Volume 14-12 No:180
Many years ago, there lived two woodcutters, Rahim and Rahman, in a village. They would go out every morning to the nearby Bandipur forest to cut firewood and sell it in the nearby town. They earned barely enough to survive. After they had cut wood, they would sit on the bank of the river and eat their lunch from their tiffin boxes. Next they would sell the firewood till the end of the day in the marketplace before going home.
One sunny day, the woodcutters were eating their lunch. It was at that time, Rahim noticed a thin and exhausted beggar, coming out of the forest. His clothes were torn and his hair was dishevelled. The beggar hungrily eyed the packets of lunch. “I see that you are having an excellent day my friends,” said the beggar, addressing them. I wonder if you can spare a few morsels of food for me?” Rahim, who felt sorry for the beggar, quickly reached for his packet of lunch and was about to give a part of it to the beggar, but Rahman immediately grabbed his elbow and pulled him back “We have no food to spare,” Rahman told the beggar. “We work hard throughout the morning and pack enough food for ourselves to see us through the day. At the end of the day, we buy food and other essentials for our families. So you see we cannot give you what we are eating. But if you wish, I can lend you my axe and we both will teach you how to cut firewood and sell it. Insha’Allah at the end of the day, you will have enough to eat and buy yourself a new axe to cut more firewood tomorrow. This way, you can earn a livelihood with dignity.”
The beggar joined Rahman and they both went inside the forest. Patiently, Rahman showed the poor man how to cut the firewood and make it into a neat pile. Thereafter they took him to the market and told him how to sell it.
At first, the beggar had no success. He began to mutter angrily: “It would have been so much simpler if these men had been generous, and shared their food with him”. As he was thinking, a carriage pulled up before him. A person stepped out. He purchased the whole bundle from the beggar. While making an exit, he pulled out a bundle of currency notes from his pocket and pressed it into his hands. The beggar was delighted and grinning happily, he proudly took the money to Rahman to show them his earnings. Rahman took him to another shop and purchased him a brand new axe with a part of his money. After thanking Rahman and Rahim for their help, he headed towards an inn to eat his dinner and catch up with some badly needed rest.
After he had gone, Rahman told Rahim, “Had you given the beggar some food, he would have eaten it quickly and would have been again hungry tonight. By teaching him how to start his own trade in firewood, we have both taught him a skill, which will last him a lifetime. Now he will never go hungry again. In doing this, we have followed the teachings and the example that has been set for us by the Holy Prophet of Allah, Muhammad (peace be upon him).”
A young man was getting ready to graduate from college. For many months he had admired a beautiful sports car in a dealer’s showroom, and knowing his father could well afford it, he told him that was all he wanted.
As Graduation Day approached, the young man eagerly waited for his father tp purchase the car. Finally, on the morning of his graduation, his father called him into his private study. His father told him how proud he was to have such a fine son, and how much he loved him. He handed his son a beautiful wrapped gift box. Curious, but somewhat disappointed the young man opened the box and found a lovely, leather-bound Quran.
Angrily, he raised his voice at his father and said, “With all your money you give me a Quran?” and stormed out of the house, leaving the holy book.
Many years passed and the young man was very successful in business. He had a beautiful home and a wonderful family, but realized his father was very old, and thought perhaps he should go to him. He had not seen him since that graduation day. Before he could make arrangements, he received a telegram telling him his father had passed away, and willed all of his possessions to his son. He needed to come home immediately and take care of things.
When he arrived at his father’s house, he was filled with sadness and regret. He began to search his father’s important papers and saw the still new Quran, just as he had left it years ago. With tears, he opened the Quran and began to turn the pages. As he read those words, a car key dropped from an envelope taped behind the Quran. It had a tag with the dealer’s name, the same dealer who had the sports car he had desired. On the tag was the date of his graduation, and the words...PAID IN FULL.
How many times do we miss ALLAH blessings because they are not packaged as we expected?
The mineral kingdom supports the vegetable and they in their turn support the animal, and there is a link of mutual dependence between them. Excess is eliminated. The waste of one is made the food of another, and vice versa. And this is a chain of gradation and inter-dependence.
The Holy Quran explains it beautifully in the verses what a ‘food chain’ is and to explain this in a simple language, it means that some animals eat plants and some eat other animals. If you make a chain of ‘what eats what” you get a food chain.
To demonstrate this with an example, an eagle eats a snake, which in turn has eaten a smaller bird. The bird has eaten a caterpillar and the caterpillar has eaten leaves. If you link all these together it forms a food chain. The food chain is further complicated if we consider alternative diets. For example, a snake may also eat a lizard, which has eaten a moth, which consumes nectar from a flower.
The closer one studies the environment around us; the food chain will appear all the more complex and interlinking these chains together forms a food web. If such a study is made we find the nature is held by Allah (swt) in a delicate balance. Now read this verse from the Surah Hijr from the Quran.
“We provide sustenance of every kind, physical, mental, spiritual, etc., for you (i.e. for mankind). But We do more. We provide for every one of Our creatures. And there are those of which mankind is not even cognizant. We provide for them also. There are those who may at first sight appear hostile to man, or whom man may consider hostile, such as wild and noxious animals. They are Our creatures, and We provide for them also, as they are Our creatures. But there is due order and balance in the economy of our universal Plan”.
Write the correct answers on a separate sheet of paper and send it along with the coupon given in this page. Write your name, full address, age and school where you study. Entries without address will not be considered. The first three all correct entries will be given Rs. 100 each and six others will receive a children’s novel. Last date to send the entries is January 10, 2002.
First Prize: Muneer Ahmed Bilal, Vaniyambadi, Tamil Nadu- Rs 200
Following six all-correct entries win a children's novel each.
1. P. Shazia Thabassum, Ambur Tamil Nadu
2. Afraz Zain, Mangalore, Karnataka
3. Zoya Addeb, Agra, Uttar Pradesh
4. Fouzia Siddiqa, Bangalore
5. Nazien Ahmed Ikkeri, Bhatkal, Karnataka
6. Zaiba Saeed, Calcutta