09 December 2017
20 Rabi’ul Awwal 1439
As part of our ‘In the Footsteps of my Beloved’ Series II, this Rabi’ul Awwal, on 9th December, a special talk was given to commemorate Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w)’s birth and efforts to spread Islam beyond the Arabian Peninsula.
More than 50 youths attended the sharing session conducted at Masjid Darul Makmur; prepared by our very own IMSSA youth volunteer, who is pursuing Psychology major in National University of Singapore. It was a talk that merged science and religion together – Positive Psychology met the character of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w). Although two worlds apart, they both have an obvious common ground: character building. Indeed, Allah (s.w.t) has given mankind the innate propensity to act in a goodly manner, to know what is right and wrong, and to reach a flourishing state of mind regardless of personal religious inclination. That is the beauty of what Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) vouched for 1400 years ago. And now, since 2000, Positive Psychology is too, following the footsteps of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w); advising people to build 24 core characters that science has backed up.
Research has shown that characters such as love, gratitude, humor, perseverance, hope, zest and so on predict life satisfaction (something that we, humans, are always chasing for), achievement and positive mental health. These characters backed up by science are the exact same characters that Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) exemplified and advised others. This talk outlined all these connections and the beauty and utility of some characters in our lives by taking excerpts from the Al-Quran, from the Sunnah, from Positive Psychology and from Popular New Media (i.e. movies). Truly, we learn these characters by a phenomenon called modelling, where we learn from observing others. Moreover, a special highlight of this talk was to make apparent the characters of each person who attended the talk through an online survey. The aim of the talk was to allow individuals to realise their character strengths and to learn to use them to unlock their full potential in reaching the Islamic Goal of being in tune with Allah (s.w.t).
The speaker highlighted hadiths and verses from the Quran that matched with some of the important character traits of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) and enabled the audience to engage critical thinking and self reflection as to how they as individuals can look up to the Prophet Muhammed (s.a.w) and emulate these characters in their daily lives.
The audience were constantly engaged with activities such as, participating in a survey to discover their character strengths, writing appreciation notes to express gratitude for favours, reflecting on forgiveness and practicing good listening skills – listening to each other without interrupting the speaker and then conveying her opinions at the end of the conversation. Indeed, it was insightful talk that enlightened the audience about the noble characters of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) and the strengths of each individual.
Stay tuned for the next exciting activity in ‘In the footsteps of my Beloved’ Series II.