Repetition in Education

Using repetition in education has many great values such as: confirming an important subject or an important ruling. It also helps awaken the drowsy and make students memorize faster. Repetition should be thrice, it is something obvious in the hadiths (Sayings) of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be upon him). Ibn al-Teen said: “Repetition for three times clarifies the meaning the best way.” If we look through his statement, we will find that it is true. Repetition might be needed more than three times, as it will be seen later in a saying by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The words, sentences or names might be repeated by the Prophet (PBUH), it might be other parts of speech. It depends on the important part that needs to be ascertained.

First: Repetition of Words:

1- Anas Ibn Malik (May Allah be pleased with him) said: “Whenever the Prophet spoke a sentence (said a thing), he used to repeat it thrice so that the people could understand it properly from him and whenever he asked permission to enter, (he knocked the door) thrice with greeting.” Anas Ibn Malik also narrated: “Allah’s Apostle (Peace Be upon him) used to repeat the word thrice to be understood properly from him.”

Safi ar-Rahman al-Mubarakfuri said: It means that the Prophet (Peace Be upon him) repeated words thrice if needed because of the difficulty or oddity of the meaning, or because of the many number of listeners present. Repeating the words without an aim does not reflect eloquence. Al-Bijoury said in al-Shamel al-mohamadia: Ibn Malik’s saying “to be understood properly from him” is stated in the passive voice. It means to be comprehended by his listeners.

2- Narrated Abdur-Rahman Ibn Abi-Bakr from his father that the Prophet (Peace Be upon him) said: “Shall I not tell you the three greatest sins?” (repeating the question three times) They said. “Indeed O Messenger of Allah.” He said, “Associating partners with Allah (shirk) and ill-treatment of parents.” He was leaning [when he mentioned that], and then sat up straight (as if he was alarmed) and said, “And bearing false witness.” [The narrator] said, “He continued to repeat this until we said [to ourselves], “If only he would stop.” [Sahih al-Bukhari, Hadith No. 2511 & Muslim, Hadith No. 87] Al-Hafiz said: He repeated it thrice to attract the attention of listeners to understand the important of what he was going to say. As for the part about bearing false witness, it may be repeated more than three for the greatness of punishment involved in committing such a sin.

3- Osama Ibn-Zayd Ibn-Haritha killed an idolater in battle after the latter had said: “There is no god but Allah” (la ilaha illallah).” When news of this reached Allah’s Apostle (Peace Be upon him) he condemned Osama in the strongest terms and he said to him: “How can you kill him after he said La ilaha illallah?” He replied: “But he said it with the sword hanging over his head” The Prophet (Peace Be upon him) said again: “How can you kill him after he said La ilaha illallah?” He replied: “O Messenger of Allah, he said it in dissimulation (taqiyyatan).” The Prophet (PBUH) said: “Did you split his heart open (to see)?” and he did not cease to reprove him until Osama wished that he had not entered Islam until after he had killed that man so that he might have been forgiven all his past sins through belief. [Sahih al-Bukhari and Muslim] Al-Qurtubi said: Repetition and refusal of accepting the excuse shows condemnation and inhibition of doing such an act.

First: Repetition of Names:

1 – Anas said, “The Prophet, Peace Be upon him, was riding with Mu’adh behind him. He said, ‘Mu’adh!’ He replied, ‘At your service, Messenger of Allah.’ He said, ‘Mu’adh!’ He replied, ‘At your service, Messenger of Allah’ (three times). Then the Prophet said, ‘There is no one who testifies that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, sincerely from his heart, without Allah making it unlawful for the Fire to touch him.’ Mu’adh said, ‘Messenger of Allah, shall I tell the people that so that they can rejoice?’ He said, ‘Then they will rely on it.’ Mu’adh related it when he was dying, fearing to commit a wrong action [by concealing the knowledge].” [Agreed upon] In the hadith, the Prophet (Peace Be upon him) called Mu’adh Ibn-Jabal three times. The reason for this is to prepare Ibn-Jabal for the great news that he will hear from the Prophet (Peace Be upon him). The importance of this statement is reflected in Mu’adh’s questions, ‘Messenger of Allah, shall I tell the people that so that they can rejoice?’ This shows the importance of this matter and the criticalness of such news because they carry great tidings and rejoice to Muslims. We can infer from the hadith that if the teacher wants to deliver some great news to one of his students, he should call him by the name thrice. Then, he should deliver the news to him. The same applies to a group of students or people, the teacher can call their shared name such as saying “O Students” three times, then to tell them the news.


1) Repetition for three times achieves the aim of attracting the attention of listeners. It may increase more than three times if needed.

2) Repetition is a successful method of memorizing information and stressing important points.

3) Repetition of the listener’s name helps him prepare for receiving the news.

The source of  this article

An interview with a talented Student

His name is Muhammad Majdy .He is a talented student. He is one of the best students I have ever taught in my life. He started memorizing the Noble Quran chapters when he was nine years old .he had memorized the Holy Quran at the tender age of 11. He loves poetry because of that he likes to memorize poems for famous Arabic poets.

Today I intend to make an interview with him discussing some important points in his life especially which are related to learning English.

Me: When did you start learning English?

Muhammad: I start learning English since I was seven years old.

Me: Do your parents encourage you to learn English?

Muhammad: Yah, They are strongly encourages me to learn English. Actually they encourage me to learn English by:

A)     Bringing a private teacher of English to teach me how to learn English.

B)      They encourage me to use web sites which help me to learn English such as ( BBC Learning English)

C)      They encourage me to memorize more vocabulary as much as possible

Me: Do you think watching movies which Arabic translated help you to learn English?

Muhammad: Actually, not that much. I like short movies which has slow accent and I learn the vocabulary they used, before watching it.

Me: What is your best type of Dictionary?

Muhammad: I like Arabic-English Dictionary.

Me: Could you give me the name of it?

Muhammad: Sure, I like “ALMAWRED”.

Me: What is your best teacher of English?

Muhammad: Saeed Mubarak

Me: Why did you choose him as a best teacher?

Muhammad: I choose him as a best teacher because he makes a great effort to teach English in a funny way. He always verifies his teaching methods.

Me: What do you want to be in the future?

Muhammad: I want to be a professor in Medical College once a day.

Me: I hope all best of luck.

How to use Films inside classroom effectively?

 Because of the advancement in technology, present day generation are more interested in visual stuff like television, cartoon movies and mobile phones. It is generally observed that most kids all over the world spend long time in front of these electronic devices watching with unabated  interests . I was just wondering how we could use this interest to promote and facilitate the teaching of English as a second language.

As it is known that most people like films, therefore using it as a tool for teaching English as a foreign language could be a brilliant idea. However the question that arises is how effective could teachers use movies?

It would be advisable for a teacher who wants to use movies to teach to take into consideration students’ taste. In this case, the teacher should check how interested the students are in film, because there is a tendency that not all of them might be interested.

If it is discovered that majority of the students  are interested in film, the next issue to consider is the type of film to be used to teach them. In this respect, one might take into account the students’ culture. The film that is introduced in class must be carefully selected to avoid any scene that might be inappropriate to students’ cultural sensitivity .This is to prevent negative backlash that will be detrimental to the process of teaching and learning English. A culturally accepted film will effectively promote the teaching and learning process.

On the other hand, identifying films or movies containing characters which are generally loved and accepted by students can positively promote students understanding and therefore the learning process. For instance, if you know that your students love Mickey Mouse ,Tom and Jerry, then these can be used for class presentation.

After completing the above steps, and you have chosen the most appropriate and acceptable movie or film, then you would like to use it in a manner that students would derive benefits from it. The following activities can be used by a teacher to make using movies in  class academically rewarding:

Firstly, I would like to show the movie in one session if it is a short one to give the students a general overview of what it is about. Nevertheless, before starting, I would like to ask them to look for how certain words are used by the characters in different situations. And also for them to predict what would happen in the next scene or at the end of the movie. This is to make them focus while watching.

A teacher might even transcribe the words of the movie in the form of text. This can allow the teacher to treat the scenes of the movies like paragraph by paragraph and gives students the chance to read what they have watched. In this way, when the movie is played scene by scene, each scene would be analyzed in class to extract grammatical, lexical as well as practical usage of the language in real life situations.

In conclusion, using movies in a class by setting specific goals for the students prepares and enables them to progress even out of the classroom, because they would have acquired the skills that  help them to deduce language benefits from any movies that they might watch. I would be most appreciative for any comment about how to use movies effectively in classroom.