Home Quranet Chapter 7 Is it a friend’s duty to tell the truth even if it is painful?
Is it a friend’s duty to tell the truth even if it is painful?
Chapter 7

قُلْنَا اهْبِطُواْ مِنْهَا جَمِيعاً فَإِمَّا يَأْتِيَنَّكُم مِّنِّي هُدًى فَمَن تَبِعَ هُدَايَ فَلاَ خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ (سورۃ البقرة, آيۃ 38)

We said: "Get ye down all from here; and if, as is sure, there comes to you Guidance from me, whosoever follows My guidance, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. (Surah 2, Verse 38)

Ahmed and Sami are related and are very good friends who do everything together. They prepared for the annual school trip together. Ahmed prepared everything - clothes, sun-glasses, penknife, candies etc, and Sami checked the list to see if he had forgotten anything. Later Sami telephoned Ahmed to make doubly sure.

On the first day of the trip, everything went according to plan and the pupils and teachers enjoyed themselves. On the second night, Ahmed suggested to Sami that they should slip away to the nearest pub without asking permission. When they entered the pub, Sami sat quietly but Ahmed handed some money to an older girl with whom he struck up acquaintance and asked her to buy him alcoholic drinks. He even gave her a tip for helping him. Sami refused to drink and wanted to go back to the group. Ahmed insisted on staying and stopped Sami from leaving. He drank till he was intoxicated and then broke bottles and created such an uproar in the pub that he was thrown out. Only then did he agree to return to the group. The pub owner decided to seek him out and searched until he finally located the teachers who were in charge of the schoolchildren. The teachers made all the pupils stand in a row and the pub owner immediately identified Ahmed and Sami. Ahmed denied the whole incident. The teacher turned to Sami and said: "Sami, tell the truth, were you in the pub?" Sami was silent, struggling with himself, and the teacher asked again: "Sami, tell the truth!" Then Sami said: "Yes, I was with Ahmed and he drank alcohol and raised a riot. I love him but I'll tell the truth".

Ahmed shouted at him: "I'll get you for this, Sami. You'll be sorry". Sami was frightened. He knew that Ahmed's older brother could beat him up.
Then the teacher read Sami Verse 38 of Surah 2 in order to reassure him and restore his confidence. "Whosoever follows My guidance, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve".

Explanation: we all know how difficult it is sometimes, and not only for children, to tell the truth. For example, someone who witnesses a crime may refrain from reporting it for fear that the criminals will take revenge and nobody will protect him. In many cases, people avoid reporting out of fear and society as a whole is the loser. We need to encourage children and adults to tell the truth without fear and we must do our utmost to guarantee them maximum protection. In this particular case, if Sami does not tell the truth about Ahmed because he is afraid of Ahmed's family, he will remain dependent on Ahmed and will be his "slave". We want people to be dependent on the truth and not on others, and the verse which the teacher read to Sami can help promote this objective.