The three respected brothers had arrived at my residence
with an invitation card, inviting me to pair with a distinguished scholar and
deliver a lecture at a camp symposium. It was indeed a great opportunity to
speak on a topic which is so dear to my heart...

But they didn't know that he was my teacher!

"No, I won't pair with own my teacher. I would rather
come around and listen to him, or better still, stand humbly behind him, with
my arms at my back during his presentation..." I had politely explained my
predicament to the three brothers who had come to honour me with a card...

They were not happy with my explanation; but I can't imagine
sharing a table with my teacher. It's not my style!

My teachers are the symbols of my love. I may have disagreed
with some of them. My heart has refused to let go the feelings of admiration I
have for them. I have only one heart overwhelmed by my love for Allah. However,
I share some feelings of respect between my teachers and my parents.

In truth, I do not know how to appreciate my teachers yet;
but I have always offered some material gifts which, I know, would never
compensate for their efforts. Sometimes, for some of them, I do vacate the seats
of honour by announcing to the world, each time I have the opportunity, that
"Here comes my teacher!"

If I can vividly recall...

At a particular program in Kaduna five years ago, I held a
microphone in the heat of a dawah message, Governor Yero, the former governor
of Kaduna State, was also present, when one of my teachers entered and joined

Alas, I quickly climbed down the podium to salute my hero,
with a humble announcement to his Excellency that "Here comes my
teacher!" I would always be proud of those who taught me Islam.

It's not all about the limit of your teacher's knowledge.
You may now be better enriched than him in knowledge. It's not even about the
limit of his exposure. You may be better exposed than all your teachers. It's
certainly not about the ideological dichotomy between you both - as much as
he's also healthy in creed.

Of course, your methodology may stand in contra-distinction
to his...But he was once your teacher, afterall. You sat before him to learn
the Deen, or the rules of the language with which you "adequately"
comprehended the Deen.

You must therefore always honour your teacher.

For example, in the West of Africa, the foremost scholar of
Sunnah, the pioneer of anti-Bidi'ah dawah we all knew, Shaykh Abubakar Mahmud
Gumi, had once confessed in his autobiographical work that he had only avoided
appearing for a debate against Shaykh Naasirdeen Kabara, simply because the
later was once his teacher, even if only for some days...

Shaykh Kabara had merely taught him SHARH IBN A'QILI, and
nothing more!

These days, however, I lament how we ridicule and humiliate
the teachers of Sunnah...Even those who had merely taught us the language with
which we grasped the message deserve the honour accorded a teacher.

In Yoruba land, let's honour the efforts of Shaykh Adam
Al-Iloriy, Shaykh Kamaldeen Al-Adabiy and many more...Every teacher of truth
deserves to be honoured. The devil is the teacher of those who have no

Last two weeks, I was a guest of the vice chancellor and the
entire management of Al-Hikmah University, Ilorin, at a presentation organized
by the school's center for Islamic heritage and human development. No doubt,
the program had evoked in me a profound respect for scholarship...

Indeed, I was humbled by the formidable presence of those
academic heavyweights at the program. They are the scholars of Arabic syntax,
literature, Islamic jurisprudence, Fiqh and Usuul Deen whose commitment to the
dissemination of knowledge is undoubtedly firm.

What could be more beneficial to a speaker who is offered
the grace of addressing those distinguished men of religion, dawah and letters,
such as: Ass. Prof. Otuyo (Usuul), Ass. Prof Kakuri (Arabic), Ass. Prof (Dr)
Qaasim, Ass. Prof. Suyuti Olagele, Prof. AGAS (Unilorin) Dr. Akorede (Arabic).

Also in the audience are Dr. Rasheed Azeez, Dr. Kamal Al-
Mubaarak, Dr. Y. K Jumuah, Dr. Yahya Zakariyah, including the acting DVC, Dr.
Oladimeji; and of course, the reputable Vice Chancellor of the great citadel
himself, Professor Tawfik Ibrahim, a professor of Medicine.

During my brief stay, I had the greatest pleasure in going
through the three-volume PhD thesis of Dr. Jumuah Otuyo on Islamic law and I
was swept off my feet with that huge piece of knowledge. Here is an
uncelebrated scholar at home, but whose unquantifiable wealth of knowledge was
first described to me by his Saudi teacher.

On getting to know of my nationality, Shaykh Abdullahi
Mutlaq, a distinguished leading Saudi scholar I met at a conference in Riyadh,
didn't enquire about any other person with his weak mastery of the
pronunciation of that name, but Dr. Otuyo.

Thus, as I stood on my feet inside the school auditorium on
that day, listening to my citation prior to the lecture, I looked at these
caliber of scholars, nay, the teachers of knowledge and I sympathized with all
the empty megaphones who have continued to seek fame on social media by running
down the Dakaatirah.

I have only written this today to thank all my teachers,
home and abroad; dead or alive, far or near. I may not agree with them on all
issues, but Allah has indeed used them all to stabilize my life with guidance,
especially those who taught me Islam.

Thank you my teachers.

Help pray for all my teachers, if you truly love me. I have
however chosen not to mention their names, but if you know any, feel free to
mention him in your comments.

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