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The Rights of Teachers

After parents, teachers have the most honor and respect in terms of their right over others. Teachers are the foundation of a child’s education. Without teachers, a student is not able to progress in his education nor in his life, especially if that teacher teaches him his religious education. The teacher has many virtues and blessings and has a high position in Islam. In this article, we will be going over the discussion of teachers in Islam and how to treat them.


Virtues of teachers:

There are many virtues in regards to teachers of the Deen. In the Qur’an, there are many examples in regards to the virtues of those who have been given knowledge. Allah says,


يَرْفَعِ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْعِلْمَ دَرَجَاتٍ ۚ وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرٌ


“Allah raises the ranks of those who believe from amongst you and those who have been given knowledge, and Allah is all-informed of what you do.”


This verse shows the immense rank of the knowledgeable believer over those who do not have knowledge, and the only way a person can become amongst those who have knowledge is to learn from them. Therefore, it is imperative that one respects them due to this virtue they have been gifted with. Rasulullah (SAW) said,


خيركم من تعلم القرءان وعلمه


“The best of you are those who learn the Quran and teach it.”


This Hadith shows the superiority of the students and teachers of the knowledge of Qur’an over all others because of the virtues of this knowledge and the virtues of teaching it. There are many more Ahaadith and virtues regarding the one who teaches knowledge of Deen. 


Benefits of respecting teachers:

The one who respects and honors his teachers will be able to gain knowledge easier and will be able to experience the fruits of his knowledge. Ibn Wahb (RA) said that “I did not learn much from than what I learned from respecting my teacher Imam Malik.” This statement shows that gaining knowledge is dependent upon respecting teachers. Without respect of teachers, one will not be able to gain knowledge and even if he gains information, this information will not be of any benefit to him or he may not have the chance to propagate it. These opportunities descend from respecting and honoring teachers.


There is an incident narrated from Mawlana Abdur Rahman Saheb that when he left his home to study in Saharanpur, he met all his teachers except one who taught him the elementary books. When he reached Saharanpur, despite being known to be from amongst the intelligent of the class. He was unable to understand the lessons. The respected Mawlana pondered the reason to which Allah guided him, and he asked forgiveness from that teacher. That teacher was relieved and then made lots of du'a for him. He states that it was through those Du'as that he holds such a high position now. This incident shows that respecting the teacher goes a long way and holds many benefits, from amongst those as we can see, is ease in understanding lessons and blessings when seeking knowledge.


Some methods of respecting: 

Aside from having good manners we can respect teachers by:

  1. Paying attention

  2. Following rules

  3. Appreciating the teacher’s efforts

  4. Greeting them with Salaam

  5. Try to fulfill their expectations without them asking for it, ex→ if your teacher wants you to stay quiet, then don’t talk unless you have to. 

  6. Doing Khidmah (serving) for your teachers, such as getting water for your teacher to drink or helping your teacher with something.

One should long for their teacher’s dua as it is one of the key factors of being successful in this life and the hereafter. 


Harms of disrespecting teacher:

Hadhrat Mawlana Zakariyya (RA) states “When in affairs of politics, students and teachers disagree with one another. We see students resorting to degrading teachers, insulting them and finding all kinds of faults with them. This only serves to deprive them.” This shows that disrespecting and degrading the teacher will only serve as destruction for the student. The one who taught him all the knowledge he knows, the reason for the position he has attained today, how can one disrespect such a person?


He further narrates, “As for those who act arrogantly and with pride towards their teachers, later, in spite of having obtained their degrees, are found wandering all over the place looking for recommendations and testimonials in order to find a job. And when they do find some sort of employment, some mishap or calamity follows them even then.” This shows that despite gaining his diploma or degree, or learning something from the teacher, this learning or knowledge will not benefit him in anyway because it is void of barakah due to his disrespect of his teacher. It is as if it went through one ear and came out another. These harms can be seen today amongst those students who disrespect their teachers, we see that their lives turn out to be miserable and they tend to work in labor-intensive, menial jobs, despite their qualifications. This only comes through disrespect of one’s teachers. We must remember and keep in mind these harms whenever we are associating with our teachers and treat them with utmost respect to avoid these outcomes.


Conclusion:

In conclusion, we must respect and honor our teachers at all times, due to their immense virtue and status as arbiters of the knowledge of Deen and from amongst those Allah has bestowed virtue and grace and due to the great favor they have shown us. Ameen

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