The shortest road to happiness

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In February 2012, I conducted an experiment with 122 management students at the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM). At the beginning of the semester, I measured their spiritual intelligence (SI) using an instrument developed by a British psychologist. Throughout the semester, students were asked to listen to listen to at least one religious talk on the Internet. At the end of the semester, they were re-tested. In their end-of-semester, the majority of them reported that their negative behaviour (anger, depression, …) were minimized throughout the semester. Clearly, I collected lots of data. There were 24 items on the questionnaire and all except one improve throughout the semester. One question stood out. It was "My ability to find meaning and purpose in life helps me adapt to stressful situations" In the 1st round, the average was 3.69 / 5. By the end of the semester, it had jumped to 4.16 / 5. Those who have been following this blog will know that happiness is easy when things are going smoothly. But the real test is when you face difficulties. Do you keep your optimistic attitude or do you become a pessimist? Well, it seems that if you listen to Islamic talks on a weekly basis, you will keep a smile on your face. Trying to understand why this was the case, I re-read some books on the purification of the soul (tazkiyah). One book is in English is a compilation of words of wisdom taken from classical Muslim scholars like Ibn Rajab, Ibn Qayyim and Al Ghazali. One statement stood out. It said, "Seeking knowledge is the shortest road to Allah and the Garden. I have modified this statement. After doing this research and collected data from 474 students, I can say that, "Acquiring Islamic knowledge is the straightest road to happiness"

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