Home Quranet Chapter 10 Do people sometimes ask us to harm them?
Do people sometimes ask us to harm them?
Chapter 10

وَيَدْعُ الإِنسَانُ بِالشَّرِّ دُعَاءهُ بِالْخَيْرِ وَكَانَ الإِنسَانُ عَجُولاً (سورۃ الاسراء, آية 11)

The prayer that man should make for good, he maketh for evil; for man is given to hasty (deeds (Surah 17, Verse 11)

Abed is a very wild boy and the teacher is tired of lecturing him. She has done everything possible to reform him. First she told him his conduct was inappropriate, then she sent him to the counselor but he refused to cooperate. She has talked to his parents a number of times. This time however he has gone too far, as she told his parents when they met in the principal's office. "Last Tuesday I was away from school and the principal brought in a substitute teacher. Abed was completely uncontrolled that day. He hit Din, cursed Rana, stabbed Rima with a sharp pencil and finally the teacher told him to go to the principal's office. He cursed her in front of the entire class and said: ‘I'm not going. What are you going to do about it?". The teacher called the principal to the classroom and only then did Abed agree to go out. The principal was furious, suspended him for two days and told him to write a paper on the subject being studied in the classroom. Abed agreed but sat in the library and did nothing.

When Abed's father heard these stories, he was very angry. "He should be given a more severe punishment", he said. "There is a verse which is appropriate for him: "The prayer that man should make for good, he maketh for evil; for man is given to hasty (deeds)". My son must be begging to be punished since otherwise I can't understand his behavior".

Explanation: the Quran tells us that there are children and adults who create the impression that they are begging in some way for punishment. Sometimes we say that they have masochistic tendencies. When in this mood, the individual wants to be punished emotionally and physically and does everything possible to attract this treatment. This behavior is deep-rooted. Sometimes it is a tactic for gaining attention since he knows no other way. It is possible that in childhood this was his way of drawing his parents' attention since otherwise they would ignore him. In such situations, children prefer harsh treatment to indifference. This may be true of Abed. He doesn't even know that he can be treated well as a result of good behavior. In such cases punishment will not always help because it perpetuates the vicious circle. A warm, sympathetic approach, explanation and provision of alternative ways of gaining attention are the solution. Abed's father and his surroundings have been punishing him for some time without result and so a new solution must be tried.