The Legendary Tree of Good Manners

Once in the town of Egypt lived a young boy named Zahir. He was very mischievous. Everyone in the town knew him for his bad behavior. He liked to prank people all the time. He never cared about what people think of him. He had a big mouth. When he talked, he would say whatever he’d feel like without considering the feelings of others. People around him didn’t like him for they thought of him as disrespectful and an ill-mannered boy.

One day, he goes to fishing near the river of Nile, his mother asks him to be careful and not to do anything wrong. The boy decides to catch the fish and after a long time hassle, he finally catches one. A group of boys pass by him and decide to take his fish. Zahir tries to fight them for his fish. Meanwhile, Zahir’s uncle passes by and sees him. He gets angry at Zahir and tells him to leave. Zahir gets mad and calls his uncle an oppressor. The uncle runs after Zahir but could not catch him.

The next morning, the uncle comes to Zahir’s mother. Zahir’s father passed away when he was only five.  After talking to the uncle, Zahir’s mother yells at Zahir. She asks him to leave the house as she can’t take it anymore. Zahir starts crying and crying. She wouldn’t listen. Zahir’s mother, Firdous takes a bag with some gold coins and gives it to Zahir. She asks him to go on a journey in the desert to find the famous legendary Tree called “Good Manners”. Firdous tells her son to go and find the tree.

Zahir had no choice. He takes the bag and some food with him. He was alone and there was no one with him. Before leaving, he makes wudu and prays two Rak’at Salat asking Allah to help him in this journey.

Zahir takes the gold coins he has and some of the food his mother prepared him. On foot Zahir set out on a long journey not knowing whether he would be able to complete his task. He loved his mother more than anyone in this world. Of all the people, he felt she was the only one who loved and cared about him. He felt sad about hurting her feelings and remembered his father. He wiped his tears away and said to himself “I will find that tree no matter what it takes”.

The sun went down and the night approached in the silence of the desert. Zahir laid on the cool sand looking at the stars up in the sky. “The stars are many. The moon is one. I wish I can shine among the stars”, Zahir wondered.

Zahir says,

That shining sky looks at me in my loneliness. It surrounds me giving me company, reminding me of my goals that I want to achieve. I am distant from my world. My mother awaiting with sleeplessness. Thinking of me and I am thinking of her. O by Allah! I am here at your service. I shall pray in this night. It is Your Mercy and Grace that I feel by me. Your protection and Compassion, Your Light is enough for me. Please Guide me and help me. O Allah, I am Your slave. All Praise be to You, please turn the tears of my mother into tears of joy. I am here but my heart is there worried about her. Only You can help me My Lord please forgive me”

Zahir stands up for Salat al Tahajjud with tears in his eyes that sparkle on his face. He feels relieved after expressing his sadness to Allah Subhana Wa Ta’ala.

The sun shined on Zahir’s face as if smiling at him. Zahir continued his journey. On his way, he found an old man. The old man asked him for some food and Zahir gave it to him. The Old man thanked Zahir and gave him his blessings.

Then Zahir asked the old man, “Are you going to find the Legendary Tree of Good Manners?” The Old man wasn’t sure what Zahir was talking about. He looked baffled. Zahir saw the face of the old man and said “It’s alright”.

Zahir gave the old man some of his gold coins. The old man thanked Zahir and handed a leaf in his palm. Zahir asked, “What is this for?” The old man said, “This is my parting gift to you. May Allah bless you” and waved him a good bye.

Zahir continued his journey again. He felt weak and almost ran out of food. However Zahir didn’t want to give up. He made lots of Dua’s to Allah Subhana Wa Ta’ala.

After a few hours, Zahir found some tents and saw a caravan. The people seemed harsh and unwelcoming. Zahir went to one of the tents and asked the strange men if they could provide him with some food in exchange to his gold coins. The men stared at Zahir almost about to kill him. Then one of them said, “He has the leaf!!”

Zahir tried to think of some way to escape from the place. It seemed that the leader of the caravan was approaching him. The leader said, “My name is Faisal. I am the leader of this caravan. What brings you here boy? I see you have the leaf. You must have met my father”

Zahir said, “I met an old man who was very kind to me. I believe he is your father then.”

Faisal invited Zahir inside his tent and entertained him as his guest. Zahir enjoyed his stay at the tent. He watched all the people of the caravan eat in the most well-mannered way. They taught him their ways of eating and the way of speech.

Zahir learned a lot from these men. A few days later, Zahir inquired about the whereabouts of the Legendary Tree of Good Manners. The men were not sure where it was. They asked Zahir to go a few miles ahead in the desert; there he will find a man who is an Islamic Scholar. Faisal said, “The scholar spends most of his time in the worship of Allah Subhana Wa Ta’ala and He is the most well-mannered person I have ever met. Find him and he might have an answer. I pray you find what you are looking for”.

Zahir thanked Faisal and his men for everything. He walked a few miles and across the desert he found a man reciting the Qur’an. Zahir greeted him, “Assalamu Alaykum”, to which the Scholar replied saying, “Walaykum Assalam Wa Rahmatullahi Wabarkatuhu”.

The scholar said,

“When you are greeted with a greeting, greet in return with what is better than it, or (at least) return it equally” (Qur’an 4:86)

Zahir brought some gifts to the Scholar that were given to him by Faisal. The Scholar said,

Al-Bukhaari  narrated that ‘Aa’ishah said: “The Messenger of Allah used to accept gifts and reward people for giving them.”

Zahir asked the scholar if he knew about the Legendary Tree of Good Manners. The Scholar said, “Yes I know of that tree! Sit and learn with me for a month and I shall tell you where to find it”.

Zahir felt impatient as to what the scholar has said.

The scholar looks at Zahir and says,

“The Messenger of Allah (Sall Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said, “How amazing is the affair of the Muslim! His affairs are all good. If he experiences ease, he is grateful, and that is good for him. If he experiences hardship, he faces it with patience and perseverance, and that is also good for him.” (Muslim 18/25)

Zahir smiles and listens to the Quran recitation of the scholar. The Scholar tells Zahir it’s time for prayer and teaches him how to give the Adhaan.

Every day the scholar teaches Zahir something new. The Scholar tells Zahir that by the end of the month, Zahir would himself know where to find the Legendary Tree of Good Manners.

Zahir learns the Quran and the sunnah taught to him by the Scholar. Zahir had to do everything according to the sunnah and he follows the footsteps of his scholar.

Days passed by and it was the end of the month. The Scholar wakes Zahir up from his sleep and reminds him that it’s the end of the month. “So, now do you know where to find the Legendary Tree of Good Manners”. Zahir says, “It’s you”. The scholar smiled. Zahir says, “The Legendary tree of Good Manners has its branches which consist of Emaan, Ihsaan, Haya, Kindness, Charity, humbleness, Taqwa, Sincerity” and most importantly following the Sunnah of Allah’s messenger (Sall Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam). The Scholar rejoices and tells him, “Now you are that tree. You will pass it on Insha’Allah. Go to your mother and convey her my greetings. I am your paternal uncle”. The Scholar hands him a letter which his father has left for his son as a trust. Zahir takes the letter and thanks his uncle. He becomes very happy and thanks Allah Subhana Wa Ta’ala for everything.

Abu Huraira, Radi Allahu Anhu said, “I heard Allah’s Messenger (Sall Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam), say, ‘The best among you in Islam are those with the best manners, so long as they develop a sense of understanding.’” Hadith – Bukhari’s Book of Manners #286 and Ahmad 

Story by Anonymous