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The Orchard of Imaan and Actions When it comes to gardening, some people have ‘green fingers’. They successfully plant and cultivate a host of different plants, some for beauty and others for food. They tend to their plants, watering, pruning and spraying insecticide when necessary. Through their careful, continuous effort, a lush orchard is produced, bright with beauty and laden with fruit. Other people sometimes complain that they have ‘toxic thumbs’ and ‘poisonous pinkies’. If they merely go within a meter of any plant, it will almost definitely wither and perish soon thereafter. Such people either possess plots that are rocky and totally barren of vegetation, or plots that are overrun with weeds, snakes and other wild animals and plants. Our lives are like plots of land and our actions form the vegetation that grows within it. The difference, however, is that every person with Imaan has ‘green fingers’ (the ability to carry out righteous actions that will be accepted by Allah Ta‘ala). All that is required is that he carefully tends to his plot, transforming it into an orchard of beauty and productivity. If he goes into ‘holiday mode’ and neglects irrigating the plants with the water of zikr and ‘Ibadah, he will find the valuable plants (Imaan and righteous deeds) in his orchard withering from the lack of water. If he neglects to regularly remove the alien plants (sins), the plants will soon be choked by weeds and will gradually die. If he allows these weeds to remain and take root, they will soon become more abundant and stronger than the plants, until his plot will be one filled with only weeds (sin). Hence, it is vital to uproot and remove the weed as soon as it rears its thorny head. Together with uprooting the weed, the weed killer of sincere repentance will have to be applied so that every last trace of the weed is eradicated and it never again returns. By tending to the orchard with diligence and care, the orchard is transformed into a plot filled with the plants of Jannah (Imaan and righteous deeds). He will pluck and enjoy its fruit in both this world and the next. If his orchard is particularly productive, the crop will be sufficient for him to sustain himself and will even benefit others. Let us all take stock of our orchard, pinpoint the weeds that need instant uprooting, and identify the plants that require urgent attention. If we revamp and revive our orchards, we will enjoy its fruit and beauty – both in this world and the next. Uswatulmuslimah