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Thursday 2 July 2015

Ramadan Reading Challenge 2015 Day 13: The Owner of the Two Gardens

Today's story is similar to Qarun and the people of Saba in that Allah gave the owner two abundant gardens yet he was full of pride and not thankful to Allah. Whether this story is about a real man or a parable set by Allah it continues to teach us valuable lessons. Read it in surah Al Kahf (18: 32-44) of the Qur'an.

And put forward to them the example of two men: unto one of them We had given two gardens of grapes, and We had surrounded both with date-palms; and had put between them green crops (cultivated fields). 

Each of those two gardens brought forth its produce, and failed not in the least therein, and We caused a river to gush forth in the midst of them. 

And he had property (or fruit) and he said to his companion, in the course of mutual talk: "I am more than you in wealth and stronger in respect of men." (Tafsir Al-Qurtubi). 

And he went into his garden while in a state (of pride and disbelief) unjust to himself. He said: "I think not that this will ever perish. 

"And I think not the Hour will ever come, and if indeed I am brought back to my Lord, (on the Day of Resurrection), I surely shall find better than this when I return to Him." 

His companion said to him during the talk with him: "Do you disbelieve in Him Who created you out of dust (i.e. your father Adam), then out of Nutfah (mixed semen drops of male and female discharge), then fashioned you into a man? 

"But as for my part, (I believe) that He is Allah, my Lord, and none shall I associate as partner with my Lord. 

"It was better for you to say, when you entered your garden: 'That which Allah wills (will come to pass)! There is no power but with Allah !' If 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 on it Husban (torment, bolt) from the sky, then it will be a barren slippery earth. 

"Or the water thereof (of the gardens) becomes deep-sunken (underground) so that you will never be able to seek it." 

So his fruits were encircled (with ruin). And he remained clapping his hands (with sorrow) over what he had spent upon it, while it was all destroyed on its trellises, and he could only say: "Would that I had ascribed no partners to my Lord!" [Tafsir Ibn Kathir] 

And he had no group of men to help him against Allah, nor could he defend (or save) himself. 

There (on the Day of Resurrection), Al-Walayah (protection, power, authority and kingdom) will be for Allah (Alone), the True God. He (Allah) is the Best for reward and the Best for the final end. (La ilaha illallah- none has the right to be worshipped but Allah).

You might like to read Ibn Kathir's commentary in Stories of the Qur'an.

Lesson and Activity

In the story of Qarun and the people of Saba we've focused on being thankful and grateful to Allah for giving us things. For this story you can focus on being humble and not prideful or arrogant.

What does it mean to be humble? The key to being humble is to think that whatever you have is not a result of your own greatness but it's a result of Allah's will so always give thanks to Allah. Being arrogant is thinking that you are better than others because of what you have or what you do. How can we be  not arrogant towards others? What can we do?

These are just a few ideas for lessons. If you have any others then feel free to do them and share.

Comments Required

There are so many other lessons to learn. Can you think of any others? I'd love to hear them. Please write in the comment below.

At the end of this Ramadan Reading Challenge, if you or your children have participated then you will get a prize (not sure what yet - will keep you updated). To be eligible, please leave a comment on what lesson you have learnt from the reading of the story and include any activities that you did to extend it. Just a line or two would be fine (so that I can contact you).

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