Home Quranet Chapter 13 What can we say to someone who demands preferential treatment for a relative?
What can we say to someone who demands preferential treatment for a relative?
Chapter 13

فَإِذَا نُفِخَ فِي الصُّورِ فَلَا أَنسَابَ بَيْنَهُمْ يَوْمَئِذٍ وَلَا يَتَسَاءلُونَ * فَمَن ثَقُلَتْ مَوَازِينُهُ فَأُوْلَئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ * وَمَنْ خَفَّتْ مَوَازِينُهُ فَأُوْلَئِكَ الَّذِينَ خَسِرُوا أَنفُسَهُمْ فِي جَهَنَّمَ خَالِدُونَ (سورة المؤمنون, آية 103-101)

Then when the Trumpet is blown, there will be no more relationships between them that Day, nor will one ask after another! Then those whose balance (of good deeds) is heavy,- they will attain salvation: But those whose balance is light, will be those who have lost their souls, in Hell will they abide. (Surah 23, Verses 101-103)

Today was the new science teacher's first day of teaching in a school. As she entered the classroom, her head buzzed with questions: "What will the pupils think of me? What will they ask? How will they treat me?" She tried to recall what she had learned about teaching methods and found herself hesitating about which method to use, which theory to follow. She tried to reassure herself: "First I must get t know them in order to know how to start. Then I will decide on the best method..."
"Good morning, pupils", she said with a pleasant smile and waited for an answer. "Good morning, teacher. You're the new teacher, aren't you, the science teacher?" "Yes", she confirmed. "And your name is Yasmin?" "Yes", she said and added: "How nice of you to ask my name and take an interest. I want to get to know you as well". They started telling her their names, and when they reached one of the boys, he added: "My name is Yusuf and I'm the son of the principal" "Glad to know you", she said, and went on to the next pupil .

In a few days time, Yasmin was already familiar with her pupils. She tested them to discover their abilities and discovered that there were differences between them and that the class was heterogeneous. She decided to divide the class into groups and to teach each group according to their natural pace on the basis of the marks she gave them and projects. At the end of the lesson, one of the pupils stood up and said: "I'm sorry, teacher but you've put me in the second group and I don't want to be there". It was Yusuf, who had been assigned to the lower group. She explained how she had divided the class and added that in two months time she would change the classification on the basis of their achievements.

The next day the principal summoned Yasmin: "Do you know what you've done?" he asked. She was surprised at his tone. Without waiting for her reply, he said: "Why didn't you put Yusuf in the first group? Didn't you know he's my son?" Yasmin explained that she knew who Yusuf was but had divided the pupils by grades and test results and not by family affiliation. The principal was surprised: "You are arguing with me instead of promising me that my son will be in the first group??" Yasmin replied: "I can't transfer him because that would harm him and not help him make progress. I will work with each pupil at his or her pace. Believe me, I am working according to a plan which will ensure that each pupil makes progress and I believe the results will be positive". "I am the principal and I decide", he said. "I have the final word. From tomorrow, Yusuf is in the first group".

"With your permission, sir! This year you can look after your son and choose which group he will be in. But next year he will be in a different school and he won't be the principal's son there. Imagine what that will do to him! Let him be equal to the others so that he can make progress in his own right". Yasmin took out a copy of the Quran and read him a verse: "Then when the Trumpet is blown, there will be no more relationships between them that Day, nor will one ask after another! Then those whose balance (of good deeds) is heavy,- they will attain salvation: But those whose balance is light, will be those who have lost their souls, in Hell will they abide"

"Good for you, Yasmin!" said the principal. "Your words are worth gold. Go back to your class and I support your decision. Continue with your plan".

Explanation: preferential treatment and concessions for family members are a common phenomenon. Who does not want to help his family? But such conduct can cause great damage. First, society loses because it is not the best and brightest who win the important positions but those who have good connections. Moreover, sometimes it is the beneficiary of the preferential treatment who suffers. For example, if Yusuf is assigned to a group which is too advanced for him, he will suffer because he will not understand the material. He will learn that his father arranges things for him and that he does not need to make an effort for himself. Yasmin answered the principal well when she asked him what would happen to Yusuf in another school where his father was not the principal. The Quran, with its great authority, combats this phenomenon which can destroy a society. Yasmin did well to use this verse in order to convince the principal.