Once upon a time, there lived a brother and sister. They were both young and did not know how to glow. Then one fine day, wandering together, they located a pair of two golden apples.
The apples belonged to a wise man. The man was known for his sincerity and integrity throughout the valley.
“Can those apples make us glow?” asked the brother.
The man smiled and replied, “With the right employ, indeed they can. Would you two like to have one for each? ”
“Absolutely! We would love to.” the sister exclaimed.
Hence, the wise man handed both of them an apple each. There was a glint of hope in his eyes and with that shine he said: “Use it well”.
Days passed by. The sister was truly happy with her fruit. She considered herself very lucky.
Every day, she keenly examined the apple, cleaned its surface and observed the minute details of its shiny life. In her observance, she realized that the apple was very powerful. So she decided to taste tiny bits of it and never intake too much. She carefully sliced it with all the love in her heart and felt the sweetness, the sourness and amazing bits of flavor in its taste. She could feel those bits running in her blood and nourishing her. After a few days, the sister started glowing.
The brother on the other hand, took the apple with a different approach. Since it was supposed to be magical, he placed it at the top of a shelf in his room. At the beginning he was hopeful that the magic from the apple will spread on to him, the apple will pass its radiance through the air and he will start glowing. But as the days passed by, he gradually forgot about it. Until one day, he noticed the glowing being of her sister.
The brother said: “I see that the apple worked for you dear sister. I can’t help but feel sad on my deprived fate. The magic chose you but it didn’t work for me. What can a poor soul like me achieve when it was never meant to be so? I wonder why, I was also not the chosen one and given the same apple as you obtained. In fact, I was never given the apple at all…How are you special? … How are you different?”
The sister listened to her brother and replied: “I, my brother, am no different than you. The only thing different is our efforts. What I did different from you was I moved my hands, my feet, my entire being and my soul towards the apple. I never waited for the apple to approach me. You, my brother, were given the apple indeed. But you never understood the difference between obtaining the apple and eating the apple. To just obtain is never enough if you cannot utilize your fruit efficiently. You were lazy to endeavor and too used to of darkness. And for your false reassurance you blame the apple or fate. Do you really think the apple will walk and enter in your mouth itself?“
She then smile and continued: “Never undervalue yourself like this dear brother. If you perceive carefully, you will see that your apple is still with you. This apple is yours and only you can eat it. Neither can I eat your apple nor can I make you eat it forcefully. If I will enforce it on you, you will never be able to understand its taste nor enjoy its true flavor. You will have to examine it yourself. The more affection you show towards it, the more you will glow because of it day by day. “
No one knows what happened next. However, the lesson has already been told.
The apple in this story implies the hidayah(guidance) we all seek for. Just like the way there is a difference between obtaining the apple and using it for glow, similarly there is a difference between obtaining hidayah and actually understanding its true use. When we say that we don’t get hidayah…actually we just make excuses, whereas the truth is we’ve had it all along, in the form of the Qur’an and Hadees, in the form of countless teachings from our prophets via Allah S.W.T.
Allah S.W.T says.
“And for every nation is a messenger. So when their messenger comes, it will be judged between them in justice, and they will not be wronged.” (10:47)
There is not a single nation on earth where Allah did not send clear proofs or true hidayah. And even today, not a single soul will die before encountering it. It is just that some of us don’t want to step forward and embrace it. Mainly, because we are all lazy and don’t want to make an effort and also because of our inevitable love for worldly attractions. We make excuses and we fight for logic yet we prefer to blind ourselves from the ultimate logic. If by any chance, someone reminds us of our faults, we do not even bother to pray for ourselves to seek hidayah, and ask others to do that for us as well. And sadly, we eventually blame the people or the Creator that He doesn’t give us hidayah.
The reality is simply that we have become so immune to our darkness that we have agreed to compromise the light of hidayah in return. And like to talk like the brother in the story, that we never had the apple whereas it has always been our choice whether we put an effort or fall prey to self pity. Or, we keep deceiving ourselves that we are alright and very good people and Allah S.W.T is the most merciful to forgive us.
Allah S.W.T says:
“Is he who was dead (without Faith by ignorance and disbelief) and We gave him life (by knowledge and Faith) and set for him a light (of Belief) whereby he can walk amongst men, like him who is in the darkness from which he can never come out? Thus it is made fair-seeming to the disbelievers that which they used to do.”
Allah says that it’s His choice to whom he gives Hidayah, but He also made it clear that He gives it to them who endeavor.
May Allah guide us all to the ultimate success. Ameen.