Plans for 2012

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I received a message in the Shout Box. It said, "Assalamu'alaikum Dr Ridhwan. I love the idea of being a happy Muslim by understanding the basic belief in Islam, al Qadr. I think, the assignment that you gave us on understanding al-Qadr was somehow changes the perception of many of us in the class." In many ways, this short message highlights my plans for 2012.

In 2010, my focus was on understanding the concept of happiness. That is where my reading in the area of positive psychology was a great help. In 2011, my focus was on using the internet to develop positive emotions. By and large, learning more about Islam helped students resolve their doubts and deal with the difficulties of their everyday life in a better way. Parallel to this, I asked my students to research al qadar in some detail. My focus for 2012 will be, God willing, to understand how a practical understanding of al qadar helps people become happier. I also hope to use psychological tests to measure the psychological state of my students at the beginning of the semester and at the end of the semester. That will hopefully help us to better understand the underlying processes that enable people to be happy.

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