Transmitting the Teachings of Islam in Contemporary Times: Glimpses From Prophetic Approach

Transmitting the Teachings of Islam in Contemporary Times: Glimpses From Prophetic Approach

AbdulGafar Olawale Fahm (University of Ilorin, Nigeria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8528-2.ch002
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There is a growing body of literature that recognizes the importance of proper approach to transmission of learning. This is because an effective method teaching always goes a long way in helping to understanding what is being taught. Contemporary discourse on teaching style often stresses either a teacher-centered or student-centered approaches. This chapter takes a critical look at the Prophet Muhammad's methods of teaching Islam to the Companions (Sahaba). This study attempts to understand the intent of these methods used by the Prophet Muhammad and investigates their possible implications. Through historical and descriptive methods examines the primary sources in Islam – the Qur'ān and the life case of the Prophet Muḥammad as presented in his sayings and teachings (Ḥadīth). The study reveals that the prophetic approach, apart from being very effective, is also a very practical method that can be used in our contemporary times and provides a better understanding of the message of Islam and prophetic heritage.
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There have been quite a number of studies on the methods of teaching Islamic studies (Ahmad, 2001; Ashaari et al., 2012; Assegaf, Zakaria, & Sulaiman, 2012; Don et al., 2012; Göl, 2011; Sardar, 1983). An attempt was also made to determine the contributions of Arabic language in the study and the teaching of Islamic Studies in different higher institutions in the non-Arab world (Ahmad, 2001). In another study, the need for teachers in the discipline to reassess their methodology and approach due to the challenges exerted by globalization and modernity was identified as important (Ashaari et al., 2012). In order to do this, teachers must ensure the continuous relevance of the topics been addressed in class as well as endeavor to effectively respond to contemporary needs of the students in the modern world.

Furthermore, the idea of making da‘wah a mainstream subject of Islamic Studies in higher institutions of learning has also been examined (Don et al., 2012). This is because the inclusion of da‘wah is seen as a way of infusing in the student the desire and willingness to proselytize the religion. However, beyond proselytization of Islam, the successful utilization of educational technology for teaching Islamic Studies has also been highlighted (Göl, 2011). An increase availability of data and information in the 21st century through the sophisticated use of technological tools as necessitated the need to explore how educational technology can assist students to construct knowledge in the field of Islamic Studies.

This shows that there has been an attempt to use different methods in impacting the knowledge of Islamic Studies in terms of usage of technology, research-based teaching, and student-centered teaching, teacher-centered teaching, and all these forms can be said to have been combined by the Prophet in an incisive way in teaching his followers. It is against this backdrop that this study attempts to address Prophet Muhammad’s method of impacting Islamic teaching on his companions with a view to identifying possible ways this can be implemented in teaching of Islamic studies in higher institutions. Through a look at the primary sources in Islam – the Qur’ān and the Sunnah as preserved in his sayings and teachings (Ḥadīth). This study examines these methods used by the Prophet and highlights their possible implications.

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