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Role of a teacher in contemporary Islamic society

[ November 18, 2016 ]

Every present day society has an established set of virtues and voices and it takes conscious and unconscious measures at various levels to promote the virtues and eliminate the voices. Sometimes a society may face a crisis of values in which the values are at odds with one another or the values suffer from double standards. In that eventuality, the people reflect contradictions in their actions and in the morality they profess.

We have always attached importance to the character, nobility and conformity of belief and action. In the Islamic view of education, instruction

Now a days people are seen violating the values they hold sacred in their sermons and lectures. Such an atmosphere is hazardous for the immature and sensitive young people who react and suffer from mental confusion and are led to believe that there are certain values to be paid lip service only, whereas the practical needs of contemporary human life demand an altogether different set of values. In the past, parents and teachers used to make the best of their efforts to provide an atmosphere to their children which is congenial to the development of higher virtues and morals. But the gross social change over the last fifty years, large scale urbanization, ruthless competition for financial gains, and heavy preoccupation in everyday life deplete all time and energy from the parents, leaving behind little time or energy for their children. Whatever time they have at their disposal is consumed by newspapers, television and other recreations. As a result, the younger generation hardly gets any opportunity to share ideas with their elders or to enter into a meaningful discussion. On the other hand, this idea is gaining ground among us that education is not meant to build up better human beings, but only to get better jobs. Consequently, the students' minds are obsessed with better jobs and dreams for higher social status. Obviously, the moral and religious training of the child has gradually been ousted from the preview of education. The system of private tuition among the students and teachers is also endemic. Now the students tend to consider their teacher as their servant, rather than their mentor or reformer. The net result of all this deterioration is that the value system of our society has fallen into oblivion, which we had to transfer to the next generation for the preservation of our religious and national identity.
In Islamic history, teachers have not only distinguished themselves by their profundity in knowledge and research, but also because of their character, piety and abstinence from immoral acts. Throughout their history, Muslims have refused to except the authority of any pervert or debauch as a religious scholar and teacher. We have always attached importance to the character, nobility and conformity of belief and action. In the Islamic view of education, instruction of sciences cannot be divorced from moral and ethical training. It is again a contribution of the modern age that character building has been totally dissociated from education. That is why our system is producing an educated but characterless generation.