Inspiration – overstimulation and speaking to other by Maryam

In a vicious circle, the exhausting fast pace of life promotes overstimulation and overscheduling, which become chronic stressors that lead to behavioral, mood and attention disorders. We cannot see that we are causing our physical, emotional and behavioral health problems as we try harder to go faster, and then turn to medication to treat the unforeseen consequences. We believe we should be able to go this fast and there is something wrong with us if we can’t keep up.
We also see changes in our attention and thinking. Technological advances were supposed to free up creative thinking, but the mass of incoming information has actually eroded our attention and our creativity. People have less time to reflect on anything as they become dominated by a need to act, a need to be online, robotically always checking. Multi-tasking stimulates internal chaos and fragmented attention.
It may also interrupt and diminish learning, productivity and even friendships. Switching your attention reduces your efficiency and skill. You can’t concentrate on anything.
So, try interrupting your impulsive behavior. Turn off your phone for one hour each day to focus on a book, conversation with your family or friends, or to cook a meal. A small start is your best next step and it counts.
In this article I’d like to talk about how spending more time, thinking critically, and slowing ourselves down can be an amazing way to teach others. Alhamdulilah, in the Prophet, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, we have the best of example of a teacher.
The Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam didn’t just teach his children; he also taught his wives, his companions, community leaders, and many others. When the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam taught, he was careful to build relationships with his students, emphasize important points, and tailor his lessons in a way so the person listening would understand his message.
InshaAllah by reflecting on some of his methods, we can find the keys to unlock our own teaching potential with our children.
Teaching by Parables, Narratives and Stories
Parables and narratives are illustrative tales used to teach moral concepts and they were a common method used by the Prophet, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam.
An example of a parable used by the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam with regards to prayer is narrated by Abu Bakr, radiAllahu anhu, in Sahih Muslim.
Abu Bakr, said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah saying: ‘Behold! Can any dirt remain on the body of any one of you if there were a river at his door in which he washed himself five times daily? They said: No dirt would remain. He, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said: That is like the five daily prayers by which Allah obliterates sins.”
Teaching by Oaths
At times, the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam would get his students’ attention and emphasise important lessons by beginning with an oath.
In Sahih Bukhari it’s reported that the Prophet said, “By Allah, he does not believe! By Allah, he does not believe! By Allah, he does not believe! It was said: ‘Who is that person, O Allah’s Messenger?’ He answered: That person is he whose neighbor does not feel safe from his evil.”
Teaching Gradually
Rather than immediately impose rules and laws on the people who accepted Islam, the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam taught the religion gradually focusing on building a person’s belief before anything else.
An excellent example of this was when the prohibition for alcohol was announced, the companions (due to the strength of their faith) immediately disposed of all the alcoholic drinks they owned to the point that the alcohol was seen “flowing through the streets of Medina (Sahih Bukhari).”
Teaching by Offering Alternatives
When correcting people’s mistakes, the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam would offer positive alternatives to help improve behavior and practice, as opposed to just criticizing for the wrong that was done.
Once the Prophet saw some sputum in the direction of the qibla (direction of the Kabbah) and it upset him so much that his anger could be seen on his face. After removing the spit with his own hand, he told the people: “When any one of you stands up to pray, he is talking to his Lord. His Lord is between him and the qibla, so no one should spit in the direction of the qibla; he should spit to his left or under his feet (Sahih Bukhari).”

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