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Alhamdulillah, I did a workshop on Quality Leadership from an Islamic perspective at IIUM this morning. There were about 100 participants, mostly Arab students. I used the Happy in Islam framework (1. critical thinking, 2. removing doubts, 3. tafsir of Qur'an, 4. al qadar and 5. Allah's names and attributes). In comparison to Malaysian, Indonesian and Thai students, Arab students have a much better understanding of tafsir and of al qadar. Whereas counting Allah's blessings is quite a difficult exercise for non-Arab students, it seemed very easy for the Arab students who attended the workshop. However, when they filled out a questionnaire with the 99 names of Allah, it seemed apparent that most of the participants - like the majority of students who have done this exercise - had a negative perception of Allah's names and attributes. My general conclusion is that a lack of knowledge of Allah's names and attributes is the single most important conceptual obstacle that prevents people from getting closer to Allah and therefore developing the happiness and state of mind that results from a strong iman.

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