The positive student-teacher relationship

An important aspect dealt in contemporary era – is how interactive and positive is the relationship between a Teacher and a Student. Many cognitive theorists argue that learning is a social event, and that both teachers and students will pay the price if teachers neglect to form emotionally warm, supportive relationships with and among their students. (Foorming Positive Student-Teacher Relationships n.d.) According to the observations and surveys – a student spends his/her 5 to 7 hours in school/college around 9 to 10 months annually, and is affected by a group of teachers interacting with them daily. And more troubles outside of school that can easily distract mind of a student. As a result, they need more effective relationship with their teachers. These students feel that caring teachers “legitimize their personal concerns and also help them refocus energy on there goals (Speaking up: Student’s perspectives on school 1992).

This relationship when groomed – elevates the intellectual abilities of a student, and when neglected by a teacher – freezes the growth of capabilities and skills which resulting a waste of talent and carelessness of a teacher.

Where as a good and healthy relationship is defined through policies and principles of teaching and studying portrayed by Awlia-ullah Kiram S.A and Duat Kiram R.A in their ways of teaching and guidance. The Book Al-Alim wal-Gulam (The Master and The Disciple) is a master piece of projecting a way of learning, studying, educating and teaching with full application of the Ilm (knowledge) practically which needs to be full filled for conceiving the knowledge as a whole.

But there haven’t been any discussion about it done till now.

So this paper aims to take part in that discussion through a new aspect, that is in a Fatemi perspective in the light of kitab Al-Alim wal Gulam.

According to Pianta, positive student-teacher relationships are characterized by open communication, as well as emotional and academic support that exist between students and teachers (Pianta 1999). A positive relationship starts with a comforting reception from a teacher to a student from day one. The teacher needs to acknowledge the activities performed by students of any level and encourage them which then bond a positive relationship. The student needs to approach with full respect and honor for the teacher and consult in any queries occurring in academic activities and the communication between the student and the teacher serves as a connection between the two, which provides a better atmosphere for a classroom environment ( n.d.). The environment develops the growth of a student gradually in developing a personality, characteristics and manners. The student adapts the style of communication transmitted by the Teacher.

Ikhwan al Safa elaborates the pattern of the positive teacher-student relationship and communication that the teacher should use mercy, leniency, forgiveness, pity, compassion and kindness with the student, while student must also show respect for him (Iman Ahmed al Mastur n.d.).

Syedna Taher Saifuddin R.A and Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin T.U.S have strictly prohibited beating students on their mistakes, but to build a Father-Son like relationship that the student does not respond rebelliously.  As we know that the knowledge cannot be forced upon, therefore the bondage between the teacher and student plays a vital role in educational development.

The emphasize has always been upon the communication and relationship between teacher and student socially, academically and personally.

The Book Al-Alim wal-Gulam (The Master and The Disciple) shows a practical aspect of the theoretical aspect of teacher-student communication in the perspective, that how teachers and student can follow these fatemi principles of educational   communication. As the start with the question of how should an Alim be thanked that he must be obeyed.

The reflection of this can be seen in the book several times, especially when the Alim described the Gulam (Youthful) the way of spending money in sabil ul Allah, the Gulam immediately presented his total possession to the Alim, on the other hand Alim’s compassion can be easily  understood by the addressing style of the Alim to Gulam. By ‘يابني’ which means my beloved child, and the limit of it can be assumed, that the Gulam called him ‘father’ (Alim wal Gulam n.d.).

To conclude, the code of success in educational development is not the “text book” rather the relationship and communication between the student and the teacher. Hudaat Kiram S.A have set such criteria which develop the holistic personality of a student not academically but socially, personally and religiously.

May Allah bless Syedna Mohammad Burhanuddin with a healthy and prosperous life for many many long years to come.  Ameen.


Alim wal Gulam.

Foorming Positive Student-Teacher Relationships. http//`shumow/itt/studentTchrrelationship.pdf.

Iman Ahmed al Mastur. Ikhwan al safa.

Phelan, Patrica, Ann Davidson, Hanh Locke, and Cao Thanh . “Speaking up:student’s perspectives on school.” Phi Delta Kappan 73.9, 1992: 695-704.

Pianta, Robert C. “Enhancing Relationships Between Children and Teachers.” American Psycological Assn, 1999.

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The Author is a Student of Al Jamea Tus Saifiyah, Karachi.

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