In contemporary world, teachers have lost their glory. The only reason behind this is that they have forgotten their role as teachers in the real sense of the word. “Muallim” is a word used for a Teacher in Arabic which is more comprehensive than an English word “teacher”. Prophet Muhammad (saw)—the seal of the Prophets, has said that “I have been sent as a teacher. Here comes the role of a teacher. The role of a teacher is not just to impart knowledge but to demonstrate a pragmatic model, leads towards the assured destiny. Moreover, One of the prominent 20th century teacher, writer, poet and above all a Sufi Master of Pakistan Wasif Ali Wasif, while commenting on the role of a good teacher says that; “A teacher is not one who imparts knowledge but a good teacher is one who gives you the thirst of knowledge”. The role of a teacher is above the class room instructions and encompasses the overall development of a taught. Like the prophets and the Sufi masters have exemplified the role of a teacher, the 19th century prominent religious thinker of the sub-continent, Allama Iqbal describes that if anybody will find a teacher (In a real sense), for him, to reach the higher levels is so close. He comments like this;
Agr koi Shuaib Aayey Mayasar
Shabani c Kaleemi Doo Qadam hai.
Taking all the qualities of an effective teacher in the real sense of the word, I find in my life the one who fostered the overall development of my personality—Professor Naseem Ahmad Shah Sahb. Whom, I studied in university of Kashmir during my masters in “Islamic Studies” in 2010—12. He also supervised me during M.Phil. (2014-2017) & Ph.D. (2017-2020). He is not only favorite of mine but equally loved by one and all who studied under him. His intellectual academic caliber, way of teaching, distinctive behavior, and his physical appearance are still echoed in and around the department of Islamic Studies, University of Kashmir. For me, it is very hard to recount the qualities of Prof. Shah Sahb. The effective and magnetic personality of his can’t be described in words; it can only be comprehended by living under his mentorship. He keenly watches his students and identifies the talent as well as weaknesses and devises an effective and accurate way to nourish them fully. He loves students and care for their future but appears so strict and hard. His disciplined life as a teacher and as an administrator is being acknowledged by one and all and has influenced most of the administrators and teachers of the university besides the research scholars. However, He is a renowned academician known particularly in India and Central Asia.
As a qualified, learned and renowned Professor of Islamic Studies, he offered over 30 years of exposure as an Academician across History of Islamic Civilization, Arabic Language, Central Asian History, Christian-Muslim Relations, Comparative Religions, Persian Language, Social Studies and Religious Sciences. He had always nurtured healthy relationship with the students by satisfying their queries and providing them advices as per their individual needs. He had always established a learning environment to meet and enhance the student needs of intellectual, social and creative strengths. He had supervised numerous scholars at M. Phil and Ph.D. levels, besides contributing to scholastic and academic journals.
He had served as “Dean, School of Social Sciences” (2014—2018), Professor/Director, S.H. Institute of Islamic Studies, (2012—2015) and Provost, Hostels of University of Kashmir, (2009—2013). He is also a member of numerous national and international organizations, centers’ and institutes viz. Board of Trustees, Nizami Ganjavi International Centre (NGIC), Baku, Azerbaijan, Member, Academic Council, University of Kashmir, Jammu, IUST, Examiner at UGC Level NET/JRF Examination, Observer, state level competitive eligibility examination (SET) the University of Jammu, Observer, BOPEE, 2014-2015 etc.
During his academic tenure, he visited many countries with respect to the academic exercises viz. GlobeEthics Forum, Geneva, Switzerland, 2015, Kazakh State National University, 2015, Academy of Sciences, Tajikistan, 2015, Academy of Sciences, Turkmenistan, 2014, Athens State University, Greece, 2014, National technical University of Athens, Greece, 2014, University of Constantine, Algeria, 2012, National School of Administration, Al-Jazair, 2012, Academy of Sciences, Kazakhstan, 2007, State University of Turkmenistan, Ashkhabad, Turkmenistan, March, 2011, Jalal Bayar University, Manisha, Izmir, Turkey, October, 2010, Sultan Sharif Ali Islamic University (UNISSA), Brunei Darussalam, February, 2010, Suleiman Dameril University, Almaty, Kazakhstan, October, 2008, Fathi University, Istanbul, May, 2008 Sakarya University, Turkey, May, 2008, Kazakh State National University, Astana , Kazakhstan, September, 2007, Seljuk University, Konya, Turkey, December, 2007, Republic of Tatarstan, Russian Federation, June, 2005. To conclude, to add in one place all the qualities of a teacher and put them in human form, the outcome would be of Prof. Shah Sahb. He has all qualities a teacher needs to mould the behavior of the students. He is the one who can’t be described in this short write-up. Precisely, he is the teacher of the teachers.
(The Author is working as Assistant Professor at Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University, Rajouri. Views are his own)