Home Quranet Chapter 6 What can we say to an arrogant boy?
What can we say to an arrogant boy?
Chapter 6

وَكَمْ أَهْلَكْنَا مِن قَرْيَةٍ بَطِرَتْ مَعِيشَتَهَا فَتِلْكَ مَسَاكِنُهُمْ لَمْ تُسْكَن مِّن بَعْدِهِمْ إِلَّا قَلِيلاً وَكُنَّا نَحْنُ الْوَارِثِينَ (سورۃ القصص, آية 58)

And how many populations We destroyed, which exulted in their life (of ease and plenty)! now those habitations of theirs, after them, are deserted,- All but a (miserable) few! and We are their heirs! (Surah 28, Verse 58)

Ahmed, who is in the fourth grade, brags regularly to his classmates that his father buys him all kinds of expensive items. "My father is rich", he tells them and shows them his new clothes and his shiny new shoes. "We have an amazing house, not like yours", he adds. Recently he has begun saying that he can do whatever he likes in class and that he is better than all the other pupils. One day the teacher heard him mocking one of the other boys whose father was a physical laborer and saying: "Look at my father; he has a luxurious office and he gives me one hundred shekel a week to buy whatever I like. Why isn't your father like mine?" She summoned Ahmed for a talk, opened the Quran and read him the verse: "And how many populations We destroyed, which exulted in their life (of ease and plenty)! now those habitations of theirs, after them, are deserted,- All but a (miserable) few! and We are their heirs!" She explained to Ahmed that he too "exulted in a life of ease and plenty" and that if Allah chose, He could take it all away and give it to his friend. When Ahmed heard that, he was very alarmed and began to cry. The teacher soothed him and explained that since he had acted unknowingly, Allah would forgive him. But now he must change his behavior. From that day on Ahmed stopped boasting to his friends and began wearing simpler clothes to school.

Explanation: everyone likes to boast sometimes. Both children and adults like to attract attention and to feel that they are better than others. That is human nature. But the Quran teaches us again and again that we must avoid arrogance and conceit, and all conduct which is intended to convey to those around us that we are better than they. Such conduct is offensive and hence it is sinful. The Quran also tells us that life is a circle and those who have everything may lose it when Allah gives it to others. It would seem that no therapeutic intervention and no explanation can compare to the power of the verse which the teacher quoted.