Home Quranet Chapter 10 Should we react to violence with violence?
Should we react to violence with violence?
Chapter 10

لَئِن بَسَطتَ إِلَيَّ يَدَكَ لِتَقْتُلَنِي مَا أَنَاْ بِبَاسِطٍ يَدِيَ إِلَيْكَ لَأَقْتُلَكَ إِنِّي أَخَافُ اللّهَ رَبَّ الْعَالَمِينَ (سورۃ المائدة, آيۃ 28)

"If thou dost stretch thy hand against me, to slay me, it is not for me to stretch my hand against thee to slay thee: for I do fear Allah, the cherisher of the worlds. (Surah 5, Verse 28)

Shadi, who is a tenth grader, is friendly with Maali from the ninth grade. They chat on their way home from school and all his classmates known that he likes her.

Two weeks ago, when some of the boys were sitting in the school courtyard, Maali passed by, and one of them commented that she was Shadi's girlfriend. Maali's cousin, who was among them, was very angry and started shouting: "I'll show him". He went looking for Shadi, and when he found him he attacked him and stabbed him in the forehead with a metal ruler. Shadi's forehead bled profusely; he tried to hit back, but then teachers came running and the other pupils pulled the two fighting boys apart.

The boys were sent to the counselor's office for a talk. The first thing she did was to read then a Quran verse: ‘"If thou dost stretch thy hand against me, to slay me, it is not for me to stretch my hand against thee to slay thee: for I do fear Allah, the cherisher of the worlds". Then she went into their classroom and hung a large poster on the wall on which she inscribed the verse. After that she discussed with the pupils the Quran's attitude to violence and illustrated by quoting the verse.

Explanation: This important verse can be quoted in order to combat violent behavior which can spread through a society like wildfire. The verse condemns violence of every kind, even on the part of the victim of an attack. Many parents are uncertain what to tell their child to do when he or she has been attacked by another child. Some say that the child should go and tell a teacher and not retaliate. Others add that if that does not help, they should tell their parents. Many parents, however, feel the need to teach their child to defend himself,, because if he does not do it, nobody will do it for him. It is hard to condemn parents who are more concerned for their child's safety than for social morals. We all know how important it is for our children to know how to defend themselves. In extreme cases, parents force their children to retaliate and threaten them with punishment of they do not do so. But the Holy Quran forbids all kinds of violence - not only is it forbidden to attack another, but even if you have been attacked, you must not retaliate. This verse can be utilized to root out all kinds of violence between children and between adults. In other contexts, the Quran encourages the individual to defend himself.