The Shaikh and his Four Students

There was a Shaikh who had four students. He wanted his students to learn not to judge things too quickly, but to keep patient for the sake of Allah. So he sent them each on a quest, in turn, to go and look at a pear tree that was a great distance away. The first student went in the winter, the second in the spring, the third in summer, and the fourth student in the fall.

When they had all gone and come back, he called them together to describe what they had seen. The first student said that the tree was ugly, bent, and twisted. The second student said no it was covered with green buds and full of promise. The third student disagreed; he said it was laden with blossoms that smelled so sweet and looked so beautiful, it was the most graceful thing he had ever seen. The last student disagreed with all of them; he said it was ripe and drooping with fruit, full of life and fulfillment.

The Shaikh then explained to his students that they were all right, because they had each seen but only one season in the tree’s life. He told them that you cannot judge a tree, or a person, by only one season, and that the essence of who they are and the pleasure, joy, and love that come from that life can only be measured at the end, when all the seasons are up.

If you give up when it’s winter, you will miss the promise of your spring, the beauty of your summer, fulfillment of your fall. Don’t let the pain of one season destroy the joy of all the rest. Don’t judge life by one difficult season. Persevere for the sake of Allah through the difficult patches and better times are sure to come some time or later.

Always keep faith in Allah’s Mercy. He says, “Indeed with hardship comes ease. Indeed with hardship comes ease.”