How did three apples become four?
A teacher asked a student softly, ‘Dear child! If I give you an apple, then another apple and then another apple, how many apples will you have? The student replied by counting on his fingers, ‘Four’. The teacher’s mood darkened after listening to the wrong answer to the question, which was asked in so much detail, but she [teacher] replied, while controlling herself, ‘Son! Listen to me carefully’. She repeated her question softly. The student had noticed his teacher’s irritation, that’s why he carefully counted the apples and replied with surety, ‘Teacher! I will have four apples’. Having heard this, the teacher started thinking either she had been an incompetent teacher who was unable to explain the question to her student or the student was mentally very weak! Anyway, she changed the question and asked the student another question, ‘If I give you a banana, then give you another banana and then another banana, then how many bananas will you have?’ The child, in order to save himself from the teacher’s anger, counted two times on his fingers and replied passionately, ‘Three’. The teacher got satisfied with the answer by thinking that her struggle was not in vain. The student began to reply correctly and therefore, the teacher repeated the question about the apples. The student who had overcome his fear of the teacher replied, ‘Teacher! Four apples’. This time, the teacher replied with a little rude tone, ‘Tell me how these apples became four.’
The student timidly replied, ‘Teacher! This morning, my mother gave me an apple which I kept in my bag, now if you give me three more apples then after counting all these, I will have four apples’.
Dear readers of the monthly magazine, ‘Faizan-e-Madinah’! From this story, we have learnt a lesson that if we observe someone doing something unusual, we should not have negative opinion of him immediately, but rather we should ponder as to why he is doing this! If we ask him, we can stay safe from many misunderstandings as the teacher did in the above-mentioned story. When she asked the student about the reason as to how the three apples became four, the matter was resolved.
I felt deeply ashamed
An Islamic scholar of Karachi has said, ‘Once I was coming towards Jami’ah, I stopped on a road due to a traffic jam. Someone came near to my car’s door and said something. Due to his clothing, I thought he was begging because many times in that area, I came across professional beggars, therefore, instead of listening to him carefully, I made a gesture ‘I am sorry.’ He again tried to talk to me, so I went close to listen to him carefully.
He spoke humbly, ‘I did not beg from you; I am a labourer; I asked you about the road leading to the tomb of Quaid-e-A’zam’. Having heard this, I felt deeply ashamed that I perceived him as a beggar without even listening to him. I immediately said sorry and told him the way [to the Tomb of Quaid-e-A’zam]. Many years have passed, but even today whenever I recall the incident, I feel ashamed.
Dear Readers! Remember! Many times, we may have misunderstood others in our life due to which we may have suffered loss too. Then, after knowing the truth, we must have realized that we were wrong.
Won’t it be better if we make a habit of pondering before forming a final opinion of others! We make excuses to justify our mistakes. If we allow half of those excuses to justify others’ mistakes, then many misunderstandings can be cleared up and relationships can be saved from deterioration.
٭If a student is not taking interest in reading a lesson, then instead of considering him to be dull or lazy the teacher should ponder over the following things: Perhaps, I am not explaining the lesson properly or perhaps the student is suffering from family tension or he is not feeling well!
٭If a mother-in-law asks her daughter-in-law to do some work, but she does not do it, so instead of considering her to be unkind and disrespectful, the mother-in-law should think maybe the daughter-in-law couldn’t hear her or could have forgotten due to being busy!
٭If an old father orders his son to bring something when he returns from the office, but he does not get the thing when he returns home in the evening, so instead of considering him to be ungrateful or useless, the old father should think his son might have forgotten or he could not find the thing in the market or he did not have the required money to buy it today.
By following these methods, we can save ourselves from many misunderstandings. Remember! sometimes, slight misunderstandings cause a divorce between a husband and wife, quarrel between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law, cause old parents to feel hatred towards their young children, cause quarrels between sisters and brothers, quarrels in the family, destroy a friendship of friends, cause a person to kill another person, separate a teacher from his student, employer from his employee and a disciple from his spiritual guide. Due to misunderstandings, even powerful institutions and big organisations weaken.
At the end, read an admonitory story!
Once a daughter-in-law passed by the room of her father-in-law, she heard the voice of her mother-in-law saying, ‘I cannot put up with the attitude of this girl any more’. Having heard this, she was surprised and stopped there. Her mother in law was telling her husband, ‘Whenever I notice, this girl creates a new tension. She does not even understand. She neither gives importance to her mother-in-law nor shows any respect for her father-in-law and considers her husband to be her servant. When my son returns home in the evening, I will discuss this matter with him’. Having heard this, the daughter-in-law got furious and started thinking: What kind of attitude I have adopted? When did I create tension in the home? When did I refuse to serve my mother-in-law and father-in-law? When did I not respect my husband? Even then, these people have such a bad opinion of me that they are thinking of driving me out of the home. Before they talk to my husband in the evening and force me to leave the home, I myself should return to my parent’s home. After thinking this, she entered her room and silently began to put her clothes and other things in a suitcase. As she finished packing, her mother-in-law called her and after making her sit, she [mother-in-law] said, ‘Oh daughter-in-law! Your sister-in-law (i.e. my daughter) does not have a good relationship with her in-laws. According to my knowledge and experience, I think the blame lies with my daughter. We have tried our best to make her understand. When my son returns home this evening, I will ask him to bring her back here for some days. You are a girl of her age and a beloved and an ideal daughter-in-law of our home. I, therefore, request you to make her understand as to how a daughter-in-law should live at home. I hope if you make her understand, she will improve herself. After listening to this, the daughter-in-law nodded in agreement and felt ashamed in her heart by thinking that her mother-in-law had great feelings for her, but unfortunately she wrongly perceived the comments which her mother-in-law made for her daughter to be for herself. She [daughter-in-law] then thanked Allah Almighty that the news of packing did not leak out of the room, otherwise, it could have made the matter worse, which could have resulted in a quarrel.