Management gurus talk much about doing the right things at the right time. Experts give hair-splitting explanations about the loss due to delay in critical decision-making processes. And the success of today’s executives rest in prioritizing issues and responding, not reacting, to them.


“If the Hour arrives and in the hands of one of you there is a date-palm seedling which he can plant before he is overwhelmed by the Hour, then let him do so” (Ahmed, Al-Bukhari in al -Adabul Mufrad)

Random thoughts came grazing in the pasture of his heart as Jaihoon came across the above ‘action-oriented and optimism-embedded’ Hadith while reading through a short book entitled ‘Time in the life of a Muslim’ by Yusuf Al Qardawi.

The words of the Beloved are such that despite volumes of commentaries and explanations written, something more can still be added to it. No. It is never by the knowledge or skill of the writers and scholars, big or small. But by the greatness about whom it is written. There is no end to the legacy of love for that Orphan of Makkah sallallahu alaihi wa sallam.

Tiny drops cannot claim to understand the depth of the Sea. Yet, a foolish attempt maybe made as follows:

One. The Last Hour is an event of great terror and tremor. It would steal all the senses of humanity and other species. All bonds shall break then – even between the mother and her newly born child! Moreover, it will come to pass very, very soon… and thus the challenge of making a choice and performing it “before he is overwhelmed by the Hour” as mentioned later in the Hadith.

Two. It would be an exaggeration to go to the details of deforestation and its adverse effect on the modern world. This is especially more relevant after world’s nations have signed treaties like the Kyoto Agreement, although U.S has opted to refrain from it citing developmental reasons (just as it withdrew from League of Nations). The Hadith states that trees should be planted even at the moment of Last Hour. One can then imagine how much rewarding it would be during normal times!

Three. A tree planted just before the Doom is destined to be destroyed, perhaps in the next moment. No child would eat its fruits nor any man rest under its shade nor any woman burn its dry wood. Hence, the deed is the most important, not the reward. The latter lies in the hands of Allah, not the slave.

Four. No action of the believer is a ‘secular’ act. He is being ‘religious’ while planting trees and expressing concern for the planet. His smile is a charity and so are his kind words. His love for the family and society, nay even the environment is a part of his ‘jihad’ to make this planet an ‘abode of peace’!

Five. The undying optimism in the teachings of the Prophet salllallahu alaihi wa sallam. Islam is a religion of hope and determination. Never has the Beloved Leader of humanity let them lose hope- not in this world not in the next. The flames of hell cannot scare away his love for the children of Adam. Every Prophet called upon their Lord complaining about the misdeeds of their community. And Lord heard their reply-for-sure call. But this lover of humanity reserved such a special prayer for the hereafter in favor of his followers. He is Mercy to all worlds. He is the Beloved of God and only the latter knows the amount of love and mercy instilled in his heart. Only such a Blessed One can dare to talk about the virtues of ‘planting’ a tree at a moment when the entire life forms on the planet begins to be uprooted.

Six. Last but not the least the Creator is nevertheless kind to his slaves and not hesitant to accept such a good deed at the last few minutes reserved for life on earth.

To conclude, believers have to make the right decision in performing good deeds which benefit him and those around. And he has to make haste in doing such deeds (as the Holy Qur’an describes believers as ‘those who hurry in their good deeds’).

Feb- 20 2005