Home Quranet Chapter 9 How can we encourage responsibility?
How can we encourage responsibility?
Chapter 9

فَلِذَلِكَ فَادْعُ وَاسْتَقِمْ كَمَا أُمِرْتَ وَلَا تَتَّبِعْ أَهْوَاءهُمْ وَقُلْ آمَنتُ بِمَا أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ مِن كِتَابٍ وَأُمِرْتُ لِأَعْدِلَ بَيْنَكُمُ اللَّهُ رَبُّنَا وَرَبُّكُمْ لَنَا أَعْمَالُنَا وَلَكُمْ أَعْمَالُكُمْ لَا حُجَّةَ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكُمُ اللَّهُ يَجْمَعُ بَيْنَنَا وَإِلَيْهِ الْمَصِيرُ (سورۃ الشورى, آية 15)

Now then, for that (reason), call (them to the Faith), and stand steadfast as thou art commanded, nor follow thou their vain desires; but say: "I believe in the Book which Allah has sent down; and I am commanded to judge justly between you. Allah is our Lord and your Lord: for us (is the responsibility for) our deeds, and for you for your deeds. There is no contention between us and you. Allah will bring us together, and to Him is (our) Final Goal. (Surah 42, Verse 15)

Karim, who is in the tenth grade, began to tease Salem because he thought that Salem had too high an opinion of himself. Salem ignored him but Karim continued to pester him. One day Karim waited for Salem and attacked him. They began to fight and Salem, who was stronger, beat him.

Karim decided to take revenge, gathered a group of friends from his hamoula (extended family), the largest in the village, and told them to put Salem in his place. He thought that Salem's standing should be inferior to his because he belonged to a small hamoula. The boys assembled and waited for Salem on the road. When he saw them, he fled to his parents and told them what had happened. His father and other men from their hamoula went to members of Karim's hamoula. They told Karim's father that his son was provoking Salem and attacking him. "Please warn your son. I don't want this dispute to spread to the adults". Abu Karim replied to Abu Salem: "Your son has been provoking my son". And Abu Salem replied: "Stop it. We don't want to continue this dispute or for it to develop into something big. We will not be silent if we are attacked and what will be will be. But I hope that each of us will warn his son, and that each will be responsible for his actions as the Quran says: ". Allah is our Lord and your Lord: for us (is the responsibility for) our deeds, and for you for your deeds. There is no contention between us and you".

Explanation: It is only natural for a father to support his son and justify him. It is natural for each party to have complaints against the other. But this Quran verse exhorts both sides to take responsibility, each for himself. It is a pity to quarrel, says Salem's father with the aid of the Quran. You, Abu Karim, will be responsible to your son and your hamoula and I, Abu Salem, will be responsible to Salem and my hamoula. Salem's father did not confront Karim's father on the question of who had started the quarrel. He knew that Karim's father could delve into history and cite cases where Salem's hamoula had injured him. He merely said that Allah sees and knows everything and judges each individual according to his actions. Hence, both must take responsibility and prevent the dispute from continuing.