Of Life and Question Papers

07 Jul

I always had some trouble explaining other people’s weaknesses in practicing Islam to my children. Not to say that our practice is exceptional or something, but when the girls noticed lackings around them, they would unfailingly and earnestly question. It’s hard to keep a balance in these situations. Obviously, you can’t say that they’re bad people, but surely you can’t either approve of what wrong behaviour / appearance you’re seeing. We tried using the term ‘Weak Muslim’ but that didn’t sit well either – who are we to judge who is weak and who is strong? Moreover if you label someone weak, you’re unconsciously labeling yourself ‘strong’ and that brings in the element of Kibr (pride) in the heart – a deadly disease. A grain of Kibr may stop you from earning Jannah!

So the best thing is to say that the behaviour in question is wrong and that we make dua for the person’s guidance.

The analogy of the exam question paper and our lives struck me recently and it helped me in explaining such situations to my children.

When we see a lacking on the part of a fellow Muslim, a relative or a friend, we may think that they’re presently doing poor in that particular aspect of life. Their score on that question may be low, but we don’t know what is their score on the other questions of their exam paper. And we certainly don’t know what is their overall score in the eyes of the Examiner. We should not rank them on the output of a particular question, and who are we to rank in the first place? We should not compare our score with them, especially on selected questions. There may be several questions where our score is lower than them! And when it comes to the Grand Total, nobody can judge if even we will pass or not, so how can we say anything about them!

The Grand Total of the other person may very well turn out to be higher than us, despite their low performance on a particular question of life. Their set of questions are different from ours. It’s a customized exam for everyone. And they may have performed very high on questions that we don’t know of!

Oh Allah, please give me at least 33/100 out of Your sheer Mercy and save me from the blazing fire.


Posted by on July 7, 2013 in Parenting Tricks


3 responses to “Of Life and Question Papers

  1. Javeria .A

    July 13, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    Yes such a situation in indeed difficult for me to explain to my children when they see others and especially close family members indulging in things which are not good. What I say to them is that they are doing this ‘bad behaviour’ because they don’t know that its wrong and that Allah does not like it.

    • ummaymun

      July 18, 2013 at 4:38 pm

      You’re right Javeria. But as the children grow up, things take new turns – because now they ask you ” So why don’t you tell them that it’s wrong??” and… “OK, I AM going to tell them HOW wrong this is… ” I got into some pretty tough situations when things got there!

      It’s a delicate matter as we all understand. We want our children to not lose respect for their elders, but we want them to differentiate clearly between right and wrong, learn ‘amr bil ma’roof wa nahi unil munkar’, and at the same time we don’t want them to feel superior than others or to be judgmental of others. May Allah guide us all to ease and His pleasure.

  2. rafiaa39gmailcom

    January 12, 2018 at 12:54 pm

    Jazakumullah for the reminder about the ‘lateef’ aspect of avoiding kibr. It is so wonderful that you care so much for that. I always tell my kids that we can condemn an action but not a person as only Allah knows what is in their hearts. We do not know if He approves of them more or less than us and has not allowed any human to judge another human. We can and should however judge which actions are good or bad. It is not possible to know the hidden niyyat behind it which may make it acceptable in Allah’s All-Knowing Wisdom


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: