Monday, February 26, 2024 | Sha'ban 15, 1445 H
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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

The Companion of the Two Gardens

Stories from the Quran
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Allah the Almighty says:


And present to them an example of two men: We granted to one of them two gardens of grapevines, and We bordered them with palm trees and placed between them [fields of] crops. Each of the two gardens produced its fruit and did not fall short thereof in anything. And We caused to gush forth within them a river. And he had fruit, so he said to his companion while he was conversing with him, “I am greater than you in wealth and mightier in [numbers of] men.” And he entered his garden while he was unjust to himself. He said, “I do not think that this will perish - ever. And I do not think the Hour will occur. And even if I should be brought back to my Lord, I will surely find better than this as a return.” His companion said to him while he was conversing with him, “Have you disbelieved in He who created you from dust and then from a sperm-drop and then proportioned you [as] a man? But as for me, He is Allah, my Lord, and I do not associate with my Lord anyone. And why did you, when you entered your garden, not say, ‘What Allah willed [has occurred]; there is no power except in Allah ‘? Although you see me less than you in wealth and children, It may be that my Lord will give me [something] better than your garden and will send upon it a calamity from the sky, and it will become a smooth, dusty ground, Or its water will become sunken [into the earth], so you would never be able to seek it.” And his fruits were encompassed [by ruin], so he began to turn his hands about [in dismay] over what he had spent on it, while it had collapsed upon its trellises, and said, “Oh, I wish I had not associated with my Lord anyone.” And there was for him no company to aid him other than Allah, nor could he defend himself. There the authority is [completely] for Allah, the Truth. He is best in reward and best in outcome.} Surah Al Kahf


There were two friends one was rich and the other was poor. The poorer friend lived in the path of Allah, and contributed most of his assets towards charity, thus living a very simple and frugal existence.


The rich companion owned two lush gardens of grapes, date palms, and cultivated crops, and the gardens consistently bore abundant varieties of healthy produce. Rivers and streams flow in between the two gardens, providing ample fresh water to irrigate the farmland. The two fertile gardens continuously yielded magnificent harvests without fail and thus became a reliable source of great income for its owner.


The abundance of wealth made the richer companion arrogant and diverted him from the path of Allah. He took great pride in his abundant crops, financial and social strength, and the respect that he commanded from his peers.


He used to spend many hours in the two gardens, marvelling at his accomplishments, being boastful and arrogant. He frequently boasted of his wealth to his companion. His boastful attitude also extended to his children, who outnumbered his companions. His conceit, in calculating his material accomplishments, made him look down on the poor.


He became so dazzled by his wealth, that arrogance, pride, and disbelief blinded his heart. He felt secure and invincible with his vast possessions and the status they brought him. He began to formulate the view that his garden was indestructible, and would never perish.


He felt so secure in his materialistic cocoon that he even began to deny the coming of the Day of Judgment or the concept of resurrection before his Lord.


He rationalised that even if the Day of Judgment existed, he would be granted an even better garden. He was deceived into thinking that the worldly favours bestowed on him by his Lord were because of his superiority over others and that it would extend to the Hereafter.


His poorer companion tried to counsel him to be more grounded and humble. He reminded his rich friend of his lowly origin that applied to all human beings.


The poorer companion was never aggrieved that he was not as rich or bestowed with as many children as his rich friend. He accepted this as this from Allah, realising there existed higher wisdom in it in this world and in the hereafter in what Allah granted or withheld from him.


He was also acutely aware of the temporary and fleeting nature of any material accomplishments, and that Allah can bestow or deny in the blink of an eye.


Therefore, he continued reminding his friend not to place too much emphasis on his material accumulations, for these were all subject to his Lord’s determination.


One day, the rich man awoke to find his garden completely ruined. All the years of hard work and cultivation were obliterated overnight, all his crops were destroyed, and the water in the river had been sucked back into the ground. He regretted his actions.


To his dismay, he found that none of his friends, children, social connections, or in fact anyone, could help him against Allah’s will. He was even incapable of defending himself against Allah.


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