Knowledge: 4 Tips on Maximising Time


Some of the sisters came to me asking for advices on how to be a better naqibah, in term of knowledge. I have no other choice but saying: read, in fact, read a lot (after all, the first verse sent to our Prophet s.a.w sounded like this: READ!), because a study done overnight on what you are going to present tomorrow in usrah session won’t really make you good, but it is the knowledge and wisdom you have collected along the way which help. It is an ongoing process.

But I understand that to read a lot when time constrains is a challenge, so I’d like to suggest some tips to utilize your free time, no matter how little you have. 

1 –  Listen to online lectures

When? Just when you reach your room from school… switch on your laptop ASAP and listen to lectures in audio/video format- while you are taking time to change your clothes, tidying up your room, folding laundries (i.e. all miscellanous things). One good time to do this is while you are cooking in the kitchen, especially if you have wireless connection. If you don’t, stream the lecture first, let your laptop’s temporary memory saves it. Cooking takes at least 30 minutes (for me), so probably you can finish at least half of the lecture.

Where can you get the lectures? – ,, or try Google.  If you want to listen to Tafseer lessons, usually there are lectures on specific surahs. Do a background check of the speaker prior to that. My favourite right now is Sheikh Hamza Yusuf.

Probably you won’t find specific lectures on  usrah contents e.g. salaf khalaf, iman, perkara yang membatalkan iman etc, but as I said, it is the knowledge you gain all the way that is useful, not from a specific session. You’ll have the opportunity to choose, synthesize,and  digest the knowledge, instead of being a parrot (you read it tonight, and tomorrow you are ready to throw up everything).

2- Make it a habit to read some pages of book before you sleep. 

Small things count. Sikit-sikit lama-lama jadi bukit. Rather than not being able to finish even one book in a month/year, why don’t we read little by little?. 1-2 pages per night is good enough, especially if what you are reading is considered ‘heavy stuff’. 

Buy a bedside lamp, so that you don’t have to get off the duvet to switch off the light. In IKEA you can have it for less than £3, the one I have is from ASDA which costs me £4.00. 

3 – Multitasking when traveling

If you don’t like to carry books with you to read on your journey home (in a bus), invest on Memory Card for your handphone. That way you can download online lectures to your handphones and listen to it while you are walking home.  

Micro SanDisc 2GB costs less than £5 at by the way. 
If you have an MP3 player, that’s better. I used to have one, but I like to have everything in one gadget.

4- Read a portion if you can’t read all.

This is basically my problem and probably others’ to: easily bored with just one book and lack the will power to finish one book before moving on to the other. According to certain sheikhs, this is way trangressing the line of discipline in reading, but it’s better than nothing – so I read more than one book – a chapter of this book, and tomorrow another chapter of the other. Of different genres – one on politics, the other on tasawwuf, another on tafseer.. so probably in one month you know more, and of wider range. 

(More often than not, this will make you sound as if you’ve read a lot, though you actually have read a few chapters of a few books – good for the ‘impression’ factor, for both usrah and if you are giving talks!)

These are what I have currently in mind.

I’d like to quote what Ust Hasrizal said in his article ( ) – which comes to me as a warning: ‘Read while you are still single’:


Saya tersedar di dalam kembara ini bahawa upaya saya di dalam pembacaan sudah tidak seperti dulu. Saya keluar rumah untuk ke pejabat pada jam 7:15 pagi. Saya sampai ke rumah pada sebelah petang pula ialah sekitar 7:15 petang. Saya mesti meluangkan masa berinteraksi dengan isteri dan anak-anak sebelum mereka tidur, khususnya anak sulung saya yang sedang membesar dan ‘banyak tanya’. Apabila jam mencecah 10:30 malam, saya pula sudah terlalu letih untuk membaca. Itu jika saya tidak berkuliah. Banyak hari yang saya perlu ke masjid-masjid untuk mengajar. Kerja saya di Fitrah Perkasa pula menuntut saya untuk out station sehingga 15 hari sebulan malah pernah mencecah 22 hari pada bulan Jun yang lalu. Iaitu bulan saya dihubungi oleh Encik Saharom. Akhirnya masa yang ada pada saya hanya dua. Pertamanya perjalanan pulang di dalam LRT iaitu antara Stesyen Taman Melati dan KLCC (selepas KLCC, tren sudah terlalu padat dan tidak sesuai untuk membaca buku). Manakala masa kedua ialah bangun seawal 4 pagi untuk membaca dan menulis. Itulah sahaja masa yang ada dan saya menginsafi hal masa ini sehingga pernah saya coretkan dalam pesanan kepada rakan-rakan yang masih di bangku pengajian universiti, supaya memanfaatkan masa dengan membaca malah terasa lebih utama membanyakkan pembacaan semasa menjadi pelajar, berbanding dengan membanyakkan sembahyang sunat!
You know the balance.

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