Thursday, June 16, 2011


There is an old Prophetic saying, “There are no trees in heaven, you must plant them yourselves”

The Little Garden. The angel escorting me brought me to a small garden in heaven. “Look familiar?” he asked. And indeed the trees and plants seemed oddly familiar and consisted of a strange assortment of plants. Then he said, “Isn’t this the grape tree which you planted when you were 15 years old?” and then he brought me to another spot, “And isn’t this the row of spinach which you and your class planted when you were 12? And isn’t this the rambutan tree which you grew in your backyard? Don’t you remember your grandchildren playing underneath it?

Ah, yes.

The Orchard of Good Deeds. The angel then led me to another part of heaven, and here, it was an orchard. It was much bigger than my small garden and was full of beautiful trees, flowers and fruits. I looked at them and said, “I am certain I did not plant this.” The angel smiled and replied, “Oh yes you did.” He pointed to a delicate rose bush, “This here is a rose which you planted when you forgave the debt of your friend when he said he lost his job.” Next he showed me a long hedge of rich green crawler with yellow flowers, “And this here, you planted each time you visited the graves of your father and mother.” Taking my hand, we entered into a sheltered part of the garden, in which orchids of many colours made it pretty. “And these were planted for each man, woman and child which you fed in your life time. Lovely, isn’t it?” He asked.

Ah, yes.

“I am saving the best for last, mortal.” Said the angel, and together we left the orchard. The angel was changing, his halo was shining brighter, and his feathers were glittering with stardust. And he was not walking but skipping along. I had problems keeping up with him. “Slow down” I complained. But he only glanced back and said, “If you knew what you will see, you will run and leave me behind!” He was laughing now, and his laughter sounded like church bells, the chimes of a Buddhist temple, the music of the whirling dervishes and the sound of the surf hitting the shore. “What an odd sounding laughter.” I remember thinking.

The Forest of Prophetic Intercession and Divine Mercy. Then up a small hill we ascended. And we came upon a vast and golden forest primordial. The magnificence, the sheer wonder of the vista cannot be written, and I saw no end to this forest of golden leaves, with the tree trunks, branches and stems glowing with an inner light of the brightest and warmest hue. As far as I my eyes could see, I saw no end to this forest. The angel then commented, “You don’t have to say it, mortal. I KNOW you didn’t plant this forest.”

As I approached the fringes of the forest I could hear that the trees were not silent, They chuckled and laughed like innocent children at play. And when they noticed my presence they trembled and reverberated from root to the highest leaf, “Greetings! Greetings to a grandson of Adam and the evening child of Muhammad! Enter us, and delight yourself in our groves and hidden hollows! In our perfectly grown fruits and ravishing flowers, in the streams that course through our valley and the angels that play in them! Long have we waited for you, mortal!”

“Who or what is this place?” I asked the angel. “This…,” began the angel, “This is the Glorious Forest of Prophetic Intercession and All-Merciful Compassion of God. Here, you can see the manifestation of the Prophet’s overflowing love for humanity, and God’s unending compassion for his creation. This forest begins where your deeds and misdeeds end, mortal. This forest is solely the writ of Ahad and Ahmad, and they are the sole planter and gardener, tending to the trees from seed, sapling to maturity. Even we angels have no use here, though we often come to walk under its blessed shade and wonder at the trees that talk.” After a short silence, the angel turned to me, and smiled. “Your role, small as it was, mortal, was simply to exist. From there you would already be a beneficiary in the eternal love story of God and His Prophet. Often we angels talk amongst ourselves, asking why is it that the Lord Master of All Things chose amongst all His Infinite Choices to pour His Most Delicate and Unimaginable Grace into such a fragile vessel as your nation, mortal.” The angel fixed an intense gaze upon me, and he asked, “Perhaps you know the answer?”

I didn’t. But I muttered…

Ah, yes.

In memory of my green-thumb Mum and her lively garden of ferns and flowers. And in honour of the planters and gardeners of this world who beautify our life and produce food for our table.

Have a green day, sunshine.

Pax Taufiqa.

No comments: