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Teacher and Preacher are the two words that represent the diversity of a single strand of echelons of knowledge.
Let us have our views here, as to what is the place of these two individuals and which one is more important, if at all it is like that . I invite all of you to post your comments or views here.


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Thank you brother for bringing up this very interesting topic for discussion. I believe both is important. Both is equally important because we need to seek knowledge whether its secular knowledge from the teacher or religious knowledge from the preacher. In Islam there is no dichotomy between secular or academic knowledge and religious or spiritual knowledge. This philosophy is practiced by true muslim teachers and true muslim preachers.
Below are a few quotes to support this philosophy.

“An essential prerequisite is that religious and secular subjects should be made an indivisible whole. The compartmentalization of religious and secular education, based on a factitious division of life into spiritual and temporal, is not sanctioned by Islam.” (Rauf, 1988, p. 63)

The characteristics of a good Islamic teacher have been defined as thus:
Love for children; love for the profession of education; humility without weakness; health and vitality of the body; psychological health and emotional balance; neatness, cleanliness and good appearance; eloquence and good pronunciation; intelligence and deep understanding; understanding students and their needs; strong command of the subject; broad and deep reading and knowledge; punctuality and respect for time; co-operation with the school system and policies; being courteous with students and fellow teachers; socialization with people and no isolation; knowledge and practice of Islam; to stay away from questionable sayings or deeds, even if it is lawful to do so; and sincerity.
- ISNA handout, 1994, quoted in The Purpose of an Islamic School and the Role of an Islamic School Teacher

In one of his addresses on the topic of a new education system, Mawdudi once said:
“If you teach history, geography, physics, chemistry, biology, zoology, astronomy, economics, political science and other social sciences without any reference to Allah ... a student will be unable to synthesize the conflicting ideologies into a unifying whole. Because of this intellectual polarization, his religious faith gradually weakens. Under the circumstances, he cannot remain totally committed to religion, however strong his faith may be.” (Rauf, 1988, p. 64)

“This can be used to further highlight the necessity for a Muslim teacher to put subjects in the context of Islam. If subjects are not Islamized, the indication is that the resulting pupil, through not viewing God to be the author and controller, assigns the latter to something other than God. He will therefore suffer a weakness in faith. Mawdudi also believes that students should consolidate their knowledge in Qur’anic Studies and thereafter ‘be offered a course in comparative religion so that they can assess for themselves how mankind went astray.” (Rauf, 1988, p. 67)

A more comprehensive definition of Islamic education was composed at the First World Conference on Muslim Education where participants were of the following view:
“Education should aim at the balanced growth of the total personality of man through the training of man’s spirit, intellect, his rational self, feelings and bodily senses. Education should cater therefore for the growth of man in all its aspects: spiritual, intellectual, imaginative, physical, scientific, linguistic, both individually and collectively and motivate all aspects towards goodness and the attainment of perfection. The ultimate aim of Muslim education lies in the realization of complete submission to Allah on the level of the individual, the community and humanity at large. “(Ashraf, 1985, p. 4)

Education (tarbiya), Al-Ghazali states in Ayyuha l-walad is like "the labour of the farmer, who uproots the weeds, trims wheat so as it grows better and gives a better harvest." Every man needs a teacher to guide him in the right direction. To try and do without leads to worst illusions. In Ayyuha l-walad the pupil’s outward respect for his teacher is evidence of esteem for such in one's heart.

In ‘Ihya ulum al-din’, Al-Ghazali states eight duties of a teacher. First and foremost he is a father for his pupils. He must teach for the sake of God. He would advise the student with prudence, fight the excessive urge to learn too quickly, and to overtake his peers. He would reprimand with moderation, in private, discreetly, not in public. To blame too much is to make the pupil too stubborn in his way of seeing and doing things. And one other duty of the teacher is to make sure that what he teaches he pursues in his life, and that his own acts do not contradict what he is trying to inculcate.

Thus we can conclude that a teacher and a preacher are both equally important as long as they have the true characteristics of a true muslim teacher and a true muslim preacher. According to Al-Ghazali, "knowledge exists potentially in the human soul like the seed in the soil; by learning the potential becomes actual."


Still struggling to be a true muslim teacher.
~ sakinah~

1. Ashraf. S.A. (1985), New Horizons in Muslim Education, Cambridge: Hodder & Stroughton.

2. Ayyuha l’walad by: Al-Ghazali
Al-Ghazali, Ayyuha l’walad: UNESCO, Beyrouth 1951 (Arabic text).

3. Ihya ul’Ulum by: Al-Ghazali
Al-Ghazali, Ihya ul’Ulum, part I, book 2, section 2.

4. Rauf. S.M.A. (1988), Mawdudi on Education, Karachi: IslamicResearch Academy.


Interesting topic Br Leon and JazakAllah for that excellent post Sis Sakeenah. Both represent an important role in Islam. I believe in this hadith :Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: "All of you are guardians and are responsible for your subjects. The ruler is a guardian of his subjects and the man is a guardian of his family, the lady is a guardian of her husband's house and his off-spring and all of you are guardians and are responsible for your subjects'.

InshaAllah if ive the time ill contribute more. Wassalam. Thanks for bringing up this topic.:)
I am very pleased to know that my sisters are so immensely knowledgeable and true to their faith.
The two blog comments that have been added are very fascinating and have in fact added to my knowledge also. I hope to see more.

May Allah Bless us with all his Glory.

Assalamualaikum brother leon

We learn from each other, the wisdom is Allah's, not ours, He is the one who gives us the ability, understanding and emotions. Allah has giving us the time and effort to seek His knowledge and wisdom in order that we can gain His love and to be closer to Him. InshaAllah.

May Allah open our hearts and minds and help us to gain wisdom in humility as we travel on the spiritual journey to experience the amazing love and tranquility from Allah. InshaAllah.

"He granted wisdom to whom He pleased; and he to whom wisdom is granted
received indeed a benefit overflowing; but none will grasp the message but men of understanding."(Qur’an:2/269)

May Allah bless us with His illuminating Light, His bounteous Mercy and His everlasting Love.............

With love and du'as always
Thanks and it is very true.
As I have opened this topic with the words" Teacher and Preacher' are the two words, that represent the diversity of a single strand of echelons of knowledge", this fact can not be denied that in Islam a teacher is to be a preacher as well and they can not be different. It is only one person who has to take the tilling to the full from the both sides. One can not be dispensed with the part of the other. Unfortunately in the present world we prefer a dichotomous attitude and as a result of it we have to face resulting consequences which are very deterrent to our faith.
In my view a teacher is to be a preacher as well. Teacher at first and preacher alongside.
It is the role of a single person and infact a teacher, a real teacher, is a preacher in itself.

May Allah bless you

In a simple way it is like the question...Which came first? The chicken or the egg?

Teacher vs Preacher...
may Allah grant true understanding to whom He wills.
both full of knowledge & wisdom

We must learn from become!






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