Nobody ever said: “Teaching is a piece of cake!” and you will probably never ever hear it either. Working day in day out, with a group of 20-30 kids from all different backgrounds and abilities, is for sure a challenge! But there is something about teaching and those who are teachers know it. They know they make a difference in children’s lives. Teachers’ daily struggles are real, but their impact is too!
If you are a Muslim teacher, you are even more privileged, because you have the chance to be rewarded for following the sunnah of teaching! Here are five qualities of a Muslim teacher that will for sure remind you about your blessed position and to simply keep going!
A Muslim teacher goes to school and interacts with children as if they are his own. He respects them for who they are, he has high expectations and he celebrates with them their successes. He genuinely wants to go out of his way to help them progress and succeed. (S)he stays calm under all circumstances and is merciful, counting his or her reward with The Most Merciful.
حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ الْمُثَنَّى، حَدَّثَنَا يَحْيَى بْنُ سَعِيدٍ، عَنْ هِشَامٍ، قَالَ أَخْبَرَنِي أَبِي، عَنْ عَائِشَةَ، أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَضَعَ صَبِيًّا فِي حِجْرِهِ يُحَنِّكُهُ، فَبَالَ عَلَيْهِ، فَدَعَا بِمَاءٍ فَأَتْبَعَهُ.
Narrated by ‘Aisha ra:” The Prophet (ﷺ) took a child in his lap for Tahnik (i.e. he chewed a date in his mouth and put its juice in the mouth of the child). The child urinated on him, so he asked for water and poured it over the place of the urine. Bukhari
The Muslim teacher will take every opportunity to connect his students with Allah SWT. His or her love for Allah SWT and the Deen, lets him recite naturally a relevant aya of the Quran during lessons. He brings Islamic teachings into the lesson and it totally makes sense to the children. In this way he nurtures their eemaan, because they discover even more about Islam throughout the day. The Muslim teacher makes planned and spontaneously connections between Islamic teachings and every day life in class, to ensure that whatever (s)he teaches never contradicts with Islam. His teaching is a form of his worship based on the following aya:
‘Say it Allah whom I worship, making my submission exclusive to Him.’ Quran 39:14
As we already said teaching is demanding and we cannot expect appreciation. If we expect praise for all that we do, we would not be able to continue this work. Even if parents, colleagues or children don’t understand or appreciate the Muslim teacher’s efforts, he is content. He replenishes his energy levels with Quran and Hadith that remind him of the rewards awaiting for him in shaa Allah and he is happy to be of those who knows about and invites to Islam.
‘Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good (Islam), enjoining Al-Ma‘roof (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do) and forbidding Al-Munkar (polytheism and disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden). And it is they who are the successful’ Quran 3:104
‘Truly, the worst of all creatures in the sight of Allah are the deaf, the dumb, those who do not use their reason/think.’ Quran 8:22
This verse of the Quran, but there are many other verses where Allah SWT instructs us to reflect and this should be the mindset of the Muslim. He must think about himself, about his environment and the next life to make his belief firm. Allah SWT gave us instincts ánd intellect. Also Allah SWT warns us that when we know, we must act according to our knowledge.
‘O you who have believed, why do you say what you do not do?’ Quran 61:2
The Muslim teacher encourages curiosity and enquiry to help children develop into critical thinkers who can contribute to the ummah. The last one is, the hardest of all five;
It may sound so obvious, but the Muslim teacher has to live what (s)he preaches. The Prophet SAW was sincere in what he was teaching and he applied what he taught in his daily life. This was the way he taught people as seeing is believing! We likewise will inspire with our exemplary behaviour, but this requires the Muslim teacher to always work on self improvement. His or her personal development is crucial to become and stay a great role model for students. An open attitude will help the Muslim teacher to keep learning, improving and making changes where needed.
So indeed, being a Muslim teacher is an honour and an opportunity to help the ummah return at full strength and in a healthy condition. Your ummah needs you! Your love, dedication, compassion & inspiration!