Question: What is the place of the “teacher” in Islam?
Learning in Islam is an objective obligation. The Qur’an considers God as the first teacher, Adam (AS) as the first disciple, and the first science as the science of names. In addition to Adam (pbuh), God taught Prophet Joseph (pbuh) the science of dream interpretation, Prophet Suleiman (pbuh) the language of birds, Prophet David (pbuh) how to make armor, etc., and Gabriel also taught many teachings to the Prophet Muhammad(pbuh). In the narrations, the position of the teacher is so high that God, the angels and all the creatures – even the ants in the holes and the fish in the seas – send greetings to the one who teaches people.
From the Islamic point of view, the acquisition of Wisdom and knowledge is objectively obligatory.Some type of knowledge is general and is acquired by all and some is specialized and its learning is not possible for everyone. The teaching of knowledge is the same, part of it should be taught to all by those who are aware of it.
The Holy Qur’an considers God to be the first teacher, and Prophet Adam (pbuh) to be the first disciple, and the first science is knowledge of the secrets of creation and the beings of the world). It was not only Adam (pbuh) whom God taught,but also Yusuf (pbuh) who taught dream interpretation:
: «وَ عَلَّمْتَنِى مِنْ تَأوِيلِ الاَحَادِيثِ
and taught Solomon (pbuh) the language of birds
: «وَ قَالَ يَا اَيُّهَا النّاسُ عُلِّمْنَا مَنْطِقَ الطَّيْرِ»
and to make armor for Prophet David (pbuh)
«وَ عَلَّمْنَاهُ صَنْعَةَ لَبُوسٍ لَكُمْ
and gave Khidr (pbuh) a lot of knowledge and awareness
«وَ عَلَّمْنَاهُ مِنْ لَدُنّا عِلْماً
and gave the angels abundant knowledge
«سُبْحانَكَ لا عِلْمَ لَنا اِلاّ ما عَلَّمْتَنا
and taught human beings speech and expression:
: «عَلَّمَهُ الْبَيَانَ»
The great angel of God, the messenger of revelation (Gabriel), also gave many teachings to the Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him).
: «عَلَّمَهُ شَدِيدُ الْقُوَى
The prophets, in turn, are among the greatest teachers in the world who taught the human race a huge amount of wisdom and knowledge about religion and the world; The Qur’an says about the Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him) – who is the greatest prophet, “(And teaches the people the Book [the Qur’an] and wisdom”;
؛ «وَ يُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَ الْحِكْمَة
The same program was executed by each prophet about his ummah by teaching people the knowledge of religion and the world.
It is said that God gives great degrees to those who are believers and knowledge seekers.
In Islamic traditions, the status of a teacher is so high that God , the angels and all beings – even the ants in their nests and the fish in the seas – send greetings to the one who teaches good people; As stated in a hadith from the Messenger of God (peace be upon him):
: «اِنَّ اللهَ و مَلَائِكَتَهُ حَتَّى النَّمْلَةِ فِى حُجْرِهَا وَ حَتّى الْحُوتِ فِى الْبَحْرِ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى مُعَلِّمِ النّاسِ الْخَيْرَ
The same theme has been included in several other hadiths.
In another hadith, we read from the Messenger of God (peace be upon him):
: «اَلَا اُخْبِرُكُمْ بِاَجْوَدِ الاَجْوَادِ؟ اللهُ اَلاَجْوَدُ الاَجْوَادِ! وَ اَنَا اَجْوَدُ وُلْدِ آدَمَ! وَ اَجْوَدُكُمْ مِنْ بَعْدِى رَجُلٌ عَلِمَ عِلْماً فَنَشَرَ عِلْمَهُ يُبْعَثُ يَومَ الْقِيَامَةِ اُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً!»
Shall I inform you who are the most generous? The most generous is God, and I am the most generous of the children of Adam; and after me is the most generous of all is the one who seek knowledge and preach others, such person will be resurrected as a nation alone on the Day of Judgment!).
The interpretation of the ummah clearly shows that the expansion of the existence of teachers takes place in parallel with the expansion of their teachings in human society, and the more they educate and train students, the wider their spiritual and social personality becomes, and sometimes it eventually becomes the size of a nation.
The importance of disseminating wisdom, knowledge and culture in Islam.There is a famous hadith of Imam Musa ibn Ja’far (as)
«اَلنَّظَرُ اِلَى وَجْهِ الْعَالِمِ حُبّاً لَهُ عِبادَةٌ
“Looking at the scholar out of love is worship.”
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, are a little harsh just so that you can stay away from the wrongdoings and mould you into a better person. Allah gives teachers the second highest rank after our parents…
Keywords: Position, Teacher, Islam, Hadith, Verses, Prophet Muhammad ,Intelligence, Learning ,Wisdom, Narrations.