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22 Study Skills from the Quran


  1. Sometimes it Doesn’t Make Sense

You’re studying, sometimes it’s so confusing, you’re just thinking why me? Why can’t my teacher just get that I don’t care? Why can’t my parents just understand the trauma I’m going through studying something that’s ‘so useless’? Guess what? The world may not understand you, but Allah does. When Yusuf 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) (a prophet, the son of a prophet, and the grandson of a prophet) was at the bottom of a well—rock bottom—imagine what he could have thought about? Why am I here? Why am I going through this? Why me? When he was at the bottom of the well, Allah said:


And thus, Allah established Yusuf on Earth. (12:21)

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Allah is saying Yusuf 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) could only become the king through first spending time at the bottom of a well. Likewise, the pain, trauma and the boredom – it may not make sense now, but it may be the source of unimaginable prosperity in the future.

Similarly: just as when the mother of Moses threw her son into a river, not knowing why or where he’ll go and risking it all—Allah said:


So that you may grow and raise up under my eyes (20:39)

Allah had a plan for baby Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him), just as he has a plan for you and me. We must be patient for that plan to unfold, and trust in Allah when things don’t make sense in the short term.

Pro Tip: Stay the course. Allah’s got you covered, it may not make sense now, but know that Allah’s got your back—just as he did for baby Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him), only to escape death and be raised as a prince in the palace of his killer, to liberate an entire nation; and just as he took Yusuf 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) from the bottom of the well to becoming the Prince of Egypt.

So go to that mandatory social science class with your head high, having no idea why you’re there—but having the certainty that it’ll make sense sometime in the future.

  1. It’s a Fitnah

School is ‘fitnatizing’ on so many levels. We’ve all thought about how school can be a “musibah” (a test, a calamity, a disastrous hardship). Linguistically, “musibah” means an arrow that has reached its mark—suggesting that what you are going through was meant to happen. It was designed for you. Allah designed your high school, college or university experience custom tailored for you.


We will test you, both through difficulty and ease. (21:35).

Rolling on Cloud 9 with smooth winds? Or barely lifting off the troughs from Mississauga Valley? Good times and hard times are a test.

Pro Tip:  Just as your university test is a test: your reaction, your patience and how you deal with that test—is a test in itself.

  1. Get Taqwa = Get Knowledge


If you are conscious of Allah, Allah will give you knowledge. He will teach you. (2:282)

He will help you, if you are conscious of Him. Stay away from things for His pleasure, and do things for Allah’s sake—and Allah will teach you. Feeling the burden? Worried about impossible situations and difficulty? Taqwa – yourself up. As Allah says:


Whoever is conscious of Allah, Allah will make a way out for them. (65:2)

Pro Tip: All you need is Taqwa. The impossible can become the possible, and Allah can help you out in ways you could never have imagined.

  1. Repent, do Istikhfaar, say Astaghfirullāh

If school has any correlation to monetary gains, such as securing a job through good marks inshā’Allāh — then the Qur’an has an answer for that: “And oh my people, repent to your Lord and turn back to him, He’ll send the skies pouring down in rain abundantly, and He’ll increase you in strength adding to your strength, and don’t turn away as criminals (11:52)”—elsewhere in the Qur’an (71:12), Allah links repentance, turning back to Allah, and seeking His forgiveness to increased wealth, children and prosperity.

Pro Tip: Whenever you’re walking (which is a lot if you’re actually on campus, and not skipping class) make it a habit to say Astaghfirullāh. Before your test, while studying, just keep saying Astaghfirullāh, “I repent to Allah.” Don’t leave an empty second.

  1. Lower Your Gaze = Get Insight

The Qur’an (24:30) tells both men—and *ahem* yes, women too, to lower our gaze and avoid staring at the opposite gender beyond the first immediate glance. Ibn Qayim[2] reminds us that we can never have insight and depth without the proper use of our sight. Use your sight properly, and Allah will give you insight. (The sad irony is that campuses are some of the hardest places to lower our gaze, yet this is where we’re supposed to be learning and growing intellectually to make the world a better place).

Pro Tip: Have your phone, book, or magazine in-hand while walking around campus or between classes. Even playing that horrific Flappy Birds game can be rewarding. Pretend to check the time on your watch, ridiculously often.

  1. Keep Good Relations with Family and Fulfill Obligations

While studying, don’t forget to be kind to your parents. Wash your dishes; don’t become a hermit and leave your duties as a brother, sister, etc. Don’t be a zombie! The Qur’an describes the hypocrites as those who:


They break what Allah has enjoined (2:27)

which includes family ties and duties.

Pro Tip: If you want barakah, blessings, in your studies, be nice to your parents and do the chores; nothing like acing that exam by making your mother smile.

  1. Manage Your Time

On the Day of Judgement, our entire life will seem just like a few hours:


We only lived for a day, or part of a day. (23:113)

The Qur’an tells us that our life will fly by, just like this exam period will fly by. Our exam period, or semester is a metaphor to our life on earth—there’s a beginning and there’s an end. So just as there’s “life after death” and that’s what we’re looking forward to—remember, there is “life after exams,” and that’s what you’re looking forward to.

Pro Tip: Have a plan, have a schedule, and use your time wisely.

  1. Don’t get Distracted — Turn Away

Allah describes believers as:


And they who turn away from anything that’s not important, wasteful. (23:3)

Know what your weaknesses are, where your time gets lost, when and with whom. Allah also mentions a gentlemen’s (or gentlewomen’s) caveat, they:


Turn away honourably, with poise and elegant dignity. (25:72)

Pro Tip: You can’t call-out your friends and family as a waste of time and space, you must leave gatherings and situations while maintaining elegance and kindness.

  1. Repeat and Review

As students, we know we’re weak. We know we’re forgetful, we probably still don’t know our course code for the elective we’ve been taking for the past 4 months. Allah knows we’re weak in fact he says:


And mankind was created weak (4:28)

Pro Tip: We are a creation that is weak and forgetful (In fact the word Insaan meaning “mankind,” is a hyperbolized form of ‘someone that forgets’ a lot)—therefore, it’s our job to review, repeat and re-read constantly.

Only Allah is perfect and doesn’t forget,


And your lord does not forget. (19:64)

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  1. Jamiu

    December 18, 2014 at 3:32 PM

    Dear Author, There was a mix up about Quran 6 vs 162 quoted above, by giving the meaning and interpretation of Q. 6 VS 161 in place of Q. 6 VS 162. Please, recheck and correct. Jazak’Allahu khaeran for propagating and enlighten the Ummah through this medium.

  2. Hassan

    December 18, 2014 at 8:15 PM

    Masha Allah! What a beautiful and beneficial article, brother! Jazakallhu Khayr!

  3. Tadar Wazir

    December 18, 2014 at 11:28 PM

    As-Salaam-u alaikum, May Allah reward you greatly for your efforts in trying to get us to READ in the name of our LORD Who created…; Ar-Rahman – The Merciful Benefactor; allam al-Qur’an – has taught (and is teaching) The Qur’an; khalaqa al-insaan – (by it) He has created humanity; allmahu-l bayaan – (by so doing) He has imparted (and is imparting) unto humanity articulate thought and speech .

    There is a mix up in your translation of 21:87. In the Arabiya it is spoken in the 2nd person; one person speaking with another. The Prophet Yunus (a.) speaking directly to Allah (h.) Your translation is in the 3rd person; one person speaking about another. In that case the Prophet Yunus (a.) would be telling at least one more person about Allah.

    Please correct it? And keep on keeping on.

    As-Salaam-u alaikum.

    • asharib

      December 24, 2014 at 11:01 PM

      Walikum salaam warahmatullahi wabarakatuh, Jazakallah khayr for your message Tadar. That’s an interesting point, I absolutely agree that dua is a conversation and therefore between the speaker who asks (us) and the listener who answers/responds (Allah). So better translation than the one I used above should have “…no God but YOU” with the current placement of the word Allah maybe in brackets. I totally agree with you, if I understood you correctly.

  4. Umm Hanaa

    December 19, 2014 at 5:16 AM

    Masha Allah! May Allah bless you and increase you in ilm for this beneficial article..keep up the good work lil bro.

  5. Hibaysh

    December 20, 2014 at 11:45 AM

    Assalamu’alikum brother,

    Very beneficial Alhamdulillah. JazakAllahu Khair!

  6. M. Mahmud

    December 21, 2014 at 9:03 PM

    Wonderful article…..I will probably re-read it.

    One small thing:

    (In fact the word Insaan meaning “mankind,” is a hyperbolized form of ‘someone that forgets’ a lot)

    Does it not mean/translate to the man instead of mankind?

    • asharib

      December 24, 2014 at 10:55 PM

      Jazakallah khayr for your comment, insaan is used for mankind as a whole in the Qur’an (as best to what I learned, wallahu alim). Man + Woman. It should be on the form “فعلان” which is one of the most exaggerated/hyperbolized forms. On a side note, I recommend listening to Ustadh Norman’s 30th juz tafseer if you haven’t already, it’s mind blowing :)

    • asharib

      December 24, 2014 at 11:09 PM

      My apologies brother, I think I may have misunderstood your concern in the above reply! Ignore it! Yes you’re absolutely spot on brother. The translation is mankind. Sometimes going into the language and its literal roots could give depths of meaningful insight.

  7. Aisha

    December 23, 2014 at 8:52 PM

    JazakAllah khair for this post! it is really beneficial since i’m a college student!!


  9. saidat akanbi

    December 31, 2014 at 6:22 PM

    i have been blessed by reading this. may Allah bless you!

  10. Omar Sawo

    January 7, 2015 at 6:20 AM

    Alhamdulillah!,may Allah help us to be prosperous in life and to be dwellers of Janna,Paradise.Ameen!

  11. Aisha

    January 18, 2015 at 12:10 PM

    Jazak’ Allah Khaeer for this wonderful article. Benefited from this so much Allhamdulillah. If we have this kind of attitude in everything that we do or intent to do then In Shaa Allah, Allah Almighty will add Barakah in our work..

  12. mebruka Abdurahman

    May 6, 2015 at 12:02 PM

    I really enjoyed reading this article. JZK, for this amazing and helpful advice. It was the best 22 study skills i have ever read in my life, mainly because it was from the quran. I pray to Allah that he strengths you to attain his pleasure and grant you Firdose.

  13. atiya

    August 2, 2016 at 2:43 AM

    wow…… i was so demoralised and finding no reason why I am studying. …. but this article give me dedication, hope, and purpose of my life. …. surely I will be reading it in my hard times again..

  14. Mohammad

    September 2, 2016 at 11:42 AM

    May Allah bless u good article

    i was thinking when we mention the name of RasoolAllah peace be upon him we should add Rasool or Nabi out of respect as well no? may Allah bless you good article

  15. RB

    November 5, 2016 at 2:27 PM

    Assalamualaykum warahmatullahhi wabarakatuhu, Thank you so much for this article.
    May Allah bless all of us.

  16. Afra Asad

    November 17, 2016 at 1:00 AM

    Masha Allah this is the best inspiring article I’ve ever read.
    Jazakallahu khairto the Author

  17. Pingback: 22 Study Skills From The QURAN – allahouronlyhope

  18. Halla

    December 20, 2016 at 6:49 AM

    Masha Allah. I really like this article.
    This article boosted up my motivation and
    beliefs in Allah.

    Thank you!

  19. saba mariam yasir

    January 1, 2017 at 5:04 AM

    allahu akbar!!
    what a beautiful article it is …right now i am so relieved by reading this article……..i was so much in tension that my exams are approaching and that its one of the biggest fight of my life and that i havent prepared a bit since the past 10 months .
    allhamdullillah i found this article and i have full faith in allah that he will give me the best.
    remember me in your duas……jazakallah khair.

  20. Da Fityah

    March 20, 2017 at 2:43 AM

    Assalam. Thank you very much for your sharing. Students must know this. May Allah bless you.

  21. Tuğba

    April 3, 2017 at 2:35 PM

    Assalamun Alaikum , while i was searching to find how islamic scholars studied , the way of their lives i came across with this great article . Thank you so much for this .

    I will be glad if anyone can suggest me a resource where i can learn how they studied ..

  22. Yassine L

    September 2, 2017 at 8:06 AM

    Jazakuallah khayaran dear brother ! Very inspiring

  23. Ali Anzer

    February 7, 2018 at 5:48 AM

    Jzk Allah. So beneficial as i was about to start my University and still didn’t know why and what i need to do. Certainly have given me a motive now.

    May Allah give you its Ajar.

  24. H Z

    February 14, 2018 at 7:45 AM

    Assalamualaikum. The title mentions 22 skills but there are only 4 points described here.

  25. Mejrem

    February 18, 2019 at 9:10 PM

    Assalamualaykum warahmatullahhi wabarakatuhu, just wanted to let you know that everything said on this website is beautiful. May Allah have mercy on you for spending your time to convey wonderful messages from the Qur’an. I really appreciate your effort into creating this website because it helped me A LOT. Mashallah, every word said made my heart melt due to its purity and truthfulness.

  26. Ayu

    April 9, 2019 at 11:00 AM

    Salam, why I only can read to number 4 of this article?

  27. sana nouman

    August 1, 2019 at 10:04 AM

    What a beautiful read!!! Thank you for this JAZAK ALLAH!

  28. Umayr

    September 25, 2019 at 6:56 AM

    There is a book titled, The Superstar Muslim Student by Suleiman Muktar.

    It’s a very nice read.

    Full of practical ideas.

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