Home Quranet Chapter 8 What can we say to someone whose parents do not allow him to study what he wants?
What can we say to someone whose parents do not allow him to study what he wants?
Chapter 8

يَا حَسْرَةً عَلَى الْعِبَادِ مَا يَأْتِيهِم مِّن رَّسُولٍ إِلاَّ كَانُوا بِهِ يَسْتَهْزِئُون (سورۃ يس, آية 30)

Ah! Alas for (My) Servants! There comes not an apostle to them but they mock him! (Surah 36, Verse 30)

Muhammed, who is in the tenth grade, is a hard-working student. The school year is about to end and the pupils need to choose study courses for next year. Muhammed's parents are exerting pressure on him and trying to persuade him to take up science and math subjects. Muhammed has outstanding achievements in all subjects but he prefers the humanities. He wants to specialize in languages, and his great loves are drawing and sculpting. His parents keep telling him that these are unimportant subjects and that he should abandon them and think of the promising future awaiting him in medicine or engineering.

The class teacher talked to Muhammed, understood his plight and wanted to help him. He opened the Quran and read him the verse: "Ah! Alas for (My) Servants! There comes not an apostle to them but they mock him!" Muhammed immediately understood the implication. "Thank you for your encouragement", he said. "The apostles too suffered greatly when they were mocked", said the teacher. "You must endeavor to persuade your parents as the apostles did. Even if they do not agree, you must not neglect your talents. You must continue to develop them while you are studying medicine or engineering. You must be patient as the apostles were".

Explanation: Muhammed's problem is common to many families. The parents want their son or daughter to study a profession which they consider more suitable or more financially rewarding. The child thinks otherwise and loves a particular subject which his parents do not approve. The choice of a profession resembles the choice of a mate. In modern Western society it is accepted that the boy or girl make their own choices and in collective-traditional societies these decisions are taken by the family because the assumption is that the individual is not independent but part of a family. The class teacher was right to encourage Muhammed to insist by quoting the Quran verse which compared him to the apostles. He gave the boy hope for the future and advised him that if he did not succeed in convincing his parents, he should try to realize his talents in the humanities concomitantly with his science studies.