Saturday, April 14, 2007

Favorite Passages: Gentle Diversion

From "In the Footsteps of the Prophet", pg. 16

After recounting the story of the Prophet (saw) as a young man wishing out of curiosity to attend some of the Makkan celebrations, and Allah making him fall asleep before he could even reach the celebrations, to protect him from witnessing the immoral behavior, Ramadan writes,

"While gentleness and diversion were used to protect him, those events--which the Prophet was later to mention--gradually built in him a moral sense shaped through the understanding of those signs and of what they protected him from. This natural initiation into morals, remote from any obsession with sin and fostering of guilt, greatly influenced the kind of education the Prophet was to impart to his companions. With a teaching method relying on gentleness, on the common sense of individuals, and on their understanding of commands, the Prophet also strove to teach them how to put their instincts to sleep, so to speak, and how to resort to diversion to escape evil temptations. For those Companions, as for us, in all ages and societies, this teaching method is most valuable and reminds us that a moral sense should be developed no through interdiction and sanction but gradually, gently, exactingly, understandingly, and at a deep level."

This stood out to me in many ways, particularly in its implications for raising children.

No comments:

Post a Comment