Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine

JUNE 2004
Volume 17-06 No : 210


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No Mischief Meant
The Pathway to Allah

No Mischief Meant

Muslim parents feel helpless in today’s changing world and wonder how to cope with their truant child. But there is nothing to worry as solutions are plenty, says Mohammed Hanif Lakdawala

Anis Patel runs to the door and hoots at senior students, then he runs back to his bench to snatch the notebook of his friend Safi within minutes. He shouts at the top of his voice ‘good morning teacher’ when his class teacher enters. Anis pays attention in class, but only briefly, and then his mind is off on its restless wanderings. He continues to disrupt class activities.

It is the same story at home. Anis’s mother finds it most difficult to make him eat food and has to run after Anis to feed him thrice daily, Anis’s father Haroon dreads the situation when he has to make Anis study. His son cannot concentrate on studies for more than a couple of minutes,

In our society, there are numerous children like Anis around us. “Mrs Razia Ansari’s youngest sibling Rauf is very mischievous”. Such statements are common in our day-to-day conversation. Is today’s generation more mischievous and spoilt or have the parents become less tolerant?

“ Anis’s and other such children are suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (APHAD).” says Dr Krishna Kumar, pediatrician with Mumbai’s Wadia Hospital. “It is characterised by a persistent and severe pattern of inattention, impulsiveness and hyperactivity. He cannot help making careless mistakes, he has difficulty awaiting his turn and yet when he gets it, he cannot concentrate on the task at hand,” says Dr Kumar

According to a survey in the USA, out of every four children born, one is hyperactive. The percentage of boys affected by the disorder as compared to girls is more. Dr Farooque Nagori. eminent pediatrician says these hyperactive children when they come to doctors appear normal. Reasons for their hyperactivity are difficult to diagnose. “The lack of documentation about the child birth like the type of delivery and details of complication, if any, makes it difficult to diagnose the reason for ADHAD,” he says,

Dr Nagori says even a slight problem during the course of delivery or any post delivery complication can have an impact on the child. “Even minute details like whether the child cried immediately on delivery or after a few seconds: whether the supply of oxygen was stopped for more than 30 seconds during the course of delivery; was it a normal or caesarean delivery or forceps were used, have an impact on the child’s behavior later,” he says.

Parents feel helpless in today’s changing world and wonder how to cope with the truant child. At the same time children feel their parents do not understand them. Many parents use children as punching bags to enforce discipline.

Dr Sameera Baig, counselling psychologist relates the case of a first standard student whose mother hurt his arm with a hot spatula for not doing his lesson. Though some experts believe that paddling is an effective way to get a child’s atten­tion when a situation threatens to veer out of control, a growing number of child psychologists and child development experts are opposed to spanking and to corporal punishment in general.

Dr Kesri Chavda, pediatric psychiatrist, Hinduja Hospital, says that a child who is hit often grows up learning to do ‘bad things’ on the sly. “He may become rebellious and have a poor self-image. He would also lack confidence. On the other hand there are parents especially the rich, who pamper their children silly because they do not need to work, anyway. Many parents are too lax with their kids, letting them have their way always,” he says.

Clinical psychologist Shagufta Ahmed classifies the emotional problems faced by school children in to (I) organic: due to learning disabilities; (2) behavioural; displaying emotions like aggressive behaviour or too withdrawn; and (3) psychosomatic; developing a stomachache, headache or such disorders when he or she has to go to school.

She feels there is another major factor troubling school children, “Physically, children are developing faster. The more they are pressurised to move on psychologically, they grow up physically also faster. The change in our culture also makes our children grow up fast. Children get all sorts of information from television, Internet and so on. This is not filtered. Beyond a point, children can’t decipher which is right or wrong. So parents need to supervise television viewing and answer their children’s questions. Children get hooked to the Net easily. Academics take a back seat,” Shagufta says.

Researchers advise diverting the attention of hyperactive children to constructive activities. Otherwise, they might get themselves involved in crimes. Studies have confirmed that children of working parents are more susceptible to become hyperactive. In many cases, such children perform risky and dangerous activities injuring themselves in the process.

Mumbai-based psychiatrist Dr Harish Shetty says that counselling goes a long way in the treatment of ADHAD. “Only in severe condition of ADHAD, medicines are required. In most cases, counselling and changing the environment in the house is sufficient. They must be encouraged to do activities they like. Instead of being angry with them, proper attention should be given to them,” he says.

School authorities are increasingly recognising the need for parental counselling. Principal M Rita, of Apostolic Carmel High School says: “While school teachers often think that the problem lies with the child, it really lies with the parents who need guidance.” She concedes that some teachers have little time for the children and “just want to finish the syllabus”.

The earlier a child suffering from ADHAD is brought for treatment, the better for him, says Dr Kersi Chavda. He says: “Parents ask why is it that my son who can understand even difficult concepts cannot memorise them? How come he does so well one day, and performs terribly on other days? Is he lazy, or simply defiant? The truth is that he is none of these. ADHAD prevents him from reaching his potential, and it is sadly a problem that can persist even in his adulthood, resulting in low esteem and behavioural problems.”



The Pathway to Allah

Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) said: “Try to pass your mornings and evenings in a state when your heart is free from all feelings of hatred and jealousy for everyone and remember that this is my Sunnah and he who loves my Sunnah will be with me in Paradise.”

By Nigar Ataulla

Guided by this Sunnah of the Prophet (Pbuh) two friends, Roohul Ahmed Mir and Ayub Shariff lived miles apart – While Ayub’s job made him to drive down to different cities, Roohul Ahmed set up his home in Bhiwandi in Mumbai where he worked all day. It was during one of those trips to Mumbai that Ayub happened to meet Roohul on the job and their friendship was for life. Roohul’s life revolved around creating beautiful embroidery designs on kurtas, dupattas, saris and shawls. So engrossed was Roohul in his world of needles, threads, colours and flowers, that the mild chest pain one day seemed like just another effect of fatigue. With a wife and two children to take care of, he put his own ache at the back of his mind, till one day, it took its toll and he was compelled to travel to Bangalore for an angiogram. While his job fetched him hardly enough to make ends meet, the angiogram costing Rs 10, 000 ate into his hard-earned savings. But Allah Almighty does not burden anyone with more than what they can bear.

His pillar-to-post run finally ended when Allah guided him to Dr F. Sadruddin Shariff, one of the best cardio-thoracic surgeons in the world who has been quietly doing a lot for the poor and downtrodden. After diagnosing the problem,he advised for an Open Heart Surgery for 45 year old Roohul which would cost Rs 94, 000. “It is an emergency and a must and has to be done very very soon,” says Dr Sadruddin of Hope Medical Centre, Bangalore who will be performing the surgery on him.

Life takes many twists and turns. Once-upon-a-time, Roohul owned his own house, with his own financial resources lent a helping hand to three families who wanted to get their daughters married. He took care of these expenses. He even sold off his own house and bestowed the money to his near and dear ones and led a simple life himself, shunning even basic necessities which he could not afford. Today Roohul does not even look at the medicine list prescribed for him as he has no money to spend on his own medicines.

While the moral support from his friend Ayub is keeping his spirits high, the reality is that his surgery needs to be done very soon and the expense of Rs 94,000 has to be organised.

Remember what Helen Steiner Rice said in “ Pathway to God...” “That a person seeks God most in distress and the person who has met God on his path of pain knows God most well. Very true. Roohul and his family have been praying to Allah for help.

Roohul was desig ning a beautiful rose on a kurta and the petals had to be done, when the illness struck him. He has left this unfinished. A rose without petals looks pale. So does Roohul in his present state.

Allah designed our hearts and while doing this, he put a soft corner there. Then he commanded that we should follow our heart more often while dealing with others. Purity of heart comes with doing good to others. You can help Roohul finish his petals on the rose, by of course praying for him and then contributing to raise Rs 94,000 needed for his surgery. Remember what you do is not an act of charity, but a tribute you will be paying to a believer in Allah like you, whose threads of life need to be made stronger through a surgery! It is only then, can Roohul go back to designing not just embroidered roses, but lilies and daffodils too!

Your tributes in the form of Cheques/ Drafts can be sent in the name of Healing Hearts, C/O Hope Medical Centre (Health of People Enterprise), No 332, Dar-Us-Salam, Queen’s Road, Bangalore-560052. Ph:22202200/22202201/22202202. Mobile: 9845450005 (Dr. F. Sadruddin Shariff) E-mail: [email protected]


News Community Roundup Editorial Letters Trends Karnataka Polls - Commentary Elections-2004 Muslim Perspectives Fast Forward Book Review Features Children's Corner Just For the Young Miscellany Quran Speaks to You Hadith Our Dialogue Question Hour Religion Facts on Faith Quran and Science Role Models Reflections Crossfire Journey to Islam Matrimonial
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