The role of Educators in society

Architects of nation get abuse in return

  The teachers are largely finding themselves at the receiving end of students’ haughtiness.

An analytical report on changing dimensions of guru-shishya relations.

  It’s often discussed in schools and colleges on ‘who builds a nation – a teacher or a politician.’  Some show teachers as the builder of a nation while the others believe politicians as its architect. But ultimately it is the teacher who remained the frontrunner.   Every individual desires bright future for his nation. The destiny of a nation rests on the shoulders of youth. Throughout the human civilization, we don’t find even a single instance where history isn’t charted by younsters. The youths represent the force; dynamism and vitality that a nation needs to construct its modern façade on the rubble of its past.A human being is incomplete without education and dwells in the world of obscurity and darkness. Education acts as the means to liberate man from the shackles of ignorance and takes him to the world of illumination and enlightenment. It enables every individual to develop his personality and recognize the rights of other people. It shares out the spirit of equality among people and focuses on establishing good relation with society, forbidding evil, corruption, presenting the environmental factors and working for developing the human societies. It disciplines our mental faculties. Education is the base of a strong nation and teachers are the first brick in the foundation. They play an important role in grooming the young generation into good citizens guiding them in their development in character and behavior. As parents think of the better prospect of their children, the teachers are also worried for the future of their students. They scarify the mentalscape of the students to weed out the spurious growths of irrationality; enlarge their talents and guide them to a peaceful and prosperous nation. Teachers act as the motivating force to achieve every conceivable success in life.                                                                                          

  Generally, students forget all the painstaking efforts of a teacher who helps them fashion their career according to their choice and build rewarding lives. On numerous occasions, it has been found that instead of showing respect, the students make fun of their teacher and reward him with abuse in return. What an irony! He is incensed by the very action of those to whom he has taught the meaning of life. Teachers have been unable to scold misbehaving students because of increasing violent incidents against them. They have been recurring victims of threats, intimidation and violence at the hands of their students. According to a news report published in ‘The Korea Times’ on May 23, 2006, a 23-year-old teacher was knocked down by her student, identified as Kim, in a physical struggle during a homeroom meeting held when classes were over at a middle school in Inchon, just west of Seoul. The report further reveals ‘there were 52 abusive incidents against teachers last year alone, up 30 percent from the 40 cases the previous year. The figure was 12 in 2001 and 32 in 2003’. However, the association said the actual number of violent incidents or abuse cases might be larger than the figures suggest. Islam has laid great emphasis on good manners, respects to elders and politeness. Teachers deserve these.  Since he is the key that opens the door to knowledge — one of the loftiest blessings of Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala. The more a student gratifies his teacher, the more he is blessed with knowledge. Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala says, “If you are grateful, I will add more unto you; but if you show ingratitude, My punishment is terrible indeed”. The Prophet of Islam (SAWS) is reported to have said, “He who does not thank people, does not thank Allah”. (Ahmad, Tirmidhi). The Glorious Qur’an describes the Prophet of Islam (SAWS) as a teacher in numerous places. Conferring a great favour on the believers by sending to them a messenger amongst themselves, Allah says, “Who recites unto them His revelations, causes them to grow and teaches them the Scripture and wisdom; although they were in flagrant error before”. (Al-Imran 3:164)Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) spent every waking moment of his life in teaching humanity the book of guidance and wisdom. Allah blessed him with such students who used to stay on for acquiring knowledge and wisdom. One of the brilliant students from the university of Prophet Muhammad (SAWS), Abu Hurairah (RA) is narrated as having said, “People say that I have narrated many Hadith. Had it not been two verses in the Qur’an I would not have narrated a single Hadith and the verses are: ‘Verily those who conceal the clear sing and the guidance which We have sent down …(up to) Most Merciful.’ (2:159—160) And no doubt our Muhajir (emigrant) brothers used to be busy in the market with their business (bargains) and our Ansar brothers used to be busy with their property (agriculture). But I (Abu Hurairah) used to stick to Allah’s Apostle contented with what will fill my stomach and I used to attend that which they used not to attend and I used to memorize that which they used not to memorize.” (Bukhari)

Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala asked the disciples of the Prophet to observe the etiquettes of talk with him. The Qur’an says, “O ye who believe, do not say (to the Prophet) words of ambiguous import, but words of respect; and hearken (to him): to those without faith is a grievous punishment. (2:104) History bears witness that the students of the Prophet (SAWS) showed him the highest pictures of respect and reverence. Urwa Ibne Masud was greatly impressed by how the companions treated the Prophet when Quraish sent him to negotiate with the Prophet in the Hudaibia area. He said, “I have visited the kings of Persia, Rome and Abysinia, but I have not seen any leader more revered and respected by his people than Muhammad. If he ordered them to do anything, they do it without delay. If he performs Wudu`, they all seek the rest of the water he used. They never stare him in the eye, out of respect.” This is how the Prophet was treated by his students.Observing proper manners with the teacher is a part of knowledge and therefore it is narrated about Abdullah Ibne Abbas that without disturbing his teacher, he used to wait at the doors of other companions until that companion came out. Imam Shafi (RT) used to turn the pages of his books very softly in the presence of his teacher, Imam Malik. These are a few examples of observing proper manners with the teacher.   The story of Prophet Moses and Khazir (AS), which is narrated in the Glorious Qur’an, and the books of Ahadith, guides the student to a few rights of the teacher. Braving many perilous situations and facing many obstacles with courage Prophet Moses (AS) traveled a long distance to quench his thirst of knowledge. As he succeeded to find out his teacher Khazir (AS), Moses informed him about the purpose of his journey. Khazir (AS) enunciated the ambitious principle of his institution and rejected the desire of Prophet Moses (A.S) to gain knowledge from him saying, “Verily you will not be able to have patience with me and how can you have patience about a thing which you know not?” Prophet Moses (AS) assured his teacher Khazir to abide by the rules and regulations and requested him to grant the admission. On his repeated insistence Khazir (As) put the condition of maintaining complete silence and not questioning anything for giving the admission. Moses (AS) agreed and expressed his agreement saying, “If Allah will, you will find me patient, and I will not disobey you in aught”. But the Glorious Qur’an narrates that Moses (AS) could not abide by the agreement and he broke the condition of keeping silence and not questioning anything for three times. For the first time, Moses (AS) gave the excuse that he had forgotten the condition. Khazir (As) accepted his excuse. On breaking the condition second time, Moses (AS) pleaded his teacher to give him one more chance and said, “If I ask you anything after this, keep me not in your company, you have received an excuse from me.” Khazir (AS) granted his request. But when Moses (AS) could not follow the agreement and broke the condition third time, Khazir (AS) expelled the name of Moses form his institution and said, “This is the parting between me and you”. The Prophet of Islam (SAWS) showed the elevated position of teachers showing his love to them and including himself in the list of teachers. Once he (SAWS) happened to pass by two groups of people—one was supplicating to Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala while the other was listening to a teacher. The Prophet (SAWS) commented, “The first group is asking Allah who may or may not answer to them while the second one is learning and I have been sent as a teacher”. So he (SAWS) joined the second one.    

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