From the Book

Excerpts from The holy Quran for Educating the Child

Excerpt from chapter 7 - Truth, Promises And Personal Responsibility

Is a promise also a promise to yourself?

لَّيْسَ الْبِرَّ أَن تُوَلُّواْ وُجُوهَكُمْ قِبَلَ الْمَشْرِقِ وَالْمَغْرِبِ وَلَكِنَّ الْبِرَّ مَنْ آمَنَ بِاللّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ وَالْمَلآئِكَةِ وَالْكِتَابِ وَالنَّبِيِّينَ وَآتَى الْمَالَ عَلَى حُبِّهِ ذَوِي الْقُرْبَى وَالْيَتَامَى وَالْمَسَاكِينَ وَابْنَ السَّبِيلِ وَالسَّآئِلِينَ وَفِي الرِّقَابِ وَأَقَامَ الصَّلاةَ وَآتَى الزَّكَاةَ وَالْمُوفُونَ بِعَهْدِهِمْ إِذَا عَاهَدُواْوَالصَّابِرِينَ فِي الْبَأْسَاء والضَّرَّاء وَحِينَ الْبَأْسِ أُولَئِكَ الَّذِينَ صَدَقُوا وَأُولَئِكَ هُمُ الْمُتَّقُونَ

سورۃ البقرة, آيۃ 177

It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces Towards east or West; but it is righteousness- to believe in Allah and the Last Day, and the Angels, and the Book, and the Messengers; to spend of your substance, out of love for Him, for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves; to be steadfast in prayer, and practice regular charity; to fulfil the contracts which ye have made; and to be firm and patient, in pain (or suffering) and adversity, and throughout all periods of panic. Such are the people of truth, the Allah-fearing.

Surah 2, Verse 177

Every morning the teacher starts the first lesson with stories. Sometimes she reads to the children and sometimes she asks them to read aloud or to tell their classmates a brief story.

Omer is a shy boy and always tries to avoid reading. When the teacher asks him, he refuses. Recently she has talked to him several times in order to encourage him and help him overcome his shyness. They have agreed that on Tuesday Omer will read a story to the class, and he has announced that this time he will keep his word.

But as the moment approaches Omer keeps wondering what to do and how to revoke his commitment. Perhaps he can say that he has an appointment with the doctor, or perhaps, simply, he will stay home that day – in the end he goes to his mother and asks her: “What will happen if I don’t keep my promise to the teacher?” His mother replies: ” Listen, my son, you promised. As the Quran says: ‘ Fulfil the contracts which ye have made… Such are the people of truth, the Allah-fearing’.

it is easier to make a promise than to keep it, as we all know. Adults sign contracts and appeal to the courts when one of the parties goes back on his promise But it is not always possible to sign a contract, certainly not where children are concerned. We want to teach our children to keep their promises because a society in which words are of no value and nobody can be trusted is anarchic. The demand that the individual keep promises ensures that he will be reliable in his own eyes and not a liar. He will understand how important it is not to delude others and not to arouse expectations which will not be fulfilled. He will understand that when pressure is exerted on him to make a commitment, he should reject the pressure and think twice if he is willing and able to keep his promise. It is better to say ‘No' and face the consequences now than to promise and fail to deliver in the future,. Once an individual has promised, he must make every effort to keep his word. The Quran urges people to honor their commitments.