No Child is a Write-Off
By Uwais Adamjee, South Africa
At the beginning of 2018, a new child enrolled at a Madrasah. He seemed to be very disturbed. What was really surprising about this boy was his violent behaviour. No child could pass him without being punched, slapped or kicked. The other children in his class were terrified of him.
By the third day, four children left the Madrasah and the Apa (female teacher) was now going crazy in her class. No one could control this boy. He was extremely disturbed and his behaviour was beyond anyone’s control.
By the fourth day, the Apa was ready to hand in her resignation saying,
“Either he remains in the class or I remain. The way things are going, it seems that all the children in the class will leave. Some drastic action has to be taken immediately.”
The poor Apa could not be blamed for this, since most others in a similar situation would have probably done the same.
The principal phoned his mother and asked her if she could come in immediately. When she arrived half an hour later, her son’s behaviour at the Madrasah was spelt out to her. She burst into tears saying,
“I don’t know what to do with him anymore. The school principal expelled him last week. His father has a terrible temper and beats me up at home. He sees his dad behaving in this manner. What you are seeing him doing is an imitation of what he sees his father doing.”
“I’m sorry, we won’t be able to keep him in the Madrasah,” said the principal. “He is going to chase all the students away from here.”
A senior Apa at the Madrasah happened to overhear this conversation. She came forward and said softly,
“How can we send a child away from our Madrasah when he came here to learn the knowledge of Deen? How will we answer to Allah Ta’ala for this? Let me take him in my class and I will try my best to work with him.”
The next day she took the little boy into her class and made dua to Allah Ta’ala to help her with this child. The first thing the Apa did was contact the mother. She said to her, “We are going to fight this battle together, and we are going to win Insha Allah. But we have to do this together. Are you prepared?” The mother assured her co-operation. The Apa then gave her the following guidelines:
- “Firstly,” said the Apa, “I want you to wake up every night at the time of Tahajjud and make dua for your son. Remember, the duas of a mother are readily accepted. I will also wake up at the time of Tahajjud and make dua for him.”
- “Secondly, I am going to give you a book. It is written by a great Alim, Hadrat Mawlana Muhammad Zakariyya (rahmatullahi alayh). The name of the book is Fadaail-e-Aamaal. Every night, sit with your son and read to him the Ahaadith contained in this book. This book contains valuable advice. Reading the Hadith of Rasulullah ﷺ in your home will bring about great peace and barkat (blessing) in your home and in your life. Try to practice on whatever you read.”
- “Thirdly, I am going to give you a CD of Hadrat Mawlana Yunus Patel (rahmatullahi alayh). The CD contains Hadhrat Mawlana’s dhikr. Play the CD at home every night and sit with your son on the musalla (prayer mat). With full concentration, make the dhikr of Allah Ta’ala in your home.”
- “Fourthly, I want you to take him to an educational psychologist for an assessment. Due to his unsteady childhood, he may need some medical help as well.”
With the above four advices from the Apa, the little boy’s mother undertook the arduous journey with her son to try and rectify the situation. Every night after Isha Salaah, they sat together reading the advices from Fadaail-e-Amaal and making dhikr of Allah Ta’ala. At the time of Tahajjud, she would awake from her bed and make special dua for her son. Can we imagine the effect of this dua? The dua of a mother and that too, at the time of Tahajjud.
It is six months since that day and the young boy is a completely different child. He sits quietly in his class and learns his sabaq (lesson) every day. He adores his Apa and has all the time in the world for her. His mother says that when he comes home, the only thing he speaks about is “My Apa told me this and my Apa told me that.” He does not speak at all about school or the sports he plays at school. The thing he really enjoys in life is his time at the madrasah.
On the last day of the madrasah term, his Apa bought burgers for all the children in her class as a treat for them. One child commented, “Apa you only bought us a burger. Where is the coke?” The little boy was very upset with this statement. He immediately retorted,
“That’s being ungrateful. You should at least say JazakAllah to Apa for buying us a burger.”
This is the power of a Maktab Apa. Outwardly it may seem that she has only 15 children in front of her whom she can make an effort on, but in reality, she has 15 families before her. She can make that difference in the homes of all these children. That is why our elders tell us that when we sit in the classroom, make niyyat (intention) for the hidaayat (guidance) of the entire mankind. Who knows that through one child, Allah Ta’ala will cause the winds of hidaayat to blow on the entire mankind.
In this instance, the Apa managed to introduce ta’leem and dhikr in the home of that child and also got the mother to wake up for Tahajjud daily.
No child is a Write-off. We cannot chase any child away. As a teacher, You can make that difference in the life of that child.
May Allah Ta’ala inspire us all to be an inspiration for our students in the classroom and guide us to be a true reflection of our beloved Messenger ﷺ.