Sufi Teachers and Redefining the Traditional Student-Teacher Relationship

Sufi Teachers and Redefining the Traditional Student-Teacher Relationship

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Sufi Teachers and Redefining the Traditional Student-Teacher Relationship


"What does it mean-and more important, what should it mean--to be educated?" (58) A response to Spayd's begs another question. Is education the objective itself or the means to the objective? For some people education is just a degree, a piece of paper framed on the wall. One can say, a person with a diploma has received an education, but it is not certain that the person is educated.

This paper relates to those individuals who use education as a means to reach their objective. For them, education is not a straight line with a definitive start and finish. It is a journey full of crossroads and choices, which require direction from a guide. For a student, the teacher is that guide. The teacher teaches the student how to find the right way in his journey and from time to time, help redefine student's objective. The teacher's role in a student's journey is a central issue for a fruitful education. A teacher's methodology and the relationship between student and teacher greatly affect the content of education and its relevance to real life. A student's role is equally important in an effective teacher-student relationship. As a receiver of information and training, the student must respect and love the teacher and also have keen interest in the subject matter.

This paper is intended to focus on the importance of a teaching methodology, content and philosophy of teaching and learning for an effective and fruitful student-teacher relationship.

A dramatic example of a powerful teacher-student interaction is found in the Sufi Order and the way the Dervish teach their students. By understanding the teacher-student relationship in the Sufi Order, one may...


... middle of paper ...


...espect and admiration for the teacher in addition to having a keen interest in the subject matter.

A Sufi Master's relationship with his student, however dramatic it may be, is the most productive and rewarding model for a life-long student-teacher relationship.

Works Cited

Helminski, Kabir. "Dervishhood".
http://www.sufism.org/books/sacred/dervish.html
(9 March 2002).

Spayde, John. "Learning in the Key of Life." The Presence of Others Voices and Images That Calls for Response. Lunsford and Ruszkiewicz. New York: Bedford St.Martin's, 2000 , 58-64.

Lessing, Doris. "On Sufism and Idries Shah's The Commanding Self (1994)".
January 31, 1999.
http://www.sufis.org/lessing_commandingself.html
(9 March 2002).

"Initiation and search for a murshid".
Hazrat Sultan Bahu . November 24, 2000.
http://www.bahu.co.za/hazrat_sultan_bahu.htm
(9 March 2002).

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