Children’s Column – March 2015

The Qur’an for Young Hearts – 59

Important Notes

1:The translation of the Qur’an being presented here is interpretative. It is meant for children. Those who can understand other translations should better consult them.

2. Parents are advised to hold sessions at home and teach the verses and explanation as given here, and, if they can, add more from Qur’anic commentaries.

3. Answers to exercise below may be attempted. Parents may evaluate them and reward the children suitably.

4. Schools could also include this in their Islamic curriculum.

5. The underlined words have been explained in the Dictionary given below.

Verses from Surah No. 2, Al-Baqarah

[208] O you who have believed, enter into Islam whole‑heartedly and do not follow in the footsteps of Shaytan, surely he is your sworn enemy. 

[209] But if you slide back after clear signs have come to you, then be aware that Allah is Powerful, Wise.

[210] Are they but awaiting that Allah should come to them in the canopies of clouds, along with the angels, and the matter is settled? And it is to Allah that the matters are returned (for judgment).

Understanding the verses

Islam of some Muslims is on their tongues. At heart they care for Islam too little because they know too little of this noble religion, too little of how little the world gives, how soon the enjoyments will end, how difficult it will be in the grave, and how sorry they will be before their Lord when brought to Him as criminals on Judgment Day. Their main concern, therefore, is this life. Islam is on the sidelines – or the least cared for.

The young are in worse condition. This is because in most cases, their parents do not educate them about the reality of this life. They just keep on pressing them to do well in their studies so that they can become an engineer or a doctor and earn lots of money. The result is that if the young man cannot become an engineer or a doctor, they think he is a failure in life. His own parents do not love him. If he succeeds, he begins to earn money, and dies earning money. Was he created by his Lord, just to earn money – more and more of it? Is that all this life means?

As for the noble things of this life, the youth knows nothing. He is not taught the Qur’an, or the Hadith, or how the earliest Muslims received their Lord’s message and how they changed the world around them.

The youth is not taught of the Mujahideen who destroyed the thousand-year old, much feared, mighty Roman and Persian empires which had become hot-beds of vice. The two empires had a few filthy-rich, but the rest of the people lived a life of poverty, diseases, and ignorance. They worshipped idols, donated money to the temples, to false saints, and to priests. Their religion was some customs conducted by priests, such as at the time of birth, marriage and death. As for true God, he was never worshipped. The rich became richer, the poor became poorer. Sexually, the whole population was corrupt, where girls were commonly sold to the buyers in the markets.

The Muslims of the earliest times brought down these evil empires and replaced them with a moral one in which there was brotherhood, equality, and justice. Poverty was removed, and people were given new personalities so that they respected themselves and did not behave cheaply.

But, today’s youth is not asked to read his history – the history of noble men and noble deeds; so that, he hardly knows anything of Islam, except a few prayer-words, some physical actions during the prayers, and some customs which have no importance in Islam.

While today’s youth is made to stuff his stomach full with food, he is not told that just beyond his neighborhood, there are thousands of children like him who miss a good meal a day. He does not know that refugee children walk barefoot in snow. He does not know that there are people who have no homes, who sleep at night at the doorsteps of mosques. He does not know that while he goes to the top-graded school, thousands of children work in cycle shops, in factories and in fields because they cannot afford the fees. And he does not know that because of their failure to accept Islam fully, Muslims are receiving punishment at the hands of their enemies. He only watches cartoons and sports on the TV, without being told that this is the way of life that angers Allah and that, if the youth does not lead a life in which there is care for the poor, the orphans, the widow, the sick and the old, then his degree in engineering and medicine will not save him from punishment of various kinds in both the worlds. He is not told that money is not everything in life.

But Allah is kind to His slaves. He does not want them to be punished in this world or the next. He asks them not to cut Islam into bits and pieces. He wants them to accept the whole of His guidance. They have not been asked to divide the guidance into pieces and then, accept maybe 5% and keep aside the rest 95% for some time in future, which never comes. If they do that, that is, divide their religion into bits and pieces, then, should they be given 5% entry into Paradise? No, a person either enters Paradise, or does not enter. He will not be allowed to place a toe in Paradise because he practiced 5% of Islam.

Paradise is a reward. Rewards are given to those who stand out when exam results are announced. Those who obtained 5% marks should not expect to be rewarded with a medal, and a degree certificate.

Allah invites people to enter into Islam fully and whole-heartedly, so that they can enter Paradise wholly.

Those who treat Islam as “take it easy” in this life, who postpone good life for future, invite Allah’s anger. It is still time for the youth to take a U-turn and place themselves on Allah’s path. What? Are you waiting to see Allah and His angels in the clouds, to see with your own eyes and then announce: O yes, we have seen and we believe. But the day you see Him and His angels will be the Day of Judgment. On that Day, no man will be allowed to open his mouth.

Dictionary

Canopy: Roof
Concern: Worry
Side-line: Not so important
Mighty: Very powerful
Empire: A huge land under one king
Hot-bed: A place of fast growth, usually evil
Custom: Social practices

Test of Understanding:

Answer the following:

  1. Is verse No. 210 talking of true believers, half-believers, hypocrites or unbelievers?
  2. Which were the two empires destroyed by Islam and how old were they?
  3. What other empires were there at the time Prophet Muhammad (saws) appeared?
  4. How many people do you see around you whose Islam is on their tongue?
  5. How many slums (or the places where the poorest live) have you visited?
  6. How was the distribution of wealth in the two mighty empires which the earliest Muslims brought down?
  7. Do you find a similar country in the world?
  8. Do you find Muslims of India in the same condition?
  9. What will make your parents happy with you?
  10. Where is it that Muslim children walk barefoot in snow?

(To be continued)