From the Book

Excerpts from The holy Quran for Educating the Child

Excerpt from chapter 4 - Dishonest Conduct

What can we say to a girl who steals?

وَلاَ تَأْكُلُواْ أَمْوَالَكُم بَيْنَكُم بِالْبَاطِلِ وَتُدْلُواْ بِهَا إِلَى الْحُكَّامِ لِتَأْكُلُواْ فَرِيقًا مِّنْ أَمْوَالِ النَّاسِ بِالإِثْمِ وَأَنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ

سورۃ البقرة, آيۃ 188

And do not eat up your property among yourselves for vanities, nor use it as bait for the judges, with intent that ye may eat up wrongfully and knowingly a little of (other) people’s property.

Surah 2, Verse 188

Warod was only in the fifth grade but was already considered disruptive and problematic and squabbled with all her friends. Her classmates complained that she took things without permission – pens, food or money – but she denied this vehemently.

One day, in sports lesson, while all the other pupils were on the sports field, Warod asked permission to go to the toilet, but instead ran to her classroom. One of the pupils saw her going through her classmates’ schoolbags and reported this to the teacher. In the past, pupils had complained after the sports lessons that articles had vanished from their bags, but the teacher had not taken the complaints seriously. Now the story was clear. She summoned Warod for a talk but the girl responded with indifference, shrugged her shoulders and said she knew nothing about it. Even when the teacher asked her about a toy belonging to another pupil which was found in her possession, she claimed to know nothing about it. Then the teacher took out the Quran and asked Warod to read out Surah 2, Verse 188: “And do not eat up your property among yourselves for vanities“. Then she asked Warod what she had understood from this verse. This time Warod went pale, stammered and said she understood that it forbidden to steal and cheat. “From now on we are opening a new page,” said the teacher. “We all forgive you, but on condition that from now on you do not do such things.” Warod looked at the teacher and said quietly: “I promise.”

There are various reasons why children are impelled to steal. Sometimes something is lacking in their lives, sometimes they are envious of another child and often they have everything but still steal. Thus, the children of the rich are sometimes caught pilfering in supermarkets when they could obviously buy anything they want. In such a case, the child steals in order to feel that he has gained something, not necessarily something material but perhaps a good feeling. These children lack parental love and steal in order to overcome their sense of emptiness. We do not know why Warod steals, but unless she is stopped and limits are set it is impossible to talk to her and find out what is troubling her and making her behave like that. Her teacher has tried to talk to her but without success. Warod denied wrongdoing. The Quran verse her teacher quoted persuaded Warod that Allah sees and knows everything. She cannot tell Him tales and pretend not to understand. Thus, the Quran has helped her teacher to set limits for Warod. Now she or the counselor can talk to her about what is really troubling her and try to understand why she has been stealing. Without the Quran quotation, they could not have done so.