Source: Mahjuba

Trans: A. Quds Sharifi

Allah says about the importance of keeping a promise, as Prophet Ishmael did:

“And make mention in the Scripture of Ishmael. Lo! He was a keeper of his promise, and he was a messenger (of Allah) and a prophet,” (19:54).

A virtuous man abides by any promise he makes. The Qur’an orders Muslims to keep their promises, whether economic, social, and the like. Allah says:

“0 you believers! Fulfil your undertakings… (5:1).

Elsewhere the Qur’an says:

“Successful are indeed the believers.” and “And who pay heed to their prayers,” (23:1 & 9).

The Qur’an also says:

and keep the covenant. Lo! of the covenant it wilt be asked,(17:34).

If people do not abide by promises they make, they lose confidence in one another and this will be detrimental to society and social life.

How to win the confidence of children through keeping promises

O you parents! Those shining eyes that watch your behavior, those ears that listen to every word that is uttered, belong to your children. These little innocent beings wish they were grown up and do whatever you did today. They know no one greater and wiser than you. They have utter confidence in you. Then be mindful of what you do and of what you say. Parents have to be honest with their children and abide by the promises they give them. When children were assured that their parents would carry out their promises, they would stop being contumacious. Children innately think it a O.K to tell lies, be hot-tempered, steal and break promises. Hence parents ought to be honest, keep their promises and never tell a lie. The Prophet (s.a.w.) told people to love their children, to treat them kindly and abide by what they promise them.

Bertrand Russel said: “Those parents who are honest with their children will win their confidence. Children innately believe what you tell them to be true and when they find out what you said was true, they would easily trust you.

It is said that an ambassador in the U.S. called on a government authority. The authority’s son was also present. The ambassador told the little boy that he would give him his gold watch chain. But he did not keep his promise The boy stood waiting, but the ambassador could not understand why. The boy’s father said that he was waiting to see you keep your promise, because he had not seen anyone give a promise and not carry it out. The ambassador felt ashamed of this mild reproach.

Bertrand Russel said that another very bad attitude was to threaten children with punishment. Whereas you really did not intend to carry out what you had threatened.

Dr. Bellard said in his book: “The changing school that never threaten anyone with anything, but if you did then carry out your threat.

Do not argue with children, and speak to them in their own language

The Prophet (s.a.w.) said that one should speak to a child the way he/she could understand. Treat and tolerate children kindly and try to understand them.

Rousseau said that one should try to speak to children within their perception and understanding, otherwise, they would never listen to you attentively. Locke advised to give reasons to children which is the more common practice today. Rousseau refuted such advice although it was acknowledged as applicable. Rousseau said there were none more foolish than the children to whom they gave so many reasons. Of all humans mental faculties, reason, a component of other faculties, developed the latest with the more difficulty. It was a wrong assumption that reason helped other faculties to develop.

The best education is to bring up children reasonable, but today’s instructor want to educate children through intellectual reasoning. This is the same as to beg something from the end result. If children understand reason, they do not need to be educated. If we speak to them in such a language they cannot understand, they will be used to use senseless, out of place words, consequently making them contumacious.

The Prophet (s.a.w.) said that they (i.e. the prophets) used to speak to people the way they could understand.

It is said that the Prophet (s.a.w.) was going on an outing with his companions. He saw his grandson, Imain Hussain (a.s.), then a little boy, who was playing with a girl of his age. The Prophet (s.a.w.) went to him, but he ran this way and that way. Imitating childish movements, the Prophet (s.a.w.) made his grandson laugh. Putting a hand under the chin and a hand on the head of the little child, the Prophet (s.a.w.) said: “I am from Hussain and Hussain is from me, God loves him and he loves God.” . The Prophet (s.a.w.) also said: “Those who speak to people beyond their understanding, their words may sound seditious to some of them.

End

I was sitting silently the other day, pondering over how we make promises, but rarely keep them. We find excuses, as many as we could dream up, to explain away why we did not keep that promise, while the party to whom we made the promise, awaits impatiently, in the belief and hope that we will fulfil our promises, and when they realize we played a trick on them, they are hurt beyond words and they stop trusting people.

And we forget that a delayed promise is also a denied promise!

When we say ‘Insha Allah’s, we drag the Holy Name of Allah in vain, and make Allah a witness, to a promise we really did not intend to keep in the first place, or, we are so irresponsible and forgetful and oblivious to the fact that fulfilling a promise is indeed a debt on us, which is witnessed by none other than Allah swt !!

Our friends can never take our words to the bank! Our friends can never depend on the support we promised them, when the critical time comes. We let them down.

We sometimes admit our faults, we bemoan, we say we are weak, but yet we go on repeating the same, without making efforts to climb out of this dark pit, knowing well, this is not what Allah and His Prophet wanted our Muslim character to be.

Br. Meer