‘The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.’ ― William Arthur Ward
Education is an effort to develop the potential given by God to humans, such as developing the mind, structuring behavior, regulating human relations with the human God and humans and their relationship with nature. The goal is for humans to be able to maintain, develop, and utilize the potential that is in themselves well. Teachers are an integral part of educational resources that explore the educational success. A teacher who plays a role in the intellectual and mental coaching of students is expected to instill discipline and attitude towards students. Education can take place in three dimensions: family, school and community environment. In the implementation of education, several components are interconnected, among others, principals, teachers, and students. Aristotle taught by Plato was a Greek philosopher and polymath during the Classical period in Ancient Greece. He was the founder of the Lyceum, the Peripatetic school of philosophy, and the Aristotelian tradition. His writings cover many subjects including physics, biology, zoology, metaphysics, logic, ethics, aesthetics, poetry, theatre, music, rhetoric, psychology, linguistics, economics, politics, and government. He provided a complex synthesis of the various philosophies existing prior to him. It was above all from his teachings that the West inherited its intellectual lexicon, as well as problems and methods of inquiry. As a result, his philosophy has exerted a unique influence on almost every form of knowledge in the West and it continues to be a subject of contemporary philosophical discussion. Aristotle said that “those who educate children well are more to be honored than they who produce them; for these only gave them life, those the art of living well.” In other words, parents just make babies. It’s teachers who turn them into people. Aristotle may have lived a long time ago in a different land, but his slightly acerbic exaggeration still has a ring of truth to it. Good teachers still play a significant role in making us who we are. The teachers who shape us may not always be standing at the head of a classroom (including, of course, our parents), but wherever they’re found, they are doing something that no one else can do: changing our view of the world and making us into something better than we were before. According to Aristotle, Teaching is the highest form of understanding. Teachers have three loves: love of learning, love of learners, and the love of bringing the first two loves together. Education is our passport to the future and tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today. A teacher is an awakener and the art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery. A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning. Teaching is a very noble profession that shapes the character, caliber, and future of an individual. Nobody can inspire us as great teachers can. They seem to come along at just the right moment, at a time when we need them the most. Teacher’s ability dramatically affects the quality of students. The first revelation called upon the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and humanity was to pursue education and acquire knowledge in accordance with the Divine guidance of Allah (SWT): “Read and understand in the Name of the Lord and Cherisher”. The Qur’an says, “Allah (SWT) will raise up to honourable ranks (and degrees) those of you who believe and who have been granted knowledge. Adam (RAA) was raised to the highest rank among beings because of knowledge. The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) attained the height of eminence by his perfection; “He dispelled the darkness (of the World) by his grace; Excellent were all his qualities; Pray for blessings on him and his descendants.” He is asked in the Qur’an to pray for an increase in knowledge. The Prophet (SAW) also said: “Acquire knowledge from cradle to grave”. He further stated that the acquisition of knowledge is a duty imposed on every Muslim.6 It is inspiring to recall that the very first word that was revealed to him is Iqra (read). Human beings have many qualities which are latent or which they may wish to suppress or conceal to their own detriment. The Prophet (SAW) also said: “Wisdom is the lost property of the Muslim; he recovers it wherever he finds it”. This is inspiring and indicates that there is no monopoly in matters of knowledge. Among children of Adam (RAA), those who excel in knowledge and wisdom, are the world leaders and hold the office of Imam (Spiritual Guide). Knowledge and wisdom protect your ideological boundaries from evil. The Muslim World, unfortunately, failed to excel in knowledge and wisdom. Acquiring knowledge and understanding it (research) is left to the others, resulting in Muslims’ degradation in science and technology as well as in trade and business. The Prophet (SAW) said that knowledge is a foundation of Islam. Regarding this let us look at the Prophet’s (SAW) concern, attitude and priority; to educate Muslim children up to reading level, he even asked the prisoners of Badr, who were the non-believers of Mecca, and considered this as their compensation. This reflects his concern about education and treatment of prisoners of war at a time when Muslims were fighting for their own survival. There is a difference in acquiring knowledge, understanding knowledge, and education targeting literacy. To increase the rate of literacy among Muslims, the Prophet (SAW) utilized the services of even the non-believers of Mecca, i.e., prisoners of Badr. Knowledge must be of truth and reality or of what the Qur’an calls Haqq (Truth). Unfortunately, the Muslim World has confused knowledge with literacy. The dilemma is that we are utilizing our resources to increase the rate of literacy rather than acquiring knowledge, even then we fail in it. There are many other factors contributing to the degradation of Muslim World but the first and the most important is the education. It is education which transforms a casual person into a responsible, socio-economic developer and nation builder. Education has always received great importance in Islam and the pivotal ingredient in education is the teacher. The author thank Allah for giving support of elders and great teachers in academic career. May Allah grant highest place in Jannah to those who left this world and give long and healthy life to those who are alive contributing. Professor Aziz Sahb, Geelani Sahb, my elder brother Mohammad Altaf Sahb always and many more encouraged me during my studies especially in research activities. On this day I pray from the core of my heart for all my teachers who are in this world or in next. Syed Ali Shah Geelani (29 September 1929 – 1 September 2021) father of my colleague and best friend Dr. Naseem had worked as teacher in a school of Rainawari where I studied later. He used to treat me as his student and enquire about my research activities whenever I got chance to meet him.
There should not be any doubt in our mind that highest rank teacher is Allah (SWT). He not only taught Adam (RA) to upgrade his ranking but also guided. The teaching profession is noble and given high status in the society because the nature of the job is next to that of parents. The Holy Prophet (SAW) said, “Teach without chiding. Teachers are preferable to the scolders”. He also said, “Use leniency to those whom you teach and those who learn from you”. He (SAW) is reported to say, “Teachers who have three students of social classes and do not treat them equally, will be in the line of the traitors on the Resurrection Day.” Imam Al-Ghazzali, regards the first duty of a teacher to accept the child unconditionally as his own. He quotes the saying of our Prophet (SAW): “I am to you like a father who desires to save his child from the fires of hell.” A teacher is expected an Influential Person in Student’s Life, Communication Specialist, Man of Character, Encouraging, Accepting Challenges, Learning Facilitator and a Mentor. In brief education teachers are competent in carrying out their roles. in instilling students’ discipline, organizers, motivators, initiators, and evaluators. Teachers set the tone of their classrooms, build a warm environment, mentor and nurture students, become role models, and listen and look for signs of trouble. The most familiar role a teacher plays in the classroom is to teach knowledge to children.
Teachers Day 2021, is celebrated on September 5 to mark the birthday of former President, scholar, philosopher, and Bharat Ratna recipient, Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. Across India, students honour and pay tribute to their teachers by sending Teachers Day greetings, quotes, messages, etc. Globally, Teachers Day is celebrated on 5th October; in India, it is celebrated on 5th September from 1962 onwards. Teachers’ Day is celebrated on 5th September to commemorate the birth anniversary of Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. He was a renowned scholar, recipient of Bharat Ratna, first Vice- President, and second President of independent India. He was born on 5 September, 1888. As an educationist, he was an advocate of edification and was a distinguished envoy, academician, and above all a great teacher. As the common adage goes, the future of a country lies in the hands of its children, and teachers, as mentors, can mold students into future leaders who shape the destiny of country. They play an important role in our lives in helping us become successful in career and business. They help us to become good human beings, a better member of society, and an ideal citizen of the country. Teacher’s Day is celebrated to acknowledge the challenges, hardships, and special roles that teachers play in our lives. Teacher’s Day 2021 is not just a day for fun and change of roles. It is one such event to which students and teachers equally look forward. The Day is important for the students as it gives them a chance to understand the efforts put in by their teachers to ensure that they get a proper education. Similarly, teachers also look forward to the Teachers’ Day celebration as their efforts get recognised and honoured by students and other agencies as well. It is also a day to remember how much of hard work and time goes in, before a teacher walks into that classroom and teaches you that chapter. It is a day for showing gratitude towards the person who has patiently heard you out when you asked the same question a hundred times. It is also a day to thank the person who guided you in matters more than academic. A person like that truly deserves a special day earmarked to him/her, right? So, the next September 5th, make sure you pick up that phone or make an extra effort to call your teacher and thank him/her for the lighthouse they have been in your life. Now that’s what an awesome teacher does; I guess. They teach us, guide us, love us, scold us, cry when we pass out and then never forget us. The Indian scriptures also speak about the four entities that make us what we are. Mata, Pita, Guru and Devam (Mother, Father, Teacher and God). A stature of a teacher comes before God Himself. I am sure this is why Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, the first Vice-President and the second President of India (for his passion for education) insisted on celebrating his birthday as the Indian Teacher’s day and thus arrived September 5th. He was also a thinker and a great teacher, with several published work standing testimony to his erudition. He believed teachers reflect the best intellectual capabilities of the country. The first teacher’s day being in 1962, we have come a long way celebrating and being grateful to all those people who have taught us not just academics but values and ways of life as well. UNESCO acknowledges the importance of Teacher’s Day, and internationally 5th October is followed as World Teacher’s Day. Teachers nourish and prepare students for their future as they are the real icon of knowledge and wisdom. They introduce honesty, integrity, and passion to our character. Teachers create awareness among the students and common people. They are the source of light in the world that has been darkened due to ignorance. Our teachers are the true pillars of our success. They help us garner knowledge, improve our skills, grow confidence as well as help us to choose the right path to success. But, despite playing such a crucial role in the lives of students and in nation-building, they rarely are shown the gratitude that they deserve. So, as a student, it is our duty to thank them at least once a year and Teachers’ Day gives us an ideal opportunity to do so!.Happy Teachers’ Day 2021! All the efforts and hard work teacher have invested to bring out the best in us can never be repaid in mere words.
( The author is Associate Professor at S K University of Agriculture Sciences & Technology-SKUAST Shalimar Srinagar. Views are exclusively his own)
(The author a teacher at S K University of Agriculture Sciences & Technology-SKUAST Srinagar writes on Islamic topics exclusively for “Kashmir Horizon”. His views are personal)