Monday, 23 October 2017

Tafsan 

 

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TOPIC: The World teachers’ Day

 

We seek refuge in Allah from the accursed shaytan and start in the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

 

We bear witness that there is no God but Allah, alone without any partners, and we bear witness that Muhammad (SAW) is His servant and His Messenger.

 

Brothers and sisters in Islam, the 5th of October of every year is dedicated to the celebration of teachers around the world. The religion of Islam holds teachers in high esteem and thus we are discussing the teacher in our sermon today.

 

It must be mentioned that for the Muslim, education is in two folds: Western and Islamic, although Islam does not recognize the dichotomy between the spiritual and worldly or the heavenly and mundane. Perhaps the distinction here is that of the medium of instruction i.e. Arabic/English or Arabic / any other language which is dependent on the location of knowledge acquisition.

 

The teacher in the eyes of the Islamic Shareeah occupies an enviable position as the Quran says:

 

…..Allah will exalt those who believe among you, and those who have knowledge, to high ranks. Allah is informed of what ye do.

 

 

The theme of this year’s celebration is: Teaching in Freedom, Empowering Teachers. Muslims scholars or clerics, who preach on minbars, teach students of Arabic schools and co-ordinate da’wah activities in muslim organizations want freedom in doing their activities. It is important to note that freedom comes with limitation and must be viewed from the perspectives of consequence.

 

We have heard stories of University lecturers who were sacked because they were ‘teaching what they were not paid to teach’. A Nigerian University lecturer while on Sabbatical in a Zimbabwean University had his stay cut short because he taught his students what was considered to be in contrast with the philosophy of the government. Yet another Nigerian University lecturer, while introducing to his students a topic in International relations talked about the need to take caution in accepting the content of the bible as some books have been removed, such as the book of Thomas, was invited by the management of the University, a faith-based, why he should mention that to his students. In response, the Don said that this is a university and students should be exposed to critical reasoning. He added that he will not say the same when in the church. His contract was terminated.

 

Cases like these abound in our educational institutions but the import of alluding to these instances is to reiterate the fact that while teachers crave for freedom, there must be caution not to go beyond the limits. It must however be mentioned that Islam has nothing to hide in the area of knowledge and thus been silent on some issues in academic circles as opposed to mosque episodes does not arise. Saddening yet is the fact that some authorities amongst the Muslim ummah have viewed preaching by some Muslim clerics as anti-authority.

 

As we mark the 2017 World Teachers’ day, let us remember that our teachers need to be empowered and we should focus on allowing teachers the freedom to teach. Teachers should also ensure staying within the limits of the shareeah in going about their job of inculcating into the ummah knowledge, skills and values.

 

 

We pray that Allah (SWT) will reward all teachers both in this world and in the hereafter and this is against the background that teachers reward is also heaven and not just in heaven. Rabbana aatina fid duniya hasanatan wa fil akhirat hasanatan wa qina adhaban naar.