How to maximise productivity and positive psychology for Hifdh management
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Maximizing productivity and positive psychology for Hifdh management

A few days ago one of our dear sisters asked for recommendations on mediums to use for keeping track of Hifdh. So in this post I’ll be sharing some suggestions for you all to explore.

How to maximize productivity and positive psychology for Hifdh management

“Accountability breeds response-ability.” – Stephen Covey

When we think about Hifdh, many of us don’t think of it as a project. Which is why many students don’t keep journals or a log book. I know this because I’d never seen it. In fact, I had never used it myself. It was a mental sketch, but I did plan.

Combining Productivity with Positive Psychology

Last year I saw a beautiful Hifz Log Book by Hifz.co.uk. So I decided to devise a system for my students. I wanted to use a system where: (1) I wouldn’t have to create my own product and (2) something that the kids could use and understand with ease.

So I came up with an idea modelled after the Bullet Journal technique and the Five Minute Journal. It’s a model of Muhasabah – a retrospection, which is something we’ve lost in our times.

“Bring yourself to account before you’re taken to account.” – ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab

What is the Bullet Journal?

“It’s an analog system for the digital age that will help you organize the present, record the past and plan for the future.”

“At the heart of the Bullet Journal is a method called “Rapid Logging”. Rapid Logging allows you to quickly capture and parse all the different types of data we’re trying to digest on a daily basis. This technique provides insights that can help you identify what’s important and weed out the things that aren’t. Figuring that out will help focus your time and energy much more effectively. It’s the difference between being busy and being productive.”

It’s a daily calendar designed by you.

What is the Five Minute Journal?

This is both an app and a journal but, we’re going to be looking at the journal. The Five Minute Journal is built on proven principles of positive psychology. It’s about being happy and self-betterment through three things:

  1. Beginning the day right.
  2. Cultivating gratitude.
  3. Introspection.

How did I combine the two?

I bought a ‘Moleskin Squared Notebook‘, and a ‘Leuchtturm Dots Notebook‘ for the students. Felt no need to buy the Five Minute Journal, especially for kids.

Then following the bullet journal technique we made an index page, a page for the month, and the pages for the days. To include long term planning we created a ‘Calendex‘ at the back of the notepad to keep track of goals. Instead of using topics and monthly calendars as the bullet system, we kept things as they were. Taking each day as they came. But here’s where the combinations take place.

So you’ve worked out your goals and made the Calendex. Every day you have to make a log in the notepad. Here’s an example:

FEBRUARY 18, WEDNESDAY

VERSES: (number of verses learnt today)
LINES: (number of lines they equal)
PAGES: (number of pages learnt or the mushaf page number)
MISTAKES: (number of mistakes made today)
REVISION: (what you revised today)
COMMENTS: (comments by the teacher)
MY COMMENTS: (comments by the student)

This is a typical entry per day in the notepads. Where does the Five Minute Journal fit in? In the last two. When I make a comment I often write a quote, set challenges, praise them, ask questions and give suggestions. When the student inputs his comments I ask them to reflect on the day. Write about what went well, what could have been better, list interesting things, and why. At first I’d introduced a similar paper system with parents signatures taken so they knew what was going on. Now it’s all in their personal books.

After we started this I noticed a marked difference in the way they did things. Some of the students began to track progress, re-plan and discuss things with me. So this is my first suggestion. Get a notepad, understand and explain the system. It’s flexible enough for you to adapt it to your own likings too. It’s great!

Another thing is that it allows you to measure how things are going and allows you to have something tangible to look back at. Learn from mistakes and much more.

Things like this can be replicated by those who prefer to do so digitally like Evernote or Trello task management, but I don’t think it’s as effective as analogue.


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Written by Qari Mubashir Anwar

Qāri Mubashir began reciting the Holy Qur’ān to admiring audiences in public since the tender age of 10. He began memorising the Holy Qur’ān when he was around 12 years old, struggling down the path to successful completion over several years. He eventually completed memorisation in Cairo, Egypt (2006) where he was authorised in recitation. He sought knowledge and counsel from many legendary reciters at the time including the Chief of Reciters Shaykh al-Qāri’ Ahmad Muḥammad ‘Āmir (May Allah grant him mercy) and Shaykh al-Qāri ‘Abdul Rāziq Ṭahā ‘Ali from the Masjid Imam Hussain and Khikhiya Mosque (Cairo). Qāri also studied the Arabic language at with Ustadh Rabi’ in Cairo.

He then began studies in Law (LLB/LPC) at the University of Liverpool and the University of Law. Whilst doing so he also began teaching and studying the Deen. Formally beginning studying the Islamic Sciences (Dars-e-Nizami) in 2007 under the guidance of Shaykh Muhammad Ramadan al-Azhari (Australia), Shaykh Muhammad As'ad Sa'id as-Sagharji (Syria) and other world-renowned scholars gaining Ijāzah in various Islamic sciences, disciplines, and texts. Qāri has always dedicated his time towards educational, social, business and charitable organisations/projects since 2007. He has been teaching Qur'ān, Hifdh, Tajwid, Arabic and Islamic Studies in one way or another for 16 years.

In 2011, he was recognised as being within the most highly creative 6% of the population by a market research agency. He has channeled his creative talents into writing, graphic design and video editing, singing, and teaching. He is the author of “The Promise of Ten” with other books on their way. The founder of How To Memorise The Quran, The Blessed Hub, The Homeless Hub, and is involved in other initiatives and companies within the UK such as TODAYSMYDAY, a creative agency. He was also a founding trustee at The Urban Sanctuary, former Chief Product Officer and now Chief Learning Officer (CLO) and teacher at Quran Academy. Currently, he is also a lecturer in Tajwid at Minhaj College, Manchester and Imam, and Khateeb at Minhaj-ul-Quran Int. Mosque, Manchester.

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