Friday, 24 April 2015

The Men of Two Gardens

If you understand, Quran is the Book out of this world both literally and figuratively. A lifetime is not enough to appreciate only the linguistic miracles of Allah's speech. However, Quran is basically designed to incite our inbuilt “Dormant Consciousness”. We only have the choice to thrive on it or keep it dormant and keep resisting the Truth.

Moving over to Friday segment of Surah Al Kahf. Like a master piece of the Grand Musician, the symphony of Al Kahf is arranged in the most remarkable fashion. It consists of four stories and four Khutbaat (Allah's guidance speech with us through The Prophet PBUH).

First Khutba is followed by the story of Ashab-e-Kahf. In Christian traditions the story is remembered as 'The Seven Sleeping Men (Those were not seven and only Allah knows how many?).

Second Khutba is followed by the story of Men of Two Gardens which we shall touch upon today.

Third and the longest Khutba is followed by two stories, the Musa (AS) & Khizar (AS) story and the story of Zulqarnain (The faithful king of two horns).

The Surah ends with a Khutba as it started with a Khutba, leaving us with countless morals to ponder upon.

People normally focus on the four stories but there is an insanely awesome connection and some amazingly cool lessons in four Khutbaat of Al Kahf which will be discussed some other time.

Fifth Rakuh tells the story of The Men of Two Gardens. Both men in story were apparently Muslims. One was rich & confident like a CEO of world brand. The other was god fearing man with modest resources. The rich man had gardens of grapes surrounded by date trees and empty spaces were utilized for grain harvest. A river ran through his garden and the yield was aplenty. Great crop produce and big number of offspring made him comfort loving rich man. His faith in the Day of Reckoning began to waver. He entered his garden and claimed with lethargic arrogance that his garden could never be destroyed. On seeing good results of his harvest, he began to associate his success with his elaborate irrigation system and all the latest techniques of growing fruits and grains. He was confident that he had all his bases covered and no harm could befall him. He was also nurturing the fallacy that he would be treated the same way in the Hereafter.

Poorer man tried to tell him that he was molded from earthly mud. Once a sperm swam through dirty fluids and joined another, it was then that Allah puffed life in to your mold. You grew into a successful and towering person. All the riches were the bounties of Allah. He could withdrew them from ungrateful because nothing happens without Allah’s Will.

The rich man was too confident on his possessions and skills; and his faith further weakened. Allah disapproved his thanklessness, it is not mentioned in Quran how but his gardens were destroyed. He became penniless and regretted his attitude. But it was too late.

The story is simple but it is more current than any other story you may hear. Remember, both men believed with differing levels of faith. Plenty of the worldly possessions distracted one man. He began relying on material belongings and his knowledge of things. We live in times of great fitna. Our race has evolved to heights of knowledge and our love of material pursuits is just peaking. There are no La’at, Manat or Uzza which were the strongest gods/ deities of pre-Islam Arab world. The talk of one god was simply ridiculous to them. They could not imagine turning away from ways of their ancestors. We live in a same parallel. Although, in our times, not many people worship idols or deities. We have reached to the moon and vying for stars beyond. So worship of heavenly bodies in the sky is not logical anymore. Today’s La'at Manat and Uzza are replaced by one idol; the idol of materialism. And just like old times, if you tell people of this shirk, they will scornfully tell you, "Dude you lost it". "You are nothing without money"' "Live the dream man, what's wrong with you?". Words to this effect, some mild and some not so mild. We commit this "shirk" every day when we put behind Allah’s commands over our endless quest for material gains. We rely on our skills and knowledge to secure our futures. We have relegated the Provider over pursuit of provisions. Re-orientation of faith in the Provider is quintessential for our survival. Besides, it in itself is demeaning to think that a person earns value for his material status. Does all this not sound current and relevant to our way of thinking these days? Does this story not sound like everyday stories around us when millionaires go homeless overnight.

May Allah help us understand His Book. May we understand every word of this jewel of Quran, the Al Kahf.