By Imam Murtadha Gusau
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
All praise is due to Allah, Lord of all creation. May Allah extol the mention of the Prophet Muhammad in the highest company of Angels and may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, his family, his Companions and all those who follow him exactly till the Day of Judgement.
Held annually on 5 October only since 1994, World Teacher’s Day commemorates the anniversary of the adoption of the 1966 ILO/UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers. This Recommendation sets benchmarks regarding the rights and responsibilities of teachers and standards for their initial preparation and further education, recruitment, employment, and teaching and learning conditions. The Recommendation concerning the Status of Higher-Education Teaching Personnel was adopted in 1997 to complement the 1966 Recommendation by covering teaching and research personnel in higher education.
With the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goal 4 on education, and the dedicated target (SDG 4.c) recognising teachers as key to the achievement of the Education 2030 agenda, World Teacher’s Day (WTD) has become the occasion to mark progress and reflect on ways to counter the remaining challenges for the promotion of the teaching profession.
World Teacher’s Day is co-convened in partnership with UNICEF, UNDP, the International Labour Organization, and Education International.
Dear brothers and sisters, every sensible and reasonable person knows that teaching is one of the most respectful and valuable professions in the world. In the religion of Islam, this profession has more importance as our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) introduced himself as a teacher, over 1441 years ago. Allah Almighty says in the noble Qur’an:
“Like (a favour which you have already received) in that We have sent among you a Messenger of your own, rehearsing to you Our verses, and purifying you, and instructing you in scripture and wisdom, and in new knowledge.” [Qur’an, 2: 151]
According to this verse of the noble Qur’an, our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) were sent to teach about the noble Book, Qur’an, the wisdom and unknown things to the people of this world.
As we all know that the person who teaches is a teacher, a man of obedience and respect. Teachers are some of the most influential people in society and have great importance in modern society. Teachers bear the responsibility of molding student’s personalities and educating them. Teachers are considered the most honoured persons in every religion. Due to the important role of teachers, Islam has granted high status and rights to teachers. Islam has paid great attention to teachers for their being the first brick in the structure of social development and perfection and the cause of guiding and developing behaviours and mentalities of individuals and communities. We can understand the highest rank of teachers from the Quote of Ali (RA) in which He stated that:
“If a person teaches me one single word, he has made me his servant for a lifetime.“
My people, the teacher is considered the profound father in the religion of Islam. All Prophets of Allah were the teachers that sent before Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and obviously, Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) was also the great teacher for all mankind. He teaches us how to worship Allah, how to implement the teachings of the Qur’an in our daily lives and many other things. At numerous times and instances, Allah Almighty ordered the Muslims to acquire knowledge and learn. Islam lays so much stress on seeking knowledge and also on giving the respect to the ones who imparted the knowledge. That’s why teachers have the highest status in Islam. In the noble Qur’an Almighty Allah says:
“Allah elevates to high positions those from amongst you who are faithful and those who have acquired knowledge.” [Qur’an,58:11]
A teacher teaches the person, so he has some rights, some of which are mentioned below:
1. To lead his pupil means it’s the duty of the teacher to make his student smarter and have a good characters/behaviours (Akhlaq).
2. Get reward and appreciation. The teacher is the spiritual father of the student as he is the one who provides spiritual nourishment and improves the behaviour of learners. That’s why we should appreciate teachers for their great work.
3. Teachers should have freedom of expression, obstacles and intervention should be cleared.
4. Teachers should get respect from other people. We need to respect the teacher who is willing to give us the knowledge.
5. Teachers should get good treatment to make his job easier.
6. Teachers should have freedom in giving judgment.
7. Teachers should acquire and utilise learning facilities and infrastructure.
8. Teachers should get physical and spiritual needs.
In short, we should know how to respect and become closer to the teacher who is willing to give us education and knowledge. Always respect your teacher.
Respected brothers and sisters, a teacher is the person who not only shapes you but also grooms you, looks after you, teaches you everything you need to know and loves you like your own parents. Not only the society but also our religion, Islam, emphasises and focuses on the importance of teachers so much.
A teacher is the person who grooms a child and makes his/her personality.
The teacher acts as a mentor and builds a friendly class environment.
A teacher helps the child to resolve problems when the child himself couldn’t.
A teacher acts as a role model and is a good influence on children.
According to the beloved Prophet Mohammad (Peace be upon him), it is the responsibility of the teacher to ensure fairness in his dealings with the students. This means that the teacher should not discriminate or give preference to one student over another on the basis of materialistic parameters like their social status.
According to Islamic teachings, teachers are really important in one’s life. From helping the children find the strength to teaching them to overpower the demons and conquering the fears, everything is taught by a teacher. Not only the Islamic scholars but our beloved Prophet (Peace be upon him) also clarified the significance of a teacher in one’s life.
The role of a teacher is really significant in Islam. Allah and His Prophets teach us to be obedient and listen to our teachers in order to be successful in life. Teachers are those people who are not kings themselves but makes others kings. This means if the student is obedient and respects his or her teachers, Allah assists him in achieving his or her goals. This is the main reason why we should always respect our teachers and pay attention to what he or she says. Our teachers, our educators, and our masters make us what we dream about. They tell us the difference between the right and the wrong. So, it is our duty to respect them and do as they say.
According to different quotes in Islam, a teacher is the person who shapes the personality, opens one’s mind and guides him or her towards the right path, in short, a teacher helps in molding the person’s personality as well as the character. Teachers play the most significant role in a student’s life. Starting from a really young age, a teacher grasps the student’s finger and takes him or her to the point where he or she is successful. Presidents, Governors, Sultans, Emirs, Doctors, engineers, scientists, astronauts and politicians etc. all achieve their dreams due to the politeness, strictness, punishments, and love of their teachers. Not only this, but our educators also help in shaping our personality and making us a better person.
A teacher himself is only a teacher but has the capacity to teach us everything. Whether it is science, mathematics, arts or any other subject, the teacher is the one who puts us in one single direction. According to the Islamic scholar’s quotes, teaching is mainly the kind of profession which teaches every other profession. This means that every person becomes what he wants by the efforts of his or her teacher. No matter who you are, a doctor or an engineer, you’ll always need a teacher who takes your hand and guide you towards the right path.
Islam teaches us to respect our teachers, listen to them and be dutiful. Why? Well, there are several reasons; they help you learn, they care and love you like parents, treat you like their own, be a little harsh just so that you can stay away from the wrongdoings and mold you into a better person. Allah gives teachers the second highest rank after our parents because they are the reason we learn and be what we want to be.
According to Ali (RA), history is the best teacher. It teaches us where we went wrong so we can avoid it in the future. It is a clarified fact that if the mistakes of history are neglected, the history will repeat itself. This is the main reason why Islam teaches us to take lessons from history in order to protect our future.
Islam tells us how our teachers consume themselves to pave the way for his or her students. A good teacher is the one who will put in an effort no matter what the situation is and light the way for his students in every situation and circumstance.
Not only our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) but his Companions preached to value and obey our teachers as well. According to a Hadith, everything in this world is cursed, except the one who helps in remembrance of Allah. Thus, a teacher is the person who helps us remember Allah, therefore he or she needs to be valued like we value our parents.
Dear servants of Allah, the importance of teachers cannot be mentioned in a word, or a paragraph or even an essay. This is how important a teacher is. According to the Islamic teaching anyone who conveys a single good message become a teacher to the other person. This is why it is necessary to spread good and help people remember Allah. According to some Companions (RA) a teacher is so important that even if he or she conveys a single message the student owes him or her his lifetime.
Prophet (Peace be upon him) emphasised on the status of a teacher himself. He not only himself guided people to respect their teachers, scholars and educators, but respected and valued the teachers himself as well. According to him even if someone prayed a thousand raka’ats (units of prayers), the sleep of a scholar will still be superior. This is the main reason why Islam focuses and emphasises on the respect of teachers so much. And it is our duty as a Muslim to respect, value and obey our teachers to earn Heaven (Jannah) ultimately.
All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds. May the peace, blessings and salutations of Allah be upon our noble Messenger, Muhammad, and upon his family, his Companions and his true followers.
Murtadha Muhammad Gusau is the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah, and the late Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: firstname.lastname@example.org or +2348038289761.