Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | Search for Truth | Al-Risala, May 1987, p. 5
In education, there is a recently developed method of imparting skills and knowledge, based on research carried out by Jean Piaget and Jerom Brune, which does not give the student all of the data he needs, but attempts to create situations in which he feels the desire to learn things by exercising his own mind. This is called the ‘discovery method’. According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica:
This method emphasizes problem-solving, minimizing guidance by the teacher and maximizing the student’s opportunity for exploration and trial and error. (EB III/572)
This principle in the education of children is based on the realities of human nature, for man has an inherent urge to increase his knowledge and, moreover, wishes to learn things by discovering them for himself. And whatever he discovers by himself forms a permanent part of his cultural repertoire. He tends to forget knowledge imparted by others, but he never forgets what he has taken pains to discover by himself.
Religious teaching too employs the discovery method. It takes us only so far along the path of truth and leaves us to quest after the unseen. Although the Quran teaches us about God, we must be constantly seeking after Him. It may tell us of Paradise, but we shall have full knowledge of it only by striving to be pure in thought, word and deed. Belief in the unseen means an eternal quest to bring the unknown within our human sphere of knowledge. If God has hidden Himself and the world Hereafter from the eyes of men, it is because man must make that discovery by himself. Bringing what lies in the unseen world into the seen world is all a matter of faith. The more one is strengthened in such faith, the higher one’s hopes may be of entering the gates of Paradise.