The Teacher's Rights

The Father

In addition to parent’s obligations, Islam attaches special regards for the teachers’ right.We must appreciate their existence and should discharge our duties and obligations towards them. It is believed that Imam ‘Ali (as) has said.

من علمني حرفاً فقد صيرني عبداً

“The one, who had taught me one word had indeed earned the rights of master hood upon me.”

It is the teacher who fights ignorance or in other words fights illiteracy. He sacrifices his productive years educating and nourishing people’s minds. Finally, it is he who delivers these services and through his endeavours brings value to the society.

A famous Iraqi poet known as Rassafi has written a beautiful and meaningful poem in praising teachers, describing their contributions in an appropriate manner, as follows:

اذا كان هل الناس مدعاة غيهم

فليس سوى التعليم للرشد سلم

فلو قيل من يستنهض الناس للعلى

اذا ساء محياهم لقلت المعلم

معلم ابناء البلاد طبيبهم

يداوى سقام الجهل والجهل مسقم

وما هو الا كوكب في سمائهم

به يهتدى السارى الى المجد منهم

فلا تبخسن حق المعلم انه

عظيم كحق الوالدين واعظم

فان له منك الحجى وهو جوهر

وللوالدين العظم واللحم والدم

الا النما تعليمنا الناس واجب

وان على الجهال ان يتعلموا

وما اخذ الله العهود على الورى

بان يعلموا حتى قضى ان يعلموا

“Whenever ignorance misleads people, there is nothing for progress except learning. If I am asked, 'when people are deep in corruption, who is the one who can save them out of it? I would “the teacher'. The teacher of the children of the country, are also their physicians who treat their ignorance. As lack of knowledge is pathogenic. The teacher is like a brightest star shining in the society's sky, who guide the knowledge seekers to glory and greatness.

Do not underestimate your indebtedness to your teacher. It equals that to your parents and even more. Your wisdom comes from your teacher while your muscles and bones are from your parents. It is our duty to teach the illiterate and it is theirs to learn. Allah has not commanded the people to learn without first making arrangement of divine teachers (the prophets) and the heavenly books. 1

A Persian poet too, says:

مقدار معلم ز پدر بيش بود بيش

اين پرورش تن دهد، آن پرورش جان

“Higher than rank of the father is that of the teacher. As the former nourishes one's body while the later, his soul.

“George Herbert says: “O God! You have provided for us in every way. At first with our parents to bring us up, and later with our teachers to nourish our minds and to teach us the laws of intellect.” 2

Immanuel Kant says: “It is only through education that man can culturally become a most complete or perfect human being. In fact he is the result of his education.” 3

The Child

In general, teachers, professors and those serving others through educational activities play an important part in people's happiness. One can easily state that the people's future depends on the way the educators educate them.

Of course they should be sincerely devoted teaching and should bestow knowledge upon their pupils. They must possess a pure heart and be of excellent character to succeed in educating good-natured and enlightened students, because to receive good quality education and to learn good character, the students are entrusted to them.

Only after they have successfully taught their students, the teachers have fulfilled their grave duty. An accomplished teacher succeeds in replacing evil characters by good ones. Of course, such teachers are worthy of high recognition and respect and are considered valuable and useful to the society.

  • 1. Iraqi poet Rassafi
  • 2. The Book of Ethics, Part 1. p. 37
  • 3. The Philosophy of Education, Vol. 1 p. 41