Essential Tools for Studying Productively (Part 1)

You look at your friend’s grade. Then you look at our own grade. A sudden wave of realization hits you. You are simply not doing well in studies. You look at your friend with curiosity and dismay. You both attend the same classes, but your friend takes the lead. You feel you can never catch up with him/her – unless you find that secret key to unlock the doors of success that your friend seems to have in possession.

We are all familiar with a scenario like the above. We have either been in that situation or we have been on the greener side (Alhamdulillah). Part of the blame lies on the student who is negligent about studies. The other part of the blame lies on the “good” student who never really cares about these “weak” students. This series of articles is my humble effort to help out young Muslims around the world with their studies.

What’s Your Motivation?

Why is it important for you to study? If you are able to find a good answer to this question, then insha’Allah you will be looking forward to studying. Let us look at some of the factors which may motivate you to study. All of these are also ways of pleasing Allah (Subhanahu Wa ta’Ala).

  • Pleasing the parents is quite often a reason. Education enables you to earn money and give gifts to parents or to bear some of the responsibilities at home.
  • Education can be the passport to better employment prospects and spending on your family.
  • Representing Islam in a positive light and thus dispelling myths, misconceptions, and Islamophobia.
  • Affecting others positively with inspiring projects. You can help to reduce unemployment, poverty, pollution, corruption, death, abuse, etc.
  • Earning halaal revenue which can be used in charity/da’wah projects. “1.4 billion live in extreme poverty” [1] and they count on you for charity/benefits.
  • Contributing to the society with halaal output and ideas. We cannot blame othersfor being inclined to not-so-halaal things, if we ourselves cannot offer interesting halaal options.

It is essential to mention that my grades have improved significantly after I began practising Islam and realized that the purpose of life is to please Allah (Subhanahu Wa ta’Ala).


Before Classes Begin

  1. Choose an appropriate institution where you would like to pursue your education. Do a quick research and know about the campus, the subjects offered, the teachers, the extra-curricular activities available there, etc.
  2. Take short courses on Mathematics, English, and other subjects which might help you to adjust to the curriculum of the institution. One reason many students lag behind is that they do not understand the English instructions, and this is mostly true for those who are not native speakers of this language.
  3. Choose subjects which you are really interested in and try to attach an Islamic value to them. For instance, if you are interested in Medicine, think of this ayah for motivation: “And whoever saves one (soul) – it is as if he had saved mankind entirely.” [Qur’an 5:32].
  4. In some institutions, you might be able to choose your class schedule. Ensure that you do it wisely. For instance, if you live far away from the institution and getting there is difficult for you, then try to limit your classes to 2 days a week. However, if you take many subjects, you may have to go there 4 days a week so that there is less pressure on you. In addition, accommodate breaks within your schedule and prayer times.
  5. Comply with the rules of the institution, no matter how trivial they sound. If you do not, then you may face complications much later, and it may affect your grades negatively.
  6. Collect the syllabus/outline of the courses. This will help you to keep track of what is being done, what is required of you to pass in a particular course, how the marks are distributed, etc.

Stick with us for the rest of this series to help you become an outstanding student. To be continued insha’Allah.. (Part 2)

About the Author:

Khadeejah Islam, writer at


Categories: Personal Development

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