Teaching through giving Examples:
allah’s messenger (pbuh), the first teacher, used to frequently give examples amidst his speeches and sayings because he knew of the capability of such examples in delivering and elucidating the intended meaning. some example of this:
a) jabir bin abdullah reported that allah's messenger (pbuh) happened to walk through the bazar coming from the side of 'aliya and the people were on both his sides. there he found a dead lamb with very short ears. he took hold of his ear and said:” who amongst you would like to have this for a dirham? they said: we do not like to have it even for less than that as it is of no use to us. he said: do you wish to have it (free of any cost)? they said: by allah, even if it were alive (we would not have liked to possess that), for there is a defect in it as its ear is very short; now it is dead also. thereupon allah's messenger (pbuh) said: by allah, this world is more insignificant in the eye of allah as this dead lamb is in your eye”. in this hadith allah’s messenger (pbuh) had illustrated to his companions the insignificance and disgrace of this world by representing it as a dead lamb.
b) ibn omar (may allah be pleased with them) reported that allah’s messenger (pbuh) said: “one who holds (memorizes) quran is like one who owns camels with tying ropes. if he holds the ropes fast he keeps his camels and if not, the camels will go.” agreed upon. (in this hadith allah’s messenger (pbuh) had represented the person who memorizes quran as one who owns camels if he tied them with ropes he can get hold on them and if he let them loose it will be hard for him to catch them again).
c) abi mousa al ashari narrated that allah’s messenger (pbuh) said: “"the example of a believer who recites the qur'an and acts on it, like a citron which tastes nice and smells nice. and the example of a believer who does not recite the qur'an but acts on it, is like a date which tastes good but has no smell. and the example of a hypocrite who recites the qur'an is like a raihana (sweet basil) which smells good but tastes bitter and the example of a hypocrite who does not recite the quran is like a colocynth which tastes bitter and has a bad smell."
d) omar ibn al-khattab narrated that allah’s messenger (pbuh) said: “the example of one who gets back the charity he made is like a dog that swallows his own vomit.” (muslim) (this hadith makes one repel getting back his charity or donation.).
e) nu'man bin bashir reported that allah's messenger said: “the similitude of believers in regard to mutual love, affection, and fellow-feeling is like the human body: when one limb is ailing, the whole body feels it, one part calling out the other with sleeplessness and fever."
this hadith incites muslims to have mercy and support amongst each other and to act like one entity.
all the before mentioned hadiths show the importance of using examples and that it is one of the most effective and successful methods of education and up-bringing of the young.