The Story of the Owners of the Garden

The Story of the Owners of the Garden: Ashab Al-Jannah

In the realm of life’s intricacies lies the captivating narrative of the Story of the Owners of the Garden. Delve into their journey.

The Story of the Owners of the Garden

The Garden of Dawran

In Surat al-Qalam, Allah recounts the tale of the story of the owners of a magnificent garden who defied His commands, resulting in their deprivation as a consequence. In the fertile lands of Yemen, near the capital, San^a’, resided a righteous man and his family. They dwelled in the territory of Dawran, renowned for its lush gardens and fertile soil. The man’s estate was vast, adorned with a rich array of vegetation, flourishing trees, and abundant fruits. The sight of palm trees, vineyards, and verdant foliage rendered it a haven for relaxation and appreciation of natural beauty.

A Pious Man’s Generosity

This devout man, a follower of Prophet ^Isa in the Muslim faith, expressed profound gratitude for the blessings bestowed upon him by God. During the harvest season, he diligently arranged for the reaping of crops and the gathering of fruits with the help of laborers. Without fail, he extended invitations to the impoverished and needy from the surrounding area. Never did he bar their entry onto his land; rather, he generously allocated a significant portion of the harvest to them. Some filled containers they brought, while others filled their clothing with the produce. Additionally, they were permitted to collect whatever remained after the reapers’ scythes, whatever fell during the wheat gathering, whatever the harvesters missed, and the dates scattered among the palm trees during picking. This charitable tradition continued annually without interruption.

Challenges to Generosity

Despite his noble intentions, the pious man faced opposition from his children, who were consumed by greed and concern for their inheritance. One of them boldly accused their father of depriving them of their rightful share of wealth by lavishing it upon the needy. Another expressed fear of potential poverty in the future, suggesting that they might become dependent on others for sustenance.

However, the pious man swiftly countered their objections, admonishing them for their misguided beliefs. He reminded them that all wealth ultimately belongs to God, and it is incumbent upon them to share it with the less fortunate as prescribed by religious duty. He emphasized that their acts of charity were not merely altruistic gestures but a means of increasing blessings and prosperity. Having upheld this tradition since his youth, he saw no reason to abandon it in his old age.

In the face of his children’s skepticism and self-interest, the pious man stood firm in his conviction, reaffirming the timeless principle of generosity and the divine rewards it brings.

Legacy of Generosity

Following the pious man’s demise, his children inherited both his vast estate and his principles. As the time for harvest approached once more, the poor and needy anticipated their customary shares from the bountiful garden.

Yet, when the stingy sons convened to strategize, one among them proposed a heartless plan: to withhold the garden’s fruits from the less fortunate, in pursuit of greater personal wealth. He argued that by denying charity, their riches would multiply unchecked.

In stark contrast, the second son, inheriting his father’s righteousness, intervened with a voice of reason. He cautioned his siblings against this selfish course of action, recognizing its inherent malevolence and its potential to bring ruin to their garden. He warned of the divine retribution awaiting those who denied the needy their rightful dues, urging them to heed the teachings of charity and compassion imparted by their late father.

In this crucial moment, the legacy of the pious man’s generosity hung in the balance, as his children grappled with the choice between self-serving greed and virtuous stewardship.

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Divine Retribution

Disregarding their brother’s counsel, the sons proceeded with their selfish scheme, agreeing to seize the garden’s bounty for themselves while depriving the needy. Under the cloak of darkness, they set out to execute their plan, oblivious to the impending consequences.

However, Allah, omniscient of their treachery, dispatched Angel Jibril to enact divine justice upon their garden. As dawn broke, the sons arrived to find their once-lush fields ravaged—vegetation uprooted, shrubs ablaze, leaves withered, and the landscape shrouded in darkness. Bewildered, they questioned the unfamiliar sight before them, doubting their own surroundings.

Their virtuous brother, however, enlightened them to the truth: their garden had been stripped of its abundance as retribution for their greed and callousness towards the needy.

Realization dawned upon them, and they turned on each other in blame. Accusations flew as they acknowledged their roles in the calamity—each one culpable for contributing to their downfall.

Yet, amidst their regret and self-reproach, a glimmer of repentance emerged. They acknowledged their disobedience to God’s commandments, particularly their refusal to fulfill their obligation of Zakah, and sought forgiveness for their transgressions.

Divine Mercy and Redemption

Moved by genuine remorse and seeking forgiveness, the brothers humbly beseeched Allah, the Most Merciful, for pardon. With contrite hearts, they expressed their willingness to emulate their father’s righteous deeds if granted another chance. Their earnest prayers and repentance touched the Divine, and Allah, in His boundless mercy, forgave them.

In response to their repentance, Allah orchestrated a miraculous transformation overnight. The scorched land of the brothers was replaced with fertile soil, surpassing their previous garden in richness and abundance. Angel Jibril carried out the divine command, uprooting the barren field and transporting it far away while bringing forth a lush and fruitful expanse from Sham.

The blessings of this newfound prosperity were unmistakable, with sprawling vineyards and abundant harvests. Guided by the lessons learned from their father’s example, the brothers resolved to follow in his footsteps. They opened their land once again to the poor and needy, adhering to the principles of charity and purification of wealth as ordained by Allah.

Through their repentance and subsequent actions, the brothers experienced the transformative power of divine mercy and redemption, finding solace and guidance in their renewed commitment to righteousness.

The Story of the Owners of the Garden Lessons and Reflections:

  1. The Blessings of Charity: Through their father’s example, the brothers learned that giving for the sake of Allah brings His blessings (barakah) upon wealth. Charity not only purifies wealth but also does not diminish its value.
  2. Divine Control: Despite inheriting their father’s garden, the brothers were reminded that ultimate control lies with Allah. They learned that nothing is truly earned through their own efforts alone; rather, it is all under Allah’s dominion.
  3. InshaAllah and Righteous Intentions: While it’s important to say “InshaAllah” (God willing) when making plans, it cannot be invoked to justify wrongdoing. True intentions aligned with righteousness are essential.
  4. Courage to Stand for Truth: The brother who spoke against the evil plan faced opposition but remained steadfast in his conviction. This teaches us that disagreement with others on the path of goodness shouldn’t deter us from speaking up.
  5. Avoiding Accountability: When their plan failed, the brothers resorted to blaming each other, highlighting humanity’s reluctance to take responsibility for their actions.
  6. Allah’s Supreme Planning: Despite meticulous planning, the brothers couldn’t outsmart Allah, demonstrating His superiority as the best planner.
  7. Human Weakness and Gratitude: The brothers’ sense of security before their garden’s destruction underscores human vulnerability and the need for gratitude for Allah’s blessings, often taken for granted.
  8. Repentance and Seeking Betterment: Through repentance, the brothers sought not just forgiveness but also improvement. Their loss in this life was surpassed by gaining awareness of Allah and His mercy.
  9. Temporal Punishment as Divine Guidance: The worldly punishment served as a blessing, guiding the brothers back to the right path. It illustrates how hardships can lead to spiritual growth and awareness.
  10. The Severity of Hereafter’s Punishment: Contemplating eternal consequences emphasizes the need for righteousness and seeking Allah’s mercy.

The Story of the Owners of the Garden Action Points

  1. Choose Generosity: When faced with the decision to give or withhold, always choose to give without hesitation.
  2. Stay True to Goodness: Maintain steadfastness on the path of truth and goodness, regardless of societal approval. Refrain from wrongdoing simply to avoid standing out.
  3. Incorporate InshaAllah: Prioritize actions aligned with divine will by only pursuing endeavors that feel comfortable to say “InshaAllah” (God willing).
  4. Self-Reflection in Adversity: When confronted with adversity, engage in introspection to identify personal shortcomings or alternative actions that could have prevented the situation.
  5. Gratitude Practice: Cultivate gratitude by regularly acknowledging blessings, such as having a home, through a gratitude log. Express gratitude to Allah (Alhamdulillah) for the provisions and comforts bestowed upon you.

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