Students’ Etiquette towards Teachers According to Syaikh Burhanuddin Az-Zarnuji

Aep Pipin

Islamic Academy of Yapata Al Jawami Bandung

                                                                                      aepipin@gmail.com

 

ARTICLE INFO        ABSTRACT

Received:

25 august 2021

Revised:

20 sept 2021

Approved:

05 oct 2021

Background: Education in Indonesia has recently been shocked by various incidents among students indicating moral decline. Those incidents are inseparable from the lack of guidance and teaching of students' etiquette in learning and ethics towards teachers. Therefore, the author attempted to discover the solution for this issue by researching a book entitled Ta'lim Muta'alim Tariq At -Ta'allum by Syaikh Burhanuddin Az-Zarnuji which contains thirteen chapters describing etiquettes in front of teachers and how to learn properly.

Aim: (1) Discover the concepts of students’ etiquette to teachers according to Syaikh Burhanuddin Az-Zarnuji in the book of Ta'lim Muta'allim Tariq At-Ta'allum in Fashl Ta'dzimul Ilmi wa Ahlih (2) Discover the pattern in learning about students’ etiquette to their teachers according to Syaikh Burhanuddin in the book of Ta'lim Muta'allim Tariq At-Ta'allum in Fashl Ta'dzimul Ilmi wa Ahlih.

Method: This study used a qualitative approach. The method used was descriptive. The data collection implemented was library research. The object being researched, as well as the data source, was the book Ta'alim Muta'alim by Syaikh Burhanuddin Az-Zarnuzi. The data collection method uses descriptive methods and the author performed content analysis.

Findings: The results showed that students' etiquette towards teachers are students must always respect the teacher and the teacher's family, protect the rights of the teacher, do not walk in front of the teacher, do not sit in the teacher's place, do not start a conversation without the teacher’s permission, do not ask something when the teacher is bored, be on time, do not knock on the door of the teacher's house but be patient waiting for the teacher to come out.

KEYWORDS

Ethics; student; teacher

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives 4.0 International License

 

Introduction

Education in Indonesia has recently been shocked by various incidents among students from violent actions, social deviations, to the death of a teacher (Widianto, 2018). These incidents are inseparable from the lack of guidance and teaching of students' etiquette in learning and ethics towards teachers. This has an impact on the reputation of national education and educational institutions’ prestige (Soedijarto, 2008).

Education is essentially an effort to pass on the values ​​of human nature that will help and determine human beings in living their lives, as well as to improve their lives and civilization. Meanwhile, in the case of Islam, according to Prof. H.H Arifin, Islamic education is based on Islamic values, in which someone must be able to instill or form an attitude imbued with the values, as well as to develop scientific and charitable abilities (Arifin, 2016).

Without education, it is believed that today's humans are not much different from previous generations, or even declining. It is safe to say that the progress and retreat of a nation is determined through how education is taken by its citizens. Furthermore, education should incite students’ good characters that will later become competencies in life.

The students should pay attention first to the procedures for obtaining proper knowledge according to Islam. The first is how to honor a teacher as a source of knowledge, as stated by Prophet Muhammad SAW

وَعَنْ اَنَسٍ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُوْلُ اللهِ صَلىَّ اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: وَقِرُوْا مَنْ تَتَعَلَّمُوْنَ مِنْهُ

 

"From Anas RA, he said: Rasulullah SAW Said: Honor those who have taught you lessons." (H.R. Abu Hasan Al-Mawardi)

 

Align with the hadits, Abdullah bin Mubarrak Rahimahumullah said “I studied adab for 30 years and knowledge for 20 years and he said adab and two-thirds of the existing knowledge.” Hence, the previous scholars managed to reach the highest level of intelligence (Tuasikal, 2014).

The ethical decadence of students towards teachers is a big problem in Indonesia. This occurs from elementary school to university levels, including the case of elementary school students who fought against their teachers when they wanted to go home, in which the students said bad things to their teacher (Damarjati, 2016). In Pontianak, a student threw his teacher with a chair that made the teacher faint (Manafe, 2018). Once, even a student dared to challenge the principal to a fight (Fatoni, 2018). Another ironic incident happened when a junior high school student showed his bottom to his teacher. Worse, earlier this year, a student killed a teacher, an issue which triggered the author to discuss about it. Though the reason remains unrevealed, it is still a disgrace to education, which leads to opinions regarding is education’s inability to form morals and ethics towards a teacher.

The development of information and technology as well as the rapid global flow, have caused a decline in students’ etiquette towards teachers since teachers only transfer knowledge to the students without being their role model and guiding them for their future (Widianto, 2018). On the other hand, teaching should be emphasized on ethics and manners since they are the most expected outcome of education.

Nowadays, Indonesian education has almost lost the figure or idol of the students in terms of studying, which causes a decline in students' morals and etiquette in studying. It leads to learning being merely outcome-oriented, specifically only expecting the graduation certificate. In fact, to gain knowledge, one must be respectful to their teacher first, then the impact may manifest in the future.

Based on the explanation above, the author attempted to research and find solutions for the ethical decline. The author used a book entitled Ta'lim Muta'alim Tariq At -Ta'allum by Syaikh Burhanuddin Az-Zarnuji which contains thirteen chapters describing etiquettes in front of teachers and how to learn properly.

The importance of revitalizing and repositioning students' ethics towards teachers in education must be returned to Islamic values. It is because actually, the ethical values ​​of students towards teachers already exist in Islam. However, students' ethics towards teachers are starting to be abandoned for they are influenced by western habits from television shows, social media etc., along with the fact that in the West a teacher is considered as a friend in the learning process. Meanwhile, in the book of Ta'lim Muta'allim, a teacher is positioned as someone who must be respected and honored. Hence, it is important to return to the actual teachings of ethics in modern times so that students can attain perfect knowledge and teachers are repositioned as people who are honored in education.


The topic raised by the author is considered relevant to the state of education today because education must provide a clear moral competence instead of mere cognitive abilities. It is also meant to be a contribution to today's educational solutions.

 

Method

This research used a qualitative approach for it is considered to be the most suitable one for this research’s context. Precisely, the author implemented grounded theory design. The research initially emerged an exploration regarding the selected phenomenon, then carried out an in-depth data collection to formulate a hypothesis. The hypothesis was further verified by collecting more in-depth data. If the hypothesis is proven to be correct, it will become a thesis or theory.

The method used in this research is descriptive method. Descriptive research methods or decomposition are often used (Frick, 2008). It is a qualitative depiction of facts and non-numeric data or objects through appropriate and systematic interpretation (Wibowo, 2011).

As for the data, they were collected through library research.

 

Findings and Discussion

A.  Biography of Syaikh Burhanuddin Az-Zarnuji

1.    The Origin of Syaikh Burhanuddin Az-Zarnuji

Az-Zarnuji is believed to be the sole author of the book Ta’limul Muta’allim, although his name is not as well known as his creation. The word Syaikh is an honorable title bestowed on him. While the name Az-Zarnuji is actually a surname taken from the name of the city where he lived, Zarnuj. Between the two names, some people entitled him Burhanuddin (Proof of religious truth). Hence why he is often called as Syaikh Burhanuddin Az-Zarnuji (As'ad, 2007). His date of birth is not yet known. Meanwhile, regarding his death, there are two opinions: Some said he died in 591 H/1195 A.D., and others said he died in 840 H/1243 A.D. His life was with Ridha Al-Din Al-Naisari, between the years 500-600 A.D. (Baharuddin & Wahyuni, 2010).

Affandi Muchtar obtained other information about Az-Zarnuji based on data from Ibn Khalikan. According to him, Imam Az-Zarnuji was one of the teachers of Imam Rukn Addin Imam Zada ​​(Died 573 H/1177-1178 A.D.) in the field of Fiqh. Imam Zada ​​also studied under Syaikh Ridau Ad-Din An-Nishapuri’s (Died between 550 H and 600 H) supervision in the field of Mujahadah. The popularity of Imam Zada ​​is recognized because of his achievements in the field of Ushuluddin along with the popularity of other Imams who also received the title of Rukan (Joint). They include Rukn Al-Din Al-Amidi (Died 615 H) and Rukn Ad-Din At-Tawusi (Died 600 H) (Sudarto, 1995).

Regarding the previous paragraph, Grunebeum and Abel stated that Burhanuddin Az-Zarnuji livedtowards the end of the 12th and beginning of the 13th century A.D.” Similarly, regarding his place of birth, there is no definite information. However, judging from his ratio, some researchers say that he came from Zarnuj. Regarding this, Mochtar Affandi in his thesis entitled “The Method of Learning as Illustrated in Az-Zarnuji Ta'lim Al-Muta'alimstated: “It is a city in Persia which was a capital and city of Sadjistan to the south of Herat (Now Afghanistan). This means Zarnuj was one of the regions in Persia that was once the capital of Sidjistan, located in south of Herat an area now known as Afghanistan (Nata, 2001).

Afghanistan itself is one of the regions where Islam was disseminated from the Ghaznawiyah Dynasty which established since 350 H. During that time, the development of science had progressed so that it was not inferior to its surrounding areas such as Bukhara.

On the other hand, there are also different opinions that according to Al-Quraisyi, the name Az-Zarnuji is derived from the name of a village  named Zarnuj in Turkey. On the other hand, Yaqut Al Humawi attributed the name Az-Zarnuji to a worker village in Turkistan (Qabbani, 1981).

Although from his famous work, the book Ta'limul Muta'allim using the Arabic language, it can not be used as a benchmark that az-Zarnuji came from the Arab nation. Because there are many non-Arabic scholars who also write their works using Arabic, such as the book Tafsir Munir which is often referred to as Tafsir Munir, Maraah Labiid who uses Arabic is the work of Sheikh Muhammad Nawawi who came from Indonesia.

 

2.    Educational History of Az-Zarnuji

Regarding his educational history, it is assumed that Az-Zarnuji studied in Bukhara and Samarkand, two cities that became centers of science and teaching back then. The mosques in the two cities were used as educational places, which were cared for, among others, by Burhanuddin Al-Marginani, Syamsuddin Abd Al-Wajdi Muhammad bin Muhammad bin Abd and Al-Sattar Al-Amidi (Nata, 2001).

Then according to several researchers many scholars who became Az-Zarnuji's teachers, these scholars as mentioned in the book Ta'limul Muta'allim (As’ad, 2007) include:

a.  Ali ibn Abu Bakr ibn Abdul Jalil Al-Farghani Al-Marghinani Al-Rustami, a great scholar of the Hanafi school who wrote the book Al-Hidayah, the main reference of Fiqh in the particular school. He died in 593 H/1197 A.D.

b.  Ruknul Islam Muhammad bin Abi Bakr. Popular with the title Khowahir Zadeh or Imam Zadeh. He was a great scholar of Hanafi’s Fiqh discussions, as well as a poet. He used to be the Mufti of Bukhara and was very famous for his Fatwa. He died in 573 H/1177 A.D.

c.  Hamad bin Ibrahim. A Hanafi jurist, writer and theologian. Died in 576 H/ 1180 A.D.

d.  Fakhruddin Al-Kasyani (Abu Bakr bin Mas'ud Al-Kasyani), a scholar of Hanafi school. Died 587 H / 1191 M.

e.  Fakhruddin Al-Hasan bin Mansur or known as Syaikh Fakhruddin Qadli Khan Al-Ouzjandi, a great scholar known as a Mujtahid in the Hanafi school and wrote many books. He died in Ramadhan 592 H/1196 A.D.

f.   Ruknuddin Al-Farghani, titled as Al-Adib Al-Mukhtar (Poet of choice), a scholar of Fiqh, writer and poet. Died in 594 H/ 1098 A.D.

Based on this information, his thinking was greatly influenced by the understanding of Fiqh at that time. As stated by Muid Khan, in his study of the book of Ta’lim published in English, about Az-Zarnuji's thoughts. Muid Khan incorporated Az-Zarnuji’s thought into the line of thought of the Hanafi school of thought, which was reinforced by the evidence of many Hanafi scholars quoted by Az-Zarnuji, including Imam Abu Hanifah himself. Of the about 50 ulama mentioned by Az-Zarnuji, only two were of Shafi'i, namely Imam Shafi'i himself and Imam Yusuf Al-Hamdani (Died in 1140 A.D.).

According to Muid Khan, the ideas of the Madzhab he embraced influenced his thinking about education. This caused Mahmud bin Sulaiman Al-Kaffawi, who died in 990 H/1562 A.D. in his book Al-Alamul Akhyar Min Fuqaha’i Madzhab Al-Nu’man Al-Mukhtar, placed Az-Zarnuji in the 12th rank of the list of Hanafi scholars.


In addition, Az-Zarnuji also studied with Rukn Al-Din Al-Firqinani (A scholar of Fiqh, literature and poet (Died 594 H/1196 A.D.)), Hammad bin Ibrahim (A theologian, writer and poet (Died 564) H/1170 A.D.)), and Rukn Al-Islam Muhammad bin Abi Bakar (Known as Khowahir Zadeh, a Mufti of Bukhara and an expert in the field of Fiqh, literature and poetry (Died 573 H/1177 A.D.)).

Az-Zarnuji, in addition to being an expert in the field of education and Sufism, also mastered other fields such as literature, theology and so on (Baharuddin & Wahyuni, 2010). Although it is not known for sure if he had any renowned teacher in Sufism, it can be assumed that by having extensive knowledge in the field of Fiqh and theology, accompanied by a subtle and deep literary soul, a person has gained an opportunity to enter the world of Sufism (Nata, 2001).

As a Muslim philosopher, Az-Zarnuji is more inclined to Al-Ghozali. So many traces of Al-Ghozali’s teachings in his book with epistemological concepts that are no more than the first book in Ihya 'Ulum Al Din but Az-Zarnuji has his own system, which at each chapter by chapter, or every sentence by another sentence is a mosaic configuration of Az-Zarnuji's own personality (Langgulung, 1988).

In addition to educational background factors as listed above, social factors and community development also affect a person's mindset. Therefore, in this section, the educational situation in the time of Az-Zarnuji is also presented.

 

3.    The Emergence of Az-Zarnuji as a Figure of Educational Thought

In the history of Islamic education, there are five stages of growth and development of education, namely (Zuhairi, 1992):

a.  Education Time in the time of Prophet Muhammad SAW (571 - 632 A.D).

b.  Educational Time in the time of Khulafaur Rashidin (632 - 661 A.D).

c.  Educational Period during the time of the Umayyads in Damascus (661 - 750 A.D).

d.  Educational Period in the time of the Abbasids in Baghdad (750 – 1250 A.D).

e.  The Decline of the Umayyad rule in Baghdad (1250 - Now).

From the periodization above, Az-Zarnuji might have lived around the end of the 12th and early 13th centuries (591-640 H/1195-1234 A.D.) (Nata, 2001). Based on that statement, Az-Zarnuji lived in the fourth period of the growth and development period of Islamic education (Baharuddin & Wahyuni, 2010), between 750-1250 AD. In this connection Hasan Langgulung (1989) stated: "The golden age of Islam was about two centers, namely the Abbasid empire centered in Baghdad which lasted approximately five centuries (750-1258 AD) and the Umayyad kingdom in Spain which lasted approximately eight centuries (711-1492 AD).

At that time, Islamic culture was growing rapidly, marked by the growth of various educational institutions, from the elementary level to the tertiary level. Among them are (Nata, 2001):

a.  Nizhamiyah Madrasah, founded by Nizham Al-Mulk (457-1106 AD), a ruler of the Bani Saljuk government. In each city, Nidzam Al Mulk established a large Madrasah, as in Baghdad, Balkh, Naisabur, Hearat, Asfahan, Bashrah and others.

b.  Al-Nuriyah Al-Kubra Madrasah, founded by Nuruddin Mahmud Zanki (563-1167 A.D.) in Damascus.

c.  Al-Mustansyirah Madrasah was founded by the Abbasid caliph, Al-Mustansir Billah, in Baghdad (631 H/1234 A.D). The latter school is equipped with various adequate facilities such as a two-story building, a hall, a library with approximately 80,000 book collections, a large yard and field, a mosque, a medical center and so on. Another feature of the Madrasah mentioned last is that it teaches jurisprudence in four schools (Maliki, Hanafi, Shafi'I, and Ahmad ibn Hambal).

 

In addition to the three Madrasah, there are still many Islamic educational institutions that grew and developed rapidly during the life of Az-Zarnuji. With this information, it is clear that he lived at a time when Islamic science and culture were at their peak, specifically during the Abbasid era which was marked by the emergence of encyclopedic Islamic thinkers who were difficult to match.

These conditions of growth and development were very favorable for the formation of Az-Zarnuji as a scientist or scholar with extensive knowledge (Baharuddin & Wahyuni, 2010). On this basis it is not surprising that Az-Zarnuji is a philosopher who has his own system of thought and can be equated with figures such as Ibn Sina, Al Ghazali and so on (Nata, 2001).

However, with the increasing number of educational institutions and thinkers that emerged at that time, on the other hand, the government and political conditions were uncertain, especially in the Abbasid government.

These years were the beginning of the collapse of the Abbasid power which was marked by the struggle for power in his government. So that resulted in the internal weaknesses of the Abbasids. This is as stated by Imam Tholkhah and Ahmad Barizi in their book Opening the Window of Education to unravel the Roots of Tradition and Interaction of Islamic Educational Sciences that Az-Zarnuji lived during the reign and Islamic thought experienced a decline (Barizi & Tolkhah, 2004).

The difference above is understandable, because the lifetime of Burhanuddin Az-Zarnuji occurred at the end of the 12th century and the beginning of the 13th century. That period was the initial period of the destruction of Islam in the East, and began a period of Islamic stagnation. But in the Western hemisphere Islam is experiencing the peak of glory, which was ruled by the Umayyads, in Spain. Many Islamic philosophers and thinkers in various fields of scientific disciplines were born there.

 

B.  Book of Ta’limul Mutta’alim

1.  Codification and Transliteration of the book of Ta'limul Muta'allim

We may not know for sure how many of Az-Zarnuji's works there are and can only know Ta'limul Muta'allim that we can know and can find until now and without information on the year of publication. In our belief, as is usually the case with great scholars who lived in the VI-VII Hijri centuries, of course there are still many other written books. It may be that the manuscript was lost in a museum repository before it was published or it was destroyed in the Mongol wars that took place in the same century.

First known, the manuscript of this book was printed in Germany in 1709 AD by Ralandalus, in Labstak/Libsik in 1838 AD by Kaspari with an additional preamble by Plessner, in Marsadabad in 1265 H, in Qazan in 1898 AD it became 32 pages, and in 1901 AD it became 32 pages with the addition of a little explanation or syarah on the back, in Tunisia in 1286H to 40 pages. The year 1307H became 52 pages, and also the year 1311H. in the form of a scripted script (Musyakkalah), can be found from the publisher Al Miftah, Surabaya (As’ad, 2007).

This book has been advised into a new book but without its own title by Asy Shaykh Ibrahim bin Ismail, and was completed in 996 H. According to this author, the book has many fans and has a proper place in the environment of students and teachers. Especially during the reign of Murad


Khan bin Salim Khan, which means in the 16th century AD and in our country, this Syarah book is widely circulated from Indonesian publishers.

The book of Ta'limul Muta'allim was also written in the form of Nadhom (Poetry, rhymes) which was changed with Bahar Rojaz into 269 stanzas by Ustadz Ahmad Zaini, Solo, Central Java. The manuscript was published by Maktabah Nabharah Kubro, Surabaya, East Java, on behalf of the publisher Musthafa Babil Halabi, Egypt, under the Tashih of Ahmad Sa'ad Ali, an Al Azhar cleric and chairman of Lajnah Tashih.

In Indonesia, the book of Ta'lim Muta’allim circulates in a printed version along with the Syarah written by Sheikh Ibrahim bin Ismail. There are many translations of this book. The translated version with the Gandul meaning model and the translation on the side of the page was written by K.H. Bisri Mustofa. As explained by Mahmud Yunus in the “History of Islamic Education”, besides being Syarah by Sheikh Ibrahim bin Ismail, with Syarah Ta'limul Muta'allim Thariqut Ta'allum, the book of Ta'lim Muta’allim was also Syarah by Sheikh Yahya bin Ali bin Nashuh (1007 H/ 1598 M) from Turkey and Imam Abdul Wahab Al-Sya'rani, and Al-Qadli Zakaria Al-Ansari. However, it seems that the most famous among them is the work of Sheikh Ibrahim bin Ismail.

 

2. Reasons for Compiling the Book of Ta'limul Muta'allim

In his preamble, Az-Zarnuji stated:

وبعد: فلما رأيت كثيرا من طلاب العلم فى زماننا يجدون وإلى العلم لايصلون، ومن منافعه وثمرته (وهي العمل به والنشر) يحرمون، كما أنهم أخطؤوا طرائقه وتركوا شرائطه وكل من أخطأ الطريق ضل ولا ينال المقصود قل أو جل.

After the author saw many students at this time being diligent in studying but not succeeding in reaching the benefits and fruits, namely the application of science and its development. Because they go the wrong way and ignore the requirements even though anyone on the wrong path will certainly get lost and fail to reach their goals, small or large.

From Az-Zarnuji's statement above, the reason of the compilation of the book Ta'limul Muta'allim was because in his day, there were so many students of knowledge (Thalibu al-ilmi) or students who were diligent in studying but were unable to reap the benefits of that knowledge (Practicing and spreading it). According to him, this happened because students left the requirements that must be met by every student of knowledge, resulting in failure.

Furthermore, the purpose of the preparation of this book can be seen from Az-Zarnuji's statement in the Muqaddimah (Opening) of the book:

أردت وأحببت أن أبين لهم طريق التعلم على ما رأيت فى الكتب وسمعت من أساتذتى أولى العلم والحكم رجاء الدعاء لى من الراغبين فيه، المخلصين بالفوز والخلاص فى يوم الدين

From Az-Zarnuji's statement above, the purpose of Ta'limul Muta'allim book was to "straighten" the procedures for studying. This book is popular among Islamic boarding schools/Madrasah-based schools, hoping that it will have a scientific moral attitude that is more than that of non-Islamic boarding schools.

 

3. Systematics of Writing and Main Thoughts of Ta'limul Muta'allim

Ta'limul Muta'allim is a guidebook for learning (Learning and teaching) especially for students, contains an introduction and has 13 Fashl (sections), as well as the main points of the author's thoughts. The Book of Ta’limul Muta’allim contains the principles of thought among them (Az-Zarnuji, n.d.):

a.  The urgency of understanding and the virtue of knowledge (Mahiyah al-Ilmu wa al-Fiqh wa Fadhlihi)

b.  Determination when studying (Al-Niyyah Hal al-Ta’allum)

c.  Choose Master, friends, and good relations (Ikhtiyar Al-Mu’allim wa al-Ustadz wa al-Syarik wa al-Tsabat Alaihi)

d.  Glorifying science and intelligent people (Ta’dzim Al-Ilmu wa Ahlihi)

e.  Active, diligent, and dedicated in seeking knowledge (Al-Jadd wa Al-Muwazdabah wa Al-Himmah)

f.   A good learning system (Bidayah Al-Sabaq wa Qadruhu wa Tartibuhu)

g.  Tawakal (Al-Tawakkul)

h.  Gaining lessons (Waqt At-Tahsil)

i.   Sympathy or empathy and advice (As-Syafaqah wa Al-Nasyihah)

j.   Taking advantage (Al-Isifadah)

k.  Be Wara' when studying (Al-Wara’ fi Hal At-Ta’allum)

l.   Something that makes someone memorize and forget something (Fii Maa Yuritsu Al-Hifdz wa Maa Yuritsu An-Nisyan)

m. Something that can attract and repel sustenance, and something that can lengthen and shorten life (Fii Maa Yajlibu Ar-Rizq wa Maa Yamna’uhu wa Maa Yazid Al-Umr wa Ma Yunqishu).

 

Conclusion

Burhanuddin Az-Zarnuji's educational thoughts are not merely theoretical thoughts but also contain practical thoughts that are possible to be implemented in the present, especially at school. The most obvious etiquette in this case are students must always respect the teacher and the teacher's family, protect the rights of the teacher, do not walk in front of the teacher, do not sit in the teacher's place, do not start a conversation without the teacher’s permission, do not ask something when the teacher is bored, be on time, do not knock on the door of the teacher's house but be patient waiting for the teacher to come out.

 

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