Let’s pretend like you’re a teacher. You have a very large class and the student body is widely varied. You have over-achievers and underachievers, people who just get by and people who just aren’t trying. There are students who read their books every day and there are students who never opened their textbooks after they scrawled their names in the front covers on the first day of school.
There’s a big test coming up, and you, as a teacher, need to address your students. You’re going to address them all at once, the whole motley group, and you have a lot of things to cover.
You need to tell your dedicated students that they’re doing a good job, and if they keep up the hard work, they’ll be awarded with appropriately good grades. Talk about what getting a good grade means, explain to them how awesome it’ll be to get top marks and get admission to any place they want. They have nothing to worry about, the test will be easy for them.
You need to reassure your struggling students that there is still a chance to do better, to make up for bad grades in the past so completely that they won’t be set back at all. Detail what needs to be done exactly, show them what’s being done wrong and point the right way out in detail so that they have something to follow.
You need to give a firm warning to those students who are failing due to apathy and complete non-givance of a damn that unless they shape up, they will fail. Remind them of the consequences of failure, tell them that they alone are holding themselves back. Tell them what they should and should not be doing if, in the future, they want to correct their grades.
Lastly, reassure all of your students that you will be there to help them and answer their questions before the test. Tell them to avail themselves of this service before the test, because once the test starts it’ll be too late. They’ll be on their own then.
Have you thought about what you’re going to say to your students? Think about this:
The good students will earn appropriately good grades: Shall the reward of good be aught but good? Surah Rahman 55: 60
The test will be easy, and good students will get admission to wherever they please: “My devotees! No fear shall be on you today, nor shall ye grieve. […] Enter ye into the garden, ye and your wives, rejoicing. […] Such will be the garden of which ye are made heirs for your good deeds in this life.” Surah Zukhruf 43:68, 70, 72
Those students who have had bad grades in the past will be given a second chance, they can make up for things. “Others (there are who) have acknowledged their wrong-doings: they have mixed an act that was good with another that was evil. Perhaps Allah will turn unto them (in Mercy): for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. –Surah Taubah 9:102
There are certain things they have to do in order to get their grades back on track. Of course the list of their exact assignments is detailed, but you can give them a general idea of what they need to do:
Take not with Allah another object of worship; or thou (O man!) wilt sit in disgrace and destitution.
Thy Lord hath decreed that ye worship none but Him, and that ye be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in thy life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honour.
And, out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility, and say: “My Lord! bestow on them thy Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood.”
Your Lord knoweth best what is in your hearts: If ye do deeds of righteousness, verily He is Most Forgiving to those who turn to Him again and again (in true penitence).
And render to the kindred their due rights, as (also) to those in want, and to the wayfarer: But squander not (your wealth) in the manner of a spendthrift.
Verily spendthrifts are brothers of the Evil Ones; and the Evil One is to his Lord (himself) ungrateful.
And even if thou hast to turn away from them in pursuit of the Mercy from thy Lord which thou dost expect, yet speak to them a word of easy kindness.
Make not thy hand tied (like a niggard’s) to thy neck, nor stretch it forth to its utmost reach, so that thou become blameworthy and destitute.
Verily thy Lord doth provide sustenance in abundance for whom He pleaseth, and He provideth in a just measure. For He doth know and regard all His servants.
Kill not your children for fear of want: We shall provide sustenance for them as well as for you. Verily the killing of them is a great sin.
Nor come nigh to adultery: for it is a shameful (deed) and an evil, opening the road (to other evils).
Nor take life – which Allah has made sacred – except for just cause. And if anyone is slain wrongfully, we have given his heir authority (to demand qisas or to forgive): but let him nor exceed bounds in the matter of taking life; for he is helped (by the Law).
Come not nigh to the orphan’s property except to improve it, until he attains the age of full strength; and fulfil (every) engagement, for (every) engagement will be enquired into (on the Day of Reckoning).
Give full measure when ye measure, and weigh with a balance that is straight: that is the most fitting and the most advantageous in the final determination.
And pursue not that of which thou hast no knowledge; for every act of hearing, or of seeing or of (feeling in) the heart will be enquired into (on the Day of Reckoning).
Nor walk on the earth with insolence: for thou canst not rend the earth asunder, nor reach the mountains in height.
Of all such things the evil is hateful in the sight of thy Lord. –Surah Isra 17:22-38
As for those students who don’t study and don’t care to, if they fail the test it will be their own fault. “Verily Allah will not deal unjustly with man in aught: It is man that wrongs his own soul.” –Surah Yunus 10:44
But there is always the chance for making things up. “Allah forgiveth not that partners should be set up with Him, but He forgiveth anything else, to whom He pleaseth…” Surah Nisa, 4:48…
They need a firm reminder that the consequences of failure are serious. “Those who are disbelievers will be driven to Hell in companies and when they arrive there and its gates are opened its custodians will say to them, “Did Messengers from yourselves not come to you, reciting your Lord’s Signs to you and warning you of the meeting on this Day of yours?” They will say, “Indeed they did,” but the decree of punishment is justly carried out against the disbelievers. They will be told, “Enter the gates of Hell and stay there timelessly, for ever. How evil is the abode of the arrogant!” Surah az-Zumar: 71-72
Note to all students: the Teacher will be available to hear all questions and provide assistance before the big test. Those who don’t get help will have wasted the opportunity. “And your Lord says: “Call on Me; I will answer your (Prayer): but those who are too arrogant to serve Me will surely find themselves in Hell – in humiliation.” Surah Ghaafir 40:60
The revelation of this Book is from Allah, Exalted in Power, Full of Knowledge,-
Who forgiveth sin, accepteth repentance, is strict in punishment, and hath a long reach (in all things). there is no god but He: to Him is the final goal. Surah Ghaafir 40:2-3
I love the Qur’an 🙂