Muhammad (saw) The Perfect Teacher: An Insight Into His Teaching Methods
Book Review: Muhammad (saw) The Perfect Teacher: An Insight Into His Teaching Methods
by Sheikh ‘Abd Al-Fattah Abu Ghuddah. Revised Translation by Moulana Mahomed Mahomedy[/vc_column_text]
As a teacher in a primary school just starting out, feelings of inadequacy and stress wash over me from time to time. Sometimes, one needs constant reminders and motivation. Then, a beloved sister pointed me towards this book and I immediately grabbed my hands on it and read it.
Alhamdulillah. It made me feel immediately connected to Rasulullah (saw) for he (saw) was a teacher too, and he (saw) was the best teacher that ever lived. MashaAllah, what an inspiration. And it is a good book not just for school teachers but for everyone for we all are teachers in our own way, be it to our children, our siblings, our friends.
The book starts first with illustrating the Prophet’s (saw) role as a teacher, and continues with his (saw) personality as a teacher, detailing his excellence and perfection. Then, the book describes forty teaching methods of Rasulullah (saw), referring to various ahadeeth. Reading the book, one can only, inshaAllah, grow in admiration, respect and love for Rasulullah (saw), at his immense wisdom, patience, and kindness.
For example, Rasulullah (saw) would answer a question such that it suited the needs and individual differences of students. When Abu Dhaar (ra) once asked the Prophet (saw) for advice and he (saw) said, “I advise you to fear Allah wherever you may be. And follow an evil deed with a good deed so that the latter wipes the effect of the former. And deal with people in a noble manner.”
In another hadith, Abu Hurairah (ra) reported that a man once asked Rasulullah (saw) for advice and he (saw) said, “Don’t get angry.” The man repeated the request for advice several times and each time the answer was the same. This just illustrates how much Rasulullah (saw) was familiar with his students (ra) and how much thought he put into his teaching.
I was also inspired in the book when I read how it describes Rasulullah’s (saw) patience and determination – he changed the Arabs who were once stern, crude, some with detestable temperaments, all of which did not faze him. He tolerated such behaviours until they submitted and changed to become amazing personalities (ra) who submitted to Allah and followed His Messenger (saw), defending and rallying around him (saw). If there was no other miracle at the hands of Rasulullah (saw) besides the transformation of the companions (ra), that would have been enough of a miracle to attest to his prophethood (saw).
This book gave me so much hope, because in following the methods of Rasulullah (saw) as described in the book, perhaps we too can handle difficult students or situations encountered while teaching.
This used-to-be-helpless primary school teacher, through reading the book has, alhamdulillah, managed to learn practical tips for teaching, such as using stories, and similes, using humour at appropriate times and so on.
More than that, what I gained was enthusiasm and renewed passion for my role as a teacher, because I have the comforting knowledge that Rasulullah’s (saw) example is present for me to follow, and his way (saw) is the best way. May we ultimately inshaAllah, gain the favour of Allah (swt) as we try to emulate the methods of our beloved Prophet (saw). And may Allah bless Sheikh ‘Abd Al-Fattah Abu Ghuddah for this book. Ameen.
Sumaiyah is currently a teacher at a primary school. She enjoys reading books, drinking lots of tea and taking walks.