Home Quranet Chapter 4 How can we rehabilitate someone without harming him?
How can we rehabilitate someone without harming him?
Chapter 4

وَيَا قَوْمِ أَوْفُواْ الْمِكْيَالَ وَالْمِيزَانَ بِالْقِسْطِ وَلاَ تَبْخَسُواْ النَّاسَ أَشْيَاءهُمْ وَلاَ تَعْثَوْاْ فِي الأَرْضِ مُفْسِدِينَ (سورۃ هود, آيۃ 85)

And O my people! give just measure and weight, nor withhold from the people the things that are their due: commit not evil in the land with intent to do mischief .(Surah 11, Verse 85)

Ali owns the only grocery store in the village and everyone buys from him. The villagers began to notice that Ali did not weigh the goods honestly. In other stores they received more for their money. So they appealed to the village sheikh who explained that it is forbidden to judge a man without clear proof that he is cheating. He promised to check the facts.

One day the sheikh went into the grocery store, bought several articles, and started a casual conversation with Ali about the fact that it is forbidden to cheat on weight because Islam and all other religions forbid such actions. "Those who cheat," said the sheikh, "eventually lose everything." He spoke in general terms and did not refer to Ali himself and then he quoted from the Quran: "And O my people! give just measure and weight, nor withhold from the people the things that are their due: commit not evil in the land with intent to do mischief".

Two days later, Ali came to the sheikh and confessed that he had been cheating on weight. "What you said touched my conscience," he told the sheikh. "Please tell me what I can do to atone?" he said and thanked the sheikh for not taking action although he had known what Ali had done.

Explanation: The sheikh's wisdom is impressive. If he had come to Ali and told him what people were saying or caught him red-handed, Ali would have felt the need to defend himself and would have found it difficult to confess. He would have raised all kinds of excuses. But the sheikh hinted that he knew the truth without offending Ali, thereby giving him the opportunity to confess on his own initiative and to ask for forgiveness. No school can teach such wisdom except the school of life. Both Ali and the sheikh know the truth - that Ali has been stealing by cheating on weight. But only Ali can say so explicitly. And thus the Quran teacher us to pursue justice and honor it, and the sheikh, in his wisdom, knew how to convey this important message.