all teachers agree that the student should be punished when he commits or repeats a wrong action, but they disagree upon using the method of physical punishment. some of them believe that the method of physical punishment is not feasible because it causes psychological disorders, makes the student fear his teacher in all things, and encourages the student to lie in order to escape punishment; therefore, they said that this method should be prohibited completely. on the other hand, the advocates of such method stated that cancelling the physical punishment completely will cause negative consequences, such as disregarding the teachers and not caring about learning. consequently, we will have a generation not caring about the teachers and the noble principles of the teaching/ learning process.
to tackle this issue fairly, we should deal with several aspects. firstly, cancelling the physical punishment completely is something unacceptable. similarly, allowing the teacher to practice the physical punishment method openly is also unacceptable; therefore, we should balance between the two. the prophet, peace be upon him, said: “urge your children to perform their prayers when they attain seven years (i.e. without using physical punishment), but when they attain ten years, beat them (lightly) if they do not perform their prayers and separate the sleeping spaces of your male and female children”.
commenting on this hadith, al-alqami said: beating is allowed when the child attains ten years because he can bear at such age, but the violent beating and slapping on the face should be avoided. therefore, the physical punishment method is subject to the above mentioned conditions and it can be practiced when the child attains ten years for the purpose of disciplining him. the teacher or the educator should bear this in mind and should avoid beating out of revenge. some teachers misunderstand the physical punishment method and beat their student violently under the pretext of disciplining them, while the truth is that they are taking revenge. moreover, the teachers should avoid slapping on the face because the prophet, peace be upon him, said: “if any of you decided to beat, let him then avoid slapping on the face”.
in this regard, sheikh mohammad jameel zino mentioned the following useful disciplinary steps:
1) advice and guidance (sometimes, giving advice is more effective for some students).
2) frowning (as a sign of dissatisfaction)
4) turning away (turning away from his students or one of them so that he feels his mistake)
6) making the student squat (or stand up and raise his hands …etc).
7) assigning the student with some homeworks or the like.
8) hanging up a stick, according to the hadith: "hang up the whip in a place where all your family members can see for it will discipline them".
9) as a final option, beat lightly.
the teacher should follow such steps gradually i.e. he should not beat before trying the other options which help in handling the mistakes without applying the beating option. moreover, if there was no way except using the physical punishment, the above conditions should be taken into consideration.
therefore, the physical punishment can help a great deal in education, subject to the above mentioned conditions, and it is not valid to prohibit such effective disciplinary action completely.
1) it is useful to follow gradual punishment methods and make beating as a final option.
2) the violent beating and slapping on the face should be avoided.
3) the purpose of beating is to discipline and educate, not to relieve anger.