Home Quranet Chapter 7 What can we say to a parent who blames a child for a death in the family?
What can we say to a parent who blames a child for a death in the family?
Chapter 7

كُلُّ نَفْسٍ ذَآئِقَةُ الْمَوْتِ وَإِنَّمَا تُوَفَّوْنَ أُجُورَكُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ فَمَن زُحْزِحَ عَنِ النَّارِ وَأُدْخِلَ الْجَنَّةَ فَقَدْ فَازَ وَما الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا إِلاَّ مَتَاعُ الْغُرُورِ (سورۃ آل عمران, آيۃ 185)

Every soul shall have a taste of death: And only on the Day of Judgment shall you be paid your full recompense. Only he who is saved far from the Fire and admitted to the Garden will have attained the object (of Life): For the life of this world is but goods and chattels of deception. (Surah 3, Verse 185)

Maher, who is in the fifth grade, is a hard-working boy who takes his studies seriously, but he also likes dangerous games. Recently he hit his friend for refusing to play a game which is considered dangerous. The principal heard about the incident and ordered Maher to bring his father to school next day. She thought that his dangerous games and his violent conduct required the authoritative intervention of his father. Next day Maher arrived at school with his mother.

Principal: Maher, I asked you to bring your father. Why did you bring your mother?
Mother: Maher's father is very strict with him. What happens at home is enough. If we tell him about what happened at school, it will not go well.
Principal: What do you say, Maher?
Maher: I'm afraid of my father. Mother knows that. I feel very small and weak when I face him. He always beats me and I can't stand him.
Mother: My husband is very harsh. I've talked to him many times but it didn't help. There is nothing I can do. It comes from Allah.
Maher: The whole village knows that I was born on the day my father's father died. My father always reminds me of that and punishes me. He thinks that the day of my birth was a bad day, so he punishes me for everything I do, big or little. Am I a bad boy, Mother?
Mother: You are a very good boy, Maher. We have to suffer and hope that time will have some effect.
Principal: Now I understand why you hit other children. It's because your father hits you. And I think I understand why you love dangerous games. It's as if you don't care about your life and you think that it's worth nothing. I want to talk to your father. Will he agree to come?
Mother: I think so. He respects you.

The principal contacted the father and invited him to come. The next day he arrived alone, without knowing what she wanted.

Principal: Why don't you ever come to school and take an interest in your son's studies and behavior.
Father: I'm busy, there's no time. If there are problems, just tell me...
Principal: Maher is a good boy, but you should listen to him and talk to him.
Father: It's hard for me to sit and talk to him. I love him but there is a wound inside me because he was born on the day my father died. It's hard for me to accept him.
Principal: I want to read you Verse 185 of Surah 3, which says that death is from God. It is God who determines a man's end and we cannot change that time. (She takes out the Quran and reads slowly and with emphasis: "Every soul shall have a taste of death: And only on the Day of Judgment shall you be paid your full recompense". If you want a reward from God, you must give your son the attention he needs. I sense that he misses you very much and wants you and all you have to do is open your heart to him. Begin and you will see.

Explanation: the principal's psychological analysis of Maher's behaves behavior is apparently correct. He is playing with his life and his fate because he does not feel that his father values him. This is also why he is violent. It is good that the principal insisted on talking to the father, because in families where the father is authoritative and the mother is weak, it is often the case that unless the matter is discussed with him, nothing will change. Luckily for Maher, his father respected the principal. Often it is difficult for a female principal to invite a man for a talk and to treat him authoritatively and professionally. This can be even more difficult if he is not from her village. But if a principal or a teacher or a counselor wants to do their job properly, they should not be afraid to invite a father even if he appears contemptuous. They are the professionals and the welfare of the child takes priority over every other consideration. On some other occasion, it is worth talking to the father and explaining to him that the entire family will gain if he allows the mother some authority and power. Maher needs a strong mother who is able to help him and influence him, and not a weak mother who suggests, as did his mother, that they wait passively for better times to arrive.