Married dad-of-eight Ibrahim Yusuf, 52, admitted hitting the children while under his tuition at the Raza Jamia Masjid Mosque, Grimshaw Street, Accrington.
This week a judge at Blackburn Magistrates Court handed the grandad-of-one a 12-month community order with 12 months supervision after he pleaded guilty to four charges of assault.
He was also ordered to pay £85 in court costs and £25 compensation costs on each of the assault charges.
More than 200 people have signed a petition in support of Mr Yusuf to return and teach at the mosque – stating they ‘are united in deep regret following this unfortunate and isolated incident’.
Speaking exclusively to the Observer following the sentence Mr Yusuf, of Preston New Road, Blackburn, said: "I am relieved it is over. I wasn’t scared that I might go to jail but it’s been tough for my family because they have been worried.
"Everyone including the parents of the four children involved in this want me to carry on working at the mosque after Ramadan which is where I have been working as a volunteer teacher for almost 12 years."
Mr Yusuf is a Hafiz of the Qu’ran – one who has memorised the entire Qu’ran – and teaches children the art of reciting the Holy book to Accrington youngsters.
Earlier this month, Blackburn magistrates heard how Mr Yusuf walked among four children who had run out of another classroom and hit them with a stick he used as a teaching aid.
The court was also told how he could be seen striking two of the boys, all aged 11, on CCTV footage on the day of the assaults. One was hit on the arm and another on the lower back.
The court also heard his actions were against the Accrington mosque’s policy but its chairman would welcome back Mr Yusuf, who was described as the ‘best teacher’.
Speaking following the sentence Mr Yusuf said there were about 30 nine to 13 year old students at the mosque on the day of the incident.
Mr Yusuf, who works full-time as a sales administrator for a mobile phone and computer company, said: "I don’t usually have the stick, but just happened to have it that day for teaching purposes.
"Four or five children started running around in the hall. I went out and just tapped them on their arms with the pointer and was generally just waving the stick. The CCTV shows that.
"They were running around very fast and could have hurt themselves if I hadn’t done anything. I did it to stop them getting hurt on the nearby wooden benches or hurting anyone else and to respect the mosque. Apparently even tapping can be an assault which is why I admitted it."
Support has flowed in from the community following the case.
Azar Iqbal, 41, who runs Oswaldtwistle Pharmacy, said the success of his pharmacy was due to the guidance he received from Mr Yusuf when he was his former pupil. He said: "He taught me how to become a good citizen. I was deeply saddened to hear how such a wonderful person could have got himself tangled up in this case."
Siraj Ahmed, a barrister from Blackburn, said it came as a shock to him. He said: "I do not condone or justify the behaviour, but I would describe such action as being totally out of character."
Khalil Bukhari, a practising solicitor from Blackburn, said he had always found Mr Yusuf to be a "kind, dependable person, well regarded among his peers and in the local community" in the 30 plus years he has known him.