Teaching is an important, respected and well-regarded profession in every society and community. People from all walks of life find it professionally and personally a well-rewarding career. It is an exciting and challenging career too. Islam itself is a school and its Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was the loving teacher and tutor whose teachings and sayings still guide, inspire and instruct the whole humanity. As a teacher, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) not only taught us the principles of our Faith, but guided us how the minor foundations and the most complex questions of Islam and its related teachings applies to our daily lives. He was the passerby of this worldly life but his entire life is an example to the humanity in this life and enlightenment in the life after the death.
Muhammad (PBUH) as a teacher in the Quran:
Allah, the Exalted mentioned in His Book the supplication of Ibrahim (AS) for the benefit of the humankind and it was perfected by sending a Messenger from his offspring. This accepted supplication, from Ibrahim (AS), confirms that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was sent as a perfect teacher to all Jinns and mankind.
“Our Lord, and send among them a messenger from themselves who will recite to them Your verses and teach them the Book and wisdom and purify them. Indeed, You are the Exalted in Might, the Wise.” (Al-Baqarah 2:129).
And He says:
“Certainly did Allah confer [great] favor upon the believers when He sent among them a Messenger from themselves, reciting to them His verses and purifying them and teaching them the Book and wisdom, although they had been before in manifest error.” (Al-‘Imran 3:164).
The above-mentioned two verses indicate that Allah sent Prophet (PBUH) to do four things, which are the basic duties of the teacher:
- Recite the Verse of the Holy Quran.
- Teach the Quran.
- Teach the Wisdom (the Sunnah and the legal ways of the Prophet Muhammad PBUH).
- And to purify his followers.
Examples from Sunnah:
It is narrated from Jabir ibn Abdullah (May Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (PBUH) said:
“Allah did not send me to make things hard for people in the hope that they would make mistakes, rather He sent me to teach (as a teacher) and make things easy.” (Muslim 1478).
Mu’awiyah ibn Al-Hakam (May Allah be pleased with him) said:
“By Allah I have never seen a better teacher or better teaching before or since; he (the Prophet PBUH) did not rebuke me, hit me or revile me.” (Muslim 537).
In another narration he (May Allah Be Pleased with him) said:
“And I have never seen any teacher gentler than the Messenger of Allah (PBUH).” (Abu Dawud 931).
There are countless verses in Holy Quran and numerous narrations in the Sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH) that confirms that the Prophet (PBUH) was the best and the greatest teacher of humankind. It is the duty of a Messenger to educate his followers and teach them in the best way. The companions of the Prophet (PBUH) also testified that he (PBUH) fulfilled this duty in a manner that suite him. May Allah’s Peace and Blessings Be upon Him.by