Children’s Column – June 2015

The Qur’an for Young Hearts – 62

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

214] Or do you think you will enter Paradise, while (trials) similar to those (sent to others) before you, have not come to you yet? Suffering and hardships touched them, and they were shaken until the Messengers and those who had believed in them cried out: ‘When (will come) Allah’s help?’ Lo! Allah’s help is close.

[215] They ask you (O Muhammad) about what is it that they should spend (on others). Tell them, ‘Whatever you spend of the wealth is for the parents, the relatives, the orphans, the poor and the traveler.’ Surely, Allah is Aware of whatever good you do.

Understanding the verses

We all forget the first lesson that was taught at the beginning of this chapter where it was said that after Adam was removed from Paradise and sent down to earth, he was told that he and his children could come back if they passed the test. The test is whether a man is good or evil;as only the good shall be allowed in. And because everybody claims that he is good. Troubles and hardships must come to separate the truthful from the liars.

Who is truthful and who is a liar? Well, there are things we have been asked to do, and things we are told not to do. If a man does what he is told and does not do what he is told not to do, at times of difficulties and hardships, he is truthful. If a man does what he is told to do and does not do what he is told not to do, in ordinary times, but fails in difficult times, then he is not truthful in his claim that he is a Muslim.

For example, a businessman has to urgently go to another place. But he cannot get a train ticket without bribing. If he refuses to pay the bribe, although he would suffer loss because he didn’t go, he is true in his claim. Or a girl is refused a job because she insists she will not remove her niqab, she is true. But if she accepts to remove her niqab for the sake of the job, then, she is not true in her claim.

That is in ordinary times. But there can be special times. You see, what happens is that there are lot of people who do not like the Prophet and his teachings. They hate those who accept the Prophet and his teachings. They become enemies of Islam and Muslims, and begin to trouble them. Sometimes they put them in jails on false charges; and torture them inside to force them to say that they did bad things, although they did not do those things. Life becomes tough for Muslims. In this verse Allah tells the Muslims who are in trouble that they must stay firm and strong even in the difficult times. They should take lesson from the past, when a Messenger, who is very patient, and His followers were tortured so much that they cried out, “When will come Allah’s help?” If that was the way they went to Paradise, Muslims of today should also be ready to face such hardships, if they have to face them. Paradise is not too easy to get; but it is also not too difficult to get.

As for verse 215 above, the Companions of the Prophet were very keen to get Paradise. They knew that to get into it they need to serve Allah and serve His creation. So, one question that worried them was, “How much should they spend, and on whom.” Allah answered in this verse that they should spend on their parents, blood relatives, those who are still kids but their fathers are dead, every kind of poor person, and, yes, those who are traveling.

The Qur’an is the only heavenly book which orders spending on the traveler, because everywhere traveler is cheated. When a man travels to a new town, he does not know many things so he is cheated. If he goes to hotels, he finds they are very expensive. Sometimes he doesn’t have even enough money to buy food. As a stranger in the town, he needs friends to help him, guide him and give him shelter.

Test of Understanding:

Answer the following:

  1. Write in your words why a believer is tested.
  2. Are test necessary?
  3. Write in your words how a believer is tested.
  4. What will happen if people are not tested?
  5. What are special times?
  6. Why did a Messenger cry out for help?
  7. Can you think of a single trial of our own Prophet?
  8. How easy or difficult it is to enter Paradise?
  9. Name the persons who should get help with our money.
  10. Why was a traveler specially mentioned by the Qur’an for charity?

 

(To be continued)

Waiting for the Ramadan ul-Mubarak

Hajira Khan | Indian School Salalah, Sultanate of Oman

There was a girl named Maryam. She was very excited as the month of Ramadan-ul-Mubarak was coming close. She was planning to fast in the holy month. She had seen her friends and neighbours’ kids fast the previous Ramadan. Her parents had agreed. Her parents were also looking forward to it.

ramadan

One fine evening, just before Ramadan, her father’s elder brother visited them. He was affectionately called Hajji-Abba by Maryam and other kids in the family. Hajji-Abba enjoyed a lot of respect and, at times, dominated the whole family. When he learned that Maryam was about to fast, he asked her parents not to allow her to fast this Ramadan as she was still young.

dates

At last, the month of Ramadan arrived for which Maryam was eagerly waiting since more than a year. In the previous Ramadan, she used to get up almost every day for the Suhoor (the pre-dawn meal). She used to eat well along with her brother and parents hoping to keep fast. Her parents would ask her to have lunch if not the breakfast. Her parents had assured her that the half-day exercise of not eating will prepare her to fast completely.

The previous Ramadan, Maryam had attended the Roza-Rakhai (also called the Roza Khushai, a function to mark the first fast of a child) of several of her classmates. But, alas! All the preparations and eagerness are yet to be fulfilled. Because of the domination of Hajji-Abba Maryam could not fast.

The lesson is that elders, at times, are over-protective and so, delay good activities of children whom they love.

Note: This article is based on the sad situation of the writer’s classmate.