Rafed English

Introduce the Child to the Clock

An office-messenger who was sent to collect some important papers was asked to come back for them precisely in 20 minutes because of the urgency. When he came back in ten minutes instead. he was asked to return once again in ten minutes. He reappeared much later. He should have been given the exact time. It would have been easy for him to keep a track of it by consulting those who kept a wrist watch. He never kept one and therefore he had never gained a dependable sense of the pas- sage of time even if it were for a small span of five minutes.

When the messenger is idle and anxiously waiting for a due time for an assignment, the due-time arrives faster; and when he is busy with another interim job in the mean- time. the due-time arrives later for the assignment! If the exact known-time due is in 15 minutes. he would still ask people for time-information or go to consult the clock about three times.

There can be no efficient .management of the daily affairs and no trust earned in the society without a deligent adherence to a time management; and the time manage- men-t is elusive without mastering the sense and value of time. Islam also teaches a meticulous observance of time which has disciplinary variables.

That was with regard to the earthly clock. Graphic and Vivid. A man of about 80 years of age in the course of a normal talk was narrating to his son during one leisurely week-end a family event which had taken place when he was in his twenties and his own father was the head of the family. His narration to the end was graphic and vivid and his face-expression lively as if the aged personthere was a re-enactment of " the event before his eyes. Then strangely, after remaining quiet and thoughtful for rose from his seat, stood still thoughtful, and then slowly walked away to retire in his room.

sometime, It should be easy to guess why the old man suddenly fell into a deep thought with all r the visible sign of desolation and melancholy. He felt that the event had taken place " only "yesterday", and there he was an old person "today" and the relatives will argue at the cemetery "tomorrow" whether that old weather-beaten grave was indeed his! The span of some sixty years since the event was now a mere 24 hours to him! And that is precisely what the Holy Qur'an wants us to remember.

"He will say: How many years did you tarry in the earth? They will say: We tarried a day or part of a day, but ask those who keep account. He will say: You did tarry but a little -had you but known (it)" (23 : 112,113,114). Now this is the celestial (heavenly) clock, Time will tell. Introduce the child to the earthly time-clock in time so that he later as an adult becomes aware of the celestial clock also in time and is not caught by a rude shock like the old man. What a great pity when there are people in the society who were raised and conditioned to be oblivious to the dictates of both the clocks!

Adapted from the book: "Child" by: "Mohamed A. Khalfan"

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