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The Boy and the Tree

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A long time ago, there was a huge apple tree. A little boy loved to come and play around it everyday. He climbed to the tree top, ate the apples, took a nap under the shadow. He loved the tree and the tree loved to play with him.

Time went by. The little boy had grown up and he no longer played around the tree everyday.

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One day, the boy came back to the tree and he looked sad.
“Come and play with me,” the tree asked the boy.
“I am no longer a kid, I don’t play around trees anymore”, the boy replied.
“I want toys; I need money to buy them.”
“Sorry, I don’t have money, but you can pick all my apples and sell them. So, you will have money”, the tree responded. The boy was so excited. He grabbed all the apples on the tree and left happily.

The boy never came back after he picked the apples.
The tree was sad.

One day, the boy returned and the tree was so excited. “Come and play with me,” the tree said.
“I don’t have time to play. I have to work for my family. We need a house for shelter. Can you help me?”
“Sorry, I don’t have a house. But you can chop off my branches to build your house.”
So the boy cut all the branches of the tree and left happily.

The tree was glad to see him happy but the boy never came back since then.
The tree was again lonely and sad.

One hot summer day, the boy returned and the tree was delighted.
“Come and play with me!” the tree said.
“I am sad and getting old. I want to go sailing to relax myself. Can you give me a boat?”
“Use my trunk to build your boat. You can sail far away and be happy.”
So the boy cut the tree truck to make a boat. He went sailing and never showed up for a long time.

Finally, the boy returned after he left for so many years.

“Sorry, my boy, but I don’t have anything for you anymore. No more apples for you”, the tree said.
“I don’t have teeth to bite,” the boy replied.

“No more trunk for you to climb on”.
“I am too old for that now”, the boy said.

“I really can’t give you anything … the only thing left is my dying roots”, the tree said with tears.
“I don’t need much now, just a place to rest. I am tired after all these years”, the boy replied.

“Good! Old tree roots is the best place to lean on and rest. Come, Come sit down with me and rest.” The boy sat down and the tree was glad and smiled with tears.

This is a story of everyone. The tree is our parent.

When we were young, we loved to play with Mom and Dad. When we grew up, we left them. We only came to them when we needed something or when we were in trouble. No matter what, (at least most) parents will always be there and give everything they could to make us happy.

You may think the boy is cruel to the tree but that’s how all of us are treating our parents.

Keep supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah

Alhamdulillah, we're at over 850 supporters. Help us get to 900 supporters this month. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Omar Usman is a founding member of MuslimMatters and Qalam Institute. He teaches Islamic seminars across the US including Khateeb Workshop and Fiqh of Social Media. He has served in varying administrative capacities for multiple national and local Islamic organizations. You can follow his work at ibnabeeomar.com.

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Pingback: The Boy and the Tree | My Ummah .co.za

  2. saad

    January 19, 2008 at 3:05 PM

    wow an amazing story….

    Inshallah this should shake our hearts and motivate us to be more caring towards our parents….

    Ameen!

    Chill Yo Islam Yo – http://www.chillyoislamyo.com

  3. Meena

    January 19, 2008 at 3:23 PM

    The story is called The Giving Tree and it’s by Shel Silverstein (I’m sorry I just think it’s important to give credit to the correct sources). Always been one of my favourites and a must read for both parents and children.

  4. sincethestorm

    January 19, 2008 at 11:44 PM

    A very good reminder to us and absolutely true unfortunately. Important to note that the tree was forgiving and never held a grudge against this boy.

  5. Organic Muslimah

    January 20, 2008 at 9:38 AM

    I took the analogy farther, but I loved the story. Thanks for sharing!

  6. MuslimHomeschoolers

    January 20, 2008 at 6:21 PM

    This was my favorite book growing up. I force my self to walk past every time I see it at the store. If I stop to read it I will get emotional. I have been known to be seen teary-eyed at Wal-Mart w/ that book in my hand.

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