In Surah Ibrahim 14:24-25, Allah mentioned:
‘See you not how Allah sets forth a parable? A goodly word as a goodly tree, whose root is firmly fixed, and its branches (reach) to the sky (i.e very high)
Giving its fruits at all times, by the Leave of its Lord, and Allah sets forth parables for mankind in order that they remember.’
In the verses above Allah reminds us through parables. He asks us to look at trees. Before having an understanding of the Quran, I often enjoyed looking at trees and the nature around us purely because they are beautiful and able to give peace of mind. Nature has always been my escape place for relaxation. However, upon understanding of the Quran, I realised actually they are more than just beautiful...there are important lessons that Allah wants to teach and remind us of through trees.
Trees are made of three main parts: the root, the trunk and the foliage which contain the branches, leaves and fruit (for trees that bear fruit). Allah says good trees are those that have firm roots. This tells us that the most important part of the tree is the root. The root is located in the soil which is hidden and difficult to see. However, if the root is rotten...soon the tree will die. If the leaves start to wrinkle or when it doesn’t bear any fruits (if it is a fruit tree), try checking the root, most of the time it is because there is some problem with the root.
If we were to match the tree with us humans, the root can be paralleled with our heart where our aqidah i.e our relationship with Allah, lies. It is hidden and difficult to see. However, if the heart is good, the akhlaq portrayed by the person (just like the fruit) will also be good and vise versa. Therefore, we can easily check on our aqidah through our akhlaq. Our aqidah i.e relationship with Allah should be continuously nurtured by the guidance of the Quran and As-Sunnah, the only two key treasures left by our beloved Rasulullah s.a.w. Inshaallah, by nurturing our relationship with Allah through continuous learning, understanding and practicing of the Quran (the only book which Allah communicates to us directly)(please avoid reciting without understanding) and As-Sunnah, our relationship with humankind will be nurtured by our good akhlaq.
The trees around us remind us to always nurture our relationship with Allah. Allah has given us the reminder everywhere in this world. He has created so many kinds of trees for us to learn from. There are trees that function to be visually pleasing with flowers that have beautiful vibrant colours and sweet fragrance. There are trees that give shade with it large foliage. There are also those that bear delicious fruits. At the same time, there are trees such as coconut that is very useful in its every way, bearing fruits all year through, has very strong roots and trunk that can even stand a tsunami. Meanwhile, there are trees which have very short roots and can be easily uprooted like some vegetable plants.
All these trees remind us of our relationship with the Almighty. It is up to us to decide on which ‘tree’ we want to be. May we continuously nurture our own ‘roots’ and at the same time love the trees given by Allah more, rather than just cutting it down as many as we please for the purpose of ‘development’. Hopefully, we will care for the trees that Allah has given to us as a reminder for us to continuously remember/muhasabah our relationship with our Creator.