Letting Students Infer the Answers

Article translated to : العربية


when the teacher lets his students infer answers on their own, this way he encourages them to think through and use their minds. this helps them adopt logical reasoning to deduce results. the greatest value of this thinking method is sharpening the mind and senses by employing them to find answers. this is a great achievement for students that will help them, not only in studying but also in their professional lives. when the teacher suggests a certain subject, he explains to them then he lets them decide or give the final conclusion. this subject may need an answer from students, and it may not yet it makes students use their brains positively. these are some example from the sunnah (prophetic teachings):

narrated abu dharr (may allah be pleased with him) that the prophet muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "every day the sun rises charity (sadaqah) is due on every joint of a person. to greet his brother is sadaqah, to promote for good is a sadaqah, to forbid vice is a sadaqah, to remove harm from the road is sadaqah, and in man's sexual intercourse (with his wife) there is a sadaqah. performing two rakas of dhoa prayer equalizes all these deeds.'' they (the companions) said: "o messenger of allah, is there reward for him who satisfies his sexual need among us?'' he said, "you see, if he were to satisfy it with something forbidden, would it not be a sin on his part?" [muslim, hadith no. 720]

the prophet’s question in the hadith, "you see, if he were to satisfy it with something forbidden, would it not be a sin on his part?" even though the answer is not given, yet listeners can conclude that satisfying desire in a permissible way in the frame of marriage is a sadaqah. is not that promoting and engaging the mind into thinking and analyzing?

in the two sahihs it is recorded from abu huraira that a man came to the prophet (peace be upon him) and said, "o messenger of allah! my wife has given birth to a black boy.'' the prophet said, do you have any camels? the man said, "yes.'' the prophet then asked, what color are they? the man said, "red.'' the prophet said, do any of them have patches of gray? the man said, "yes.'' the prophet asked him, how did this happen to them? the man replied, "it is probably an inherited genetical strain.'' the prophet then said, likewise, this (with your son) is probably an inherited genetical strain. [muslim, hadith no. 1500]

if we contemplate over the hadith, we can see how the prophet (pbuh) talked it over with him and approximated the matter till he answered him at the end, "likewise, this (with your son) is probably an inherited genetical strain." no doubt this dialogue method requires a talent from the teacher and good choice of topics and words. he should simplify and display the matter in details to students to visualize it by mentioning presumptions and conditions, etc.


1) the student should infer the answer on his own, which is a great method to sharpen and stimulate the mind.

2) the topic might require an answer from the student, and it might not.

3) this method requires talent from the teacher and good choice of topics.

4) the easier the topic suggested by the teacher, the more it fulfills the aim, namely reviving and activating the students’ minds. on the other hand, requiring an answer from students about a difficult and vague issue or question might cause an opposite result.

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