Status of Teachers in Islam

Teachers are some of the most influential people in society and have great importance in modern society. Teachers bear the responsibility of moulding students’ personalities and educating them. It is because of this important role of teachers, that Islam has granted such high status and rights to teachers. Islam has paid considerable attention to teachers and has granted them one of the highest ranks in society. Allah says:

لَّيْسَ عَلَيْكَ هُدَاهُمْ وَلَٰكِنَّ اللَّهَ يَهْدِي مَن يَشَاءُ وَمَا تُنفِقُوا مِنْ خَيْرٍ فَلِأَنفُسِكُمْ وَمَا تُنفِقُونَ إِلَّا ابْتِغَاءَ وَجْهِ اللَّهِ وَمَا تُنفِقُوا مِنْ خَيْرٍ يُوَفَّ إِلَيْكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ لَا تُظْلَمُونَ

“Not on you (is) their guidance [and] but Allah guides whom He wills. And whatever you spend of good then it is for yourself, and not you spend except seeking (the) face (of), Allah. And whatever you spend of good, will be repaid in full to you and you (will) not be wronged.” (Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:272)

All the Prophets played the role of a teacher by teaching and guiding their nations towards the religion of Allah and righteousness. This automatically raises the status of teachers to greatness, since it was the profession of the Holy Prophets. Allah says:

وَمِنَ النَّاسِ وَالدَّوَابِّ وَالْأَنْعَامِ مُخْتَلِفٌ أَلْوَانُهُ كَذَٰلِكَ إِنَّمَا يَخْشَى اللَّهَ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ الْعُلَمَاءُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ غَفُورٌ

“And among men and moving creatures and the cattle (are) various [their] colours likewise. Only fear Allah among His slaves those who know. Indeed, Allah (is) All-Mighty, Oft-Forgiving.”  (Surah Fatir 35:28)

The Prophet cared for teachers and showed their elevated standings. Teaching is one of the most respectful and valuable professions in the world. In religion Islam, this profession has more importance as our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) introduced himself as a teacher. Allah says:

كَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا فِيكُمْ رَسُولًا مِّنكُمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْكُمْ آيَاتِنَا وَيُزَكِّيكُمْ وَيُعَلِّمُكُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَيُعَلِّمُكُم مَّا لَمْ تَكُونُوا تَعْلَمُونَ

“We sent among you a Messenger from you (who) recites to you Our verses and purifies you and teaches you the Book and the wisdom and teaches you what not you were knowing.” (Surah Al-Baqarah, 2: 151)

The status and role of teachers in Islam are rooted in the Quranic concept of knowledge and its importance. The first verses said to have been revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) contain the command “Read!” (Q96:1) and also declare that God teaches humanity “by the pen” (Q 96:4). Studying and promulgating knowledge, especially religious knowledge, is portrayed as a community responsibility that is an important part of mobilizing for the cause of God. (Q 9:122)

إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأْمُرُكُمْ أَن تُؤَدُّوا الْأَمَانَاتِ إِلَىٰ أَهْلِهَا وَإِذَا حَكَمْتُم بَيْنَ النَّاسِ أَن تَحْكُمُوا بِالْعَدْلِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ نِعِمَّا يَعِظُكُم بِهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ سَمِيعًا بَصِيرًا

“Indeed, Allah orders you to render the trusts to their owners, and when you judge between the people to judge with justice. Indeed, Allah excellently advises you with it. Indeed, Allah is All-Hearing, All-Seeing.” (Surah An-Nisa 4:58)

Rights of Teachers

A teacher teaches the person so he has some rights some of them are mentioned below:

  1. Leading his pupil means the teacher must make his student smarter and have a good 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 the teachers for their great work.
  3. Teachers should have freedom of expression, obstacles and interventions 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 their job easier.
  6. Teachers should have freedom in giving judgment.
  7. Teachers should acquire and utilize learning facilities and infrastructure.
  8. Teachers should get physical and spiritual needs.
  9. A teacher must make her pupils become smarter and have a good akhlaq.
  10. The teacher is the spiritual father of the students. He is the one who provides spiritual nourishment and improves the behaviour of learners.
  11. The teacher must give his pupil a lesson. This lesson will make his pupils more knowledgeable and smarter.
  12. Have the freedom of expression.
  13. Judge which is the right and the wrong one.
  14. Teachers should avoid livelihoods that are contemptible and away from situations that can bring slander and do not do something that can drop the price in the eyes of the people.
  15. A teacher should advise and correct those who do not maintain good manners in class.
  16. A teacher should get good treatment to make his job easier. Without it, the teacher will face some difficulties when giving his knowledge to the pupils.
  17. Teachers are not angels, they can make some mistakes. We should not look for the fault, remember the word of Allah.
  18. A teacher is a good figure that can make an example for his pupil. He can order the pupils to follow his way and life.
  19. The great merit of the teachers who have given their knowledge to the pupils and often restrain his anger, who always feels the pain of holding patients.
  20. Technically, there must be a guarantee or insurance when something happens to the teacher in carrying out his duties.

Allah Almighty says in the Holy Book Quran:

  • “He who fears God will remember.” (Quran 87:10)
  • “And guided them to the Straight Path.” (Quran 4:68)
  • “And guided them to the Straight Path.” (Quran 4:68)
  • “Also by landmarks and stars do people find their way.” (Quran 16:16)
  • “Such people are guided by their Lord and are successful.” (Quran 2:5)
  • “And Allah knows what you conceal and what you reveal.” (Quran 16:19)
  • “Afterwards, We pardoned you so that you might give thanks.” (Quran 2:52)
  • “Surely nothing on earth or in the heavens is hidden from Allah.” (Quran 3:5)
  • “Allah surely knows what you say openly and whatever you hide.” (Quran 21:110)
  • “God and His Messenger repudiate the treaty made with the idolaters.” (Quran 9:1)
  • “We have sent you ˹O Prophet˺ only as a mercy for the whole world.” (Quran 21:107)
  • “This is the Book! There is no doubt about it—a guide for those mindful ˹of Allah.” (Quran 2:2)
  • “And it is Allah’s Will to lighten your burdens, for humankind was created weak.” (Quran 4:28)

Islam lays great emphasis on knowledge. At numerous times and instances has Allah ordered the Muslims to acquire knowledge and learn. The reason why angels were asked to bow before humans were because humans had greater knowledge. Teachers, thus, have one of the highest statuses in Islam.

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