, or at least even if you can’t seem to keep up with the dates targeted you know how much you need to catch up and that’s very important. Why? This is because, the biggest mistake that people do is, they think they have more time. Always remind yourself and others okay?
وَالۡعَصۡرِۙ ﴿103:1﴾ اِنَّ الۡاِنۡسَانَ لَفِىۡ خُسۡرٍۙ ﴿103:2﴾
اِلَّا الَّذِيۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا وَ عَمِلُوا الصّٰلِحٰتِ وَتَوَاصَوۡا بِالۡحَقّ ۙ وَتَوَاصَوۡا بِالصَّبۡرِ ﴿103:3﴾
1) By the time!
2) Lo! Man is in a state of loss.
3) Except those who have faith and do righteous deeds, and counsel each other to hold on to truth and counsel each other to be steadfast.
Dearest members, have you ever heard that what we eat is what we are? Thus, it is very wise to make sure that your side snacks while studying are healthy foods that help to boost your energy and your brain, not the ones that slower it down. Plus, staying healthy throughout our process of learning and especially during our examination phase is very important. Try to have fresh fruits instead of processed foods, salads instead of candy bars, homemade juices instead of those quick 3 in 1’s, raisins instead of ice creams and walnuts instead of pizza crusts. We should provide the best care of our body not only because we want to be healthy but also because it is one of Allah’s trust to us, his greatest creation. According to the book “The Cure for The Heart” written by al-Sheikh ‘Abdul Qadir Ibn ‘Abdul Mutholib al-Indunisi al-Mandili, under the chapter gratitude it’s mentioned that a great sign of gratitude is when we do good with all of the things Allah has blessed us with. For example, we use our legs to walk to the mosque, our hands to help others who are in need, our mouth to say good things to people and if we have power, use our power to command what is good and prevent what is evil.
As there’s a saying that says “Gratitude is the best attitude”. Thus, let’s show our gratitude by taking good care of our body and make sure that we direct our actions and intentions to things that benefit Islam and muslims the most.
The last thing regarding studying tips that we would like to share with all you is to sleep. Wait, what? Sleep? Yes, sleep. Do you know that according to Dr. James B. Maas author of New York Times business best seller “Power Sleep” and also a leading authority and international consultant on sleep and performance, about 70% of the population is not sleeping well at least 2 or 3 nights a week. So there’s a great need in the fact that people don’t value sleep that they’re supposed to be getting with the idea of “I just don’t have enough time”. When we ask people how much sleep do they get, on average will say 7 to 8 hours but if we put little actor watches on their wrists that measure every second of their day in their night, people tend to overestimate the amount of sleep they’re getting by about 47 minutes. So the average person who thinks they’re getting seven hours of sleep are actually getting close to only a six.
Most adult need between seven and a half and nine hours of sleep every night to be fully alert, energetic and dynamic all day long. There are serious deleterious consequences of not getting enough sleep, not only daytime drowsiness but an increase risk of heart attacks, strokes, type 2 diabetes, obesity, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, irritability, anxiety, depression and lack of ability to concentrate. Try to establish a regular sleep-wake schedule, go to bed and wake up at the same time Monday through Monday including the weekends, and have one biological clock. Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark and cool. No caffeine after 2.00 in the afternoon as it will ruin REM sleep, in which the period most dreams take place but it is also a period of cognitive processing which is very important. If you get adequate sleep, you will be an entirely different person!
Physicians said the brain researches have told us that exercise is key to health, nutrition is key to health, but we have forgotten the third as important variable and that is sleep. Without adequate sleep, even with exercising and eventhough you are eating well, you’re more likely to not perform at your best.
On the other hand, quite a bit of research on memory has demonstrated that distributing your practice helps you learn. That is, the more that you spread out your study time, the better you are likely to remember information later, compared to cramming all of your study time into one session.
Studies have proved that sleep matters for learning. Research suggests that if you study new material and then sleep, you remember the information better than if you study new material and stay awake for an equivalent amount of time. So let’s try our best to divide our studying time and have enough sleep!
In a nutshell, we hope everybody is motivated to be better each day. However as a muslim, the true meaning of success is when we are in the highest level of heaven surrounded by all of the people we love beside our beloved Prophet Muhammad PBUH. Success is when we succeed to be a great slave, leader and preacher of Islam. Do your best in your academic, be great learners and teach others too but don’t forget that we should have higher aims in life which is to be a benefit to other people whenever and wherever we are as a hadith from al-Mu’jam al-Awsaṭ 5937 said that:
عَنْ جَابِرٍ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ الْمُؤْمِنُ يَأْلَفُ وَيُؤْلَفُ وَلا خَيْرَ فِيمَنْ لا يَأْلَفُ وَلا يُؤْلَفُ وَخَيْرُ النَّاسِ أَنْفَعُهُمْ لِلنَّاسِ
Jabir reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said,
“The believer is friendly and befriended, for there is no goodness in one who is neither friendly, nor befriended. The best of people are those who are most beneficial to people.”
We would like to end our article with the best wish of luck to all of the members of PERUBATAN al-Azhar Chapter 2018/2019, remember to start and end our efforts with the highest trust and tawakal to Allah,
قُلْ هُوَ الرَّحْمَٰنُ آمَنَّا بِهِ وَعَلَيْهِ تَوَكَّلْنَا ۖ
(67:29) Say, “He is the Most Merciful; we have believed in Him, and upon Him we have relied…”
PERUBATAN al-Azhar Chapter 2018/2019.