From the Book

Excerpts from The holy Quran for Educating the Child

Excerpt from chapter 5 - The Parent as Model

Could the source of the child’s aggressiveness lie in the home?

وَإِذْ أَخَذْنَا مِيثَاقَ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ لاَ تَعْبُدُونَ إِلاَّ اللّهَ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَاناً وَذِي الْقُرْبَى وَالْيَتَامَى وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَقُولُواْ لِلنَّاسِ حُسْناً وَأَقِيمُواْ الصَّلاَةَ وَآتُواْ الزَّكَاةَ ثُمَّ تَوَلَّيْتُمْ إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً مِّنكُمْ وَأَنتُم مِّعْرِضُونَ

سورۃ البقرة, آيۃ 83

And remember We took a Covenant from the Children of Israel (to this effect): worship none but Allah; treat with kindness your parents and kindred, and orphans and those in need; speak fair to the people; be steadfast in prayer; And practice regular charity. Then did ye turn back, except a few among you, and ye backslide (even now

Surah 2, Verse 83

A tidy school, a clean environment, trees in the courtyard. It is hard to believe how quiet a place can be, even though it is filled with pupils. It was the lunch recess; the teachers were roaming the courtyard and corridor and several of them were in the teachers’ lounge, chatting and exchanging opinions, while the principal sat in his office. Suddenly loud shouting broke the silence. The father of one of the pupils burst in through the door, shouting, threatening and cursing one of the teachers.

The teacher invited the parent to sit down and discuss things quietly. His invitation seemed to infuriate the man even further. The pupils watched, the teachers stood surprised and the principal could not believe his eyes and invited the two of them into his room: “Come in so that we can understand what the problem is and examine what we can do to help you,” he said. In the principal’s office, the father explained that his son had failed a maths test although he was a clever and diligent student. “The teacher is to blame. He deliberately failed him because of discipline problems,” he fumed. The teacher replied that the boy was indeed a bright boy but he had many behavioral problems connected to his classmates. He was not focused in class and so his grades were dropping. “Recently he has become particularly aggressive,” the teacher added, “but he received the grade he deserves according to his work and knowledge and not his conduct.”

The father asked the teacher’s pardon and explained that his son had described the situation entirely differently. “I should have asked you before shouting,” he added. Then the principal talked to the father about the change for the worse in his son’s behavior. He added that he knew what the root of the problem was and that only the father could help his son. The father looked at him and asked how he could help his son to be more pleasant and calm and less aggressive and undisciplined.

The principal explained that many children are the reflection of their parents. “He is imitating your behavior. If you treat him aggressively, he will be aggressive towards his surroundings. I think that your attitude, the way you came into the school, is likely to be adopted by your son. It is very important to be courteous to others, as the Quran says in Surah 2, Verse 83: “Speak fair to the people“.

the principal was right. It is likely that the father behaves similarly towards his family although outwardly he appears to be defending his son. In any event, the son sees his father's behavior and takes it as a model so that it is not surprising that he treats his friends in the same way. It is not always easy to practice restraint, certainly not when we are frustrated and angry. Thanks to the moderate and restrained reactions of the teacher and the principal, the father was able to calm down. If they had responded aggressively to his aggression, the situation would have deteriorated even further. The angry father encountered the calm and even sad eyes of the teacher and the principal. They were sad that he, the father, felt like that. In moments of stormy emotion, the Quran exhortation: "Speak fair to the people", can appease and the entire situation for the better. Then it is possible to discuss the child and his difficulties and to decide how to help him. When anger reigns, discussion is impossible.