Teachers As Nation Builders
The 16th day of May has been designated as Teachers Day nationwide. This is to remember and commemorate the services and sacrifices of individuals who are called teachers. Remember, no matter what position we hold now or where we are now in life, our achievements and the knowledge we have attained would have definitely started from the guidance and tutelage of a teacher.
A teacher is considered a Murabbi, an educator who not only imparts knowledge through the conventional approach, but also through the holistic approach. They are highly respected by the religion, as well as by the community, because they inherit the duties and responsibilities of the Prophets in guiding people towards the path of truth.
Teachers also shape human civilization through education and dissemination of knowledge. The huge role of teachers is equivalent to the role of stars in the sky which guide mankind at night when they travel, either on land or at sea.
Teachers are also the source of reference to address errors and confusion in the society or community. It is not limited to certain areas only, but encompasses all aspects of knowledge and expertise that exists on earth.
Thus, the Al-Quran has never marginalized a teacher’s role, as indicated by Allah SWT in verses 43 and 44 of Surah al-Nahl, which was recited at the beginning of this sermon, and has the following meanings: “And before you, also the messengers We sent were but men, to whom We granted inspiration: if you do not realise this, ask of those who possess the Message. (We sent them) with Clear Signs and Books of dark prophecies; and We have sent down unto them (also) the Message; that you may explain clearly to men what is sent for them, and that they may give thought.”
Individuals who possess knowledge are individuals who have been chosen by Allah SWT to receive benefits and blessings. Moreover, they are also responsible in preserving and maintaining the religion.
Reflect upon the meaning of this hadith from Rasulullah SAW, as recorded by Imam al-Bukhari RH, and narrated by Mu'awiya RA: Which means: "Whoever Allah wills good things, He will make him someone who meticulously understand matters of religion and indeed, I am only the one that disperses it, but Allah SWT grants it and some of my people still continue to practice the religion of Allah SWT, there is not anyone from amongst those who violate them can damage them, without the command and order of Allah SWT."
Imam alShafi'e RH, for instance, once said: "Malik bin Anas is my teacher. If there is no teacher like Imam Malik and Ibn Uyainah, then the knowledge possessed by these scholars would disappear from this country.”
The teaching profession is not only an occupation that is honourable and noble, but as a teacher, teachers would also have to face many great challenges to educate, guide, develop and nurture each student's moral character. The goal is to shape and develop students who will one day become individuals who will be useful and invaluable to the religion and the nation.
To face the ever increasing challenges in educating students, the Ministry of Education Malaysia is seriously concerned with the role of parents and the community in relation to education.
Thus, e-Sarana (or e-Tools) program as contained in the Malaysian Education Blueprint (MEB) 2013 to 2025 was created. E-Sarana is an effort to increase parental involvement in their children's learning within and outside the school. The skills and expertise parents have are shared, in the effort to help build their children’s education.
Therefore, it is important that parents are involved with their children’s education and take appropriate action to help them achieve future successes.
Parents should also serve as teachers at home. As Allah SWT says in Surah Al Maidah verse 2. Which means: “Help one another in righteousness and piety, but help not one another in sin and malice: fear Allah: for Allah is strict in punishment.”
To end today’s sermon, the mimbar would like to invite the congregation to appreciate and to reflect upon the gist of the sermon delivered, and take them as guidance in our lives, namely:
First: The services and sacrifices of teachers should be respected and appreciated, not ridiculed or humiliated;
Second: Parents and members of the society should also take up the role as teachers outside school;
Third: All parties should work together to uphold the dignity of education in order to achieve happiness and success in this world and in the Hereafter.
Finally, let us together reflect upon the words of Allah SWT in Surah al-Jumu'ah, verse 2: Which means: “It is He Who has sent amongst the Unlettered (the Arabs) an apostle (Muhammad SAW) from among themselves, to rehearse to them His Signs, to sanctify them, and to instruct them in Scripture and Wisdom although they had been, before, in manifest error.”