kinds and methods of education
the islamic education is an everlasting process that continues through the lifetime of the muslim, because it suits every age and embraces all aspects of character. it has many connected forms that do not contradict but rather complete each other to raise the muslim child. before we go through the subject, we have to remember a golden rule that the prophet muhammad (peace be upon him) said in his hadith: “may allah have mercy on he who assists his child for his obedience” (). the meaning is not to order his child to do something that is hard to be fulfilled which might lead to disobedience. the parent/educator should avoid calling the child while he is busy eating, trying to sleep or playing. some thinker and educators () called for that, and some of them called for keeping the breakable things away from the child (), if parents are careful about it the mistakes of the child will be much less.
education has five kinds as follows: education by observation, education by gesture, education by reward, education by punishment and finally habitual education.
education by observation
this kind of education is foundational; it was set by the prophet muhammad (peace be upon him) through his observation of individuals in the muslim community, namely observations followed by sound guidance. “education by observation means to observe the child and help him to build his religious and moral structure. it is to notice him during his psychological and social preparation. it is also to constantly ask about his physical state and educational attainment.” this means that observation is comprehensive of all the character aspects ().
we should be careful not to over observe otherwise it would be a sort of spying. it is wrong to check the child’s room and judge him for making a slight mistake, because he will not trust his parents if they do that. he will feel that he is untrustworthy and he might hide things at his friends’ houses. this kind of observation is not from the guidance of prophet muhammad (pbuh) or how he raised his children and companions.
also, we should not also choke the child by pursuing him everywhere and every time. you have to entrust the child, especially the teenager, depend on him and give him some freedom, so that he becomes his own observant, controller and responsible for his actions. he should be independent in handling some matters, away from the constant observation. parents should give him some space and authorize him to do certain tasks.
when the parent/educator applies education by observation, he might find mistakes and shortcomings in the child, and then he should direct the child with leniency without making a scene or insulting the child. this is tolerance in applying the educational method and being lenient when the parent is commanding or banning the child from doing a certain thing (). sometimes, the best method of facing any provocative behaviors by the child is ignoring what he is trying to do to annoy his parents. this usually happens when the child is a year and a half to three years old, at this age the child tends to attract the attention of his parents and siblings and provoke them. at such time, the parents should ignore his behaviors because showing disturbance and annoyance of what he is doing might lead him to insist on his mistake (). forbearance is also required because strictness has many education and psychological harms ().
() narrated by ibn abi shaiba in kitab al-adab, the right of child from his parent: 8/545, mentioned by al-suyuti in al-jami' al-saghir.
() kaifa nurabi atfalna by mahmoud al-istanbouly: page 52.
() al-mushkilat al-slokeyah by nabih al-ghabrah: page 62-63.
() trabiyat al-awlad fil islam by abdullah naseh elwan: 2/691-698.
() al-tawjeh ghayr al-mubasher by abdullah bin hamid: page 23-24.
() al mushkilat al-slokeyah by nabih al-ghabrah: page 22.
() kaifa nurabi atfalna by mahmoud al-istanbouly: page 27.