The Tree of Light: Part 1

This is the first sample of The Tree of Light: The Lives of the Prophets for Young Muslims available now on Amazon.  This is the first volume of a three volume series with maps, pictures and paintings of important sites and Maqams related to the stories of the Prophets.  This series would be an ideal source for the Tree of Prophets  project featured here on our website.  In this adaptation of Hajiah Amina Adil’s comprehensive history of the Prophets a sage grandfather tells the stories of the Prophets to his two adventurous grandsons who learn that the stories of the Prophets have come to life.

Part 1:

“And we have honored the children of Adam.”

 

Sulayman and Yusuf were playing in the garden of their Grandfather.  Sulayman climbed the branches of the apple tree and dropped an apple on Yusuf’s head and kept climbing as Yusuf cried and scuttled after his big brother.  Yusuf slid down the trunk unable to reach the lowest branch and sank to the ground next to the apple. 

 

Their Grandfather found Yusuf and helped him up, cleaned the apple for him and rubbed his sore head before shooting a reprising look at his naughty brother above.  Sulayman hid behind a branch feeling ashamed and wanting to disappear. 

 

Grandfather sat under the tree with Yusuf and told him to eat his apple.  “Do you know the story of the Tree of Knowledge and our Father Adam (a)?”  Grandfather asked. 

 

Yusuf shook his head, juice running down his chin, eyes wide with interest.  Grandfather took a handkerchief from his pocket and wiped Yusuf’s face gently.  “Then I will tell you his story, and when I am done you can tell me if you think your brother should be punished.”  Grandfather glanced upward and Sulayman hid again making the tree sway.

 

1 ADAM (a)

Once upon a time in a garden far far away there was a man named Adam (a) that was created by his Lord from clay, water and divine breath.

When Allah (s) wished to create Adam (a) He sent his angels to the earth to bring Him clay.  Angels brought clay from all the corners of the earth and from heaven and from hell and from the core of the earth.  Allah (s) took this clay and formed it into the shape of a man, but this was only a shape, a physicality, until Allah (s) added one more and most important ingredient.

“Do you know what it was?”  asked Grandfather. 

 

A butterfly landed on Grandfather’s walking stick and Yusuf giggled and pointed at it. 

 

“When Allah (s) wished to bring his creation to life he gave breath to Adam (a), and he came to life with the light of Muhammad (s).”

 

Grandfather gently blew on the butterfly and it fluttered and flew away. 

A great master named Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi once said that the creation is unfolding here on earth something like this:

I died as a mineral and became a plant.

I died as a plant and rose to an animal,

I died as an animal and I was a Man.

Why should I fear?

When was I less by dying?

Yet once more I shall die as a Man, to soar with blessed angels, but even from this I must pass on because all except Allah will perish.

When I have sacrificed this soul, I shall become what no mind before conceived.  Oh, please let me pass into nothingness, please let me to be annihilated and return to The One who made me.

“How is Allah making us from clay?  Where is my clay?”  asked Sulayman, sliding down to a lower branch looking at his hand. 

 

“Hmm,” smiled Grandfather.  “Many people are interested in how, but the people who understand more ask why Sulayman.  And for real understanding you must know both.  I am saying that the unfolding of creation is more than we can understand.  If creation is like a large banquet table, then we are seeing the creation of Allah (s) like our dinner at that table.  The food is arriving at the table one dish after another.  Some are saying that the food arrives, cooked, seasoned, heated and chilled perfectly by accident.  They say there is no chef, there is only an oven and pots and pans cooking but no recipe; there is no waiter to bring the food.  They are thinking that the food cooks itself randomly alone in the kitchen.” Grandfather chuckled. 

 

Yusuf pointed up above his head, “I see table now.”

“Then there are others, who eat the food at the other end of the table.  They are no mind ones as well.  They say that the food has no oven has no need of cooking, no recipe no work to make it and takes no time to prepare.  They say Allah (s) is making like this with magic wand ‘puff.’  They have faith but no mind.  I am liking to sit in the middle and I am laughing at them both because if you are knowing the truth many things are very funny.  There is a chef, there is an oven, there are ingredients, and the chef has a recipe for his creation.  Each recipe has its time to prepare and to cook and then Lord of Heavens is sending his creation to earth with angels who are like the waiters.  Do not believe the people who are thinking there is no chef and do not believe the people who think there is no kitchen for they are both having no mind, but they are very funny.”  Grandfather took his prayer beads from his pocket and began his recitation. 

Then Allah (s) created the ego.  Many trials were given to the disobedient ego but it only became more defiant, more naughty.

“Do I have an ego?” asked Sulayman.  “I make everyone cross when I am naughty.”

 

Grandfather started laughing and rubbed Sulayman’s head as tears ran down his cheeks. 

Then the Lord placed the ego in the Valley of Hunger, and after it stayed there for a long time the ego recognized Allah (s) as its Lord.  This is why we are not eating in Ramadan.  We are training our egos to be obedient and not wild crazy ones.

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