In my RE lesson last week, we were discussing the purpose of our creation - Why did Allah (swt)create us? was the question. There were various answers of which one was: He created us so he may test us. This was met with incredulity and disdain from one of the students who said: Why would Allah need to test us? Does he not know everything? And an argument ensued. She was not convinced. I asked everyone to think about it and the lesson ended. I started the next lesson with the following story... Once there was a teacher. She was a hard working woman. She loved
her job and enjoyed teaching her students. She wanted the best for them. She
wanted them to be successful in all their ventures. Therefore, she taught them
well and prepared them for life. She taught each one of them how to be a good
student, a good human being; she taught them to be disciplined, to differentiate
good from bad, right from wrong - in fact, she gave them in knowledge, everything
She had mentored her class for such a long time, she had
grown to love them all. She was familiar with each and every one of them and knew
them thoroughly well. She knew their likes and dislikes, their good moods and
bad moods, their strengths and weaknesses - she knew everything that was to
know about them.
Soon their time with her came to an end. They had to move on
with their lives. They came to her and thanked her for all she had done for
them. Then they said: We have been with you for a very long time and you know
us very well. Please give us a testimonial - so we can show people where ever
we go what we have accomplished.
She proceeded to write a testimony of their abilities and
their accomplishments. She examined and reflected on each student - taking pains to be fair and
just as she recorded her assessment of them. After many a sleepless nights the testaments
were all done. Her students came to her and she gave them each their report.
They settled down to read what had been put down on
paper- and very soon they were at her
'This is unfair!' they said. 'Our reports are all different!
You have not judged us equally well. What did you base your comments on? Where is the evidence ? We are disappointed in our results - and
will not accept them!' 'But I know you well.' said the teacher. 'I know exactly what you are capable of and what you are not capable of. What you are very good at and what you are not so good at. The result is based on what I know if you.' 'We can't see that!' said the students. At this point I turned to my class - and ask them what advice they would give the teacher and how did they think the problem could be solved. And sure enough, it was the very Miss Cheekyone who said: The teacher should have given them a test. How can she give them a report without testing them first!?. I smiled, 'You see people need to be tested so there may be reason for reward or punishment!'