Should One Respect His Teacher(s)?

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Alhamdulillah… May the Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon the Prophet Muhammad, his household, his companions and all those who follow his guided path, till the Day of Judgment.

This is a very short post here on GSalam.Net, compared to my usual posts. It also comes hours after I’ve posted ‘9 Important Ramadhan-Related Issues’ (click here to read it) posted on the same day (16 June 2013).

I developed the interest to write this post, after a search term was directed to my blog this morning. The (search) term says: “should one respect their ostaz”. I found it necessary to answer the question, because, I “googled” up the above search term and (unfortunately) found no answer to the question posed. The article which Google linked the term to, on my blog is, Ustzaz Muhd Noor Bin Taib, Whom I Knew… (click here to read it).

To some, the question may look “silly” to be answered, but I believe, it may also be an honest question, which an innocent soul is searching for an answer for. So, I try to answer it, in the hope, that someone, unknown, will find it useful.

Literally, Ustaz is an Arabic word, which means “Professor” or a “Lecturer”. A Degree holder may also be referred to, an an Ustaz. But in in the context of the question, an Ustaz is a religious teacher.

An Ustaz (the religious teacher) serves as one’s religious parent, just like one has to regard his teachers in school as his parents in the path of seeking knowledge. An Ustaz, therefore, deserves to be respected, by his students, just like such students would respect their biological parents, at home.

The difference between our biological parents and our Asatizah (plural form of Ustaz, wihch means teachers, educators, Murabbis) is that, we find ourselves in the lives of our biological parents by chance. They don’t choose us, nor do we choose them. This is in the contrary of our Ustaz. We choose our Ustaz, and he also can choose to accept us or to reject us. This is where the real challenge lies.

The challenge becomes real, when we are given the choice to choose. And finding a genuine Ustaz is one of the most challenging tasks one may encounter today. Therefore, it has to be done carefully.

Once you’ve chosen your Ustaz, and have started learning from him, you have to show respect to them. You must also recognize his imperfection. He is certainly expected to be a role model, but he is not (and will never be) perfect. Perfection is only meant for the Prophets and Messengers of Allah, subhanahu wata’aalaa.

The Prophet Muhammad (click here to read about him), salla Allahu ‘alaihi wasallam, said in a Hadeeth narrated by Abi Umamah Al-Bahili, radhiya Allahu ‘anhu, and reported Imam Al-Tirmizhi, that:

إِنَّ اللهَ وَمَلائِكَتَهُ وَأَهْلَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ، حَتَّى النَّمْلَةَ فِي جُحْرِهَا، وَحَتَى الحُوتَ؛ لَيُصَلُّونَ عَلَى مُعَلِّمِ النَّاسِ الخَيْرَ

It means, “Allah and His angels, and the people of the heavens and the earth, even the ants in their rocks, and the whales, pray for blessings upon the one who teaches people good.”

If this is the status of your Ustaz, assuming you have selected him carefully, why would one ever find it difficult to show respect to his Ustaz?

Role models are respected automatically. Thus if you see that the respect you have for your Ustaz is declining, due to some bad attitudes or immorality, which you observe in him, then it’s always wise to leave him and find another Murabbi. This is to ensure that, you are able to maintain the respect you have for him, the best level, possible.

Don’t leave him to expose him. Leave him, to be able to maintain the respect you have for him.

Children are not responsible of finding the appropriate Asatizah for themselves, but their parents are. So, parents, take your responsibilities seriously. The more your child appreciates his Ustaz, righteously, the more he will appreciate you as a good parent. The more your child recognizes you as a good parent, the more he will pray for your well being in this life, and in the Hereafter. A child like this is unlikely to dump you into an ‘old folks’ home.

Do you find it difficult to show respect for your Ustaz? Feel free to tell us why. Does your child find it difficult to respect his/her Ustaz? Kindly share with us your experience, by commenting below.

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Allah knows best.

Allahu Hafiz Smile

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