Prophet Muhammed’s Teaching Methodologies

In this article, I am going to look into the teaching methodology of the prophet Muhammed (PBUH) relating it to the contemporary educational theories. The paper will be divided into three sections: 1) Introduction, 2) The prophet’s teaching methodology, 3) Conclusion.


Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) is the greatest teacher who was able to transform the behaviours of a group of Bedouins in the Arabian Peninsula into the world’s leading civilisation in a relatively short time. This is because he was sent by Allah, the creator of the heavens and the earth and what is between them. Allah said to his prophet, the meaning of which is, “And thou (standest) on an exalted standard of character” Qurán (68:4)

The prophet’s teaching methodology

  1. Using visual aids:

Ali Ibn Abi Talib narrated: The Prophet of Allah [SAW] took hold of some silk in his right hand and some gold in his left, then he said: “These two are forbidden for the males of my Ummah[1]

The prophet used realia as well as speaking in order to stress the importance of the topic. Realia is ‘real-world objects that are brought in to the classroom as tools or aids’ as Robertson and Acklam (2000) said. I believe that realia provides an unforgettable visible true experience to the students.

  1. Sympathising

Anas Ibn Malik narrated: I had a young brother who was called Abu Umair. He had a sparrow with which he played, but it died. So one day the prophet (May peace be upon him) came to see him and saw him grieved. He asked: What is the matter with him? The people replied: His sparrow has died. He then said: Abu ‘Umair! What has happened to the little sparrow?[2]

Saphier, Haley-Speca and Gower (2008:21) suggested that educators should be aware of the learners’ emotional state and bring them into balance when needed.

  1. Encouraging and praising

The messenger of Allah said to Abi Musa Al Asháari “If you were to see me, as I was listening to your recitation (of the Qur’an) yester-night (you would have felt delighted). You are in fact endowed with a sweet voice like that of David himself.[3]

Encouragement, enthusiasm and praise are the first three moves to win students in the attention continuum proposed by the Research for Better Teaching Incorporation[4].

  1. Experiencing and observation

In the long hadith of Sahl Ibn Sáad when he described how the prophet of Allah performed a prayer and then he faced the people and said: “I have done this so that you may follow me and learn the way I pray[5]

A student, at the end of each month, remembers 13% of the data he gets through listening, 75% through seeing and 95% through discussion, experience and writing. (Bakkar, 2011: 53-54)

  1. Questioning

Abdullah Ibn Omar’s hadith when the prophet asked the companions about a tree which is blessed like a Muslim[6].

Also, the Hadith of Abi Hurairah when the prophet asked them: “Should I not suggest to you that by which Allah obliterates the sins and elevates the ranks?[7]

Bakkar (2011: 36-37) indicated that when we ask the learners meaningful questions it develops their intelligence and this skill makes the discussion more vivid and understandable.


Overall, what’s outstanding, I believe, is that all which is mentioned in this paper is a drop in the ocean compared to the teaching methodology of prophet Muhammed (PBUH). Teaching theories change over time; nevertheless, the prophetic methodology is still the renewable source from which we continue to benefit. For one thing, prophet Muhammed is selected by Allah to guide all humanity until the Day of Judgment, for another, the manifestation of his teaching methodology in the generations which followed his way is second to none: they opened the whole world and made breakthroughs in various fields whether education, theology, science or philosophy.


Al Abbasi, M. E. (2007) الرسول المربي و الأطفال, [online]. Available from <> [Accessed: 7th July 2014]

Bakkar, A. (2011) صفحات في التعليم و النهوض بالشخصية, Cairo: Dar Assalam

Mahmoud, Y. (n.d.) سلسلة إعداد الداعية المربى : مواقف تربوية من حياة الرسول, [online]. Available from <> [Accessed: 6th July 2014]

Pickthal (n.d.) Qurán Translation [online]. Available from <> [Accessed: 6th July 2014]

Robertson, C. and Acklam, R. (2000) Action Plan for Teachers, London: BBC World Service

Saphier, J., Haley-Speca, M. A., and Gower, R. (2008) The Skillful Teacher, 6th edition, USA: Research for Better Teaching, Inc.

Smith, M. K. (2001, 2010) David A. Kolb on experiential learning, the encyclopedia of informal education [onlie]. Available from: <> [Accessed: 7th July 2014]

Sunnah (2014) Sahih Al Bukhari [online]. Available from <> [Accessed: 7th July 2014]

Sunnah (2014) Sahih Muslim [online]. Available from <> [Accessed: 7th July 2014]

Sunnah (2014) Sunan Abi Dawud [online]. Available from <> [Accessed: 7th July 2014]

Sunnah (2014) Sunan an-Nasaí [online]. Available from <> [Accessed: 7th July 2014]

[1] Sunan An-Nasaai 5144

[2] Sunan Abi Dawud 4969

[3] Sahih Muslim 793

[4] More data can be found in The Skillful Teacher (2008, pp.24)

[5] Sahih Al Bukhari 917

[6] Sahih al-Bukhari 5444

[7] Sahih Muslim 251

About Ahmed Othman

Ahmed is an English teacher, a teacher trainer, a public speaker, a writer and a therapist.

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