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|Parable No. 04 in a series of Parables from Quran
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Parable[i]: Goodly word is a like a goodly tree
See you not how God sets forth a parable? A goodly word as a goodly tree,
whose root is firmly fixed, and its branches extended to the sky. Giving its
fruit at all times, by the leave of its Lord and God sets forth parables for
humankind in order they may contemplate (14:24-25)
Let us analyze each of the symbols used in this parable:
Goodly word – Quran uses this term for a statement of fundamental truth;
something which is intrinsically correct and has stood the test of time. It
could be a word of wisdom or a statement which calls people to majesty of
their creator and a good deed in its light for the benefit of humankind.
Quran says the good deeds should follow goodly words only then they are
exalted and bring honor[ii]. For example Quran says “Is there any reward for
good other than good” (55:60). It is a fundamental truth which cannot be
changed. If a person believes in good deeds and does righteous deeds he or
she will get honor and a better return from God.
Goodly tree and its fruit -symbolizes the outcome of believing in goodly
words and doing good deeds. Such a deed stands firm and established and
with the help of God it continues to give good results to mankind. This is also
emphasized in another fundamental principle in Quran “Whatever is
beneficial to humankind remains established on earth” (13:17).
Moral of this parable is that if a personal believes in goodly words and does
good deeds in its guidance his or her deeds will endure and give benefits to
the person and others like the fruits of a firmly established tree.
We can observe this in the life of many people who follow principles of
fundamental truth and as a result get honor from God for their deeds and
benefit humankind e.g. Someone who believed in the value of seeking
knowledge and wisdom and spread knowledge and wisdom with his or her
efforts, such a person is an institution like a tree which gives to humankind
the fruit of knowledge and wisdom or if someone believed in providing
universal medical care to all and did efforts to that end, that person will surely
get honor and bring benefit to humankind.
Notes & References
[i] A parable is a narrative of imagined events used to illustrate or convey a
moral or spiritual lesson. Quran uses parables to convey its message. Quran
says “And these similitudes we put forward for humankind, but none will
understand them except those who have knowledge” (29:43)
[ii] 35:10 Whosoever desires honor then to God belong the entire honor. To
Him ascend the goodly words, and the righteous deeds exalt them, but those
who plot evils, their will be severe torment. And the plotting of such will perish