Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Happy Teacher's Day! Selamat Hari Guru!
To all my teachers and ustaz's, I wish you all a 'Happy Teacher's Day'!
May Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala bless you all with the best of Iman, health, wealth and give you your due rewards both here on Earth and in the Hereafter, Ameen Ya Rabbal Alameen.
To my wife, who is a Senior Computer Science Lecturer, I wish you a blessed and pleasant day as well! May Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala bless you with the goodness of this world and the Akhirat! Ameen.
Teachers play a very important part in our life's. Without teachers, knowledge won't be what it is today. Those who teach us the good, bad and the ugly play a very important role in molding us to be who and what we are or become. The choice to learn anything is ours. So choose well.
The very first record we have of a teacher is in the Holy Qur'an where the Supreme Teacher of the entire Universe, Allah the Almighty, taught Our Father, the Prophet Adam Alaihis Salam, all that he needed to know, in Jannatul Firdaus, the highest Paradise.
This is before the rest of the humankind came to exist. So, none can lay claim to beat this record.
When the Archangel Jibreel Alaihis Salam appeared before the Last Messenger of God , the Holy Prophet Muhammad Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam, he came in the form of a glowing shining light and uttered 'I'qra!' meaning 'Read!'
The very first word and revelation of the Holy Qur'an , God's Last Testament and Complete Guidance for all Mankind is to 'Read!'
Only by reading anything can anyone gain knowledge. To be able to read is to have learned how to read and one needs a teacher to learn how to do just that? Hence, the importance of us honoring our teachers, no matter who they are and how they come to be.
Never disrespect your teachers. In the Indian culture, they go to the extent of honoring their teachers right after their parents and before their deities.
'Maata; Pitaa; Guru; Deivam' so goes their tradition of honoring their parents first followed by their teachers and then their deities.
First and foremost, naturally we worship Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala, then we love our Rasul Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam. In Islamic traditions, we are to honor our mother first, then our father, then our teachers.
Sure, every now and then, we hear of some teachers who do some crazy things including abusing the trust of the students and parents by committing despicable acts that I just don't have the heart to mention here!
These are isolated cases and goes to show that you can't just trust anyone a 100%!
Always go by the 70/30 rule. You place your trust just 70% upon anyone except Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala and His Last Messenger!
Reserve the remaining 30% as your backup self belief to start all over again in case you get played out by the very person or persons upon whom you placed your trusts!
This is the reality of life. We do get played out every now and then by those whom we never even suspected of being capable of going against us but they will.
Teachers play a very important deciding role in our life's. Those who are true to their profession have always proved to be willing to sacrifice their whole life's for the sake of their pupils and I have been fortunate to have had good, examplary teachers in my life.
Amongst those whom I remember are Cikgu Sharifah, my favorite English Teacher in Jelutong English School (1965 to 1970). I was the 'Teacher's pet. Always ready to help her carry the textbooks and exercise books to the Teachers Room.
I also remember fondly Cikgu Ismail who cared for me very well and gave me pocket money at times to buy food at the canteen. Cikgu Ismail was devastated when I had to forego my place to enter the Penang Free School after getting a placing there and had to opt to go to Sekolah Abdullah Munshi because my late eldest brother Mohammad Ibrahim, with whom I was living back then, couldn't afford to pay for my school fees to attend the PFS!
What could I do back then? I was just a 12 year old kid. I just settled for whatever school he sent me to.
I loved studying English and did well in the subject. I was poor in Mathematics and remember many incidents where I got whacked by my Maths Teacher on my head with the ruler! Ouch!!!
I remember an incident where I fainted during the school assembly because I had not eaten any breakfast and my teachers had bought me a bun and gave me a cup of Milo to recuperate in the Teachers Room! Those were the days! Terimakasih Cikgu!
The teachers whom I remember during my secondary school stint at Sekolah Menengah Abdullah Munshi, Penang were the late Cikgu Yusof Dali who had the habit of imitating 'Haji Bakhil' the character of the stingy rich old man in P.Ramlee's Labu Labi series.
Arwah Cikgu Yusof used to imitate the 'Aku lesing nanti' complete with the action of wanting to kick the ass of any student who incurred his wrath during class! Hahahahaha!
Then there was Cikgu Zurina, one of the prettiest teachers I had teaching us Science. The boys used to sit up and pay the utmost attention during her class. Hehehehe.
I remember Cikgu Mat Nor who was a real terror! He used to come in to class, take off his 'Johnson Boots' and whack the teacher's table hard causing every student to jump and sit back in an orderly fashion during the class periods!
He was the school discipline master and thus was hated by those students whom he punished! His car was the target of their rage and the poor man had to do an all round inspection of his car before driving off for some of the students would place 5 inch nails onto his tyres to cause them to get punctured if he drove away without checking! Hehehehe...they were very naughty!
Kids nowadays have so many luxuries that I didn't have. They get so much pocket money today, have gadgets, laptops, handphones, own transport, etcetera.
They are a much pampered lot and seldom appreciate their teachers. Only when they grow up, get married and have children of their own, will they reflect back and wish that they had paid more respect and attention to their teachers?
Well, to each, their own. As for me, I appreciate and love all my teachers who have taught me and guided me to be what I am today.
I wish them all a blessed and 'Happy Teacher's Day'! Terima kasih Cikgu!