From the Book

Excerpts from The holy Quran for Educating the Child

Excerpt from chapter 3 - Adolescent Girls

Is it important for girls to study?

كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْقِتَالُ وَهُوَ كُرْهٌ لَّكُمْ وَعَسَى أَن تَكْرَهُواْ شَيْئًا وَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ وَعَسَى أَن تُحِبُّواْ شَيْئًا وَهُوَ شَرٌّ لَّكُمْ وَاللّهُ يَعْلَمُ وَأَنتُمْ لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ

سورۃ البقرة, آيۃ 216

Fighting may be imposed on you, even though you dislike it. But you may dislike something which is good for you, and you may like something which is bad for you. GOD knows while you do not know.

Surah, The Cow, Verse 216

Mona is a pleasant and well-groomed twelfth-grade student, and is considered as having the potential and the ability to progress in whatever field she chooses. She has recently been studying hard and preparing day and night for her matriculation examinations. Lo and behold, a boy arrived at their home about a week ago asking for her hand in marriage. Mona was overjoyed and expressed her wish to get engaged to the boy as soon as possible. “Why in fact should I finish my studies?” she said. She reminded her parents about other girls they know who had left school because they had got engaged. These girls said that in any event they wouldn’t need their studies after the wedding and while raising their children. Mona asked to leave school.

Her parents refused. They claimed that what she has to do now is to prepare for her matriculation examinations, and that she is too young for these other matters. They also said that Mona should have a profession in life, not only because acquiring education confers respect on her, but also in order for her to contribute to the family’s livelihood. Mona was not convinced. It was clear that she was in love, and as they say: love is blind. In her distress, Mona went to the school counselor and told her what had happened. She asked the counselor to speak to her parents, because she is in love with the boy. To her surprise, the counselor picked up the Quran, opened it at Sura ‘The Cow’, and asked Mona to read aloud Verse 216: “But you may dislike something which is good for you, and you may like something which is bad for you. GOD knows while you do not know.” Mona was silent. “What do you think?” the counselor asked her. Mona hesitated for a while and then said, “yes, I know it’s important that I study, and that it’s good for me. This is what I will do, even though it’s so hard to give up on my beloved. God will take care of me and compensate me in the future. But then I’ll already have a profession.”

Adolescence is without doubt a difficult age. In this short time-span fateful decisions are made, which often affect a person for the rest of his or her life. What should I study? Who should I marry? And when these important decisions are all being made at the same time - it becomes doubly difficult. Mona lets herself get carried away. She already sees herself running her home and raising her children. After all, this has been her life's dream. Will she be able at this stage to also appreciate more "boring" activities such as studies? Will she be able to understand that a profession for life is of primary importance? What if, Heaven forefend, she gets divorced from her husband, or if Heaven forefend her husband dies, or if he is unable to provide for the whole family and she needs to work in order to supplement the family's income. Mona finds it hard to think about these things when she is in love. Her parents have done the correct thing by providing her with direction and not allowing her to make mistakes that will be difficult to correct at a later stage. For indeed, when Mona is married and has children, it will be far more difficult for her to study. As the Arab proverb says: the man with a profession is the king of the castle. Mona can be queen of the castle on condition that she has a profession she can work in.