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Klaus Bung:
Example of a non-language subject quiz

Can the IDYLL METHOD® be used to learn facts from subjects other than foreign languages?

Yes. Here is an example of how a subject chosen at random can be converted into a quiz. Every student can do this for himself for whatever subject he wants to learn. He should put a lot of effort into deciding what he wants to learn and into formulating the questions (and prompts) and model answers. The model answer need not be full sentences but can be suitably abbreviated. This is "quarry work" in the IDYLL LEARNING ENGINE. Formulating the quiz is the first step in understanding and learning what is important. It is therefore more beneficial than using a quiz ready-made by the teacher, even though such quizzes can help.

Note: Sunnis and Shias often give different versions of the events covered in the quiz. The answers given below are largely given from the Shia perspective. Similar exercises can be constructed giving the Sunni perspective, or even practising to put the two perspective in contrast with each other.

It does NOT matter here whether I got the "facts" right or wrong, or whether I have given enough details and background. Every student and teacher can handle this for himself as he sees fit. The only thing that matters here is the METHOD of committing this information to memory and of retaining it long-term. I have chosen this topic rather than a billion others for this example, because it happened to be Muharram when this question was asked.

If you got the "facts right" and use the IDYLL METHOD® to commit them to memory, you can walk into any exam with total confidence.

This quiz is intended only as an example of how the IDYLL METHOD® can be used to learn and permanently remember any kind of fact, i.e. not only foreign languages, especially when, perhaps, the subject is out of your normal reach and therefore a determined effort has to be made to learn it.

The technique can be applied to ANY religion, and to any other subject.

Narrative details to not have to be practised in this way, unless they are important and you find them difficult to remember. You can use the IDYLL METHOD® to memorise the skeleton facts and then use these as pegs on which to hang the narrative details which are easier to remember.

Muslims may not need the IDYLL METHOD® to remember these particular facts because they are made aware of them at home and in mosque every day and every year. But for non-Muslims, this is an ideal way of starting to remove total ignorance and at the same time starting to enquire about the details.

Most of the information in this quiz has been taken from various articles in Wikipedia.

When learning such a quiz, treat the questions and answers as if they were vocabulary and apply all the routines of VOCPROC, including all the revision rules

textile battle of karbala from tropenmuseum amsterdam

Exercise 1


Name the first month of the Islamic calendar.



2 What does the word "Muharram" mean?
  Violence is forbidden. mu = violence, haram = forbidden
3 Which is the most important day in Muharam?
  Day 10, called Ashura (= tenth)
4 What do Sunnis commemorate on Day 10?
  A great victory which Musa (Moses) had over the Pharaoh on this day.
5 What do Shias commemorate on Day 10?
  The martyrdom of Imam Husayn?
6 Name a favourite daughter of the Holy Prophet?
7 Whom did Fatima marry?
  She married Ali, the cousin of the Holy Prophet.
8 Fatima and Ali had several children. Name the second son of Fatima.
  Husayn, also known by Shias as Imam Husayn
9 Who was Husayn in relation to the Holy Prophet?
  He was his grandson.
10 Did Imam Ali have only one child?
  No, he had several, from several wives

Exercise 2


Name two of the sons Imam Ali had together with Fatima.

  • Imam Hasan
  • Imam Husayn
2 Name one of the daughters Imam Ali had together with Fatima.
3 How did Ali die?
  He was murdered while praying in a mosque in Kufa.
4 Ali is revered in all branches of Islam, but particularly in two branches. Name them.
  Ali is particularly revered by the Shias and by the Sufis.
5 How was Imam Hasan killed?

He was poisoned by a member of his household at the instigation of some enemies.

6 How and where was Imam Husayn killed?
  Imam Husayn was killed at the battle of Karbala. Several others of Fatima's children were also killed in the same battle. Husayn's small army was almost wiped out during that battle.
7 When did the battle of Karbala take place?
  On the 10th day of Muharram (Ashura) (Muharram 10).
8 Where is Karbala situated?
  In present-day Iraq.
9 Name the two parties in the battle
  • One side: Imam Husayn and his supporters (very small army)
  • Opposite side: The army of caliph Yazid I
10 Who was Imam Husayn?
  The grandson of the Holy Prophet.

Exercise 3


How was his opponent, the caliph Yazid I, related to the Holy Prophet?


He was NOT related.

2 What did Imam Husayn say about Yazid I and his followers. This is a famous quote. Write it down literally.
  "Anyone akin to me will never accept anyone akin to Yazid as a ruler."
3 There is something important about the role of water at Karbala. What is it?

The army of Yazid I had instructions to block the army of Husayn to get water from the nearby river of Euphrates. The blockade lasted for several days while the armies on the battlefield waited for battle to begin (from Muharram 2 to Muharram 10 when the battle ended with the death of Husayn and most of his followers).


Hussayn had a brother taking part in the battle. What was his name?

5 Abbas managed to make his way to the river to get water in a leather flask. For whom?
  For Hussayn's four-year-old daughter, who was very fond of her uncle Abbas. She was crying because she was so thirsty.
6 What was the little girl's name?
7 What happened when Abbas went to fetch water.
  He did not drink any water himself even though he was very thirsty. His only desire was to help the little girl to whom he had promised the water. He held the flask under his right arm. It was cut off by an enemy soldier. He held the flask under his left arm and continued. When another soldier cut off his left arm, he held the flask with his teeth and continued. He was determined to keep his promise to the little girl. A soldier hit the flask with an arrow and the water started pouring out. Then Abbas was killed.
8 What was so terrible about the Karbala water story?
  That the hatred was so great that water was denied to a little child. This has become proverbial. When someone commits an act of pointless cruelty, people can ask: "What is this? Are we in Karbala?"
9 When did the battle start, and end?
  On Muharram 10.
10 There is an important role that Hussayn's horse played in the Battle of Karbala, and many stories and miracles are told about him. What is the name of this famous horse?

Exercise 4


Was the battle of Karbala a fair fight?


It is said that many pre-battle agreements were broken, people became fanatical and extremely cruel (more so than would normally have been expected in wars at that time). This is similar to the lawlessness that developed during the great battle of Kurukshetra in the Mahabharata. Like in the First World War, it was sometimes more like a massacre than a battle.

2 There were many women and children in Husayn's camp. What was done to keep them out of danger?
  Representatives of both sides came out to fight in single combat. (This also happened in the Battle of Troy.) Husayn's followers, and then his relatives, were killed one by one.

Did Imam Husayn not take part in single combat?

  He did when his turn came. He fought very valiantly and killed many people who came to fight him on behalf of Yazid I. Eventually he was wounded by a stone on his forehead and an arrow into his heart.
4 How did Husayn finally die?
  His head was cut off with a sword.
5 What happened to his head?
  His head was raised on a lance and taken to the city of Kufa. It was then taken to Damascus to be presented to Yazid I as a trophy.
6 How old was Imam Husayn when he died?
  He was 54 years old.

Wat happened to the little girl, Sakina? Did she die as well?

  I don't know. In modern Iran they are planning to stone her.












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