Researchers have come up with various definitions and theories for different types of intelligences. The American Psychological Association defines intelligence as “the ability to derive information, learn from experience, adapt to the environment, understand, and correctly utilize thought and reason”. On the other hand, Islam defines intellect as Aql, which is the ability to differentiate between right and wrong and to have control over the nafs (soul) from succumbing to the temptations of this Dunya (wordly life). This is what distinguishes humans from other creations of Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aalaa. Both scientific and Islamic definitions emphasize the ability to reason and to think logically.
Howard Earl Gardner, an American developmental psychologist, came up with the theory of multiple intelligences in 1983. According to this theory, human intelligence is not singular; rather it is a combination of nine types of intelligences.
At Al-Huda Global School, we focus on developing different intelligences by catering to every child’s academic needs and akhirah (afterlife) needs using an Allah-centric approach . This way, you can be certain that your child would develop skills that are necessary to succeed in this dunya and in the akhirah.
Types of Intelligence: Howard’s perspective
Howard has classified intelligence based on the abilities of people to be proficient in various areas of life. He suggested that these intelligences are used with abilities that are already inherent. This theory plays an important role in academic settings because schools are meant to nurture innate intelligence. Read ahead to find out what these intelligences are and how we nurture them at Al-Huda Global School.
Verbal or linguistic intelligence is the ability to use language and to communicate efficiently. People that are proficient in the use of language are good orators and writers. They are also able to express their thoughts and opinions clearly.
At Al-Huda Global School, developing the ability to use language efficiently is one of our primary goals. We create an environment that is ideal and comfortable for children to explore beyond the books. In order to help them develop their linguistic intelligence, teachers ask students to write narrative stories, and give written assignments that require the use of critical thinking. Since our Allah-centered curriculum encourages students to adapt an Islamic worldview, they apply the Islamic knowledge practically on paper as well! Often, the stories authored by our students include examples and du’aas from the Quran and Sunnah.
Writing and expression of thought increases their linguistic abilities and aids the development of critical and independent thinking. Gradually, these activities and the nurturing environment we provide at AGS will help them become confident adults.
The musical-rhythmic intelligence is characterized by the ability to produce tone, timbre and pitch. It also includes the ability to learn by listening. People proficient in this intelligence make wonderful Qur’an reciters. At Al-Huda Global, we offer Qur’an courses for middle and high school students that nurtures rhythmic intelligence. Qur’an classes are conducted three days a week and apart from these we also offer assistance outside class hours. During these classes, we teach our students how to recite the Qur’an following the rules of recitation. Students are provided with one-on-one sessions in person for help with homeworks, recitation, assignments and to clear any doubt regarding the subject.
Logical/mathematical intelligence is characterized by the ability to think logically and to solve mathematical problems. Reasoning and logical thinking are two of the most distinct features of humans. These abilities differentiate us from other creations of Allah subhaanahu wa ta’alaa.
Allah subhaanahu wa ta’alaa says in Surah Al-Anfal,
“Indeed, the worst of all beings in the sight of Allah are the wilfully deaf and dumb, who do not understand” (Qur’an, 8:22).
At Al-Huda Global School, Math classes are not just about solving problems. Instead our students are given various practical and theoretical activities, projects and assessments that require using higher-order thinking skills.
Visual-Spatial intelligence is the ability to understand how objects are oriented in space. People that possess this type of intelligence are able to observe, absorb and analyze information in their environment. Proficiency in this intelligence indicates that they are able to recognize shapes, colors and associate different elements with each other. They also enjoy creating mental maps of places and study materials that are given to them. They are more of visual learners and learn best by picturing every piece of information.
At Al-Huda Global, every class is engaging and interactive. Here, every student is encouraged to know, show, glow and grow at their very own pace. We use tools like Agilix Buzz, Blooket, WordWall and other interactive platforms that make learning fun and cater to visual learners.
Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence is the ability to use physical skills to the fullest. People proficient in this type of intelligence learn best by doing rather than listening. To stimulate and nurture this intelligence, students at Al-Huda Global are given practical assignments which help them gain hands-on experience. Our tutors give out assignments that encourage students to apply the knowledge they’ve gained. This includes pulling out test tubes to experiment with chemical reactions, or even acting out their English lessons as skits!
Interpersonally intelligent people are termed as “people smart”. Proficiency in this intelligence indicates that they are highly empathetic and understanding. They are also able to read people and respond accordingly which makes them great communicators. Islam emphasizes the importance of tolerance and patience through several ahadith and verses of the Holy Qur’an.
Ali bin Abi Talib reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Allah is Kind and loves kindness, and He rewards for kindness in a way that He does not reward for harshness”.
This hadith emphasizes the importance of being kind even when not treated the same way because our reward is from Allah. Being easy to deal with is a necessity when it comes to practicing and sharing the message of Islam, because every one of us is an ambassador of Islam.
AGS students apply their learning in various ways that benefits them and the entire community through community service projects. The voluntary work they do for the sake of Allah helps make their learning so much more beneficial.
If you are worried that your child would not get to socialize as much as they would be able to in a public school, fear not! Socializing is one of the top priorities at our online school. Students are regularly given group assignments, projects and are also encouraged to participate in various group activities. The Islamic environment we create for our students ensures they find people they can relate to and connect with.
A person that is intrapersonally intelligent is aware of their own emotions and has a good internal locus of control. People proficient in this type of intelligence find it easier to regulate and channel their emotions and feelings. They are also aware that their emotions can have an impact on their actions. Intrapersonal skills are something that Islam encourages every human to develop. An intrapersonally intelligent person is someone who can control their anger and train themselves to engage in activities that gain Allah’s pleasure.
The first step to do so is to train the nafs (self) to stay on the right path. This is done through a process called Tazkiyatun Nafs (purification of the soul). The Qur’an is full of examples of how one can purify their soul. Allah says in the Qur’an, “He who donates some of their wealth only to purify themselves” (Qur’an, 92:18). This verse emphasizes how sadaqah (voluntary charity) can purify nafs. And sadaqah is just one of the many ways.
At Al-Huda Global, we teach our students mindfulness and introspection as a way of developing their intrapersonal intelligence. We encourage students to think about how a du’aa or an ayah from the Qur’an would apply to their own lives. After all, there is no guide that can help one in introspection as much as the Qur’an and Sunnah.
AGS also offers elective courses that help them nurture their intrapersonal intelligence such as life management skill classes, and Psychology.
An individual who has their strengths in this type of intelligence is able to recognize and appreciate patterns found in nature. They love being around nature and look at nature from a perspective that many people do not and cannot. Caring for plants and animals comes naturally to them. Islam emphasizes the importance of showing kindness and mercy to animals through several ahadith.
It is reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) had said, “A woman entered the (Hell) Fire because of a cat which she had tied, neither giving it food nor setting it free to eat from the vermin of the earth” (Sahih al-Bukhari)
There is evidence that suggests that naturalist intelligence is inherent in all humans to a certain extent. At Al-Huda Global, we focus on teaching students to appreciate the creations of Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala. This is one of the many aspects that our Allah-centric curriculum covers. Showing gratitude to Allah through interaction with Allah, self, family, neighbors, community and animals is one of our main goals. The voluntary work they do on the field only helps them nurture this intelligence even further. This way, students develop their already inherent skills and get an opportunity to gain rewards from Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala.
Existentialist intelligence is what overlaps the most with the Qur’anic definition of intelligence. This intelligence is characterized by being able to ask deep questions and ponder upon the reality and the ultimate purpose of life. This helps one think about life after death as well. It is crucial for a Muslim to reflect upon life and death, dunya and akhirah and the purpose of life. As Muslims, the ultimate purpose is to please and worship Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala alone.
At Al-Huda Global, all our goals focus on becoming good Muslims who strive to earn a place in Jannah. We connect Islamic concepts to every subject, from English to History. The tutors teach students to think critically and independently, and use their knowledge to get closer to Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala. Our teachers ensure that their doubts about the dunya and akhirah are all cleared, and that they develop spiritually and academically.
So there you have it, all the types of intelligence and how we nurture them at our online Islamic school! If you would like to learn more, get in touch with us. And if you are looking forward to enrolling your child in a school that offers holistic education, look no further. Here we are, ready to nurture all the intelligences that live within your child.