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The story of the apple – Part 2

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“There was certainly in their stories a lesson for those of understanding…” Quran 12:111
The young man, apparently struck with grief, thought, ‘how could I live with such a burden? How would she take care of me and look after my house when she had such defects? Woe to me! For taking the apple! I must be patient with her and save myself from the torment of the Hereafter’. The young man knew that he had no choice in the affairs anymore. He then told the owner of the garden: “Sir, I will accept your daughter and I ask the Almighty to reward me for my intention and that He rewards me with something better, than that with which He has inflicted me with.”

The owner replied, “Well then son….in a few days I’ll arrange everything”. A few days later, the young man came walking with heavy steps, full of sorrow, with a broken heart, unlike any other groom on his wedding day. After the ceremony, his father-in-law happily announced: “Please feel free to enter the room, May the Almighty put His barakah on you both and around you both. May He bring onto both of you, all goodness and mercy ..” He then led his son-in-law to where his daughter sat waiting. Opening the door, the young man found seated, a girl whose face was whiter than the moon and whose hair hung loosely on her shoulders, like silk. Silently and with decorum, the girl got up, walked towards him and offer him greetings: Confused, the young man stood, staring at her. He could not believe his eyes. He did not know what was going on and why her dad had said such terrible things about his daughter to him before.

The girl immediately understood what was going through his mind. She held his hand and kissed it saying: “I am blind from looking at forbidden things; I am deaf from listening to forbidden speech and I am unable to talk about forbidden things. My foot do not walk towards unlawful things. He has brought me up secluded from all evils of men. This is what my father meant when he told you all those things he told you about me. I am the only child of my father. He is old as you could see. He has been searching for a pious person for me as husband since quite a long time now. So when you came asking for his forgiveness for an apple and you went on crying for its sake, he told me: ‘’Whoever is afraid of eating an apple for which he has not sought permission from its owner, such a person will surely look after my daughter and fear the Almighty in his treatment of her. I congratulate myself for having you as a husband; I congratulate my father, for having you as his son-in-law.” It is said that few years later they had a son. The latter became known as Imam Abu Hanifah (r.a).

When the above story came my way, I remember Prophet Nuh’s admonition to his people long before the deluge became a punishment against them. He advised them to seek the forgiveness of the Almighty and that in showing penitence and remorsefulness for sins lies great reward and prosperity. In reference to this, the Quran says: ‘We sent Noah to his people: “Warn your people before there comes upon them a painful punishment.”; He said, “O my people, I am to you a clear warner; Worship God and reverence Him, and obey me; And He will forgive you of your sins, and reprieve you until a stated term. God’s term cannot be deferred once it has arrived, if you only knew”; He said, “My Lord, I have called my people night and day; But my call added only to their flight; Whenever I called them to Your forgiveness, they thrust their fingers into their ears, and wrapped themselves in their garments, and insisted, and became more and more arrogant; Then I called them openly; Then I appealed to them publicly, and I spoke to them privately; I said, ‘Ask your Lord for forgiveness; He is Forgiving; He will let loose the sky upon you in torrents; And provide you with wealth and children, and allot for you gardens, and allot for you rivers… (Quran 71;1-10)

“What is the matter with you, that you do not appreciate God’s Greatness?; Although He created you in stages; Do you not realize that God created seven heavens in layers?; And He set the moon in their midst for light, and He made the sun a lamp; And God germinated you from the earth like plants; Then He will return you into it, and will bring you out again; And God made the earth a spread for you; That you may travel its diverse roads”. (Quran 71: 10-20)
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