Children’s Column for YMD June 2014

The Qur’an for Young Hearts – 50

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

[178] O Believers, (the law of just) retribution is being ordered to you, in matters of a person who has been murdered: a free man for a free man (can only be killed); slave for slave, and female for female. But he (who has murdered) who has been forgiven something (of the monetary penalty) by his brother (that is, the murdered person’s relatives), then, let the follow up be honorable. And let the other man (that is, the murderer) pay to him (the penalty) in a goodly way. This is a leniency from your Lord, and a mercy. He who commits a wrong after that, will have a painful punishment.

[179] There is life in you in the (law of just) retribution, O men of understanding, so that you may refrain.

Understanding the above Verses

Both the verses are talking about murder. In earlier verses Allah gave instructions about prayers, fasts, etc. But what happens if there is murder in the society? Like in the USA, where 15-20,000 (sometimes as many as 24,000) people are murdered every year? What if a teenage son murders his father, as it happened recently, or a mother murders her little son, which also happens quite often there? If this happens then there will be no peace in life. And, if there is no peace, people cannot even perform prayers properly. They are afraid to come out of their homes after sunset. So, religion becomes useless. That is why, they like to show with the help of the controlled media, that there is lot of violence in Muslim countries, so as to show that Islam is useless. Most of the news is false, and where true, it is because of the enemies of Islam and Muslims, who invade Muslim lands, when they murder in hundreds of thousands.

Now, when a man kills another, Jews say, “kill him too,” and the Christians say, “never kill a man for any crime.” But if you simply kill a murderer, what happens to the murdered person’s wife and children? Or, if you let him free, as the Christians say, then, people are encouraged to murder.

Therefore, Allah canceled the old religions and gave a new one. He ordered that if a man kills another, there must be options. Let him be killed if that is what the wife and children of the murdered man demand. But, if they want to get compensation, then let the murderer pay a huge sum to the wife and children of the person killed. A third way out is to seek pardon from the murdered man’s family.

Also, in the society of the ignorant people before Islam, some tribes rated themselves higher than other tribes. So that, if a man of their tribe was killed, they demanded the lives of two of the lower tribe. Or, if a female of their tribe was killed, they wanted to kill a male of the other tribe. Or, if a slave of their tribe was killed, they demanded the life of a free man. Islam said no: man for man, woman for woman, slave for slave, and no more. The modern day ignorant people also are no better than those before Islam. If a man of another nation murders one of their men, they too kill tens of the murderer’s nation. In fact, they freely kill lots of people of another nation on weekly basis, while also killing women and children, and the reason they give is that these guys were preparing to attack us, whereas, the two nations are seven seas apart.

By giving the rules as in these verses, Islam has tried to stop this devilish behavior. In this way, the laws of Islam are a mercy. But, will they accept Islam?

But more; the Qur’an directs that if a murderer is not killed, but the family of the murdered accept to let him go free if he will pay some money, then, the family should not be too harsh in collecting the money due to them, nor should the murderer try not to pay in full, or delay payment.

Aren’t these laws a mercy for mankind?

What is more, the above rules apply only when a man intentionally kills another. But, if he killed him by mistake, he cannot be killed in return. Only money compensation must be accepted.

The youth must also know that death sentence can only be passed by an Islamic court, of an Islamic state. Islam civilizes a people. Law and order cannot be given into the hands of individuals.

Now read back the verses several times over to understand them.

Exercise:

1. Can you practice Islam if there are murders around you?

2. Can you say a nation is civilized if there are riots taking place every now and then?

3. State three options for settling the murder issue.

4. Give reasons why forgiving a murderer entirely is a crime by itself.

5. Give reasons why simply killing off the murderer is not a good solution.

6. Is it right for a nation to kill many of another nation on suspicion alone?

7. Are Westerners and Indians equal in all respects or not?

8. What is the punishment for accidental murder?

9. Can a group of people, or citizens of a town in a non-Muslim country kill a murderer?

Dictionary:

Retribution: Something given in repayment.

Monetary: Related to money

Refrain: Stop, give up.

(To be continued)

Good People are Hard to Replace

At the same time that we are humble with ourselves and understand our own weaknesses, we should also acknowledge that good people are special and hard to replace. It can take years of time and effort to develop someone to the point that they are solid on their deen (religion), losing such people can be very difficult. We should always make du`a’ (supplications) for them and thank Allah, subhanahu wa ta`ala (exalted is He), for having them in our lives.

In one of the homes of Madinah, Umar ibn al-Khattab, radi Allahu `anhu (may God be pleased with him), was sitting with a group of his companions. He asked them, “Make a wish. What is your greatest wish in this world?”

One of them replied, “I wish to have as much gold as would fill this whole house, so that I could spend it all for the sake of Allah.”

Umar (ra) did not give much attention to this response and then again asked, “Make a wish. What is your dearest wish in this world?”

Another companion said, “I wish that this house was full of jewels and pearls so that I could spend it all for the sake of Allah.”

Yet again, Umar (ra) did not give much attention to this reply and asked for the third time, “Make a wish! What is your greatest wish?”

Frustrated, his companions said, “We don’t know what to say (what do you mean), O leader of the believers.”

Thereupon Umar (ra) replied:

“I wish that this house was full of men, like Abu ‘Ubaydah Ibn Al-Jarraah, Mu’aadh ibn Jabal and Saalim who worked for Abu Hudhayfah (names of some of the companions who died in the service of Islam) in order to use them to spread the word of Allah.”

Umar (ra) understood the value of people with a sense of mission and purpose. Men and women who will carry the banner of Islam, be bearers of the message, and be unwavering in their dedication and commitment to moving Islam forward. Because no amount of gold or silver can replace people. No amount of money can replace “among the believers (those who) are true to what they have promised (to) Allah […]” (Qur’an, 33:23).

He also made the same point when he sent Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (ra) to the people of Kufa to teach them. He said to them, “I have given preference to you over myself in sending Abdullah to you.”

This is love. This is appreciation. And this is a recognition that good people are hard to replace.