Becoming an intelligent person is important in life, so that we can be useful for others. But intelligent is not a gift, it is something that we have to gain through effort. As for Muslims, seeking knowledge is one of the main sunnah and it’s one way to become more intelligent. There are many other ways to become more intelligent in Islam:
- Exercise the Brain
Brain is like the muscle and it should be trained as muscles. The more we use it, the stronger it becomes. Read a lot of books, read and memorize the Quran, learning new knowledge, and never skip prayer are ways to be more intelligent Muslim. Allah SWT protects all servants who close to them from any negative things that may affects the brain.
- Eat Good Foods
Eat foods that are beneficial for the brain. There are two particular foods mentioned in the Quran, olives and fig, to improves the memory. Other foods like nuts are also provide good nutrients for the brain. Eat a lot of omega-3 contained food like salmon, which is good to improve the brain. Honey, dates, almonds, and blueberries are also good for the brain. See also Importance of Foods in Islam
- Do Physical Activities
Exercising body physically, especially doing aerobic, is also good to improve intelligence in Islam. If you have no time to do aerobic, you can do moderate exercise like walking daily. Walking is the easiest activity to exercise the body.
- Give Your Body a Rest
It’s good to exercise your body, but you shouldn’t overuse it too much. Give it a break one at a time, especially when you feel you are tired. Take a nap daily could improve your memory, promotes physical health, and sharpen your senses. Everyday after Dhuhr time, sleep for about 25 to 20 minute to recharge you body and make it fresh to work or study again. See also Rules of Sleeping in Islam
- Sleep Well
Research that conducted in Germany has proved that sleeping well improves the brain to be better. While you are sleeping, your brain clears the short term memories to make space for new information. Besides, sleep is a blessing from Allah SWT.
”It is out of His Mercy that He has put for you night and day, that you may rest therein (i.e. during the night) and that you may seek of His Bounty (i.e. during the day), and in order that you may be grateful.” (28: 73)
- Make Dua to Allah SWT
Nothing in the world happen without Allah’s permission. Beside all the efforts you do, don’t forget to make dua to Allah SWT so that He will help you to become more intelligent. Indeed, Allah SWT helps everyone who wants to be better. Dr Zakir Naik has once said in an international forum that the best dua for intelligence to be read everyday is Surah Thaha verse 25-28. See also Reasons Your Duas Are not Answered
- Stop Committing Sins
One way how to become more intelligent in Islam is by stop committing sins. Sins cause many bad effects to your life, and apparently reducing your ability to absorb knowledge. Sins are like the darkness and knowledge is light, and both of them cannot be coexisted together.
- Release All the Toxic from Your Body
There was a sunnah that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to do in the past to release all the toxic from his body. It was called hijama or cupping. One of the best benefit from cupping is to maintain the body health. With a healthy body, it’s easier to absorb knowledge. See also Benefits of Cupping in Islam
As reported by Abu Hurairah (RA), the Messenger (SAW) said, “If there was something excellent to be used as a remedy then it is cupping (hijama).” (Abu Dawood and Ibn Majah)
- Be in Remembrance of Allah
“…And remember your Lord when you forget…” (18:24)
Quranic verses above indicate that to be able to improve the memory and become more intelligent, you always have to remember Allah SWT. Remembrance of Allah can be done in various way, such as glorify Him through dhikr. Dhikr can be done everywhere at anytime, even for a Muslim woman who is on her period.
- Focus on What You Work On
When you are doing something, especially studying, remove all the possible distraction around. Focus on your work and what you have to finish. Distractions like social media, smartphone, and other entertainments will decrease your productivity. Stay away from your phone and social media when you are working or studying on something. See also Virtues of Gaining Knowledge in Islam
- Don’t Overdo Yourself
You know your body best, so when you feel like you have passed the productivity level and your body shows the signs of tiredness, you better refrain from work. No need to push yourself over the limit since the effect will be very bad for your body. Give it a break and do easier tasks instead.
- Stay Sharp
Because you want to improve your intelligence, it doesn’t mean you have to shut yourself from the world. In fact, socializing with the right portion is very healthy for your body and brain. Work when it is work time and rest when the time comes. Just relax and give your best when you are working or studying.
And the most important thing is always make time for praying right on time.
- Finish One Task at a Time
Everyday task can be so stressing and the pile of work can be your biggest distraction. Some people think they can finish many task at the same time if they multitask. However, it’s a wrong thought. Instead of finishing everything at the same time, multitasking make your work ineffective. Sort your priorities and finish one task at a time. It’s way more effective than doing many task at the same time.
So it’s how to become more intelligent in Islam. As a good Muslim, you must remember that intelligence and knowledge come from Allah SWT, so that you have no power over it. To be more intelligent, always make dua and ask Allah SWT to make your knowledge seeking process or the work become much easier and fun.