Home Quranet Chapter 5 Is the authority figure all-knowing?
Is the authority figure all-knowing?
Chapter 5

قُل لاَّ أَقُولُ لَكُمْ عِندِي خَزَآئِنُ اللّهِ وَلا أَعْلَمُ الْغَيْبَ وَلا أَقُولُ لَكُمْ إِنِّي مَلَكٌ إِنْ أَتَّبِعُ إِلاَّ مَا يُوحَى إِلَيَّ قُلْ هَلْ يَسْتَوِي الأَعْمَى وَالْبَصِيرُ أَفَلاَ تَتَفَكَّرُونَ (سورۃ الانعام, آية 50)

Say: "I tell you not that with me are the Treasures of Allah, nor do I know what is hidden, nor do I tell you I am an angel. I but follow what is revealed to me." Say: "Can the blind be held equal to the seeing?" Will ye then consider not? (Surah 6, Verse 50)

Thirteen-year-old Sulaf came to the counselor and told her that lately she her relations with her parents had become very tense. "All the time they dictate to me how to behave, what to wear, how to talk and when to go out. They have something to say about everything I do and it really depresses me. Do you have a solution for me so that I can do whatever I want without annoying my parents?" The counselor realized that Sulaf wanted her approval for her actions and to be told that she and not her parents was right. "You want something that I can't give you," she replied. : "I tell you not that with me are the Treasures of Allah, nor do I know what is hidden", she said, quoting the Prophet to help Sulaf take responsibility for her actions instead of expecting a magic formula. "Nor do I tell you I am an angel", she added, in order to remind Sulaf that she, the counselor, would not be able to protect her if she behaved badly and was punished. "Can the blind be held equal to the seeing? Will ye then consider not?" she concluded, in order to explain to Sulaf that she, Sulaf, was not blind and knew what the right path was, the golden path where both she and her parents could live together contentedly and peacefully.

Explanation: children often seek from their parents or teachers or counselors answers or promises which those figures of authority cannot give. Sulaf wants the counselor to organize her life so that she can do whatever she wants and have her parents' consent. In other cases, for example, children want to extract a promise that if they study well they will succeed in their exams. This usually happens but it cannot be guaranteed. Some children simply want a promise from a parent or teacher that everything will go well and adults cannot promise this. In these situations and others the figure of authority must act with humility, encouraging the child to take responsibility for himself or herself. In other words, Sulaf understands that she is responsible for her actions and that the counselor cannot substitute for her. She alone will be judged by her actions. Here the words of the Prophet come to the aid of the counselor and of every parent who wants to convey to his children the important message that he, the parent, does not know everything.