Home Quranet Chapter 6 What can we say to someone who is afraid to report for fear of revenge?
What can we say to someone who is afraid to report for fear of revenge?
Chapter 6

ذَلِكَ وَمَنْ عَاقَبَ بِمِثْلِ مَا عُوقِبَ بِهِ ثُمَّ بُغِيَ عَلَيْهِ لَيَنصُرَنَّهُ اللَّهُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَعَفُوٌّ غَفُورٌ (سورۃ الحج, آية 60)

That (is so). And if one has retaliated to no greater extent than the injury he received, and is again set upon inordinately, Allah will help him: for Allah is One that blots out (sins) and forgives (again and again). (Surah 22, Verse 60)

Nuara, who is in the fifth grade, is the best pupil in her class. In the past year, the girls in her class have been boycotting her. The story began when Samah asked her if she could copy from her in the arithmetic exam and Nuara was afraid to consent. After the exam, Samah went over to her and told her that she was a liar and that she had refused not because she was afraid but because she wanted to be the only one who passed the exam. The incident was repeated after the science exam. Nuara explained to Samah that she was afraid she would be caught and Samah replied that she was lying and would regret it.

The incident was repeated with other girls and they all began to boycott her until she was left alone and friendless in class. When she tried to approach them, they spurned her. Then they tore up some of her notebooks, trampled on her book-bag as if by accident, and broke her pencil, again as if unintentionally. Nuara contemplated telling the teacher but knew that then she would be accused of telling tales and the revenge would be even harsher. She began to suffer from dizzy spells and headaches. She had not lied to them, she told herself; she was really afraid of letting them copy and she would not mind if there were other outstanding pupils in the class apart from her.

Nuara decided to confide in her mother and told her about the harassment and the mockery and asked her mother to transfer her to another school.. Her mother hugged her and said that to move to another school was no solution; it would be evading the problem. They would talk to the teacher, she said, and if that didn't help, they would talk to the principal. "But the girls will take revenge on me", said Nuara. "And if one has retaliated to no greater extent than the injury he received, and is again set upon inordinately, Allah will help him", her mother quoted to her from the Quran. "Do you know that verse?" she asked. Nuara, who was an excellent pupil, replied without hesitation that it was Verse 60 from Surah 22. "If we talk to the teacher, we will be retaliating", her mother continued, "and if the girls harass you again, Allah will help you".

Nuara and her mother talked to the teacher who devoted an entire lesson to a class discussion about the unjust boycott. Instead of admiring her for her achievements, her friends were envious and had been trying to exploit her. The teacher again quoted the verse: "And if one has retaliated to no greater extent than the injury he received, and is again set upon inordinately, Allah will help him" in order to explain to the girls that Nuara had not told tales against them by confiding in her mother but had been retaliating and so they should all apologize to her. The teacher added that she would have been even happier if Nuara had refused to allow them to copy not for fear of being caught but because she was honest and knew that it was wrong. After the lesson, the girls went over to Nuara one by one and apologized.

Explanation: Nuara did not retaliate and did not try to injure them out of envy and a desire for revenge, as they did to her. She simply wanted to defend herself. The Quran encourages people to retaliate and tells us that if someone retaliates against another who then tries again to injure him, Allah will help him. This is logical because it is permissible to defend oneself. Why should Nuara become a victim? Her mother did well to reassure her by quoting this verse and the teacher did well in explaining to the girls what Nuara's rights were, again by means of that same verse. But the Quran teaches us another important message: Nuara should not be afraid to retaliate, or be afraid of the girls and she did well to report to her mother, her teacher and anyone who could help. Because if they tried to injure her, Allah would help her.