Home Quranet Chapter 11 How should we treat other people?
How should we treat other people?
Chapter 11

وَاعْبُدُواْ اللّهَ وَلاَ تُشْرِكُواْ بِهِ شَيْئاً وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَاناً وَبِذِي الْقُرْبَى وَالْيَتَامَى وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَالْجَارِ ذِي الْقُرْبَى وَالْجَارِ الْجُنُبِ وَالصَّاحِبِ بِالجَنبِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ وَمَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ إِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يُحِبُّ مَن كَانَ مُخْتَالاً فَخُوراً (سورۃ النساء, آيۃ 36)

Serve Allah, and join not any partners with Him; and do good- to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, those in need, neighbours who are near, neighbours who are strangers, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (ye meet), and what your right hands possess: For Allah loveth not the arrogant, the vainglorious; (Surah 4, Verse 36)

Samer, an eighth-grader, is notorious in school. He frequently quarrels with other pupils and after school he continues his quarrels with the children in his neighborhood. He does not allow the teacher to complete a lesson, punches his neighbors in class, vandalizes school property and deliberately turns on faucets. Yesterday he chased another pupil and tried to pour Coca Cola over him, and then he dragged a large garbage container to the middle of the road so that the teachers could not drive past. His class teacher and the principal asked his parents to come to school for a discussion. His mother came alone and told them that she was helpless because Samer cursed her and refused to listen. When his father comes home from work and hears about Samer's conduct, she said, he beats him savagely. But next day Samer reverts to his bad behavior as if he had not been punished.

The principal decided to invite the whole family including Samer for a talk in her office. When they came in, she asked them to sit down and noticed that Samer sat down at a distance from the rest. She asked him to come closer. "I want to read you an important Quran verse", she said. "It is intended for all of us, including me and the teacher and for Samer and his family as well". Then she read out: " and do good- to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, those in need, neighbours who are near, neighbours who are strangers, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (ye meet)". "Do we all observe this verse?" she asked. "I invited you here. Do you feel that I am respecting you?" The parents and even Samer nodded. "Samer, do you abide by this verse?" Samer sat in embarrassed silence. "No, I know that I don't", he finally replied and then his father added: "To tell the truth, I don't always abide by it because I often beat Samer". "There is no more to be said", the principal declared. "From today on, all of us promise one another to abide by the verse and not only to do good to one another but also to those who are strangers to us. And if any of us has a problem we can always talk about it without hurting others".

Explanation: teachers often appeal helplessly to a principal or counselor because of a pupil who disrupts every lesson and is uncontrollable. They have tried everything, talking to parents, punishment and nothing helps. In these severe cases the Quran may help because of the great respect everyone has for the Holy Quran. This verse reflects the spirit of the Quran which exhorts us to do good not only to our families but also to strangers or wayfarers. It is possible to help pupils who behave like Samer within the framework of religious lessons at school. These lessons can introduce order into the lives of children and adolescents with severe behavioral problems and give them a sense of satisfaction and success.