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Oh no!! A black cat just crossed my path. It’s a bad omen!
My right palm is itching. I am going to receive money.
Stop! Eat curd before leaving the house.

How many times have you heard these statements in Indian homes?
Each time I return from a function my grandma rushes to get salt to ward off nazar or evil eyes. Some I am told use lemon and chilies while few others even use egg and these are left at crossroads.

Superstitions!!! We may have progressed and added more titles and qualifications, but for some reason, we have not given up on some of these superstitions.

What’s more astonishing is there are superstitions around plants and trees as well.

The Champa or Sampangi or plumeria Alba plant has a beautiful inflorescence of peach and lovely fragrance. But the myth that this plant attracts snakes, stops many from planting them in their gardens. Dumb cane or daphenbacea is an oxygen-producing indoor plant that adds to the aesthetics of our homes with its lovely foliage. But the sap of the leaves, if consumed can be dangerous, and also its seeds, but why would anyone want to consume its sap..unless it’s a child who accidentally does? I recently came across a broadcast message shared by a doctor to keep this plant away. A blanket warning based on one stray case is like treating all Muslims as terrorists.

I had a succulent and cacti corner in the front yard for several years. Every other day someone would walk up to me and give me a lecture on why I shouldn’t have thorny plants in the garden, especially in the frontyard.

I have had questions from neighbours about my jade jungle on the terrace that contains neither fruits nor flowers. I have been warned by many not to grow banana plants and ficus (banyan) at home. This is bad for the house and that is of no use so why waste space .etc.. etc.. the list is endless.

These superstitions and myths are examples of our limited thinking and selfish attitude we have towards these wonderful creations of the Almighty.

We grow up learning about the benefits of plants and trees from nursery and by the time it’s time to transfer that learning to our offspring we have already changed our perspective.

‘What’s in it for me?’ cannot and should not apply to nature.

We have a choice of growing or not growing a particular plant in our garden, but advising others and imposing our beliefs upon others is inappropriate.

Alhamdulillah, Islam is a religion of equality towards all living beings created by Allah SWT. Ayat means ‘sign’ and every creation in the universe is a sign of Allah’s power. Every Ayat (sign) in the Holy Quran emphasizes this important fact and reminds us of His signs that are outside and around us. Allah SWT is Al Khaliq and only He is the owner of His makhlooq. Who then are we to question their existence and find irrational reasons to erase them!?

Superstitions and Myths have no place in Islam!! It’s a duty of every Muslim to respect, appreciate and be responsible for Allah’s maqlooq (creations) while also educating others around them.

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