Home » Islam » Islamic Sciences » Teaching Methods in Islam
  Services
   About Us
   Site map
   Islamic Sites
   Special Occasions
   Sign My Guest Book
   View My Guest Book
   Audio Channel
   Weather (Mashhad)
   Islamic World News Sites
   Islamic Yellow Pages
   Yellow Pages (Mashhad)
   Kids
   Souvenir Album
  Search


Teaching Methods in Islam

By: Muhammad Baqir Qarashi
The ancient Muslim educationists adopted a special method of teaching that promotes the recipients of knowledge. The following are some articles of the teaching methods:

Forsaking Tension
Teachers ought to treat their pupils leniently and kindly and avoid any tension and cruelty since these two things impede the mental growth and author serious psychological complexes. Ibn Khuldun says, “Tensional teaching injures the pupils, especially the children and the harshly educated.”

Physical Discipline
Pupils of irregular behavior and negligence should be disciplined if they ignore the advice. The ancient Muslim teachers used to beat and detain even the kings’ sons. Abu Merriam, the educator of al-Amin and al-Mamun*, caned them so harshly that one’s arm was injured. Before his father, the boy showed his hand, and the teacher was summoned. “What for did Mohammed –al-Amin- complain you?” asked ar-Rashid. “He is full of naivete and slyness,” answered the teacher. The caliph then said, “You may kill him! His death is better than being dull.”
In his instructions to al-Ahmer, one of his sons’ educators, ar-Rashid said, “You should first reform him by means of kindness and lenience. If he refuses, then you should use tension and coarse.”
Fathers used to say to the educators of their sons, “Your share is the flesh while ours is the bones.”
Beating and tormenting were the most important means of education. This is incorrect indeed since it is undecided to Islam that regards mercy, kindness, and lenience as the most matters on which education should settle. All of the crooked ways should be avoided in the educational processes. Teachers should not exceed in disciplining the irregular and deviant pupils since it creates mental complexes and impedes the maturity and prosperity of education and personality. Ibn Khuldoun says, “If the educator uses coercion, this will distress the pupil and confine his delighted spirit and urge on indolence and lead to lie and malignancy for avoiding more coercion. In addition, this coercion will teach the pupil trickery and fraud, and the pupil may take them as customs and qualities forever. The educator, whether teacher or father, should not exaggerate in disciplining the sons.” The Prophet (s) said, “Teach without chiding. Teachers are preferable to the scolders.” Ibn Quteiba said, “Teachers are recommended not to use tension or pride.”
Teachers are compared to the compassionate father. It is said, “Teachers are the substitutes of fathers.” It is also said, “Teachers ought to care for the students’ interests and treat them like the dearest sons with kindness, courtesy, benevolence, and patience on probable alienation. Teachers should apprise of their flaws by means of advice and sympathy, not chiding and crudeness.” Al-Qabisi, one of the master educators of the fourth century –of Hegira-, was asked whether it is recommended for teachers to use coarseness or lenience with students, he answered, “Disciplining should never occupy the good teachers’ lenience and mercy to the pupils. Teachers are the substitutes of their fathers. It is discommended for teachers to be always frowning. This will make the pupils disrespect them.”
Teachers’ roughness originates mental troubles and leads to the students’ refusing the lessons.

Suggestive Rebuke
Muslim educationists believe that the insinuative rebuke should be within the teaching methods in case pupils show irregular behavior or imperfect work since this method is more impressive than expression. They said, “Teachers who notice an irregularity or a crooked behavior should not state it directly to the pupils. They should insinuate within their common speech by referring to the disadvantages of such a behavior. This will achieve the intended convention.”
This method, in fact, is more useful than direct reproach, which may lead to rebellion and insistence on the wrong. Islam has asserted this topic in the fields of education and teaching. It is related that Imams al-Hassan and al-Hussein, the grandsons of the Prophet, once noticed an old man perform the ritual ablution incorrectly. They avoided stating to him directly; hence, they agreed on making him the arbiter who should rule of the most accurate ablution. As they performed the ablution before him, the old man said, “O masters! You both have performed the very accurate ablution, but it seems that the old man can master nothing.”
Islam has adopted this necessary practice since it saves the deviant from irregularity and aberrance and takes him back to the truth and right. Educationists said, “The pupil that is not amended by insinuative impression, owing to lack of understanding and perception, secret expression and frank warning should be used. If this method is unsuccessful, the teacher may warn openly and reproach. If this is also unsuccessful, the teacher then may dismiss and leave the pupil till he
returns.”

THE LEARNERS’ MANNERS
Muslim educationists have been greatly concerned with the learners’ affairs. They constituted the considerable methods that aim at disciplining and acquiring the virtuous ethics and noble manners.
- Learners should seek knowledge for God’s sake purely, neglecting any worldly interest or valueless purpose. God will surely raise the respects of such learners, facilitate the difficulties, grant perception and intelligence, and combine the welfare of this world and the Hereafter.
- Learners should carry out the religious instructions and precepts as well as the noble morals and ritual practices. They should fear God in their hiddens as well as their appearances and purify their hearts against discommended qualities such as envy, ostentation, pride, and arrogance since these characters are the vilest and the most unassuming. An educationist says, “Prayers are invalid without extrinsic purification. Likewise, heart worship that is seeking knowledge is invalid unless the hearts are purified from ill manners and immoral qualities. Knowledge is not the abundance of narration. It is an illumination that is cast in hearts.”
- Learners should enjoy self-possession and sedateness. The Prophet (s) said, “Seek knowledge and convey to people. Use composure, tranquility, and modesty to those from whom you learn and those to whom you convey. Do not be the despotic of knowledge.” Imam as-Sadiq said, “Seek knowledge and use self-possession, composure, and modesty to those from whom you learn. Do not be the despotic of knowledge, otherwise the wrong will remove your right.” Students of such perfect moralities will naturally be the exemplars of others and influence positively in the people’s behavior and ethics.
- Learners should exert all efforts for seeking knowledge since it is not inspirational. Knowledge is acquirable. It depends upon the scope of the efforts that lead to obtaining scientific fortune. Learners should respect time as well as their lessons. Any tardiness will waste the classes and cause the teachers’ carelessness.
- Learners should not exaggerate in studying lest their powers and energy will be exhausting and the mental maturity be impeded. It is essential for learners to have sufficient time for rest and physical relaxation. Men should regard the rights of their bodies. Al-Ghezali said, “It is essential to give the pupils sufficient time for acceptable amusement and relaxation after the fatigue of teaching. Preventing the pupils from entertainment after the exhausting teaching will deaden their hearts stupefy their minds. This will also cause a life disturbance and oblige them to look for trickeries for the sake of getting rid of such a disturbance.”
- Learners should not ask rigor questions otherwise they lose prosperity owing to disrespecting the knowledge and dishonoring the teachers whose approval should precede everything else.
- Learners should respect their teachers who should enjoy rights that are preferable to the fathers. Ashafii said, “I used to reverence my teacher, Malik, to the degree that I skimmed over the books so slightly so that he will not hear the sounds of the papers.” Learners should also esteem their teachers in their presence or absence, use various styles of honoring and veneration, neglect using their names, and stand their flaws and roughness. Ashafii reported, “People informed Sufian bin Uyeina that some people, who had come from distant districts, would leave him because of his harshness.” He said, “They are surely ignorant if they leave their advantages because of my ill manners.” Learners should also be in the class before their teachers, sit in front of them, not lean to a wall or a pad, and not turn the back before them. All these affairs contradict the teachers’ rights. They should also listen heedfully to their teachers and save them against repeating the teaching materials. Moreover, learners should avoid yawning, eructing, laughing, mocking, or practicing any deed that dishonors the teachers.
- Learners should not combine two subjects of study at the same time, lest their minds will be exceedingly disturbed. Ibn Khuldoun says, “Learners must not mix two matters of knowledge at the same time, lest they will be too deficient to obtain any of them since this causes mind confusion and leaning to one on the account of the other.”
- Learners should not associate with other than the hard-working students so that they receive the good behaviors. It is said that the social life is influential and being influenced. Each individual gives and takes from the surroundings. Lazy and slender individuals will surely convey their qualities to their associates.
- Primary learners should not involve themselves in discrepancies and ambiguous opinions of the master scholars especially in conceptual theses, lest these variant opinions will weaken their mentalities and natures.
- Learners should not move to another lesson before they master the earlier. Negligence will surely cause tardiness and skillessness.

Copyright © 1998 - 2014 Imam Reza (A.S.) Network, All rights reserved.