HD 3: “Would you like me to be mean or nice?”

Use the Buddy System –Find a friend to recite to, preferably someone who is also memorizing to create some peer pressure.

I asked my friend this question (in the title). She started to recite Qur’an to me, and I wanted to know how she wanted me to be towards her.

We were in the public bathroom making wudoo. “Would you like me to be mean or nice to you when you recite?” I asked her.

“Be nice. No, wait, maybe you should be mean…” she replied.

In the end I believe she left the decision up to me.

So what should I do? Should I be mean or nice? Dilemma…

So I have two options:

On the one hand, I know of the story of one my teachers. His was reciting Surah al Baqarah to his best friend, when suddenly, his friend starts yelling at him. And it wasn’t even an actual mistake, but his friend said, Allah swt made the distinction, so you make the distinction. He was referring to the ayah in Surah al Baqarah “Allah has set a seal upon their hearts and upon their hearing, and over their vision is a veil. And for them is a great punishment.” [Ayah 7]. The distinction he was referring to was that there is a seal upon their hearts and hearing, but over there vision there is a veil, so you should stop after “their hearing,” and then continue.

My teacher says that he remembers that to this day, and he also remembers the other corrections that his friend made, due to the extremely harsh nature of the correction.

On the other hand…

There is a danger, for those of us who are not well-grounded in knowledge and humility, that we may become arrogant if we begin to harshly correct others. And on top of that, we don’t want to scare people away.

To reconcile these two points, perhaps a good approach is to be harsh, with kindness. Be strict and firm, but don’t take it too far up to the point that you may chase the other person away. And as always, gauge the person’s character and determination and see how far you can push them. Some people can be pushed more than others, and so they should.

This is not just in regard to their mistakes, but in general. For example, if they haven’t memorized their new portion, you have to be strict and put your foot down. You are not doing them any favors by being lax with them. This is one of the ways that we distinguish those who love each other for this world, and those who love each other for the sake of Allah. The ones who love each other for the sake of Allah will be harsh with one another when the time calls for it.

waAllahu ‘Alam

P.S. I’m attaching an awesome pdf book with more information, so check it out!!

The Character of the People of the Qur’an

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  1. #1 by heesbees tajweed on February 1, 2012 - 4:01 am

    I like it when my teacher’s mean to me – not that I have a set teacher… It pushes me to reach my real potential, though…. (when I’m mean on myself, I guess) :)

  2. #2 by proudamah on December 21, 2016 - 3:56 pm

    I guess its differnt from person to person. Some might work harder with a “mean” teacher, and others might take offence of it. Guess the teacher has to figure out his student, or the student has to find a teacher that suits them.

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