The Bawa Muhaiyaddeen Fellowship

Children's Stories

The Orange Tree Believes in God

My love you, my grandchildren, my sons and daughters, my brothers and sisters. Tell me, my grandchildren, what do you think about God? "Father, what do you mean? God- is truth. How can we have any opinions about God? We know that we need Him, and so we are searching for Him. But many people say, 'There is no God!" and that troubles us. Why do they say such a thing?"

My grandchildren, the world says many things. It is true that there is only one God, one prayer, and one community of mankind. But many people in the world have separated into different groups that say different things. So, my grandchildren, rather than saying what we think, let us ask another kind of being what it thinks. Let's ask that beautiful orange tree over there.

"O orange tree, do you believe that God exists? Or do you believe that there is no God? What do you think? Is there a God or not?"

"O great one of wisdom, I will tell you what I think. God has given me branches full of fruits that are useful and pleasing to others. When I wonder who could possibly have given me so many fruits and put so much good taste in them, I have to believe in God. These fruits are proof enough for me. If there were no God, how could I have so many fruits with such delicious taste?

"God created me and covered my head with fruits that could give others peace. If I were to say that there is no God, then it would be like saying, 'I have no fruit, I have nothing.' How can I say I have nothing when I have so much? I could only say such a thing if I were completely ignorant. If I possessed even an atom's worth of wisdom, I would have to say that there is a God. Yes indeed, I do believe in God.

"O great one, there are many trees that look just like me. Their leaves and bark have the same colors and hues. They too are called orange trees, yet their tastes and qualities are different from mine. Some taste sweet, some taste sour, some are bitter, and some are stringy. Their tastes and textures differ because of the various qualities that have been working within them. It is ignorance that makes some fruits sour, just as it is ignorance that causes differences of opinion among men. Such opinions come from their qualities.

"Men are like us. They are all created by the one God as the children of Adam (A.S.), and they all belong to the family of mankind. There is but one prayer and one taste for everyone. This is the way it is. Yet some men say that there is no God. That is like my saying I have no fruit. These opinions come from ignorance. If they had an atom's worth of wisdom, they would have to believe that there is a God. This is what I think.

"O great one, God created us all. It is He who gives you food, and gives your tongue the ability to taste the good and the bad. It is He who puts light in your eyes, makes your nose able to smell, and your ears able to hear. And so that you can understand what you hear, He endows your heart with the grace of His wisdom. He gives you hands and legs so you can give and take and do whatever needs to be done. He gave you the face and the beautiful form of a human being. Day and night, whenever you are hungry, He feeds you. According to your state at each particular time, He gives you water, fruit, or other kinds of nourishment, sometimes more and sometimes less. He knows your needs.

"Allah is the One who gives us all nourishment. Without Him, not an atom would move, not a blade of grass would bend. We must believe this with absolute certitude. A man who does not accept this, who does not believe that there is a God, is like a fully-laden tree that cries, 'I have no fruit.'

"God lives with man. He created him, He protects him, and He helps him with all his needs. When man has been given so much, it is only his own foolishness that says there is no God.

"If you have wisdom, you will realize that man will not believe in God until his ignorance, selfishness, desire, jealousy, and egoism begin to leave him. When he starts to conduct his life properly, leaving the left side and approaching the right, wisdom will come into him. Then he will believe in God. But as long as he remains ignorant, wisdom cannot enter him. O wise one, what is your opinion?"

"I accept what you say, O orange tree."

It is truly like this, my grandchildren. Do you understand now? If a tree can discover that there is a God, then surely man can do as much. You must understand. Amin.

- M. R. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen
Come to the Secret Garden: Sufi Tales of Wisdom