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Friday, 27 January 2017

The test

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 knew.

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 agreed.

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 door!

'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!'


  1. No two people are alike, and it would be unfair if they received a standardised and benchmarked report. They asked the teacher for the testimonial, which is her opinion of them based on their work, character and attitude. So she gave it to them! That's fair!

  2. True - and Allah is fair - therefore he needs to put us through test and trial ... so that in the end - there is a reason for why some of us might be closer to Allah (swt) than some others.
    TBH - that is best way to define Jahannum: distance from Allah (swt).