An Honest Mistake

The Pseudo-Polymath had a link on his Monday post (here) about an incident which at first sight might sound too exaggerated to be real. The link actually takes you to the story posted on Jihad Watch (here) about a girl Faryal Bhatti…

“….a student at the Sir Syed Girls High School in Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF) colony Havelian, erroneously misspelt a word in an Urdu exam while answering a question on a poem written in praise of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). The word in question was ‘laanat’ instead of ‘naat’ – an easy error for a child to make, as the written versions of the words are similar.

According to the school administration and religious leaders who took great exception to the hapless student’s mistake, the error is ‘serious’ enough to fall within the realm of blasphemy, Saturday.

The clarification is made in the comments regarding her mistake:

Lanat or La3an, the word العن literally means in English ‘anathematize’ (.ie: a ban or curse solemnly pronounced by ecclesiastical authority and accompanied by excommunication; this is the closest meaning in English) or more commonly ‘curse’. When someone makes the du3aa of La3an upon a person, they are essentially asking Allah (swt) to withdraw His mercy from that person/people and give them punishment for their evil actions.

Whereas Naat means praise in Urdu (it’s hamd in arabic) and is found in sentances about Muhammad.

Naat-e-Rasool-e-Maqbool
praise and extolling of Prophet Muhammad

It’s funny, as one commenter rightfully noted, something like this would have ended up on Children Say the Darnest Things in our Western Christian culture but instead has turned into a witch hunt after this little girl.

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2 thoughts on “An Honest Mistake

  1. This morning, during my devotionals, I read in The Philokalia, On the Character of Men section, volume one, Page 341: the following three texts: 77, 78, and 79.

    77. If they are worthy, ordinary people and ascetics are provided through the circumstances of their life with the opportunities to be crowned by God. Hence, during this life they make their faculties dead to all worldly things; for a dead man never concerns himself with anything worldly.

    78. A soul engaged in spiritual training, being deform, must not cower with fear in the face of the passions, lest it be derided for cowardice; since if it is disturbed by fantasies of worldly things, the soul strays from its course. For the virtues of the soul lead to eternal blessings, while our self-wiled vices result in eternal punishments.

    79. Man is attacked by his senses through the soul’s passions. The bodily senses are five: sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch. Through these five senses the unhappy soul is taken captive when it succumbs to it four passions. These four passions are self-esteem, levity, anger and cowardice. When, therefore, a man through sound judgment and reflection has shown good generalship, he controls and defeats the passions. Then he is no longer attacked but his soul is at peace; and he is crowned by God, because he has conquered.

    For the young lady, trying to develop a life with God will certainly have a lot of questions to our savior as she navigates through her trials.

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