A seeker who was a school teacher inquired regarding punishing the students who were disobedient or neglectful of their home work. He wrote,
‘Some of the students are extremely careless and adamant. This to the extent that without significant corporeal punishment they do not do the required tasks. I punish them ( for this) and also on their mischieves. Usually I hit them on their hands with stick according to the situation from one to six strikes. Occasionally it exceeds this (on extreme mischief).
During implementation of punishment I contemplate (on the pros and cons). Most of the times I am not angry at that time. However, infrequently I do become angry. It is felt that I make mistake in both the states. This is because of the doubt that arises in me that I punished them in excess of what they deserved and committed brutality and injustice.
I try to do full justice, however, after punishment I have a heavy feeling.
Sir, please, tell me a guiding principle (in this regards) so that I can follow it. It saves me from committing sinful and the students do their work.’
Hakim al-Umma Maualan Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Allah have mercy on him) replied,
‘Contemplate when you are no more angry that how much punishment does he deserve. Do not exceed it, even if you get angry while administering it.’
Tarbiyet us Salik, volume 3, page 129
This is a guiding principle for parents, in addition to teachers and all those responsible for taking care of children.