Methods of education

He used to repeat things

Underlining and repeating the important points during teaching is an important teaching method for making the subject matter remain in the mind. The learner feels that what is repeated is important. To be able to memorize information, we repeat it. Through repetition the information is transferred from the short term memory to the long term memory. Since the information is strengthened in the mind, it may be easily recalled even if a long time passes. For this reason, when the Prophet Muhammad (sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) introduced new information to his companions, he often used to repeat it three times and in that way he tried to get the important points to stick in the mind. Also the number of repetitions could change according to the capacity of the interlocutors. Some might get it when it was said just once and some might need more repetitions. Anas (radhyAllahu ‘anhu) said: “When the Messenger of Allah said a sentence he used to repeat it up to three times making sure that it was understood.” (Reported by Hakim)

He made learners write

Learning by writing is one of the best ways of education. While writing the attention is focused on the subject and you have a text if you want to remember the topic in a detailed way. Writing once is equal to reading ten times. By writing, we engrave the topic both on the paper and in our minds and hearts. The Prophet Muhammad (sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said as follows regarding this issue: “Bind knowledge by writing.” Furthermore, emancipation of the prisoners of the war in return for teaching literacy to people shows the significance that he attached to reading and writing. (Reported by Abu Dawud, Adab, 6)

He used to criticize the Behaviour Not The Agent

The Prophet Muhammad (sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) was sent to promote good morality. His words of advice were reflected from Allah who is the Compassionate as a reflection of mercy, thus, he would say good words and commit good deeds. He knew that evil words blemish the heart, and evil in the heart reflects upon the soul. For this reason, he never said an evil word to friend or foe. The Prophet would not speak in a way that would break anybody’s heart. When he was treated badly, he did not take it personally and he generalized it and then corrected it. When someone complained to him about someone, or he saw a fault in someone, he did not fling the fault in the agent’s face. Educationalists and psychologists say that for sustainable long-term education, a stable and uncritical relationship between teacher and learner is a must.

When we look at our Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), he would say, “what is the matter with those people that they say or do so and so!” and thus he made people realize that what is wrong is the behaviour, and he did not insult or scold people. He did not criticize the person, but rather the faulty action and he always did this correction in the best of ways.

When we consider the life and practices of the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), we realize that applying his lofty methods can take us out of whatever difficult situation we are in, solves all our problems, illuminates our paths and enhances our vision to be able to see the farthest of horizons. We would be ultimate losers if we do not learn what he told us and do not apply those pearls in our life.

May Allah make us from them who earn His pleasure and not those who earn His wrath.