The Etiquette of the Teacher by Imam Nawawi



An excerpt from the class from Sheikh Nuh Keller

Adab of the instructor

By Imam Nawawi Courtesy of Sheikh Nuh Keller

What a teacher should demand of himself:

1, that his teachings are exemplary of true Ikhlass (sincerity, purity)

Sheikh al Hashimi
once went to teach a lesson that he was supposed to teach in the Umayyad mosque in Damascus and no one came, so he opened his book and read the lesson aloud and when he finished he closed it and left. His intention to teach was for Allah Subhanawataala and no more.


One should remain occupied in your knowledge; one should stay engaged in knowledge.

Many Imams are engaged in their many duties and cannot enrich themselves with the knowledge.

3.Should not let Pride and status interfere in Learning from someone:

“One should not be too proud to learn from someone less in age or status or religious knowledge,

4. CHOSE THE RIGHT TEACHER:  One should choose one who is pious and has knowledge who is better than that who is not pious but has more knowledge.

5. One should not be prevented from learning knowledge from (getting knowledge) because of ones fame or status or be shy of learning from their students: Many of the early Muslims used to learn from their own students.


6.TO WRITE WHAT YOU LEARN AND PRACTICE IF ONE BECOMES QUALIFIED: One should be concerned to write books if one becomes qualified to do so.

Because thereby one becomes aware of the realities of the fine points of the knowledge and the knowledge sticks with one.

It enforces one to search out and peruse and check and reveal and read all sorts of positions from the Imams of Fiqh.



One should urge ones students to busy themselves with what that is useful and memorize what is needed (Imams Nanawis 40 hadith)

Cast important questions to them so that mind stays alive.

. He praises the one who is the keenest and the best to sharpen the ambitions of the others.

. Direct blame at the one who is not doing well. Blame that does not turn the student off and repulses him

Explain what is difficult


Most important: He should not be annoyed and feel grieved by someone who reads a particular branch of knowledge with him and with someone else. This is an affliction that affects the ignorant that teaches the Islamic sciences because of their stupidity and their corruption of their niyyah.

These are clear proofs that their intention is not Allah and Allah alone.

*** Photo courtesy:


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