Chessboard of Life

This blog is in continuation of my previous blog The Rise of Spirit

7Picture Courtesy

The teacher of Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Jaffer-e-Sadiq progeny of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), has said in one of his sermons for the moral and social development of the children;

‘A child’s age should be divided into three stages. From 1 to 7 years of age; treat him like a ‘King’, from the age of 7 until 14 treat him like a slave and from 14 until 21 treat him like your adviser and after 21 years, leave him into the society. He would be an ideal citizen of society’.

Picture 3

The reason for various treatments meted out to the kids in these ages is elaborated as under:

When a child is born, he is exploring the world, so we need to give him full freedom to understand the world his own way. From the age of 7 until 14 he is going through the physical transition, and at this premature age, his chances of getting involved in bad habits are very high. So we need to treat him as a slave, so that we can make him understand the intricacies of life the right way. From the age of 14 until 21, we need to treat him as adviser, because by remaining under severe suppression during his adolescence period, he has lost his self-confidence and now is the time to help him regain his lost confidence so that when he goes into the society, he would be a perfect citizen because he has got the right kind of training until the age of 21 years. This may have been the reason that in many countries of the world the age of adult franchise is 21.


In order to convey the message through the pics, I tried to look for kings and queens in the Roman empire and I did find quite a few pics but it was difficult to recognize who was king and who was adviser as the crown worn by both was little bit different and a layman could not recognize it easily unless he has an idea of history, apart those pics could not convey the ‘message’, I was trying to portray. Same was the case with King, Queen, and Jack in cards. They can easily be recognized through the pic, who is who but again the ‘message’ was not easy to convey through the pics.

The beauty of this concept can easily be depicted through chess pawns. The King can only move in the squares adjacent to its own square. Its analogy is that a kid up to the age of 7 years can not leave the boundary wall of his home unless accompanied by his parents.  A pawn has to move only in its own column one square at a time unless attacked by the opponent, it is like a boy aged between 7 and 14 has to be kept under strict vigilance if we need him to grow as a responsible citizen. The queen of the chess can move one square or multiple squares in all the directions, be it vertical, horizontal or diagonal. It is like you have to give an adult boy full freedom to choose and decide his own life after 14 years of age. He should be given the status of an adviser in the family, so that he gets trained to live and lead his life after 21, the way he wants his life to be, rather than being dictated by elders of the family. He is unique and is now in a position to decide on his own, his destiny. 

Since knowledge is ubiquitous by virtue of the internet, the age bracket given above can be reduced from 0-6, 7-12 and 13 to 18. That could be one of the reasons why the governments have reduced the voting rights to its citizens from 21 to 18 years.

Sajjad Hussain

Article Categories:
Eduaction · Ethics · Humanity · Leadership · Motivation · Philosophy · Religion · Symbolism · Wisdom · Writings

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